It's often necessary to remind yourself and your editors of the value of the offbeat story that has the power to surprise and inspire the reader often bored of the routine news coverage.

In this article, Roy Peter Clark, who has taught writing at Poynter since 1979, states the value of the offbeat story and looks back at a number of legendary examples, such as the one of the columnist and author Jimmy Breslin, who, on the day of John F. Kennedy’s burial in 1963, wrote a story about the gravedigger.

“[The offbeat story] sends out the message to the community that news people are paying attention to people and events that are interesting and important to the community," writes Clark.

“[They] do not always need to be whimsical or bizarre; they can also offer an insightful angle on events."

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