I read a story recently about a girl who was a Teen Jeopardy finalist. It wasn't a horrible story, but it reminded me of one of the biggest bonehead journalism myths ever: "All stories must contain quotes from two or more sources."
This is not true. The story above should have focused exclusively on the girl. What was the best moment? The worst? How did she prep? Has the experience changed her, and if so, how?
Instead, the reporter devoted quarter of the story to the parents. He asked them, "How do you feel?" and "How proud of your daughter are you?" I was hoping Mom and Pop would respond, "We feel with our fingers," and "Proud? Are you kidding? She's a royal pain most of the time. Thinks she's Queen Elizabeth. We just want her to clean her room once before she's out of here, which can't come soon enough."
But they didn't. They gave obligatory quotes to obligatory questions. "We feel so blessed to have such a smart daughter," and "We're so proud of her amazing accomplishments." And blah, blah, blah. So, now that I think about it, the story was horrible.