In today’s post-trust society, with an avalanche of information from multiple media outlets and the ever-growing social media, it is harder than ever to distinguish between real facts, partisan comments, and blatant lies.
It has also become extremely hard to keep up with the number of stories published every day on given topics – like for example, anything Romania business, politics & social. This is more so valid for everyone who wants to focus on running a business, which is hard enough as it is on its own (in Romania and elsewhere).
Here’s how we filter through the noise when it comes to selecting and writing brief stories for our Romania Press Reviews in English. We use a combination of the following:
1. Senior, professional journalists (real journalists, with elephant memory, and thousands of stories under their belt). In this world where Artificial Intelligence seems ready to take over, we still go old school. Our journalists have extensive experience (10-15 years of press) and this is all they do (unlike a colleague to whom you might give the extra task of reading the local news for you). Nothing can beat the background and the hunches of an experienced journalist. For example, a piece of information in one story may seem out of place; the journalist usually discovers it is either false, has a typo, or is the result of a wrong interpretation. These will most likely be missed by readers and by junior journalists. We often fact check the stories picked up from the Romanian media. Yes, going at it like this means a lot more work, at crazy hours, but makes the end result all the more valuable.
2. Constant connection to the news cycle (our journalists always connected, reading everything, even late at night and on holidays; lunches and dinners are not fun in their company) Unlike average readers (except maybe those who super specialize and have time to read everything on a topic), our journalists follow the news on Romania day in and day out and have accumulated massive amounts of information on different topics. When writing or synthesizing a piece, all that background helps select the most relevant topics, brings the essential spins, removes the weeds often found in other media articles, and brings overall quality to the report.
3. Reliable sources (they are not that many anymore, but they do exist, and we know for sure what degree of reliability they have). After years of reading stories in other media outlets & newswires in Romania, we know which are worth fully trusting, which require extra fact checking, and which to completely discard. We often know the journalists who wrote the pieces and easily assess whether to trust them or not. It’s a big issue today when so many fake stories are shared around social media. Plus, in our Daily & Weekly Press Reviews in English, we mention the source of each news piece, so it’s easy to trace it back to the original publication.
4. Native Romanian language skills & very good Romanian grammar. You might laugh a bit at this one, but very often in Romania, they are key. Some local media like to copy paste from laws with their impossible lingo, or from politicians’ hard to break statements, or the Police’s boring and long reports. Often the news is in a statement so convoluted that average readers – quite explicably – prefer to skip it. We like to dig into these. It’s a hassle but this is how we discover what people mean, and we can ‘translate’ it into words and phrases everyone can understand fast. Who has time for sentence analyzing? We do J
5. Very good English skills. The other side of the coin for the previous point. The output may be understandable in Romanian, but it needs to be crystal clear in English too. For the press reviews, we write and re-write headlines and intros until they’re amazingly brief & help readers really get the essentials, even from the first page of the report (in case they don’t have time to read the news body on the following pages).
6. Brevity. The essentials; brief, clean copy; fast reading; extra powerful. You get the point 🙂 For the Romania Press Review, we go the extra mile to shorten the copy (we’re not fans of very long news articles anyway): this means reading and re-reading it several times, and multiple editing layers during the morning hours when we create the report.
How else we make sure the reports we offer are spot-on:
No advertising & no links to click in these reports. While for this site (Romania-Insider.com, the most read for English – language news on Romania) we use an advertising – driven model to deliver content for free, the Romania Press Review bulletins do not include any advertising, and everything is in one place – a single document. Each report is sent via email as pdf attachment, easily downloadable and easy to browse. The headlines are on the first 1 or 2 pages for the extra busy.
Good timing. The Daily Press Review reports are sent every morning at 9 AM: perfect for headline checking before meetings, and later for reading the topics of interest during the morning. The Weekly Press Reviews reach inboxes every Friday morning; this gives the extra busy the chance to check the essential headlines of the week, in business, politics and social, and read more during the weekend when they have more time. In both cases, readers won’t miss anything important. This is what our current readers are saying – and we believe them, as we have a very high renewal rate for subscriptions J
Content selection. With 20 headlines daily from business, politics and social, and 60 selected headlines of the week every Friday, our reports are relevant. In business & finance, we usually select big transactions, big company news, stock markets, real estate, large new hires, new general managers, macro-economy, taxation, while collar crime. In politics, we cover big political moves, elections, corruption, while under social, we cover protests, minimum wage changes, unemployment; we sometimes also include entertainment news from tourism, sports or art. We make sure we include what’s important during that day and that week. We go for news stories with hard facts and avoid comments and opinion, often published in local media posing as news. Whenever we include a bit that is the media’s opinion, we mention that in the copy, so readers draw their own conclusions.
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The Romania Insider team
[This is native content and is supported by RomaniaPressReview.com, published by the team of Romania-Insider.com]