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Writing for the Lake Union

Debbie Michel




  • June 19, 2017
    4:00 PM


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All right so let's power had some kind of ever loving Father we are just so grateful for this time together that we can sit at your feet and we can learn a I asked your father that you will just me and your skills as the master communicator I ask your father that they will come forward and that we can learn how it is that we can to share the good news with those around us we thank you so much and we ask that you will just bless our time together in Jesus's name I pray a manna. So I'm going to tell you a little bit about myself but it's only fair that I do want to know a little bit about you too and the reason for that is I've tailored the message to be you know yes for the Herald and writing in general but I wanted to know. Exactly what is it you're hoping to get from this seminar so as I go along it will come and help me in terms of tailoring what I have to hopefully meet your needs are all right because I don't want you to sit here for the next hour or so and then it was time whereby it's like what did I get out of that so I'm very mindful of that and so my name is Debbie Mashal I am currently at the Lake Union conference I also serve as the managing editor of The Lake Union Herald and this is a job that I've been doing now for the last 17 months. Or so here and that I was trying to add so it's you know I've been in it for a little bit more than a year but I will tell you this much it's a job whereby I'm still going around in the morning so much more in terms of what it is that our churches and our conferences are looking for and so prior to coming to the Herald I was at Andrews University for the last 7 and a half years before I ended up at the Lake Union Herald and I was there as a journalism professor to teaching writing and broadcasting to our students there at Andrews and was just a loving it loving it loving it loving it love the students just love the whole atmosphere of being able to mentor and that's what I looked at it as me were all at the table to get them who are learning and I was learning a great deal from the students as well and so that was something that I did for 7 and a half years and then midway through the semester the union said can you come and work for ASA and so a lot of. It was very difficult to you know to decide OK do I want to leave my students but also to do I want to get back into the craft what I had been doing prior to coming to Andrews and so prior to coming to Andrews that just kind of a run through a little bit for you before I ask you to tell you a little bit about me tell you a little bit about yourselves or. So originally from Jamaica and I have some slides here in terms of how I ended up in journalism to begin with I grew up in a tumultuous time in Jamaica it was in the 1970 S. And there were a lot of long lines to get gasoline she would go to the store the supermarket there were no bright there was no bread there was no food essentially and I was just a little girl trying to figure out what is going on or just very curious and so I would ask my parents what's going on and so my mom would tell me Well you know it's because of you know this political party that's not making the right choices and I've asked my dad and he said well it's because of the other political party that's not making the right choices and I can't figure out what's going on so I wanted to know because they were both at opposite ends of the aisle inspection when it came to politics but in terms of reading the newspaper and finding out about you know the World Bank and you know the International Monetary Fund all these different things and got my head so wrapped up in economics and also finding out the fact that music and newspapers and how they were able to just help to inform people and just educate the citizens and to just create a healthy democracy so that was something for me why I decided you know what this is something that I think I'd like to do so. I eventually from there ended up at N.B.C.. At N.B.C. News and so. Some of the stories that I covered and I'm not going to going to you know details I went to school in New York left Jamaica went to school in New York did my undergrad there my graduate degree also there and then I went to N.B.C. and started working with N.B.C. News at the time it was the Tom Brokaw you know the 630 evening news there in New York and then after a few months went over to Dateline N.B.C. Dateline N.B.C. I must say it's not the same Dateline N.B.C. that you see now because people ask me well all these murder shows you know how to catch a murdered murder at the time we were doing hard news and so some of the stories that we ended up covering at the time when I worked there does this look familiar Do you remember what a story Heaven's Gate cult you know the World Trade Center while I was there Hurricane Katrina as another 1 of the stories in the corner with the bullets there that was the D.C. sniper shootings of. Those back in 2000 wanna war in Afghanistan and I was faced the N.B.C. building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza so I was there for 11 years at N.B.C. from tooth from 1995 when I graduated with my master's degree on till 2006 when I left and B.C. and. If you're like my students I know the question that you're probably asking why. And the classroom I got that question death of Princess Diana. Those are some of the other stories that we cover it. Is OK That's perfectly 5 actually I do well with the story these are actually stories I covered the death of John F. Kennedy jump in a ram see so it was during that period that I was there. OK So I think once he starts talking that's the end and so the question that I would get often time I'll just answer it now because it's a question that I would find you know I would not answer it at all through the semester I'm trying to impart to the students in terms of writing and writing style and format and all of that and at the end of semester like I did you leave and I realize I'm going to also muster along there wondering So after over the years I found out that it's something that I need to just come state up front in terms of what happened so just a little bit about my background I was raised as a Anglican and I don't know because in Jamaica it's a Church of England and so that was the predominant. Religion It's actually a sort of like you know. It's like the official religion but there's no official but that's what most people are because it's Church of England Jamaica became independent from the British colony many years ago and so they had a very strong presence there so that was it but I just had a. How should I put it a surface knowledge of Christianity. You're nodding your head and so I was thinking that you know I'm good I got what I needa And so it wasn't until I came to New York you know I was going to college and met a 7th Day Adventist and so through friendship evangelism that's how I discovered this beautiful message and have a time out is that N.B.C. And you know I would go to all these devastating you know things that would be happening to people knock on their door fly you know across the country aware of her and my job at N.B.C. when I started was what we called a booking producer and a booking producer your job was to get the exclusive interview with the newsmakers So anything that's happening so before your competition before 60 Minutes before 48 hours before any of the news magazines that showed up because it was very expensive to produce 1 of these 10 minute 30 minute stories like a 10 minute stories about $30000.00 and this is like almost 20 years ago sic