The Iceberg Theory (or the theory of omission) has been around quite awhile. Hemingway famously championed it in the early-to-mid 1900’s. Hemingway believed in understanding and knowing the whole story but only writing an eighth of it. An iceberg is only an eighth is seen while seven-eighths remains below the water. This style encourages the objectives and leaves the readers to make their own subjective thoughts. It’s classic journalism where you answer the essential questions in the beginning: where, who, when, and how. This allows the reader to focus.
The best thing about writing in this format is it answers all the questions the reader is needing in the first paragraph or two. This allows the reader to continue onto the meat of the article with no lingering questions that remain unanswered.
Many times in the news world today we are fed opinions and criticism of ideas, which turns topics into consumables. We never have to think actively on what this means or how it affects others. These are often times the meat of current articles, but in this style the reader must come to these conclusions for him or herself. What this does is creates interest in the reader to read more to understand fully their opinions. This also creates a bond between the news source and the reader. It’s founded on more than I agree with your opinions; it’s a relationship of respect, which is much stronger.
Challenges the Writer
It’s obviously harder to write facts than opinions, but any good writer is known for his facts rather than his opinions. The hardest thing for a writer is understanding the full story and deciding what facts are imperative to the article and what facts can be left out.
Don’t take the easy route and write copy. Take the time and forge the relationship with your readers and write meaningful facts. When in doubt, ask yourself: What would Hemingway do?
*just avoid asking yourself that question at liquor stores. That’s how I ended up with a lot of rum.*