Mike McCarthy joined OURTDNA Wednesday night to speak to members about the art of storytelling and his main point was to focus on the people affected. They are who make good stories great.
“Remember,” said McCarthy, reporter for WSYX 6 in Columbus, “first and foremost, stories are about people.”
The people with whom we speak during reporting can tell a story better than reporters ever could. They are much more relatable to viewers than a reporter.
Take, for example, the story of the park fountain by McCarthy featured on our website. The man on the bench, reading his book is relatable to the audience because perhaps he’s a viewer’s neighbor, friend, uncle or other. Or maybe a viewer thinks like that man. Perhaps they enjoy the fountain too. Maybe they walk by it on the way to work each day. The people are drawn to the person and the surrounding story follows, making it effective.
McCarthy allows the natural elements of stories to tell them for him. Short bursts of interviews and natural sound pops keep the story moving and create great flow.
McCarthy also stressed in our talk the importance of a good standup. A standup serves as a valuable transition between different elements of a story, he says, among other uses.
McCarthy’s quirky standups have gathered attention abroad. At the very least, a creative standup captures the viewer’s attention. However, with his stand ups, it becomes a case of “tell me” versus “show me” for the reader. Many would rather be shown. This allows the reporter to avoid becoming a talking head.
These are just a small few of the things McCarthy discussed with the folks of OURTDNA Wednesday night. He provided valuable advice to members in preparation for the OURTDNA Package Shootout competition coming up in just a few short weeks.
Next week, OURTDNA will host its camera workshop, showing students how to physically operate a news camera and also how to set up shots to make video as visually appealing as possible. This workshop is a valuable tool for anyone involved in video production, whether it be as a new skill or just a refresher. Next week’s meeting will be on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 7 P.M.