just imagine how much it is now but it's a lot of money so they want to make sure that we had the exclusive so we could have the highest ratings so that was my job the front person as soon as word got out on the wires that this has happened I had my suitcase at my desk or it should hold me get it and I was on a plane that same day or the next day knocking on someone's door I'm here from New York I'm so sorry about what has happened to you and I can talk with you. So you can just imagine in terms of looking into people's like red eyes bawling crime that you know a plane has crashed or a building has just came come tumbling down or this devastating things as happened and either you know my child you name it whatever relative someone close to them near and dear to them I would just have to sit there and tell them I'm so sorry but I couldn't offer them any hope so like I said when I found out that that there was this god who actually. Wants to have a relationship with his children off and who actually is not responsible for all this devastation that you were going to imagine for me in terms that was like a Hollywood moment so I thought I need to go do this it's like you know the woman at the well that was me and so all midway through my contract at N.B.C. because we had to sign these 4 year contracts I said to my boss and I just got to get out of the contract I don't know where I'm going to go I don't have a job I don't know what but I just feel like I need to do something else and so I was fortunate enough because of me and somebody was in the news I'm trying to think who is trying to get and get out of their contract so sometimes it works very easily but not all the time in terms of the networks because they figure that you have all these trade secrets and they don't want you to take it and go to the competition and before you know it you know they have higher ratings all the stuff that goes on so I was happy when they said Sure you can go and so for the next 2 or so years so that was me just kind of praying and saying God what you want me to do and so he led me to Andrews and so that's where I was for the last you know. At Andrews. At N.B.C. It's like that's a good question that's a good question because. I stayed there for a year after I got back ties because I was thinking OK Let me see what God wants me to do I don't know if I didn't quit right away I think right away but I tell you it was the most uncomfortable year in all the years that I had been there because you can imagine if you have friends for a number of years and so you're used to you know speaking a certain way or going a certain place and all of a sudden when they come in and I said so how you doing in like Praise the Lord things are so good God is good and they're like. And when they see you they just want to make a bee line it's like it's up all sorts of about so I became very uncomfortable for me and then the whole issue with the Sabbath as well because like I mentioned earlier it's like whenever news broke news had no respecter of what dear the week it was and so it was 1 of those things too but I had made a decision I purposed that you know what God as soon as they asked me to work on the Sabbath that was going to be 1 I would say that's it but it never came to that point it almost came when. Saddam Hussein was captured and it was actually on a Saturday morning early and I was getting ready for church and I was on duty of that point because they had a such to wear by in order to not burn out the staff they had every like maybe every 6 weeks we had what we call crash duty and so every 6 weekends I mean every 6 we CAN you were on duty in 70 news broke or your page would go off at that time as I can see how data the thing is now it's like cell phones your page would go off like a doctor you like calling and you know I'm calling and what do I need to do and they say OK get to here or come to the office or whatever and I was getting ready to work and I was like thinking I'm on crash duty I know what's going to happen is a big story of me and you know and I think Saddam Hussein had been captured and as I was driving to the church. The pager went off and I'm thinking oh boy what do I do and I just kept driving and I got to church and I said OK you know I didn't call right away because the whole time I'm just praying because I'm thinking OK this is going to be it and this is what I will say that I'm mustering up the courage and I can see that I was like you know brave and strong it was a little bit like intimidating as I went to church and I didn't answer it right away it was a couple hours and so what I called it and I said a pager went off yes what would you you know the like well you know what we have enough people here who have come into the office already so don't bother to come in today come in tomorrow Sunday and we need you to stay for the whole day to put this package together and so that's what ended up happening and so I went in and it turns out I mean as I look back on it now. It's just amazing but anyway so I didn't have to deal with any of the Sabbath issues in that sense and so it was you know when the time was right in terms of when I felt like OK it's time for me to leave my wife and I said OK I need I need to leave and so that's how it ended up happening so feel like have like gone on and on and on so that's how I ended up at Andrews University and so I was at 30 Rock you know were asking that I work at 30 Rock and so that's where I was for 30 days 313030 Rock for 11 years and so you know I think of those quotes you know the people are hungry for the bread of life you don't offer them a stone and I mean I was working at 30 Rock and I felt like you can offer them anything. I do want to say I'm really sorry that you've lost your you know your mother your father your son your daughter there was many things that I could offer them and then when I found out that there was this god who wants a relationship with us and a God who gave me so much peace because that was the other thing too in terms of discovering that you have this prayer life whereby you could talk to him and he would give you the assurance and have you not worry because I mean those 11 years he could imagine on the go muses breaking it's a stressful life it's a life where you're constantly worrying I don't know when I show up at somebody's store if they can have the dogs are going to pull a dog if they're going to you know what I was going to happen it's stressful and so now when I have this peaceful assurance whereby there's a God who I can talk to him and he will direct my path and kind of tell me OK this is what you need to do don't do this talk to the. Talk about freedom talk about freedom so anyway so that's how that ended up happening and so I ended up at Andrews University and now at the Lake Union where I've been like I said for the last 17 months. So I wanted to find out you know what are you hoping to get from this before I sort of delve into you know writing because what I have planned and hopefully you know it's some of the basics of storytelling because I mean that's what I've been teaching that's what I went to school for that's you know after I left what I said booking I said I did booking for 4 years then I went into production so I could be writing the stories it's no longer just you know looking people but then writing the scripts. To and it's something the package working with the crews working with the the editors to do whatever it takes and that's what the producer does whatever it takes to get the show on the air on time on deadline so I'm hoping that I'll be able to cover in the next you know 40 minutes or so in terms of what you're hoping in terms of the essence of the basics of writing and also in terms of