Article summary: Emily Hiestand

In Honours blog on May 19, 2009 at 6:13 am

Hiestand, Emily. “Writing in a personal voice: ‘your training as journalists is a tremendous platform on which to layer or from which to develop a personal voice’. Nieman Narrative Journalism Conference, Nieman Reports 56.1, Spring 2002.

Hiestand argues that incorporating personal voice can improve certain types of journalism.

News voice and personal voice do different things, and we really need them both. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 1)

And the additional responsibilities come because the personal voice is, of course, quirkier and more idiosyncratic, and it reveals inevitably more of your humanity. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 1)

The personal voice is the realm of why and how, and it almost always brings in more description and more interpretation. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 1)

When we include a great deal of sensory materials in our writing, what we are doing is awakening in ourselves and in our readers not only the analytical intelligence but also our visual intelligence, our auditory intelligence, our emotional and kinesthetic intelligence.(Hiestand, 2002, pg. 2)

The particularities of your language, the tone, the colour, the rhythm, the cadences, the elusive qualities, the alliteration, all those textual particularities can embody the ide of you piece. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 2)

I’ve seen this kind of attention to detail called immersion reporting. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 2)

It’s very akin to good conversation in that it has this animated, intimate voice. And it’s quirkier. It can shift. It can go from being very colloquial to being more formal. Just the way we do in conversation. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 3)

“…a rich vocabulary keeps readers with you because you are a source of surprise. (Hiestand, 2002, pg. 3)

I like this article.  It makes sense to me . And it captures the essence of what I want to achieve. I want the podcasts to have a sense of immersion about them. So the listener can picture whatever experience I’m describing.

Here is a cool new word for us from Hiestand.


  1. Of, relating to, or involving elegy or mourning or expressing sorrow for that which is irrecoverably past: an elegiac lament for youthful ideals.

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