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Great sources, Great Storytelling by Rosland Gammon


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The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism presents "Great Stories, Great Storytelling" by Rosland Gammon at the 50th Annual Society of American Business Editors and Writers Conference in Washington, D.C.

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Great sources, Great Storytelling by Rosland Gammon

  1. 1. DATA PEOPLETitle Slide ORGANIZATION Great Sources,Great Storytelling
  2. 2. RoslandBriggs-GammonØ  Blogger for the Reynolds Center for BusinessJournalism.orgØ  Communications instructor at Alverno College, MilwaukeeØ  Freelance writerØ  Former business reporter and/or editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Bloomberg News and the Milwaukee Business Journal
  3. 3. MikeHudsonØ  Senior Editor at International Consortium of Investigative JournalistsØ  Author of “THE MONSTER: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America—and Spawned a Global Crisis”Ø  George Polk Award winnerØ  Former Wall Street Journal reporterØ  BIB winner: “Fraud and Folly: The Untold Story of General Electric’s Subprime Debacle”
  4. 4. AlisonYoungØ  Investigative reporter for USA TodayØ  Winner of two Scripps Howard Awards, two Gerald Loeb Awards and two National HeadlinersØ  Former reporter and/or editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Detroit Free Press, The Arizona Republic and the Dallas Times HeraldØ  BIB winner: “Ghost Factories”
  6. 6. LLCs, property records“There was an existing paper trail, and noone ever went looking for it.” -Brian Grow, Reuters, on Chesapeake coverage
  7. 7. Public utility filings Denver Post graphic“All of the information is there, but nobodyever reads it….Companies count on the factthat no one will ever read it.” –  Mark Jaffe, Denver Post, on Xcel’s SmartGridCity project story
  8. 8. Full-text search on SEC site “A lot of times, business reporters give up, but there is so much information about private companies in SEC filings.” - Julie Wernau, Chicago Tribune, on stories about electric cars in Elkhart, Ind.
  9. 9.
  10. 10. Tobacco libraries “It’s so rare that you have access to this level of detail. It’s like being invited into executives’ offices and have them open their files and say, ‘Here, have a look.’”Chicago Tribune graphic -Patricia Callahan, Chicago Tribune, on the series on the risks of flame retardants  
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Data arranged by: Ø Business Ø Election campaigns Ø Environment Ø Federal spending Ø Health Ø Public safety Ø Transportation
  13. 13. Your suggestions?  
  15. 15. Not just the numbers “What makes a story come alive is being able to physically see what a place is. Who lives there? Who works there? From then on, that place is a reality to you.” –  Byron Harris, investigative reporter WFAA-TV in Dallas
  16. 16. “Finding Mr. Johnson wasn’t easy. Mostworkers didn’t want to share details as freely ashe did.” -  Leslie Patton, Bloomberg on McDonald’s CEO pay vs. employee wages story
  17. 17. Sourcesh"p://   h"ps://   h"p://  
  18. 18.
  19. 19. “Fraud and Folly: The Untold Story of General Electric’s subprime debacle”
  21. 21. Tag everything“Trying to rememberwhat documents you haveis a challenge…. Everytime I get a report, I tag itwith content, speaker,source and source type.” - Kate Willson, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on human tissue series
  22. 22. Organizing toolsh"ps://   h"p://   h"p://  
  23. 23. h"ps://   Password:  ghos,actories  
  25. 25. Storytelling“People respond to deepnarrative stories with abeginning, middle and end.Newspapers focus on thebeginning and the end. But themiddle can be fascinating.That’s where some of beststories come out of.” - Charles Duhigg, New York Times on “The Power of Habit” 
  26. 26. Storytelling“When I outline, I set aside mynotes and focus on storytelling.” - Mina Kimes, on her Fortune story about railroad consolidation
  27. 27. Great storytelling Writing techniques Overcoming challenges Focusing tips Giving the story life When to stop Photo by Flickr user Korjarie Matiessa
  28. 28. Share your Twitter: @RBGMedia Phone: (414) 336-2140
  29. 29. CONTACT USAlison Young Mike mwhudson@gmail.comTwitter: Twitter:@alisonannyoung @michaelwhudson