with the Lake Union and since I've been there in terms of what I've discovered are you know what are some of the. Elements that will get you a strong piece in the publication and. Then I was. In the church and events were here oh I. Knew. OK. Now does anyone know. Because that's interesting because you know this helps me because like I said I mean I feel like I'm still growing where it's a very obvious. Yeah I don't have to move because Ender's is right there and it's just down the road actually. Used to be right there on the the college campus but now it's like maybe a mile away on the highway that built a new building maybe 3 years ago or so this is before my time I mean I don't think about it you know you know and you're right and actually in January and that's 1 of the things I'm coming I'm I'm trying to figure out OK what are some of the things that most people know what are some of things that just I am you know clueless about because I'm just starting and so that's 1 of the things I've come to realize because sometimes people say I'm calling from the Lake Union conference you know Bubba blah and they say like you know in conference are you with the lake region conference and I'm like no make regions different and like where you based it or you with Michigan conference and it's like you know like Union. And having to explain Do you understand the hierarchy though for most of you in terms of how it operates in terms of where the division and then the union and then the local conferences and so all these things I'm realizing that don't take anything for granted because I think we're all learning in terms of how the Church is organized Yeah but yeah but what do you hoping to get from the session yes. I tell me your name and I am just the only thing I'll say tense OK. I bet I remember this like this fight. But my husband and. I got that lots of little questions but they were the answer but when I took Bible studies on they were all answered although it took me 2 years for the Holy Spirit to work. Right so. I imagine it might be. In the Army 1 or 2 years on. I'm going to be sharing more than. Wired more and I will talk about back to you at but you want to know what I go before you know what are you hoping to terrify you give me even 1 minute. Well I'm 75 years old my time is running out how we have a son with disabilities. A lot of last minute I had quite a life experience. It was a rarity. Condition there were only 9 in the world while he had difficulty getting his medical needs. But anyway he's no longer with us. But the Lord laid out my heart. That people with disabilities were major part of his ministry and I providentially and up involved in the other big disability in the Manly and I heard that 25 percent of our relations are people with disability in and 10 percent are people with the civil disability I should say that this is an issue he's percentages and this was like 2530 years ago too so. So there may be more or less but anyway we don't have the kind of representation change so you're hoping to write stories which are to bring awareness to what I died 25 years ago. Now they toss you probably wouldn't live to be 2 of me have to be around while. But anyway when he passed away I did for me it would tell your son Tyler and her ministry Johnny Erickson tada she's famous and then did a movie of her life she was. A normal person but had a diving accident a game I believe also have a mystery all over the world for people with disabilities and she's a guy. I don't know but I digress but anyway I just read several books and yes I talked with Elf and you know where he was 25 years old I was present and. That we wanted to purchase a book that I was that I was called all God's children and gave them a church so there was $125.00 books that we got out of the mission. Given to the pastors and it. Showed all the various different disabilities and how you can relate to them and how you can solve them. But you know that was 100 years ago and I've been working with the counter through the years of the. Camp Meeting assessable and I are seeing more and more people here with disabilities but still. That we don't have the representation so how How's the writing going to try and I you know I so want to write about it right and are. OK All right all right you have a ministry and that's 1 of the things to me and from your passion and the things that you've gone through girth you know stories. Absolutely absolutely and our main facts after I'm down here I'm going to go see her because she tells me that she is at 1 of the the exhibit someone who actually wrote an article in the current Herald about her. Her she was an alcoholic. And so did anyone see that story she wrote a story she's here so at the bottom of the article it was you know saying that you know her ministry journey to wholeness and that she can't Minix she sent me a text last week you know I was in Georgia and she said you can believe the amount of people have stopped by to say I've seen the Arctic on they want to talk about it because you know X.Y.Z. can relate to it and so what you've gone through or can absolutely you know and when I would go and talk to people for N.B.C. and you try to figure out in terms of why with these people they're going through you know the worst time in their lives talker and quite often it's because they want someone else who has gone through what they have gone through like I mean I'll never forget the face of this mother of an 11 year old boy who you know committed suicide because he had been bullied and just you know all the you know her causes what with tears from crying and it's like why would she want to talk but because she just wanted to make sure that this never happens precisely and not just taking this just for you know sensationalise the value but in terms of using it for good so I can relate to you and I'll say this much to the person who introduced me to Adventist advances Adventism eventually came my husband a seller. It turns out nicely sometimes are there any. Women and they are going to church and my friends with the. Secretaries are. OK I know it's the only. You only. Use And you know which are so when you and other possibilities. Come. Up OK all right and so Lisa and Tina. You know Vanna. Hear me OK OK which are OK OK We're. Yes we're going to meet is. Going to become a 1 year for the world where when I was OK with the basics of writing for me it was OK Excellent excellent at any time feel free to you know if there's anything that's not clear or if you'd like for me to you know explain it another way go over it please let me now I have a lot of information and so it's almost like 4 o'clock and I think I have until he said like $43445.00 but if there's you know if we want to do Q. and A as we go along or save it to the yes. You know if as we're going along if there are questions that you know feel free so what I have here now is I'm going to just going to go over to some of the basics of storytelling and then the 2nd part of my presentation will be specifically the Herald and what are some of the things that we're looking for so this is the quote I came across it was actually a Christian author Janet. Liver land I think is how you pronounce her last name but she was talking about of the power of stories or and and she says stories have power they delight and chant touch teach recall inspire motivate challenge they help us understand they imprint a picture on our minds if you want to make a point or raise an issue tell a story. And how many of you can probably relate because I mean so many times you know for instance in our church and I will just see it in terms of where a pastor might be going on and on and on and it's when there's like a personal story especially you