Storytelling methods

Photos changed storytelling

I started my journalism career with photography.

One of my favourite photographs I’ve taken for the Wellington Advertiser was on the front page of the May 13, 2016 issue.

At first glace, the photo shows a man on an electric scooter behind dozens of red tulips.

A closer look reveals the man is wearing a veteran ball cap at the Arthur cenotaph.

Art Cassel was in the Second World War during the liberation of the Netherlands, the anniversary of which was being commemorated with the tulips.

The image, his story and the tears he shed that day will stay with me forever.

Photos are a powerful way to tell a story. Think of the Fort McMurray wildfire and the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes. Think of the Afghan girl on the cover of National Geographic – you know which one I’m talking about.

Photos stay with you, burning the image in your mind like a memory.

The first photograph used for news purposes was of the barricades in Paris, France during the June Days uprising on June 25, 1848. Since then, photos have been used to tell a story.

Even in the pages of the Wellington Advertiser, which you can now search online on the county archives, you can see the stories of this community told through images.

With a snap of a shutter, the moment is frozen in time forever.

– Olivia


A story through words

In the world of journalism there are a number of ways to tell a story: sound, video, websites and the two integral to a successful newspaper: photos and words.

My passion has always been words. Whether it’s excitement that “Hurontario” Street is actually two words that share a vowel and a consonant (can you see it?) or crafting the perfect sentence that elicits emotions and facts in perfect harmony, I’m a word nerd.  

Preparing for an interview takes time, research and the right questions. The interview itself takes patience and trust on both sides, and that’s just the beginning.

I take pride in knowing my sources trust me to listen to their story, find the right words and share their account with the world. That’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly.

When writing a story, crafting the perfect first sentence always pays off. It sets the tone and is a good compass for those inevitable “writer’s block” moments.

Hey! They happen.

In news it’s important to write a first draft that has your confidence. We work in a fast-paced environment and sometimes it’s that first draft that’s published, after editing of course.

But the great stories are the ones you read over again and again, crafting interesting sentences and arranging them in just the right way.  

When it all clicks and comes together like a puzzle, you know you’ve produced a special story.

– Jaime

Olivia Rutt and Jaime Myslik