Journalism basics pp


Published on

PowerPoint presentation on how to write a crime story for a daily newspaper.

Published in: Education
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Journalism basics pp

  1. 1. Journalism Basics<br />Writing Crime Stories Without Fear<br />
  2. 2. Welcome fellow journalists!<br />Today, we’ll learn how to write an air-tight crime story for a daily newspaper.<br />The overall goal is to efficiently write a crime story for a daily newspaper that will be accurate, ethical and thorough, and free of litigious/libelous phrasing. <br />
  3. 3. Introductions<br />We want dialog: Feel free to ask questions at any point.<br />
  4. 4. Preliminaries<br />Are there any questions before we get started?<br />
  5. 5. Pop quiz<br />Free association: What’s the first word that pops into your head when I say “crime reporting”? Go. <br />
  6. 6. ACCURACY IS EVERYTHING<br />Clipart<br />
  7. 7. Reallife example  <br />
  8. 8. Accuracy<br />Allows the reader to trust you.<br />Ensures your story is complete.<br />Decreases the chances of you being sued. <br />
  9. 9. Objectives<br />“How will this instruction help me most efficiently gain information for writing a crime story?” <br />
  10. 10. Objectives<br />YOU WILL LEARN:<br />How to obtain police and supplemental reports.<br />How to obtain court documents and evidence/case files.<br />How to identify subjects to interview.<br />How to interview subjects. <br />
  11. 11. Objectives<br />How to outline and order a story.<br />How to write a great lede.<br />How to write a tight nutgraf.<br />How to write a solid body.<br />How to review content for libel. <br />
  12. 12. What do you do?<br />A call comes across the scanner. There’s a an armed robbery in progress at a local coffee shop on Main and Locust streets. Shots were fired, and there is a man down. The suspect, described as a Caucasian male, about 5-10 with a shaved head and wearing jeans, white tennis shoes and a black hooded sweatshirt has fled on foot into nearby woods. Three patrolmen and two dogs are in pursuit.<br />
  13. 13. The crime scene<br />Who are the key players?<br />What do you look for?<br />Who should you interview?<br />Capture the scene. <br />
  14. 14. The crime scene<br />Who do you interview? <br />
  15. 15. The interview<br />Police, generally a senior officer, police chief or public information officer (PIO) is the safe bet. <br />
  16. 16. The interview<br />Witnesses are critical. <br />
  17. 17. The interview<br />Don’t forget the victims.<br />
  18. 18. The interview<br />Can you interview the suspect? <br />
  19. 19. Interviews<br />Interviews <br />Contact information<br />Notes from the scene/observations<br />Now what?<br />
  20. 20. Just the facts<br />Back to the office. <br />Clipart<br />
  21. 21. Just the facts<br />What are the other elements you need for your story?<br />Police report<br />Jail record (if perpetrator is caught)<br />Any history of the suspect <br />Includes prior arrests, employment, gang involvement, was he the star high school football quarterback?<br />
  22. 22. Just the facts<br />Police reports:<br />Immediately available: Open records law. <br />
  23. 23. Just the facts<br />What to look for on a police report<br />General information on suspect<br />“Incident report” <br />
  24. 24. Just the facts<br />Check the facts <br />
  25. 25. Just the facts<br />Peripheral reports<br />Jail log <br />Court documents<br />
  26. 26. Just the facts<br />Paper trail<br />Always get copies of all reports, including any court records.<br />
  27. 27. Pen to paper<br />Can we start writing yet?<br />Make a checklist<br />Make an outline<br />Write a working lede<br />
  28. 28. Pen to paper<br />Checklist:<br />Do you have all reports, interviews, supplemental information? <br />
