Think Like an Editor blog by Steve Davis and Emilie Davis, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

May you never ‘like’ anything

By · Thursday, May 14th, 2015

stock-photo-44980974-may-2015-calendarMAY you …

For the month of May, we are devoting this blog to our wishes for journalists present and future: “MAY you … “

Every day, you will find a tip, a tidbit or a top-of-mind piece of advice we hope will help you now and later

Wait. What?

One memorable thing we learned from our many collaborative projects with photojournalism colleagues is that photographers are trained not to say, “I like” or “I don’t like” when discussing the qualities of a picture. The thinking, as we recall, is that such phrases make the discussion personal, not neutral, and detract from the real issue — whether the photo works.

With editing, that same thinking applies. We may enjoy reading a story. We might think a story needs work. But who really cares whether we like it? Or don’t?

May you never “like” anything.

What really matters with a photo:

What really matters with a story:

When you can discuss a photo or a story with these most elementary qualities in mind, you are well on your way to making valid points and strong contributions to the discussion.

You can save all your “likes” for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media — and there, as well, your contributions will be worthwhile.

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