Journalism in Practice BCU, week 2: Intros and angles

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My second week of Journalism in Practice, which I teach at Birmingham City University. The purpose of this lecture introduce media students to the basics of journalism, through practice. …

My second week of Journalism in Practice, which I teach at Birmingham City University. The purpose of this lecture introduce media students to the basics of journalism, through practice.

I this week's lecture we cover intros. This is uploaded so Colin Palmer can cover for me.

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Transcript

  • 1. Journalism In Practice Week 2: Intros Course No: MED4005 Dan Davies / Colin Palmer [email_address]
  • 2. Last Week’s Task
    • Did everyone find two examples of same story for assignment?
    • What stories did you find?
    • Any trouble with Moodle?
    • Any other questions about the task?
  • 3. The Story So Far…
    • a news story has to contain new facts that are of interest to your readers
    • News outlets have a target audience - choose stories that suit them
    • Has to say something new - worth journalistic treatment
    • Honesty, balance, truth…
  • 4. Foxy Knoxy and the #dailyfail http://bit.ly/tabloidknox http://bit.ly/colesknox
  • 5. Session Goals
    • By the end of this session I would expect you to be able to:
        • Recognise a news angle
        • Write a hard news intro
        • Write a short, simple news story
  • 6. This and next week
    • How to write a story
    • This week concentrate on intros/toplines.
    • Next week going into writing the content or “body text” in more details
  • 7. A Good Intro/Topline
    • The angle
        • It needs to focus on the information that is most interesting and most likely to grab your audiences’ attention.
        • The intro itself
        • The way it is written, the way you capture the important information in a clear, concise and p u nchy way and get it across to your readers.
  • 8. Angles
    • We are going to think about a n gles - how do we know which bit of information to put first?
    • We need to concentrate on what makes it “N e wsworthy”
    • We are looking for the newest, most interesting or most important aspect of the story.
    • Ask yourself – what will grab people’s attention?
  • 9. Which do you think is better and why?
    • “ Fi refighters have walked out on strike in a dispute over pay”
    • “ A dispute over pay has led to a strike being staged by firefighters”
  • 10. Which do you think is better and why?
    • “ Co uncillors have agreed to build a new school in Edgbaston”
    • “ A decision to build a new school in Edgbaston has been taken by councillors”
    • “ A new school is to be built in Edgbaston after a vote by councillors.”
  • 11. ANGLES exercise
    • Discuss the handouts in groups.
    • Prioritise the pieces of information
    • Write the headline
    • Create a billboard / SEO slug to promote the story
    • Stick them on the wall
    • Feedback
  • 12. A Billboard Short, sharp summary of story Less “punny” than a headline
  • 13. An Online Slug
    • In newspaper editing, a slug is a short name given to an article that is in production.
    • Online it is the information in the URL which helps Google - good for SEO
    • Like billboard it contains pure information - not descriptive, no quotes, no puns: Nothing that will confuse machines
    • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2045612/New-York-helicopter-crash-Pilot-Paul-Dudleys-chopper-crashed-East-River-killing-Sonia-Marra.html
    • http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/oct/05/phone-hacking-news-international-60-claims
  • 14. Feedback Questions
        • Does it sound like a good story – would it make you want to buy the paper / would you click on it in Google?
        • Can you work out what the story is – does it matter?
        • Have they got the right angle?
  • 15. News Writing General
    • More on writing… next week
    • Presenting facts in a clear and concise way
    • Who, what, where, when, why and how
    • Or explain why they do not have the answer.
  • 16. Intros
    • Normally answer the questions who and what
    • The rest can come later
  • 17. What do we mean by W h o?
    • Look at the following intros. In what circumstances would you use them?
    • “ A man has died in an explosion at a fireworks factory.” “ A Birmingham man has died in an explosion at a fireworks factory.”
    • ” Mi chael Green has died in an explosion at a fireworks factory.”
    • “ An electrician has died in an explosion in a fireworks factory.”
    • “ A keen footballer has died in an explosion at a fireworks factory.”
    • “ A father of three has died in an explosion in a fireworks factory
    • “ A 43-year-old man has died in an explosion in a fireworks factory.”
    • “ A man, who built his family business into a multi-million pound export company, has died in an explosion at a fireworks factory.”
    • “ Mi chael Green, a 43 year old electrician and father of three from Birmingham, who was a keen footballer, has died in an explosion at a fireworks factory.”
  • 18. Example Exercise
    • Split up into groups
    • Take a one news paper with you
    • If you have a tabloid newspaper then look for a ‘broadsheet’ story online and vice versa
    • Identify the who and the what
    • Look at how the story develops (2 nd para leads on from headline etc)
    • Choose a story to present to the class
  • 19. Intro writing exercise
    • Write three intros 3-4 paras (+header and topline)
    • Remember – you need to both find a good news angle and write a simple clear, concise intro.
    • If you have time we’ll get into groups, read each others intros and discuss what you think.
  • 20. This Week’s Assignment
    • Four events that have the potential to be news stories
    • Rewrite the information to create lively intros for 4 stories
    • Assume you are a Birmingham-based regional newspape or website
    • 3-4 paras each, 75-80 words in length 350 in total.
    • Moodle by next week
    • Deadline 3pm Friday reading week