Today is the deadline for my financial journalism assignment. I am to write a 1000 word news publication. I thought my daily writing skill will make it a walk in the park. But from reviews of my previous assignments, they want me to follow the journalistic way of writing. Specifically, for us, the Bloomberg Way.
Every news story must have a lead. The Bloomberg Way advocates a four paragraph lead that will captivate and engage the reader. In those first four paragraphs, you will explain the "what" (what the news story is about) and the "why" (why it should be of concern to you). You will have a nut paragraph that gives a captivating summary of the entire news article, providing all the details someone in too much of a hurry to read your entire article needs. Finally, you have to quote authoritative sources.
Currently, I am through with the skeleton of my article. And as usual I wrote it like an academic paper but that won't do. I have to make it a news publication worthy one. I have to apply the four paragraph lead style and include a nut paragraph.
I spent the whole of yesterday night searching for quotes from experts in the area my article addresses. I couldn't find any online. No wonder journalists have a big network they nurture. Now I respect them more and value their work more. I thought it would be easy to get relevant quotes. I forgot I was writing about Nigeria and will need quotes from Nigerian experts. And those are scarce online. Our experts don't do online. Nairaland kept popping up in my search result pages. I knew that one is a wrong course. If there is a word for the opposite of experts, that would be the word to describe most of the people on Nairaland. The few quotes I came upon from experts were not relevant to my own story.
I spent hours with little to show for it trying to get external voices, plurality and authenticity, into my story. Now I have to create fictional experts and fictional quotes from those fictional experts if I want to finish my assignment. I need quotes from the management of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Securities and Exchange Commission, stockbrokerage firms, asset management companies and financial securities dealers. Independent experts too will be relevant.
If you want to donate yourself or some fictional person and a nice quote about the crash or rise or importance of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, please generously do.