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I wrote my article in the style of a first-person colour piece for a national newspaper. The aim of an article like this is to get beyond the bare facts of a story and offer a more personal, emotional take on what has actually been witnessed. It is not necessarily meant to be neutral. It is an opportunity for a reporter, acting as the eyes and ears of readers not able to be there themselves, to offer up an individual perspective and describe what they directly experienced. Done well, it can help to present what is often a massive news story on a more digestible human scale. In my time at The Sun, for instance, I have written first-person colour pieces from the streets of downtown Manhattan on September 11, 2001, the front line of the Kosovo War as a humanitarian disaster unfolded in front of me, and after tracking down and confronting a wanted Second World War Nazi at his home in Austria.

To replicate the sort of conditions a daily newspaper reporter works in, I set myself a 45-minute deadline to write my 500 words. In the world of daily news reporting, there is often no time to perfect an article in the way that might be possible for a writer with the luxury of hours, or even days, in front of a word processor. In reality, deadlines can be shorter and even more difficult to meet when attempting to write while stood in a field on the front line of a war or sat on a kerbstone in downtown Manhattan as the Twin Towers crumble. It is on occasions like these, when time is short and you are under pressure, that you have to fall back on your writing technique to put together articles quickly, accurately, and in a way that will have an impact.
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Brian introduces his work


Brian Flynn's article
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