know something where people can connect it's like perk up I'm listening it's no longer just sort of like you know a monotone of a of a of a narrative going on there's something more that I'm interested in so stories are very. Relational for people to be able to say you know what I want to know more and so I'm going to sprinkle some spirit of prophecy and some scripture that I have found to be. Germane to what we're talking about as well and it says the publications in and of thinking about you know like our like you know in our church publications they've been sent forth from our printing houses to prepare people to meet Ghada and in a large degree through our publishing houses it is to be accomplished the work of that other angel who comes down from heaven with great power and lightens the earth with its glory and that's something for me at least I know that speaks to me in terms of why I said to you that after you have this good news after you know that there's a God who cares and a God who loves you so much I could not not say you know what I would like to share it to and so when I think about that that Angel lightning the eartha I'm just thinking about because I mean how many times you turn on the news and it's like Oh just another of sad sick thing that you have to worry about again and. To know that there is you know these publications and so that's 1 of the things I would like to think of when I think of the church publications that they're doing the job of lightning the earth and helping to bring people into this heavenly atmosphere so tips for story telling stories about people and I'll tell you this is like journalism school this is journalism Juana Juana and it's 1 of those things which is why again when I was at N.B.C. And I said that they had I was a booking producer can you believe it there's a department there were about 6 of us whose job it is to find the people so we think that something has happened whether it's you know you know talk about all these devastating things but say for instance health care or our. You know poverty how do you tell those stories these are issues but it's through the people and their experiences in their lives and so you cannot do it without people so I would just say in terms of as you think of stories think of OK Who can I have now to tell that story and tell them in a way that will connect with my audience but don't just think of it just as an issue I want to talk about you know these statistics like for instance this person I talked about Arlene who is there at the exhibit who is an alcoholic she had some statistics in her article that talked about the amount of people who are addicted to some kind of substance she kind of made it relevant in the sense that we have this opiate opiate opiate crisis that's going on so there again in terms of what something timely and relevant but then it was her story and so tiny it all together whereby you had the personal story and the statistics to put together while Come on em. Really. If the current 1 juror June July June July that 1 came out of the beginning of the month yes. All right very good. So people so never forget that in terms of people. And we'll talk a little bit later as I go along as well in terms of how to actually make sure that you. Fully. Know that the the aspects of the story to make sure that you fully. You fully has the word I'm looking for someone it's not taking advantage because you're not taking advantage of them you fully embrace their story to be able to share it and so we'll talk about that as we go along so let your character expect for themselves so what do you think I mean by that when you see a story if I say let them speak for themselves their language so I want to see it in quotes. Because this is 1 of the rookie mistakes that I get from churches whereby they'll tell some 1 story and they'll pretty much just paraphrase what I'm hearing from the writer's voice and I never hear of the person who told them the store I never hear what they said so quit Taishan mark so X. Y. Z. said whatever whatever and give me some descriptions of how they might have said it or what they were doing when they said it to the setting of the place does that make sense Ok us the. Story or. The work or both any story any story missions story or you know stories of adversity that someone has gone through. Everything all the stories we said not necessarily true are you saying because all the stories I'd like to think you tell are true but. Are you talking novels I think you. Know. OK. If they're actually true or not you know I don't deal with. The children story and I'll tell you this much I mean it's so funny when people in my students hear me tell some of the stories they said sure when I haven't is growing up all your life because I say I never did like those stories that were fables. But I you know I was always you know for me nonfiction but anyway. So let your characters speak for themselves on. The next 1 audiences or easily do you agree. I do think you tend to agree so what do you think might be some of the things you want to avoid in order to not Gore them what do you think What are some of the things we can probably do when we write a story and catch weary. And how do you and I'm OK all right to catch their interest or anything else that you can think of keep them moving up keep it moving. Yes I'm sure it is 1 of the things I can add like to think of it as being concise and yes you have to catch their interest from the beginning and I'll talk about. Some of the things some of the techniques you could do at the beginning those opening paragraphs to catch their attention but 1 of the things look at the world that we're living in now in terms of 247 how many things you're doing sometimes in terms of multitasking even though you might have you know a newspaper here but you might have you know something playing in the background or you might be talking to Little Johnny here or on the phone so you have to be mindful of your audience and that's the other thing too because they're busy they're super busy and you don't want for them to sort of like you know oh I see this article there's you know and maybe just. I don't know if they'll skim it but you know they'll keep turning the pages and that's not what you want you're trying to actually capture them so you have to think about the context of what they're reading it him. So write something that they really do read it I will get into that a little bit more so this is more like just some general tips that I'm given you yes picture and actually before they even read the article quite often it's the picture and the caption So I mean we're not going to talk about photography in this cost but the design the photography the layout it all comes together and that's how you actually will pull the audience into but I'm more focusing on the writing aspect of it so absolutely So for those of you who are communication directors as well clear picture is people been using cell phone pictures and you can get some sharp pictures with your cell phones but make sure that. I don't want to start segue into a photography section. But just make sure there's proper lighting and you know that that is clear because I can tell you how many times I have to call someone up and say you know can you send me something else is there anything that's not so fuzzy we're you know you can see what's going on but anyway but absolutely pictures as well. So stories stop emotions and I think we sort of cover this already. And why they're valuable in terms of reaching your audience and especially when you're trying to get someone to to want. Stick with your story because that's your job as a writer you do your job is that once they start reading you want for them to stay