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Journalism reporting/writing unit review

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by

Kyle Phillips

on 9 May 2011

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Transcript of Journalism reporting/writing unit review

Reporting and Writing unit review Story types Hard news Lead tells all the necessary information as soon as possible. Inverted pyramid style. Most important information near the top of the story and then moving down to more detailed information as the story goes on. What goes in the news section is often determined by the news pegs, which we will get to later. Feature stories Sometimes refered to as soft news. A wide variety of story types fall under the feature umbrella:
Personality profiles
Human-interest stories
Color stories- Very descriptive stories that take your reader to a certain event or location.
Backgrounder
Trend stories
Reaction pieces- A lot of good examples of this coming out of Osama bin Laden's death.
Flashback stories
How-to stories
Consumer guides- Can be reviews or entirely information based (i.e. BBQ roundup vendors.)
Personal naratives- Remember, all stories are about PEOPLE. Feature story structure we describe two ways:
The kabob: Tomato- anecodote, nut graf- all the important info (similar to a hard news lead), meat- details, quotes, and the information you've gathered, this can go on for many paragraphs, it should be the "meat" of your story, and finally ending with another tomato or anecdote, often coming back to the one you started off with as the intro.
The WSJ method- Drawn as a circle, essentially reminding you to begin and end with a similar anecdote while including all your other information between the two personal stories. Editorials Editorials represent the view of the entire newspaper. They are often unsigned and tackle an issue that is popular in the news at the time. Editorials are also the place where the newspaper will make its endorsement of political candidates. Do not use the I voice, but can use we in place of I since the story is representing all editors on the paper. Opinion based story, but still requires the same type of reporting that you need to do for other stories. Sports Make sure not to overload sports stories with jargon or stats. Also, even if writing a game story don't simply re-cap the game as a play-by-play. Three types of sports stories:
Game stories
Sports features
Sports profiles Game story leads can read like a hard news lead, where all the key information is presented right away, but sports features and sports profiles need to use attention grabbing leads. Go Hawks!...By which I mean, don't be a cheerleader. Reviews Should be answering the question: Is this product(ion) worth my time and money? Needs to spend equal time reporting and criticizing the thing being interviewed. Make sure to give your readers facts about the movie, book, show, restaurant, play, etc. that you're reviewing. Reviews always lend themselves nicely to quick reads. News Pegs News pegs (or hooks) are what editors and reporters use to determine the newsworthiness of the different stories they brainstorm throughout the day. Harrower wrote about seven news pegs that can determine how newsworthy a story is for publications and broadcasts. Impact Will the story matter to your readers/viewers? Will it effect them? If it will effect them in a big way than it's a big story. Immediacy Has the story just happened or is it about to happen? This news peg is crucial, especially today when everyone wants as much information as possible as soon as possible. However, be careful not to run information that you haven't verified. Proximity How close is the story to your readers? If you're writing for the Surveyor you don't need to cover news from Iowa City, but if there's a story at Wash or somehow tied to the Wash community you should find it. Prominence Does the story involve a well known figure or celebrity? If it does then your readers will want to know about it. Prominence will vary from location to location. Consider Ashton Kutcher, a big name at Wash for the year he spent here, at one time arguably the biggest contemporary movie star to come from Iowa, but on the national level he was that annoying guy, who wore trucker hats and played pranks on celebrities. Novelty Does the story involve something out of the ordinary? This will intrigue readers because it's not what they're used to. Keep an eye out for anything unusual that you could report on. Conflict Is there a fight of some sort involved? This doesn't have to be a verbal or physical fight, it can be as simple as a power struggle (politics) or a timeless rivalry (sports). Readers enjoy reading about a story where there are two sides and a clear cut conflict. (Remember, people make stories, conflicts make stories interesting.) Emotions A story that makes the reader feel something will make your story more readable and hopefully encourage the reader to spread the word about the story. Remember the best way to get emotion in a story is through direct quotes from your sources. Sources Primary Sources These are the "news makers." The people directly involved in the story. The star athlete, the congressman, the robbery victim. These are the people you want to speak with to get firsthand accounts of what happened. Secondary sources These are the people close to the primary sources. Friends, family, neighbors, etc. They can help you paint a better picture of the people making the news. They can also be people speaking on behalf of primary sources who may not wish to comment on the story you're writing. Expert sources These sources provide you with the facts about the story that you might not have. Lawyers, doctors, professors, scientists, etc. They can provide helpful facts giving your story credibility it would lack if you only used the internet. Person on the street sources These sources help tell you what the average person is thinking about the story you're reporting on. They don't know any of the news makers, but they may be affected by their choices. For example talking to people on both sides of the LOST vote in CR last week. Why did they vote how they did? What was their reaction? Attribution Remember that if you look something up or get information from an outside source you need to tell the readers where you got it from. This is done very simply in the story by using the statement: According to _______, and then going on with your facts. If you fail to do this it is plagiarism, which is one of Harrower's seven deadly sins of journalism, and will ultimately ruin your credibility as a journalist. Attribution is key! Convergence Multimedia story telling Social networking The role of 21st century journalist Think about the plethora of different ways that you can tell the story you've been assigned to cover. You may want to use video or audio footage from interviews you conduct, include a lot of photos, possibly interactive graphics to provide your readers with background. Even providing links to give your readers more information is a way that some journalists tell the story today. We have gone beyond the point of simply writing stories. Remember all the different ways that social networking can help you as a journalist:
Keeping an eye on different parts of the community through what people are saying on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Finding the best possible sources using social networks or finding information on these sites. This is known as crowdsourcing.
Getting photos and videos from news scenes that you didn't get reporters to on time (fires, storms, etc.)
Another way to help keep readers and viewers informed about the stories that you're publishing and working on. Everything! Journalists today are expected to be reporters, writers, editors, social networking gurus, webmasters, photographers, videographers, bloggers, and anything else that your editor may assign you. It's a very exciting time to be a journalist because of all the new technology that is helping them tell stories, but it is also exhausting. Make sure to stay up to date on new technologies and whenever possible learn new software for creating multimedia projects.
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