Storytelling in Today’s News

Your news is boring. You need conflict and characters if you actually want to share hope!

It’s just news if you have no characters. Bland, boring information doesn’t evoke much of a response. You are a storyteller and you can contrast light from darkness when you focus on the characters in the human interest stories you share.

Film director & screenwriter, Jean Luc Godard said, “Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.”

We’re in the middle of an election season where the news cycle feels so divisive! The words you choose sharpen or soften the way your listener receives a message. Choose your words carefully! Use more verbs when you want to cut through and overload the filter in your listener’s head. Think about where your action words land. Use your verbs strategically to move your stories along. Think about the characters & the setting when you tell a story from the news.

Put headlines in your own words, and you’ll sound original in the way you tell the story. Every positive news angle about a person helping another can be told like a story! Every news link about tragedy is an opportunity for you to share hope through your storytelling skills. Point your listeners toward the light, but don’t shy away from the contrast of darkness. When you have stories about people fighting, people helping, or people solving problems; you have salty characters. Every time you have a story about your city, you have a local neighborhood. Every neighborhood is a fresh setting that can be used to personally pull your listener home. Every time you have people arguing, you have the opportunity to showcase a personality overcoming adversity. You have the ability to point your listener’s eyes in the direction of hope every day in your show, but you can use both darkness and light as contrast!

Merriam Webster defines hope as, “cherishing a desire with anticipation; to want something to happen or be true.” Think about the conflict in the news stories you’re sharing. Think about the healing. Think about how the main character actually overcame hate, doubt, anxiety, anger and failure. Think about the WHY behind your character’s actions to keep trying. Think about what the character wants to be true. Apply this plan to the way you tell a simple human-interest news story and you’ll have game changers every day in your show!

Every single story in the news has characters, and you can narrate most stories toward a point of light. Walt Disney said, “Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows.” Every memorable character overcomes a conflict. Every character comes alive in a setting. Every shadow contrasts the opportunity for light. Use conflict and setting to shine your character’s hope!


Scott Herrold
Program Director/Morning Host
SOS Radio Network

Scott Herrold is the Program Director & Morning Show Host for SOS Radio. (It’s network of 35+ radio stations) He was named one of “Radio’s Best Program Directors” by Radio Ink. Edison Media Research also listed Scott as one of “Radio’s 30 Under 30 Shining Stars” two different times before his hair was gray. In addition, Scott has had the #1 morning radio show in Las Vegas according to Nielsen. Scott is one of the founders of Creative Cardio showprep, that shares idea starters for radio shows everyday. He’s worked in both mainstream & Christian radio, so he knows what it takes to put together a compelling show and connect it to new media. (96.3 WDVD/ Detroit, 93.1 DRQ/Detroit, 106.9 K-Hits/Tulsa, 102.5 WIOG/Saginaw, 100.3 The Kross/Tulsa & SOS Radio/Las Vegas to name a few) Scott is also a Cum Laude graduate of Eastern Michigan University’s business school & is part of the CMB Board of Directors.

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