all the way to the end and so this is 1 of the characteristics of what they consider strong stories that there's some emotion and not all stories will have emotion but if there's some kind of emotion that your subject has gone through and it's not something you want to to to gloss over because that's where your audience will start connecting you know boy they went through this and so you know you want to be able to use that and so emotion is 1 of the things in terms of characteristic of trying to decide if a story is something worth covering and I get from my communication director is a. Characteristics of. Of news stories of which I don't go into a lot here emotion is 1 if something is timely that it was something that happened you know recently because for instance I don't want to be running things in the Herald in August that happened at Christmas you call your frame of mind is not really there so something that's timely something that is. Unique you know because that's the other thing too in terms of people will say well how many times are you going to do you know about tism story a conversion story as far as I'm concerned there's always something new and interesting in terms of how God is working and that's when you focus on the people and let them speak in terms of what the quotes and listen clearly and sometimes it means to going back and asking more pointed questions that you might have missed of and this is 1 of the other things too in terms of when I would tell my students you know they might have done an interview and it was took them like 15 minutes and they wrote it up and it's like you just kind of scratched the surface at that point into so as you're looking for what are some of those unique parts of the story that you think that you know what this is something that I'd like to be able to to put to put forth because that's another way that your audience may not have heard of something like that before you know for instance I'm just trying to think. What something that's you know as you think of you know conversion or. Back to some stories that's perhaps unique. In the. Way or. More to do but as you are interviewing someone say for their story and you're trying to now you know honing on OK how do I make this something where it's not just your run of the mill story that you know it's people's eyes just glaze over you don't want rata And so that's what I'm trying to get at in terms of. Listening for. Things that you did not expect. In the story and that's something them that you want to play up fairly high up that your your audience is drawn into and I'm drawing a blank that's I'm kind of turning to you as well in terms of like what are some of those unique things that. You can think of because I mean we do hear about. You do you miss the race. And. The topic calls now absolutely absolutes where the back and we'll talk about you know the Herald and how it's organized which I which I would like to do as well but we do human interest and we do topics and so topics like we did before this 1 was with the camp meeting and that's like a topic and before that was we didn't hear is so wasn't really the human interest so much but in terms of there's a controversial topic I read in tears so those are some of the things that's another thing too that makes news something that's a controversial issue within the church and that everybody wants to know like what you know what are they saying those are things that you want to be kind of honing on as well in terms of like we need to be covering these kinds of things that our stories don't tell they show this is a big 1 and another rookie mistake with students over the years that I read you know how we wrestle with the copy back and forth what do you think I mean by that a story is don't tell they show. Where we think. Yes So it's in in terms of saying that you know Karen Smith is a. Karen Smith is. Karen Smith is a I'm trying to think and because I'm the 1 I'm thinking of but the adjective that I'm thinking of is she's poor. So you're telling us. But then what are some of things in terms of when you're writing that story to show us so in terms of you know painting of a scene in terms of you know the the the tribe Warren. Couch the you know the empty pantry paint me that picture rather than just kind of telling me and just kind of glossing it over and so these are kind of 1 another way in terms of like delving into the meat of the story rather than just glossing over it's a are rights of stories have at least 1 moment of. What do you think I mean by that moment of truth. Peek of a story the story arc in terms of whereby there is you know a someone is going about life and vendor something that happens or some issues some. Some bump in the road and that becomes like the arc of the story how will they now get through this obstacle to come over on the other side and then when you mentioned you know to teach that is also 1 of the things as well there's stories that are there to inspire to educate to entertain what is it you're trying to do with the story oh I'm going to fast OK I'm sorry when I start getting all excited I'm like OK I'll slow down. Yeah so some stories yet teach to inspire. To to entertain. Yeah so a lot of the stories we did at N.B.C. Some were you know we're hoping that we can you know there's some teachable moments there like I mentioned the whole thing with the the suicidal people are going through things but quite often and that's where for me it became something where it was sort of like I don't want to be doing this for the rest of my life because for the most part of the like entertainment and I've reached that stage where by it was like we're living in the last days I cannot afford to be wasting time trying to entertain people need to know what's going on people need to wake up and so what is it your story is trying to do is trying to teach and that's 1 of the values that's an educational. That's a component of a story the educational value because sometimes in terms of like what we did in January with our issue it was a church organization it was just like how is the church organized because like I said is 1 of those basic things you realize that not everyone knows and so that was a story to educate whereas like a story I'm working on for the August issue. Which is on public campus ministries and I was talking about this you know we it's fresh in my mind so I can talk about it this young woman who was a public campus environment and. Went down the wrong wrong path so that Issa story A Again whereby it's to teach but also hopefully to. To inspire as well so the it can have various. Various layers various you know what we want to do our stories have clear meaning and I think that we've sort of gone through some of this already as well so I'm going to just skip through that 1 clearly So all right so you're asking me I really do more than the who what where I want so I start off with this because you know in the time that we have I can't do a whole semester long writing workshop with you I wish we could so we're going to just come a hit on some of the basic points but types of Lena so 1 type of lead is your traditional lead is what we call it and this is suitable for news stories and so in the back of the Herald or our news section and so again alert for my news of my communication director is that when you're submitting stories for the most part these are the kinds of needs that you'll be doing in terms of your who what where why when in terms of you know I gave you an example here and this is 1 that I just pulled. Fresh from the headlines yesterday after 42 years on the endangered species list the Yellowstone grizzly bear whose numbers have grown to more than 700 from fewer than 150 will lose its protected