Star-Advertiser reporter talks to MHS journalists

Sean Gleason, Print Design Co-Editor

Journalism writing can be challenging. Michael Tsai, a writer for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, shared advice with McKinley newswriting and photography students.

Tsai said there are many sides to a story. It’s important to understand both sides to get a complete analysis. Obtaining multiple perspectives can be interesting to readers and allows them to see the situation from different angles.

Finding what to write to craft a riveting article can be challenging. Tsai said, “if you can make it interesting to yourself, you can make it interesting to others.”

He said when writing, stop, slow down, and really take into consideration what you wrote. If what you’ve written isn’t remotely interesting to you, then what are the odds of others enjoying it?

Tsai encouraged journalists to “take the time to ask questions, you can find some really interesting things.” Ask open-ended questions in an interview. It can give you in-depth details on the situation and maybe even provide insight on the personality of the interviewee.

Finally, when it comes to unforeseen events, such as your camera or recorder breaking, Tsai said, “You’re at the mercy of many different things that can go wrong.” Make sure to plan ahead, and at the very least, stay adaptable.

Things can always change at a moments notice in journalism, so have a back up plan, do what you can with what you have, and be vigilant.