Thursday, September 6, 2012

Notes from the Second Class

News writing basics in the digital age
 -In the past it could take more than 40 minutes per story in order to write and put a story on the wire.
-Now stories can be written quickly and through the use of email quickly sent out and utilized.

-There are certain elements that make up a good story.
-These are the impact it has on your audience, an engaging plot that makes sense, a simplicity that makes the story make more sense to the reader, a conflict of some kind, a hook to draw readers in, and finally good characters that the readers can relate to and root for.

-One of the most important things that you need to know is who you have to talk to for your story, no matter what it is.
-Take for example the story that the trucking industry has done extremely well since the drought of the Mississippi River has driven the barge industry into decline.
-An important group to talk to is the heads of the Trucking industries and barge industries respectively. Their positions allow them to give you an excellent overview of the problem.
-However you have to remember that only through good characters can a story really progress. You would need to speak with the truckers themselves and the barge crews as well to get the full effect of the problems and opportunities facing both groups.
How to find a good story
-Ex. Hurricane Isaac.
-When the hurricane struck it affected thousands. Good stories that can be drawn from a disaster like this are stories of the survivors, how the government is responding, how the storm affected the town and the local economy, and how the storm affected other states.

-Each of these stories has at least one element from the list above. They matter to the people reading because it shows the conflict between man and nature, how the government reacts here will have an impact on their lives should they ever be in a similar disaster situation, businessmen and women will have an interest in how the local economy of the area hit by the storm would be affected and they will have a definite interest in how the national economy is affected by the hits the affected areas suffer.
-Judging your audience is important in what stories you choose to focus on and what parts of the story you will deem important over others.

Articles in the Digital Age
-Now in the modern world we have new and profound abilities to spice up the story and get more people involved in it than ever before.
-Ex. Some methods could be including a timeline and graph to illustrate a point, show images of those affected by the storm, or post a video interview. These mediums allow journalists to expand their stories beyond the reach of the core facts.

Homework Assignment due 9/13:
-Read Ch. 4, 10.
-Do P. 12, 1.13 (brevity), P. 51, 3.1 (AP Style/do in workbooks).

Posted by James Duffy

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