status with the Interior Department announced on Thursday so we have some context how many years of the animal has been on the endangered list so it wasn't just that you know the grizzly bear will be the Yellowstone grizzly bear will no longer be on the endangered list if you want to get a good picture this is 1 of the things again whereby people bore easily or they don't have time and so you've given me a lot here and so if I don't have time to read the rest of it I pretty much have got a good summary so you're looking for something that's another. Name for a traditional. Headline a summary headline you've summarized it and you don't have to have all of those components you don't have to give me all of them because in this 1 how many of them do we have do you have all who what where why when and how what's your WHO and that example what's the who the the who is the Department. Well they're the ones who announced it so you have everyone's who announced it to the WHO is pretty much in terms of what is that referring who who is the topic of this the Grizzly Bears of the grizzly bears and that's what it's about who and what's what happened they're no longer on the list. We're I guess we don't really have the right and we have it in the but what we call the the dateline where you have to Helen Helena Montana you don't have to do when you're sending in stories the date lines and I will just usually at the front of it say either Michigan or Indiana Wisconsin whatever conference it comes from but that's the the where the why the numbers of girl Anna and why on Thursday you know and how we don't know how their numbers have grown jewelry We just know that and so this is again where by the how doesn't have to be an A But this is a short sync and you're leaves are usually about $35.00 words of the lead the 1st crack no more than $35.00 if only exactly the 1st paragraph very good question the 1st paragraph is called the Lida and it has to be short and tight and I'm going to send you an example of a story that I just got to from someone who submitted it and I have rejected the names them to protect the innocent and so we'll go for a little exercise after I do the next type of lead and see if you can kind of practice All right. But it's a clear in terms of when you're sending out because I mean I don't have time quite often I've gotten this magazine and the mail I do want to know what's going on but I can't afford to sift through every paragraph because I have a family have to take care of I have to carpool I have my husband to take care of my wife what etc So think about your audience in terms of how do I kind of jam a lot of information when you're doing the traditionally for news stories whereby they can still get it and then if they want more there is more you start giving me now the details and building on what it is that's been said. All right so nontraditional leads you guys are still with me in the back. Non-traditional So these are more for your feature news stories and you know what the difference is between like your hard news and your hard news is usually you know well they're all factual but hard news is usually where I'm trying to think now say for instance you want to talk about you know what's happened talk about Camp Meeting your who in terms of Michigan camp you know have their meeting you know such and such a date and. On traffic What's the news of not really been around but again this is 1 of the things too that. Really you know oh OK. Thank you. What happened she see that's. Why. She See I would like set up on THE LEAD A. While after the final prayer you know like a final. Wow. Wow Wow setting the scene so the news story of what is going on because quite often again another rookie mistake that happens is that we get these label leads is what I call them whereby they'll say something like you know Michigan camp meeting happened and they were able to and they attracted 3000 people is that news on this is like more than they've ever had maybe it's news if they've gone above and beyond they've done some innovative things whereby the the numbers but don't focus so much on the numbers of people but what is the news in terms of you have to sort of like I am allies in terms of what is something that's unique timely. Controversial. Emotional What if some of those things that you think that I need to focus on and that becomes my story so there has to be some sort of analysis before you actually sit down to even write some of the nontraditional essential feature type stories I was talking about it's more your human interest type story whereby you know someone who has overcome something and so you can have. These kinds of leads or a scene setter Leda anecdotal leader or a zinger scene setter anecdote or a zinger there are others what I'm focusing on the street because they're the more common 1 I'll give you an example of each so for instance for. A scene setting Leda. And again depending on the sources like the camp meeting story do you want to do a feature stylee whereby you're describing the scene and so for instance here on the 2nd floor of an old book variant palace in Munich Germany there's a liar with high ceilings of a distinctly bookish smell and 1 of the world's most extensive collections of Latin texts about 20 researchers from all over the world work in small offices around the room do you feel like you're there you're gonna know that the Says high ceilings. The smell of the room is like a books and what kinds of books there are and how many people you're sort of setting the scene so these are usually 2 for longer type stories and usually if you're going to profile profile I don't know what the rest of the story is it's probably where you think they're going with this. Well you think it's setting it up for what will the story be something to do with the library and what's going on inside that Lyra it's setting it up and so we're about to allow learn more and so you kind of painted a picture of stuff the scene I can kind of see I can smell I can feel I can touch those are some of the things you're thinking about what scene setter type leads are all right so I'm what I'm doing I'm breaking it down for you so when you're sitting down to write you're trying to figure out OK what kind of the do I want to put I want to hard news you know traditional or a nontraditional like what I'm going over now so these are things that will make it so much easier so you're not sort of like just scattering and just kind of writing you know aimlessly but kind of making it. Why they're there you want to read more absolutely right and watching the tides are going to go a little bit faster but if they need to slow down do let me know another type of a nontraditional leaders anecdote and anecdote is a it's a story that sort of expands the greater story so what I mean by that for example you know 1 day on the day of the collision last month of this ability was good the sidewalk was not on the repair as she walked to Fany Briggs the 25 was talking to her grandmother on her cell phone last in conversation very last I ran into a truck Miss brick said it was parked in a driveway so this is an anecdote whereby it's a small a story to expand on a greater story where you think the story is about. Surrounding this very well. Yes Yes So probably distracted you know walking how many of us sort of like you know doing that so this is a smaller story now that's probably going to expand on this whole issue of people who are distracted as they say you know on their cell phones or doing whatever so that's an example of an anecdotal Leda All right so another type of a news story feature story lead as zinger zingers 1 of those leads where and you know it's 1 of those things that can easily go wrong it's