  29. 29. Pen to paper<br /><ul><li>John David Smith,26, of Cantontown, entered Reggie’s Diner at 8:35 a.m. Monday, walked to the counter, produced a small-caliber handgun, shot a hole into the ceiling, demanded all the cash from the two registers. There were 12 people in the diner, including 2 waitresses and a cook. No one was injured. As soon as the waitress, Wanda Jane Brooks, 22, handed Smith an estimated $400 in cash, Smith ran out the front door into the woods. The incident in the diner lasted 5 minutes. </li></li></ul><li>Pen to paper<br />We also know that the cook, Donald Todd Ferris, 46, ducked into the office and called the police while the robbery was in progress. Police arrived at the scene at 8:42. Police dogs and armed patrolmen entered the woods, but did not immediately apprehend the suspect. At 10 a.m., police dogs located the suspect hiding in a tree. He was arrested without incident. The cash was secured. <br />
  30. 30. Pen to paper<br />From supplemental and jail logs, we know the suspect has no prior arrests in the state, and the charges are assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, fleeing to evade officers and illegally carrying a concealed weapon. He could face 20 to 40 years in federal prison if convicted on all charges. <br />
  31. 31. Pen to paper<br />Outline<br />Working lede<br />Nutgraph<br />Body (a number of elements)<br />Information about the incident<br />Information about suspect<br />Charges, sentencing, trial, penalties<br />Interviews to collaborate incident/add color<br />End <br />
  32. 32. Pen to paper<br />Writing the lede<br />What are the elements of the lede? <br />
  33. 33. Pen to paper<br />Elements of a good crime lede:<br />5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why?)<br />Compelling color<br />Proper attribution<br />
  34. 34. Pen to paper<br />WHO: John David Smith, 26, of Cantontown<br />WHAT: Was arrested for armed robbery<br />WHEN: Incident occurred at 8:35 Monday; He was arrested at 10 a.m. Monday<br />WHERE: Ron’s Diner, 230 Main Street, Cantontown<br />WHY: No motive was known at the time<br />
  35. 35. Pen to paper<br />Your turn: Write the lede. <br />
  36. 36. Pen to paper<br />A man burst into Ron’s Diner on Main Street in Cantontown during the breakfast rush Monday morning, pulled out a gun and fired a shot in the air before demanding cash, police said. <br />
  37. 37. Pen to paper<br />What’s next?<br />No one was injured during the robbery, but one unidentified patron was treated by EMS for chest pains. Police would not identify the victim. <br />John David Smith, 26, of 215 East Billings St. in Cantonville, escaped with $400 in cash into nearby woods, according to Cantonville police. He was found with the assistance of two police dogs hiding in a tree. At 10 a.m., police coaxed him down and immediately arrested him without incident. <br />
  38. 38. Pen to paper<br />Further details: What else is important? <br />
  39. 39. Pen to paper<br />It was the quick thinking of cook Donald Todd Ferris, 46, who ducked into the office and called the police while the robbery was in progress. <br />Smith was brought to Cantontown Jail and charged with are assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, fleeing to evade officers and illegally carrying a concealed weapon, according to police reports. He could face 20 to 40 years in federal prison if convicted on all charges, according to solicitor John Knight. <br />Smith has no prior arrests in the state, Knight said.<br />
  40. 40. Pen to paper<br />The robbery marks the first for Ron’s Diner, which has operated at 230 Main St. for 45 years, owner Mark Granby said. <br />“We’ve never had anything like this here,” Granby said. “This is a small town, and everybody knows everybody. It’s just a shame, but I’m just thankful no one was hurt.” <br />
  41. 41. Pen to paper<br />Stanley Benton, 85, was reading his morning paper on his usual barstool when he saw Smith burst through the door.<br />“He looked nervous,” Benton said. “At first, I didn’t know he was going to rob the place. I just thought he needed help. When he pulled out the gun, I hit the deck and thought, Sweet Mary and Joseph.”<br />Waitress Rachel Kelton, 56, said she has been working at Ron’s since the mid-1980s. She was serving coffee when she heard the gunshot.<br />
  42. 42. Pen to paper<br />“At first, I thought there was an explosion, so I looked outside,” she said. “Within a moment I knew what had happened. I think I screamed, as did others as they dove for cover. We’re just so blessed no one was actually hurt.” <br />
