Anya del Toro is a Dominican broadcast journalist that graduated from our school, Lux Mundi, in the year 2000. She first entered Manhattanville College in New York, but upon discovering her passion, she transferred to Emmerson College in Boston. Since then, she’s had the opportunity to work with important journalists of our country, such as Alicia Ortega and Nuria Pera. In Spain, she received a master’s degree in investigative journalism. Anya has won many awards for her work, including Premio George Arzeno Brugal in 2016, The Best Reportage TV, Epifano Lantigua Awards in 2014. Currently, she’s decided to take some time off and focus on her personal life. However, Anya used some of that time to share her wisdom with us.
On Thursday, March 11th of 2021, the members of our newspaper had an encounter with Anya del Toro. In this encounter, she talked about news stories. Not just about what they are, but also how to write one. One of the most important steps is the first one. To report a compelling article, you have to select a relevant and interesting topic. Anya also made an emphasis in interviews. They provide the story with depth and relatability, so it’s of the essence to prepare for them. To do this, you need to make a list of people to interview, research the situation before interviewing, formulate questions, take notes, and treat the interview like a conversation.
After gathering all the information, comes the writing part. An outline can help organize your story and will eventually lead you to your first draft. In it, the Five W’s and H should be answered (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How). The last step is to revise your story: grammar, wording, style, etc. Anya also gave us tips for writing for television, radio, or video. Some of them are: Avoid run-on sentences, be clear and concise, provide context and details, use present tense and an active voice, and avoid awkward words. Nevertheless, the most crucial tip we received was the following one: “A news story isn’t about what you think—it’s about what your sources have to say.”
This encounter strengthened the members of our newspaper. Not only did Anya improve our writing abilities for the benefit of our entire school community, but she also showed us a possible career path for our future.