the shortest lead you can think of it's usually just a few few words but it's 1 of those things where when people read it it's sort of like they can't believe it it's like oh this is crazy so this 1 it says his last meal was worth $30000.00 and it killed him what's what happened so this is a story about a man who was trying to smuggle drugs and ended up die so those are usually actually a little bit more difficult to write but it's 1 of those things whereby you can grab the attention fairly quickly audience of what it is the. First paragraph 1st 1st lie this was 1st sentence 1st sentence All right so this is 1 now I want for you to let's. Ari I give you 2 minutes. So this is something like I said it just showed up in my inbox yesterday and I've protected the innocent so see if this is the 1st paragraph this was the Lida and see if you can. Boil this down what it either in a nontraditional leader which is you who what where why 1 or your. Non-traditional scene setter and anecdote see if you can Yeah or if you want to tell me because I know we're running out of time so if you want to tell me what you think. How would you because again you're trying to capture your reader's attention you want to you know I would give. The the crux of the story but without overdoing it and that's 1 of the things too with lead sometimes what happens a rookie mistake more than 35 words and you jammed way too much information in there or me to digest. I'll give you 1 minute to see if you can kind of tell me what you think how would you improve it so you don't have to rewrite it because we're short on time but what would you do how would you and this is not from Michigan so I try to make sure that this was a boy I'm sorry for the. Length of Morse and. You've kind of jived into the story real quickly you're telling me in terms of members you know how they learned about it this is more like the secondary type information how they find out about it and anecdote it yes. I love those leads absolutely an anecdote lead in terms of a story whereby at what point did that aha moment come to her whereby you know what this might be something that's worth pursuing all right. So I'm going to go you know for you to rewrite it as my take a little while but this is 1 of those things what I call a week lead and so my job as the editor now is to try to figure out OK how do I come it's if you send me stuff that's already like ready to go it's more likely quickly likely to be to be printed. All the time with yeah and the. Do you want to help me I haven't started out yet. You know what I cannot you know what I am not and I totally understand because I know for me I have gone through the training and I've not done journalism training it's not something that comes easily it's not a natural thing and so I'm actually grateful to get the stories because I mean as we get into the Herald Now 1 of the things that I was surprised that when I got it was that I thought I'd be getting stories and I mean they're like editing but I'm like pick up a full please send me a story it's difficult we don't get a lot of stories so when you are saying that you want to write and that your job and I'm like how do you praise the Lord. I do use is 1 thing but I do need writers as well because I mean part of my job is to go around and do training and that I'm doing. Video production which is also something that's very time consuming so it's not all just the Herald stuff that I do but it's a big part of my job so anyway this is a little quiz and I sort of like from my Dateline days a date line we used to have you know right before we did a commercial break we said you do like this. So used to have this commercial break right before we get to commercial break you know we play in terms like in what year you know about what happened so anyway this is for you to try and guess what your you think the Herald was born and said it was the day that Mother's Day celebrated for the 1st time Henry Ford introduces 1st Model T.. Billy Murray hit the charts with Take Me Out To The Ballgame the 1st passenger flight in an airplane took place General Motors Corp was founded the 1st Gideon Bibles placed in a hotel room what year was it and this is what it looked like I just kind of took a picture of it we had it in a bound in the book we actually have the original in a vault but this is 1 we reprinted it a couple years ago we did our anniversary is probably you know you can't see it because it's too small. So I give you a little bit as you're thinking about it how the Herald came to be so the Review Press apparently was based in Michigan and they moved to Tacoma Park and so when they moved the Great Lakes area wasn't getting as much coverage they used to be a lot of stories on the Great Lakes and so the Great Lakes was feeling like you know what we wanted our own and so the conference presidents who voted they apparently used to have a local conference report that they would send to their constituents but then now they wanted a family type a letter something where a by everybody together now in this 1 particular magazine and so at that time to Emanuel missionary college now Andrews University they were struggling and I thought this is another way in which they could also help the presses and so that's 1 of the reasons to why they decided you know what let's do this thing you know call the Herald it was 8 pages $0.50 it cost all black and white to $1.00 of the 1st. Contributors the pages Ellen White who wrote for the Lake Union Herald is actually 1 of a kind it was actually the pioneer in the entire division in terms of no 1 else had a union magazine and so the hero has a rich history so for me to think that I'm such a part of it it's like wow it's humbling So what year 18. $19919.00 Any guesses. 143. He said 184-394-3918. 1887 there was 1008. 100. First was born All right so I'm going to go through this really quickly so this is our most recent issue this is our August issue that just hit the newsstands this is the 1 that has a story that I keep mentioning the alcoholic and so our mission in the for this magazine which is not very different from what it was in 1008 Believe it or not on the front page it had in terms of that they wanted to unify the Lake Union they wanted to inspire they wanted to educate the constituents in the union and that's what we have as our mission statement today telling the stories of what God is doing in the lives of his people so that's another thing too when you write your new stories always try to figure out what is God doing in the lives of his people so if the kids have had a. I don't know a bake sale or they have done some kind of you know bike ride and to raise funds what is God doing in the lives of this people in that how are they using this now to put forth the mission is that clear because that's 1 of the things too that's another missed mistake so anyway this is the on the staff and so Gary Berntsen He's the editor who I work with I'm the managing editor and Judy Dodie who is about to retire who has been there for a long time as well she's the back pages editor so everything dealing with a bitch Yuri marriage Jafa she's the 1 who gets that information and she deals with it and I deal with the rest of the magazine and everything to that point to Robert Mason as our graphic designer and Susan slickers is our copy editor they're not on staff those are freelancers that Susan is in Wisconsin Robert is in Idaho so the only ones who are in the Lake Union are the 3 of us myself Gary and Judy. All right anda telling got stories so 2 pages are dedicated to sharing this is some of these are some of the columns that we have up that you can write for or send in stories and I'm always open looking for ideas for the stories telling got