I Put My Readers at the Heart of My Story: Human Interest Story Editor Shares Tips on Telling the Best Stories
Shalom Ankrah is a high-flyer within the Human Interest Stories team at Legit.ng. An editor and a storyteller par excellence, Shalom has told stories that contributed to Legit.ng’s top rank as Africa’s best Facebook web publisher.
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This October, we take a deep dive into her exciting role at Legit.ng, the kind of stories she tells and the beauty of Legit.ng’s human interest desk.
In this interview, Shalom shares the secret to her unique writing style. She attributes this to her content direction, which is driven by her utmost desire to put readers at the heart of a story or situation by writing it in the most relatable way.
1. Who is Shalom Ankrah and what is your role at Legit.ng?
Shalom Ankrah is a seasoned journalist with over three years of experience. I hail from Imo state, Nigeria. A graduate of Mass Communication, I began my career at The Tide News where I was part of a team that gathered stories to be disseminated to the audience every day. I have subsequently worked for other reputable news organizations including GistReel.
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2. What kind of stories do you tell at Legit.ng?
I presently work at one of the leading sources of news in Nigeria, Legit.ng as a Human Interest and Diaspora Editor. This unflinching role in the company has tested my ability to tap into people's emotions and present stories to them in an appealing, engaging, touching, yet factual manner. Being a great storyteller myself, I have been able to utilize this skill to my advantage by drafting news stories and writing leads in the most engaging way possible for all our readers to consume.
3. What inspires your content direction and how do you keep at it?
My content direction is majorly driven by my utmost desire to put readers at the heart of a story or situation by writing it in the most relatable way. As a human interest editor, I always ensure to put the readers at heart when writing stories in order to capture their minds and make them stick to the Legit.ng platform. Also, amid the widespread of unfiltered and false content on the internet, my inspiration still comes from the quest and burning desire to gain the trust of our audience in Nigeria and the diaspora by feeding them credible and newsworthy stories. Going the extra mile to fact-check stories has been my watchword.
4. Why are human interest stories important to Legit.ng?
The beauty and importance of the Human interest desk in Legit.ng cannot be overemphasized. Apart from being a voice to the voiceless, human interest stories also help Legit.ng to penetrate the hearts of its readers with emotional, thought-provoking, amusing and inspiring content to engage with. Furthermore, it is applaudable to note that Legit.ng has been able to utilize the power of the human interest desk in rendering assistance to many people including widows who underwent painful experiences and needed their voices to be heard. Owing to its huge followings on Facebook and other traffic sources, Legit.ng has been able to put smiles on people's faces by sharing their stories which also serves as a link to kind-hearted who might offer financial help to those in need of funds.
5. How does technology aid your work as a HIS editor?
Technology has made my job easier and faster. With the aid of my laptop and other mobile devices, I am able to gather newsworthy content, reach out to sources, and disseminate news to our readers with ease. I have also been able to get information from people who live in far places which would have made it impossible to get such stories without technology. This alone confirms that the emergence of technological devices has gone a long way in easing our dayto-day activities, especially for journalists who need to get stories from all over the world. It would not be wrong to also state that technology has greatly aided the improvement of my writing skills. Through helping me monitor the performance of stories, I have been able to come up with better ways to capture the minds of readers
Previously on our Spotlight, Legit.ng’s shining stars and editors at the Human Interest Stories (HIS) desk, Israel Usulor, Victor Duru and Joseph Omotayo spoke to us on delivering unique content that attracted over 1.5 million views. They also touched on their unique content direction's inspiration and sustainability. Read up here.
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According to Newswhip Analytics, Legit.ng hit the list of the most engaged international Facebook web publishers. Legit.ng got an award for massive Facebook engagement, which ranked us 2nd on the list of Top 20 web publishers with plenty of stories in the Top 10,000. We came in on the list ahead of A-list media houses like CBS News, The Guardian UK, BBC, The Hill, New York Post and even Forbes.