Who says that Show and Tell ended? Most news writers probably don’t think so.
Of course, journalism-related educational institutions have a different take on the traditional elementary-school notion of showing and telling. Their conclusion? Show something instead of just telling it.
Josh Tyrangiel, Time.com’s chief editor, points out that while telling a story is good, showing the story can be even better, because the interpretation of how something happened is left to the viewer…because they can see it!
Audiences know that wars occur, that great elections and overthrows take place, that national disasters strike…. It is straightforward enough to get the facts. But add a photo of someone salvaging the remains of their home, or a new leader in front of a triumphant crowd, and the emotion is left in, while keeping the facts in the story at the same time.
While a story can be told, gleaning the experiences that interview subjects have, once again, weave the feeling back into the facts. Especially in cases of stories that are over-hyped or very rich in emotion, pausing to describe some of the feelings in the story can slow down the momentum and give new light to an old report.
Tyrangiel’s example relates to a story about a massage spa in Israel that uses snakes as their means of relaxation. Although many people would be interested reading about how it came about and how much it is, a good video of the subject itself is a surefire way to draw people in.