stories to 2 pages and the magazine they're dedicated to sharing stories about our readers are sharing stories about our readers and how they're seeing God work in the lives in their lives or the lives of others and sometimes these stories are new members who have discovered the joy of Jesus other times their experiences of God's intervention in the lives of his children and so these are you know just how God is working what are some of those really wonderful ways that we can show the world our share hope that's another column and this is 1 page of 500 words and it focuses on stories and methods of evangelism So what are some of those unique initiatives that your church may have Jonna creative methods for reaching those in our community and select for instance the 1 that I just shared with you there which is a reverse diabetes that will be a sure hope you know we're going to fix it up about become like you know this is 1 of the ways in which the church is now reaching out to. To share with their community news stories which I sort of you know mentioned these are interesting stories that you have you know from church schools and. Sabbath schools and ministries within the Lake Union and all these pictures I'm showing you these are all actually all of these are Michigan this is the person at the A.C.S. and before that. Actually this was that God Last summer. Anyway 1 voice this is for young people. Stories of faith and challenge written by readers between the ages of 14 and 30 so if there's a young person this is 1st person so if there's a young person in your church and this is something with a $100.00 scholarship. To them and so this is another opportunity for them to write for us on the edge of this is a like $450.00 word article where it highlights a youth or young adult who's putting their faith in action somebody who is just you know living on the edge for gotta that's another way in which we spotlight we want to make sure we're being intentional that we cover our young people my going to faster or OK All right so you can't really see this but our schedule for the rest of the year I'm going to gloss through this but it's all on our website by the way but for instance the next issue the 1 that I'm working on now is the August issue and the deadline for those stories it was June 5th and I'm actually full with stories but if you have. The a bitch or you know wedding announcements any of that stuff you can still submit them you can submit them he sent all of us by the way to Harold at Lake Union got Orji Harold at Lake Union. So the next issue I'm working on the theme is public campus ministry then in September there is the Andrews University issue that's a theme issue every year that they do that we're doing in October of the Reformation anniversary and in November December coping with loss and so every year for the Lake Union we have. Some standing themes that we cover like Adventist Christian education camp Camp Meeting health. Andrews University Those are 4 that are set every year we have those themes and then the others are the administrators at the union they get together they figure out what are some of the themes that we need to cover for the year and then they decide and so those are there it's hard you are deadlines are there other services that you might not be aware of that the Lake Union provides or communication department or coverage of news events and so if you're having a big event and you said you know what I'd like for somebody to come in and cover it for us if we can do that video production we do videos for churches we do training in crisis communication writing photography design and website we provide websites for all schools and churches and so those are things that you can you can connect with us to find out more about how we just got on Facebook. And we have a video channel and we also just launched a podcast a sound podcast. That's hosted by yours truly and so what I've been doing is that I've been interviewing. People who are like for instance the 1st 1 we did was Nicholas Miller who was talking about at that point the Johnson Amendment was hot in the news and so we were able to do an interview with him in terms of how. Churches are now more involved in political campaigns and then the public campus ministry I was doing that issues so we have a public ministry public campus ministry coordinator and then Randy Griffin who is our health director. Those are places where you can see some of the things we're doing are right some more than 1000 will soon be converted in 1 day most of them will trace their 1st convictions to the reading of our publication I mean it's such a it's such an honor I mean people say to me Do you miss your job I want to honor want an honor to be able to be part of the work in terms of. Helping people to realize that in this world that there's a God who can help them and that there's a God who's coming soon and so I'm just so grateful and so blessed the I tell people I really have the best job because when I start talk you start telling me your story what you've gone through it's like my faith is strengthened so I know that with our publications that is my contact information and we did it for 45 if you have any questions you know feel free and I have business cards so I can give you business cards to. You know. I. If you can write them they're better if you can write from your They're better you know why because like I said if you give me the ideas what I do is that I will have them now talk to student writers and that's 1 of the things too I have my the students who I work through that Andrew's it and I get them involved and so I can get them involved through this because that's 1 of the things that I actually was missing when I when I left so let me give you my card but this is this is Ben. But any questions you have. So you know what I'd like you to do e-mail it to me or you don't have email that's right. OK All right write it out write it down and I will hopefully try not to lose the paper anyone can submit stories. Anyone doesn't have to come from the. Church communication or the. Conference communication anyone who just. Some of the Herald or to my direct e-mail address to a yeah but that's a good question because that's the other thing too people with think that it has to come through the ranks with was was a. Certain 1 certain columns you do get paid and I'm not sure why they've selected these of 1 so. Like I mentioned the youth page 1 voice I'm. Not telling God story but I think sharing your hope. Is 1 of the you get paid Psych $100.00 that's the other thing too which is why I think I don't even mention it because it's such a pittance it's almost embarrassing to tell folks in terms of but there is some new renumeration and then if you write a feature article you get a whopping $150.00 I'm sorry. Not anything where I think you can you know make a career off of it but but still I mean having your name in print. And the American story. So it's still it's still it's still worth it but yeah but anyone can submit that yeah or you know like you know we're not God magazine I think is Pacific press and they're out there and Idaho but but I know the editor who do you something you're interested in trying to. Right for a. Story idea they're always open to ideas as well there is open I think they're there contact is there the editor Kathy Kathy I'm drawing a blank on her last name but in the magazine now or if you go on our website all of these publications that are always looking for contributors even Michigan mama so absolutely absolutely All right well I was a pleasure having you said thank you so much for joining me. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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