  43. 43. Pen to paper<br />Police said the dogs were hot on Davis’s trail after witnesses pointed the out direction the suspect ran, police said. A small team of five armed officers in full Kevlar vests and helmets carefully searched the woods, which had been mostly bare since winter. <br />“The trail went cold at a large oak,” said Staff Sgt. Pete Pickard. “The dogs were going nuts, then one of them, I think it was Kenner, looked like he wanted to climb a tree. That’s when we saw the suspect.”<br />
  44. 44. Pen to paper<br />Pickard said Davis had his gun drawn, but immediately threw it to the ground when he realized he was surrounded. Police coaxed Davis off his perch and immediately handcuffed him and brought him to the downtown station for booking.<br />“He really didn’t put up a fight, and for that we’re lucky,” Pickard said. “He was in a position where he could have caused some damage, and we’re just thankful he came to his senses before making it even worse.”<br />
  45. 45. Pen to paper<br />Davis will remain at the town jail as he awaits trial on the charges, Knight, the solicitor said. As for Ron’s, Granby said a little plaster and a fresh coat of ceiling paint will take care of the bullet hole, but the diner will remain closed for the day.<br /> As for patrons such as Benton, the regular, they’ll be back.<br />“Cantonville’s a quiet place,” he said. “It was a fluke, and I wouldn’t think we’d see anything more like that around here. At least I pray we don’t. <br />“But I’ll be back tomorrow, and I’m sure we’ll have much to talk about before things get back to normal.” <br />
  46. 46. Pen to paper<br />Critical elements recap:<br />Accuracy<br />Attribution<br />police reports<br />quotes that help tell the story<br />descending order of importance<br />
  47. 47. Critical review<br />Now, is it libel-free? <br />
  48. 48. Critical review<br />“A publication without justification or lawful excuse which is calculated to injure the reputation of another by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule." (Parke, B. in Parmiter v. Coupland (1840) GM&W 105 at 108)<br />
  49. 49. Critical review<br />How to avoid libel<br />“Lawyer” your story<br />Properly attribute<br />Keep a paper trial <br />
  50. 50. Critical review<br />Questions/discussion? <br />
  51. 51. Your turn<br />The next several slides contain details from a police report and supplementals. <br />
  52. 52. Your turn<br />It will be your job to write the top of the story, lede through nutgraf. <br />
  53. 53. Your turn<br />Evan Jay Willet, 22, of South Fork, Ill.<br />Charged with grand theft auto for stealing a 1976 Firebird from the South Fork Walmart parking lot where Willet was a bagboy. Incident occurred at 11 p.m., Tuesday after his shift.<br />Willet stole the keys from a fellow employee’s locker. Victim is Todd Charles Swanson, 19, of Summersville, Ill. ><br />
  54. 54. Your turn<br />Swanson said he saw a man the same build and height as Willet enter his car, start it, do a donut in the parking lot, and leave. Walmart parking lot surveillance cameras show Willet stealing the car. Witnesses say Willet punched out at 11 p.m. and they saw him leave the building. ><br />
  55. 55. Your turn<br />Willet was arrested inside Taco Bell, 38 Britton Blvd. in South Fork. Swanson’s Firebird was in the parking lot. Inside the car was a 40 ounce open container of beer, more than half consumed. Willet was not tested for sobriety, as he was not in the car at the time of his arrest. DNA and fingerprint testing were not available for 24 hours. Willet was being held in the Capricorn County Jail on a $20,000 bond.<br />Willet commented to police that he was going to return the car and “I just wanted a taco, dude.”<br />
  56. 56. Your turn<br />What other information do you need to write an accurate story?<br />
  57. 57. Keypoints<br />Have accurate reporting<br />Make an outline<br />Attribute your work<br />5Ws<br />Strong nutgraf<br />Descending order of importance<br />“Lawyer” your story <br />
  58. 58. Recap<br />Questions? <br />
  59. 59. Congratulations!<br />A brief survey will be emailed to you using the address you provided for this course. Please complete it online as soon as possible. Your responses will greatly enhance future instruction. <br />