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What is journalism? Story structure

What is journalism? Story structure

Published in: News & Politics, Education
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  • 1. What is Journalism?For once I’ll promise not to write long. Thats because I am not the story.The story is out there - spoken out loud in a Parramore church, hidden in a file at theCourthouse or City Hall, documented in a land deal somewhere between Apopka andSanford.Go find that story. Report it. Shoot it. Tweet it. Post it. Present it. Tell it in ways we neverhave before. For me, in this place, nothing else mattered, except the story.And when the next big one comes -- it will again, for sure -- look back at how many stillwith this team handled the presidential election of 2000, the Columbia disaster, that longsummer of hurricanes and the summer of Casey.Look at what we did right, what we did wrong, and then go do it better. Savor everysecond you have shedding light on something concealed, informing our public andcompelling people to think and act. Recognize the rewards of seeing things few get to seeand prompting positive change.This work has never been more difficult than it is now, and never more vital. After 20years spent doing it, though, I can tell you it was never easy. That fatigue, that drain, thatexhilaration – that’s how you know youre doing it right. Working alongside every one ofyou these 12 years, it was a privilege to see it done right.So keep on telling those stories. Tell them well, always. And never let me lose the senseof pride I have today, saying I worked with that dogged team at the Sentinel.Downsized? Yep. Talent deprived? No freaking way.Take a look at what you create every day. I know I will no matter where I go.Peace out,(Name removed)
  • 2. http://thelastword.msnbc.com/_news/2012/03/30/10944845-the-orlando-sentinel-rewrites-itself Journalism is not creative writing• The literacy license to invent scenarios that is permitted, or event encouraged, in fiction writing is taboo in journalism.• The purpose of journalism is to convey information clearly, correctly and concisely and credible – the four C’s• Clear, simple writing – rather than an expression of your imagination or vision• Quick, efficient writing – more formulaic than creative writing• Emphasis on mechanics – grammar, usage, spelling, style and tight writing
  • 3. The Basics: 1st AmendmentThe First Amendment awards 5 freedoms, which you must know. Amendment I “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom ofspeech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” . 
  • 4. The Basics: 5W 1H• WHAT• What, specifically,...? What next? What else?• WHERE• Where else? Where are you? Where, exactly...?• WHEN• When, exactly, will you...? When will it start/end? When will I know?• WHY• Why does that happen? Why not? (just keep asking why? to find root cause - often around 5 times)• HOW• How many? How much? How does it work?• WHO• Who will do this? Who else will do this? Who pays? Who benefits? http://johanssonsjournalism.blogspot.com/p/5w1h.html
  • 5. Keys to good writing• Keep paragraphs short• Keep sentences short• Use short, common words• Be objective• Follow style rules• Know the journalism story formulas, how to use them and when to break them
  • 6. News values| WTFC• Audience – Human interest• Impact – It’s going to piss people off• Timeliness – It’s happening now• Proximity – It’s happening here• Prominence – Local celebrities, athletes• Novelty or oddity – It’s weird or unusual• Conflict or drama – Mystery, suspense or drama. Readers love a good conflict• Usefulness – How-to articles, where to buy, etc.
  • 7. How to succeed…• http://collegemediamatters.com/2012/03/27/tips-for-journalism-students-how- to-land-a-job-and-impress-people-journamaven/• Homework: Read Chapter 5. Post to the class blog, letting the community know the site is live again.• Extra credit: Join the #journchat Twitter chat and participate

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