Study a story: Boyd Huppert

By: Mandy Mitchell

One of the best things we can do as reporters is to not only watch good work, but to study why it works so well.

Boyd Huppert of KARE 11 in Minneapolis is one of the best storytellers in the business. Here is his latest story in KARE’s series “The Land of 10,000 Stories.”

Click here to see story

I really enjoyed the creativity of starting with the many charges against Danny while showing the beautiful shots of the town. Why does this work? It quickly sets up the story: Guy who has seen trouble is now overcoming that trouble.

We often complain about having a great story and no time to tell it. I think you can use this technique to save a few seconds.

Notice the NAT sound of the birds. This always shows “quiet” without having to say it. If this is something you want to get across in a story, it’s important to get that sound. Work at it.

The writing is great. Says “road to freedom” while showing the guy driving on the road. “Bicycle and candy bar thief”…very conversational and shows you how young the crime started. “Innocence is not a word applied to Danny.”…This is the line of the PKG. Good way to tie it all together.

I thought the part about Danny going to Walmart was absolutely perfect. What a great use of a soundbite to illustrate a much larger part of the story.

What makes Boyd’s work great is the attention to detail and the lack of truly flowery writing. He chooses sound carefully and stays out of the way. I think that’s something we can all learn from.

Study a Story: Steve Hartman




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