"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Newswriting alchemy

There is a style and an approach to writing news stories, for newspaper or wire service, on one hand, and news releases, for general consumption, on the other. They read differently. They do different kinds of things. They are different sorts of statements.

So, some fascination in what David Ammons has been doing at the Washington secretary of state’s office. For a long, long time (from 1971 to 2008) he was the dean of the Olympia press corps, the key Associated Press writer on government and politics in the state. Now he’s the public information guy for the secretary of state.

Point here is, read what he’s been writing there, such this recent piece on Referendum 71. It reads more like a news story than a press release – some sort of a new style combining the types, or maybe something new altogether.

It’s a creative approach, whatever it is.

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