Stanford University
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For young women, melanoma is on the rise

Posted 1:24 PM, April 5, 2012, by Joyce Ho

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I'm getting to put my journalism skills to use! I wrote an article for msnbc.com on Monday about the 6-fold increase in melanoma incidence in the past 40 years. The final video is above and my article can be found here: http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/02/10987650-for-young-women-melanoma-rates-on-the-rise

While I was writing, I really felt like I could hear Professor Brenner's voice in my head telling me about organization. The hardest part about learning journalistic writing for me was organizing the article. In this day and age where people's attention spans are short and space is limited, we need to have a catchy first paragraph, called a "lede" in the journalism world. Then we need to quickly get some of the main points across so that people who skim just the first few paragraphs will get the gist of the piece. Details and more information comes further on as the main message of the story is repeated throughout the piece.

Thanks to my wonderful editors we got this piece online in just a few hours. On Tuesday, I got another chance to write an article about a segment we did for Nightly News about BMI. Because BMI does not differentiate between muscle and fat, this 200-year-old measurement of obesity is no longer the best marker available. My article on BMI can be found here, along with the story: http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/03/11007637-the-surprising-new-face-of-obesity

One thing I've learned this week: everything needs to happen fast. Article assigned: 10 am. 1st draft due: 2 pm. Thankfully having a medical background makes reading studies a lot easier, and I tend to be a quick writer (for better or for worse). And now I really appreciate journalism classes even more, because without that quarter at Stanford, I would be a fish out of water.

Comments

Great article, I read your bit on msnbc too. Your right about article writing, people really have a short attention span so keeping readers interested is a big task. Good luck with future writing.

Comment by: Aliosha Kasin at April 14, 2012 11:28 AM

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