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Developing A News Story
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Developing A News Story


This lecture focuses on the process of developing your news story.

This lecture focuses on the process of developing your news story.

Published in Technology , News & Politics
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  • 1. Developing a News Story JOURN 305
  • 2. What gets coverage?
    • There are several variables determining news coverage
    • The largest variable is the impact that the story has on the readership/public
  • 3. Other Factors
    • “ Real world” factors
      • Reporter interest/prejudice
      • “ Exclusive” access
      • Competition
      • Size of the market
      • Other breaking news
  • 4. Covering Developing Stories
    • Each story has its own life cycle
    • There may be several “phases” to the reporting of the story
  • 5. Phase 1
    • Breaking news
    • Front-page placement
    • Reporting may be limited to initial info
    • Time is critical
    • Details updated when available
      • For Web and broadcast
  • 6. Mainbars vs. Sidebars
    • Mainbar = primary story
    • Sidebar = related story
      • Usually human interest angle
  • 7. Example
    • Mainbar
      • The New York Times runs a front-page story on memorial events marking the 5-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
    • Sidebar
      • The New York Times revisits the families for a human-interest profile (“Portraits of Grief”)
  • 8. Example
    • Billboard , May 29, 1999
      • Anti-Copy Plan Would "Filter' Downloads
  • 9. Phase 2
    • Follow-up story with more details
    • Focuses more on the why and how
    • May or may not be front-page news
  • 10. Example
    • Billboard , June 5, 1999
      • SDMI's "Trigger' Framework Nears Fruition - Some In Online Biz Decry Plan As Attack On Freedom
  • 11. Second-day Stories
    • After the initial “breaking news” is reported, a follow-up story that runs a day later will need a new angle
    • “Second-day lead”
      • Puts the initial event into perspective
      • Offers more information and analysis
  • 12. Example
    • The space shuttle Columbia explodes on Feb. 1, 2003
      • All seven astronauts die
    • On Feb. 2, the initial event is still important, but it is no longer “breaking news”
      • Second-day lead focuses on:
        • Reactions from public
        • Safety of the NASA program
        • Investigation of the cause of the mishap
  • 13. Example
    • Phase 1: "Breaking News" One Killed at Stockton "Sideshow" Phase 2: "Second-Day Lead" Second "Sideshow" Victim ID'd
  • 14. Example
    • Breaking news:
      • Man charged with murder hours after girlfriend taken off life support
    • Follow-up:
      • Autopsy puts end to murder charges
  • 15. Phase 3
    • New angles on old stories
    • Human-interest angle
    • In-depth analysis
    • Follow-up on events
  • 16. Phase 4
    • Most reporters have moved on
    • Findings of long-term investigations
    • New developments from the original event are uncovered
  • 17. Internet Reporting
    • On the Web, your first version of a news story will likely be updated as new info comes in
  • 18. Developing Story Checklist
    • Latest news gets highest placement
    • Include original breaking news high in follow-up stories
    • If possible, go on location
    • Humanize the story
    • Find a new or unique angle
    • Add to your sources
    • Coordinate multimedia and graphics
  • 19. In-Class Writing Assignment
    • Go to the class blog for information on writing a “second-day lead” story
    • The original story is provided
    • Facts and a quote are provided for the “second-day” lead story