Dearest gentle reader, we are all aware the latest season of Bridgerton has left the ton a buzz with all the scandal and gasp-worthy moments. 

Throughout every season of this scandalous series, the one thing that stood out the most — to me, as a writer — is the genius that is Penelope Featherington — aka Lady Whistledown herself!

Continue reading because Saads Abrahams from media update is sharing some journalism tips from the queen of goss… I mean writing.

The Craft Behind A Unique Voice

"Dearest gentle reader. Did you miss me?"  — Lady Whistledown

Penelope has been able to share her thoughts and opinions about the members of the ton with such a unique voice that no one would ever think that she is the actual writer. 

And despite no one knowing who she is, her voice is so incomparable that, just from reading one sentence, you would know who wrote it.

Journalists should strive to develop a distinct voice — one so unmistakably their own that readers can instantly recognise their work.

Now, how does one achieve such a voice? There are a few things you can do, such as:

  • embracing your personality

  • being authentic 

  • being passionate about what you are writing about, and

  • having extensive knowledge on what you are writing about.

These tips will not only help you create a distinctive voice but also write in a way that helps you connect with your desired audience.


The Art of Being a Wallflower

It has been said that silence can wield more power than words. No one knows that better than me. It is in silence where one may find truth. All one has to do, I suppose, is listen for it. — Penelope Featherington

For many people, being a wallflower would be something that they would be ashamed of. But not for Penelope — she took it as her superpower and used her "invisibleness" to her advantage.

By being a wallflower, Pen was able to listen to the gossip and chatter among other guests and staff — without being noticed at all. This was how she got all the information she required for her latest issue of Whistledown.

As a journalist, as much as you want to put yourself out there and speak to every person in the room — there is so much you can learn from quietly listening and observing.


The Pros of Anonymity

"You do not know me, and rest assured, you never shall." — Lady Whistledown

As a woman in high society, Penelope's only role is to marry in her class and bear children; and because this is the only path she is able to take, she feels as if she has no voice. 

So to take some power back, she writes her column under the alias — Lady Whistledown.

Using a pseudonym as a writer is not an uncommon thing; writers have been using it forever because there are pros to going under a pen name.

Some of these include the following:

Personal branding
Depending on what you are writing, sometimes your actual name just does not "fit" with the style of what you are writing. It's almost like a stage name for a performer. 

Some journalists cover dangerous topics and, as a way of protection for themselves and their loved ones, using a pseudonym can be the safest route. 

Privacy reasons
If you are someone who enjoys your privacy and would like to keep your writing separate from your personal life, a pen name is a great way to achieve that. 

Some people have very complicated names or very common names, and creating a simple yet memorable pen name could aid you in becoming more recognisable. For example: My pseudonym is Saads, but my actual name is Saadiqah — Saads is shorter and much easier for people to pronounce.

However, you need to keep in mind that — just like Penelope — hiding under an alias does not come without its challenges.



The Need For a Reliable Network

"I happen to believe a lady's business is her own." — Madame Delacroix

Penelope knows that the only way she can continue being Lady Whisteldown without being caught is through having a few people she can rely on to help her get her issues published unnoticed. 

She also relies on these informants to give her any information on the ton. The relationships that Pen has with her informants are mutually beneficial, and they are all aware of the issues that would arise if they did not keep their relationship confidential

As a journalist, building and maintaining a trusted network of sources is vital for your success. Having a trusted network ensures that you have the right connections to:

  • breaking stories

  • exclusive interviews, and

  • accurate and valuable information.


The importance of consistency and reliability 

"But gossip as I might, I always tell the truth, and I cannot tolerate a lie."  — Lady Whistledown

The members of the ton are always ready and anxiously waiting for the next issue of Lady Whistledown. This is because what she writes is truthful, and she always publishes on time (most of the time).

Because they know what they are getting and usually when to expect it, the esteemed members of the ton are all excited when the post boy comes along. Here is something every journalist needs to try and master.

By being consistent and reliable in your work — and creating high-quality and accurate content — your audience will always come to you as their reliable source. 

As a journalist, meeting your deadlines is imperative if you want to succeed in this industry. Consistently meeting your deadlines will give you a good standing with editors and colleagues, giving you an all-around brilliant reputation



The Art of Scandal

"Be it shame or slander, seduction or smear, there is but one thing that humbles even the most highly regarded members of our dear ton…a scandal!" — Lady Whistledown

If there is one thing we can all be sure of, it is that Lady Whistledown is not afraid of creating a scandal. Although some people may not like it, they cannot find themselves putting the latest issue of Whistledown down.

As a journalist, you should not be afraid to ruffle some feathers. Not everyone is going to like or even agree with what you are saying all the time. But being authentic and honest can only work in your favour.

You can also create scandal through your headlines, but be careful not to be too "clickbaity" as people do not enjoy being misled. Always remember to be ethical in all your work — it could mean the end of your career if you don't. 


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Have we left you wanting more? Then take a look at Writing with Lady Whistledown: A most exhilarating affair.

*Image courtesy of Canva