Speeches, News Conferences
and Meetings
Presented by
Brett Atwood
Preparation
• It is not uncommon to be assigned a speech or
meeting covering a topic that is unfamiliar to
you
• If this h...
Preparation
• Your employer/publication may have an
existing archive of news coverage on the
topic…use it!
• This media ar...
Preparation
• You may also use the Internet – but be careful as
misinformation is rampant
• Your publication/employer may ...
Speeches
• When you are assigned to cover a public
speech, there are some things you can do to
prepare
– Get advance trans...
Speeches
• Be aware that when you cover a public
speech, there is heightened scrutiny on what
you quote and report on
News Conferences
• Unlike a speech, a news conference will likely
contain a public question and answer forum
for reporters...
News Conferences
• Always held for a reason
– News announcement
– Public statement
• Attempt to get advance news of the
an...
Example
• My first public event:
– Richard Branson, CEO
Virgin Media
Covering Meetings
• Examples:
– City council meetings
– School board meetings
• These can be very long and boring
• Extrac...
Tips for Public Forums
• Use a recorder or smartphone recording app –
but make sure that it works
• Even if you are record...
My First Assignment
• My first music article was a disaster due to a recorder
malfunction!
Writing the Story
• For stories that are covering a speech, your
lead will summarize the main theme
• This gives a good ov...
Writing the Story
• Use the inverted-pyramid format
• Use a summary lede
• Second paragraph usually contains the
strongest...
Writing the Story
• For a news conference, it is likely that each
reporter attending will have a different spin
on the sub...
Writing the Story
• In covering public meetings, it is likely that a
large part of the story is the reaction from the
publ...
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Speeches, News Conferences & Meetings

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This lecture focuses on reporting developments and speeches, news conferences and meetings.

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Speeches, News Conferences & Meetings

  1. 1. Speeches, News Conferences and Meetings Presented by Brett Atwood
  2. 2. Preparation • It is not uncommon to be assigned a speech or meeting covering a topic that is unfamiliar to you • If this happens, you will need to prepare so that you know what is “news” and what isn’t
  3. 3. Preparation • Your employer/publication may have an existing archive of news coverage on the topic…use it! • This media archive may be referred to as a morgue
  4. 4. Preparation • You may also use the Internet – but be careful as misinformation is rampant • Your publication/employer may also subscribe to a legitimate news database, such as Lexis/Nexis
  5. 5. Speeches • When you are assigned to cover a public speech, there are some things you can do to prepare – Get advance transcript, if available – Pre-interview the speaker, if possible – Bring a tape/video recorder to document exact words/events
  6. 6. Speeches • Be aware that when you cover a public speech, there is heightened scrutiny on what you quote and report on
  7. 7. News Conferences • Unlike a speech, a news conference will likely contain a public question and answer forum for reporters • If you ask a question publicly, then other reporters are subject to using the response – Strategically you might save your best question for a private interview
  8. 8. News Conferences • Always held for a reason – News announcement – Public statement • Attempt to get advance news of the announcement from the public relations representative – If you can’t get it, try alternative sources that might give you info on the announcement
  9. 9. Example • My first public event: – Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Media
  10. 10. Covering Meetings • Examples: – City council meetings – School board meetings • These can be very long and boring • Extracting news value can be difficult • Conflict and public decision making or votes are usually newsworthy
  11. 11. Tips for Public Forums • Use a recorder or smartphone recording app – but make sure that it works • Even if you are recording, take written notes!
  12. 12. My First Assignment • My first music article was a disaster due to a recorder malfunction!
  13. 13. Writing the Story • For stories that are covering a speech, your lead will summarize the main theme • This gives a good overview of the content of the entire speech • Most of the article will paraphrase the speaker, but make sure to quote the strongest statements • The best quote is placed highest in the text
  14. 14. Writing the Story • Use the inverted-pyramid format • Use a summary lede • Second paragraph usually contains the strongest quote – Make sure to identify where and when the speech occurred • Continue to develop the lead and introduce key points of the speech
  15. 15. Writing the Story • For a news conference, it is likely that each reporter attending will have a different spin on the subject • You do not need to write your article based on the chronological order of the conference – lede with the most “newsworthy” development
  16. 16. Writing the Story • In covering public meetings, it is likely that a large part of the story is the reaction from the public or those impacted by the meeting (but not part of the board or council) • Make sure to interview key participants and the public • The “news” isn’t the meeting itself…it is what happens as a result of it

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