Covering meetings Jennifer Coxhttp://cmat240summer.wordpress.com
Announcements/Objective s• Discuss effective ways to write and cover meetings/speeches• Talk about story forms for meeting stories• Assign homework #2
Covering meetings/speeches• BEFORE the event• DURING the event• AFTER the event
BEFORE• Get an agenda! • Pick one item to write about• Research the speaker(s) • Ask for a bio • Do a Google search • Research past articles• Research the topic • Ask for any background materials • Look at past minutes • Do a Google search • Research past articles • Prepare a few questions
before• Look up important details • Name spellings • Organization spellings • Hometown • Age (if needed)• Be presentable • Dress appropriately • Bring a notebook, pens • Bring a recorder (if needed)
during• Observe • Audience size • Mood/atmosphere • Reactions• Take notes • Summaries of information • Direct quotes • Public comments
during• Brainstorm questions • Note anything unclear • Identify people to talk to later• Stay afterward • Talk to people about their viewpoints • Clear up any misunderstandings • Find out their future steps• Make your presence known • Give out your number • Ask people for their numbers • As to follow up as you are writing
after• Organize your notes • Highlight important information • Highlight/type out important quotes • Order your notes from most-important to least- important• Make follow-up calls• Identify the main point and write your lede• Write in inverted pyramid, NOT chronologically
Organizing your story• Choose ONE item – do not cover the whole meeting• The meeting IS NOT the story! • Does the time or location matter?• Be active: what happened? • Hint: the vote is not the most important thing; what does the decision mean?• Impact? • Is the size of the crowd important? • Is the tone of the audience important?• How does this event impact ME? • My wallet? • My lifestyle? • My home?
Lede examplesThe Salisbury University Student Government Association met Friday to discuss raising student fees.The Salisbury University Student Government Association voted against raising student fees at its meeting Friday. Student fees should not get a 10 percent hike, SalisburyUniversity Student Government Association senators decidedFriday, dashing administrative hopes for student support of the revenue-generating proposal.
Organizing your story The Salisbury Town Council met Tuesday to talk about raising the cost of fishing licenses. The Salisbury Town Council voted Tuesday to raise the cost of fishing licenses from $90 to $150. Fishing got more expensive Tuesday after the Salisbury Town Council raised the cost of fishing licenses from $90 to $150, inspite of protests from local anglers who said the increases would cause them to raise prices for their customers.
Story structure• Summary lede: what happened • No mention of meeting • Introduction of conflict• What happened – more detail, background• Reaction (quote)• Dissenting opinions, reaction quotes• Impact/background/so what • More quotes/reactions• More information about specifics• Next step/future
Story format Residents who live near the Fordes have called the sculpture junk and complainedStatement: that the artwork would block their view and spoil the character of the neighborhood. David DeLo, who lives across Cliff Drive Evidence: from the Fordes, said he was considering challenging the council‟s action in court. “If the council wants to place a piece of junk in a residential neighborhood, that‟s their Quote: prerogative, but this council has been overturned before,” he said.
transitions• Use quotes or transitional phrases, like “On the opposing side…” • Keep it simple: But… • Avoid “however” “It would have been a sad day if a community that sees itself as supporting the arts struck down an artwork in a private yard.” The sculpture had been the focus of an intense neighborhood battle. To appease neighbors, the council approved the sculpture on the condition that the Fordes place it as low as possible in the yard…• Group related/logical information together
Tips• Do not use first- or second-person• Use a summary lede!• Strive for balance• Don‟t rely solely on official sources; use non-officials when you can• Don‟t include your opinion• Ending: • What happens next? • Where can the reader go for more information
Meetings story examples• “Bill allowing „inspirational messages‟ at public schools passes hurdle”• “Atlantic Beach approves resolution supporting Mayport ferry”• “County expanding water treatment plant”
homework• Open the homework prompt I posted on the website• Read the instructions at the top• Use at least three of the quotes provided• No more than one page• Exchange with your peer editing partner• Due by 5 p.m. Monday
announcements• Remember, no lecture tomorrow• Crime story due by 5 p.m. tomorrow• Meeting story due by 5 p.m. Monday• Peer editing evaluations due by 9 p.m. Friday• Current events/readings quiz today by 9 p.m.• For Monday: Read Chapter 8 (Story Organization) & Chapter 7, pp. 134-148 (about story ledes)• Monday: Feature stories