Archives for posts with tag: reporting

Story pitch forms are a useful tool for reporters who are developing a story. Use this form to guide your thinking about what your article will be about and whom you will contact to interview for your story. Remember the requirements of our stories:

— Each story will be 500-750 words in length.
— Each story will have no fewer than THREE SEPARATE HUMAN SOURCES whom you have interviewed.
— If you’re covering a speech story, you must include lots of quotes from the speech or lecture; comment about the speech from a member of the audience; and comment from one other type of source, which might be another audience member, an event organizer, a protester, or someone else who provides an opposing viewpoint about the ideas presented by the person who gave the lecture or speech. 

Topic Beat Story Pitch Form

  1. The topic, issue, or public event I plan to write is about:

 

  1. This story is appropriate to my beat because:

 

  1. This story is timely because:

 

  1. These are among the people in the community (aka stakeholders) who are affected by this topic or issue:

 

  1. My leader source will be:

          This source can answer the following questions I have about this story:

 

  1. My expert source will be:

            This source can answer the following questions I have about this story:

 

  1. My functionary source will be:

            This source can answer the following questions I have about this story:

 

  1. My real people source or sources will be:

            This source can answer the following questions I have about this story:

 

  1. These are the names of the three people with whom I am setting up interviews for this story:

 

Source 1:

Person’s name:

Email:

Phone number:

Source 2:

Person’s name:

Email:

Phone number:

Source 3:

Person’s name:

Email:

Phone number:

Buried leads (or to the old-school journalist, “ledes”) are a common problem for beginning journalism students. As I read a particularly long, throat-clearing buried lead, I had a Chance the Gardener thought. If you have seen “Being There,” you will get what I mean by that. If not, watch this. If you don’t need the reminder, here is what occurred to me. It is quite lengthy; I will try to remember it all:

It is important to remove the weeds from the garden. If you do not remove them, they will take up all the sunlight and the flowers in the garden will die. But if you remove the weeds, the flowers will get sun and bloom. You must be careful to keep weeding because they will try to come back and overgrow the garden.

Getting to the point matters.

That is particularly true in a relatively short story of, say, 500 words. Throat-clearing leads — those that take too long to deliver the most critical information and/or the news peg — waste space. Say in 75 words what you could say in 20 and you choke out room for a couple of quotes or more details about the event you’re writing about.

Throat-clearing leads also try your reader’s patience. A short story is usually not the right piece to attempt a scene-setter lead. Adequate scene-setting takes space. It is a form of ornamentation that works extraordinarily well if you have the space for it. There is a place for narrative and scene-setting leads in the news just as there is a place for certain kinds of plants in a large-enough garden.

But plants that are beneficial in one context are harmful in others. In the wrong place, they become weeds. I love mint, but if you let it out of a container and onto your yard it will take over the whole place and the other plants will die because the mint consumes all the water and sunlight and soil nutrients.

Put the plant of ornamentation in the wrong space and you have introduced weeds to the garden of your words that choke out quotes, context and details that would help the reader learn more about the subject rather than wonder what you left out in order to write that lengthy lead.

Melita Garza

Melita Garza’s work on Latin American culture in media

Rahul Mitra

Resilient Institutions and Sustainable Environments (R.I.S.E.)

Lit Bear

books and writing

Hemingway Run

From Couch Potato To Runner Bean!

Auburn Baseball Blog

Auburn starts the year with a new coach and a new direction and focus to win.

Overriding Ordinary

"Society is unity in diversity." -George H. Mead

KennethJustice.com

The Periphrastic Mind Of A Liberal Arts Major

The Changing Newsroom

New Media. Enduring Values.

FiveThirtyEight

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight uses statistical analysis — hard numbers — to tell compelling stories about politics, sports, science, economics and culture.

Ed Mooney Photography

The home of Kildare based Photographer, Blogger and self proclaimed Ruinhunter.

In Flow with Otto

Creativity is within us all

Design and Writing for the World Wide Web SIUe

This site serves students in Poepsel's Design and Writing for the Web at SIUe

participation2011

NYU/Topics in Media Criticism

The Press and The Bench

Interaction between the media and the courts

MulinBlog: A digital journalism blog

with free online courses

The Buttry Diary

Steve Buttry, Dearly Departed Husband, Father and Grandfather. Former Director of Student Media, LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication

Theme Showcase

Find the perfect theme for your blog.

Counts on Cars

A student blog on the automotive world.

Auburn Campus Trends

The latest trends around Auburn, from fashion, to hot spots, to food.

Trending In Bama

All Things Happening In Alabama

Off the Vine

Life is too short to drink bad wine

AUact

What to do in Auburn after football season

Ripping Culture

Art by Derek Herscovici

Project Light to Life

A bucket list blog: exploring happiness, growth, and the world.

Amazing Prizzini

Mischief, Comedy and Grace

SSND Live

Updates from the College News Design Contest

Appetites in Auburn

Experiencing life one meal at a time

A Taste of the Plains

Taking a look at local restaurants in Auburn and Opelika.

A Foreigner on Your Own Soil

When "y'all" meets "youse guys:" An exploration of why Northerners and Southerners don't coexist in sweet tea bliss

Culture Crazed

Finding color in unexpected places

Derencz's Corner

A glimpse inside the mind of a college journalist

Joy Mayer

JOURNALISM + COMMUNITY

ACADEME BLOG

The blog of Academe magazine

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Spirit, Word, Art

Lectionary-based creative spiritual direction

Cash or Charge

Adventures in Retail's Front Line from one of america's underemployed