My first typewriter was a 1914 Royal that had beveled glass windows on its sides. As a kid, I’d spend hours on the floor typing out bad fiction that involved teenagers and blood-sucking monsters. It took strong fingers to pump those keys and produce letters, letters that came together to form stories.
With more than 20 years of media experience, including television, print, radio and online, I know the strength of a good story, and how stories work differently in each medium. In a world addicted to clicks, SEO and immediacy—add in ‘story telling’ if you work in marketing—it’s easy to forget the most important tenet as a journalist or communicator: if the audience doesn’t trust your message, it doesn’t matter how fast you are or how many people you reach. Bad press is now truly worse than no press at all.
That trust can only be achieved through skilled writing built on a foundation of critical thinking and accurate, fair information gathering. Anyone can cut-paste-create content that elicits an emotion. Having your audience trust that emotion is something altogether different.
I’ve won awards for both my print and radio journalism. I’ve filed to numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN.com, The Economist, the British Broadcasting Corporation, GQ, Radio-Canada (French), The Globe & Mail, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Seventeen, Good Housekeeping, The Montreal Gazette, The Independent (U.K.), National Public Radio and The Houston Chronicle, among numerous others.
More recently, I’ve worked for Johns Hopkins Medicine, writing about innovations in healthcare.
sarahmrichards AT gmail.com