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All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedBob Rosenbaum, www.theMarketFarm.com May 2013 © 2013; Permission required fo...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedObjectives Find stories worth telling Report stories effectively and effic...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedFinding the storyBob Rosenbaum, www.theMarketFarm.com May 2013 © 2013; Permi...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story“Great stories happen tothose who can tell them.”Ira ...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story Almost anything can be made interesting– Identifyin...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story News– Important issues– Changing status quo– Intere...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story News stories just happen Feature stories must be c...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story Look for:– People who tell good stories themselves•...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story It’s all in the telling; i.e. YOU make it good
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the storyBob Rosenbaum, www.theMarketFarm.com May 2013 © 2013; Per...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story News story– Job: Inform/explain– 5 W’s & H• Who, what, ...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story Personality/feature story– Job: Enlighten/entertain– Fo...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story“Joe didn’t seem to care aboutbeing a leader, but he was ...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story“Joe didn’t seem to care aboutbeing a leader, but he was ...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story Personality/feature story– Don’t overreach – set a tigh...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story Ask questions– A discipline that improves with practice...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story Fairness– Give ample time to valid perspectives– Does n...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the storySeek the right mix Citizen complaints that potholes aren...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the storyWhat do you cover? Report all of it Report what makes s...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the storyWhen are you done reporting? When you feel you have a gr...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the storyBob Rosenbaum, www.theMarketFarm.com May 2013 © 2013; Permi...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the story Newswriting is a formula It’s supposed to be fast and re...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedStory format Inverted pyramid– Lead with most important facts– Filter down ...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat goes in the pyramid1.Who2.What3.Why4.Where5.When6.How
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedInverted pyramid in actionFBI agents at headquarters of Brown’s owner Jimmy ...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedInverted pyramid in actionFBI agents at headquarters of Brown’s owner Jimmy ...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedInverted pyramid in actionFBI agents at headquarters of Brown’s owner Jimmy ...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOrganizing to write Review and organize notes– For short news stories re-re...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedMaking it look easyThe Lead:If you can figure outhow to start,the rest of th...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the Lead First paragraph of the story Summarizes most important po...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedTypes of leads News lead The facts and just the facts Jimmy Haslam sudden...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedTypes of leads Second-day lead Catches up with a story/writes next chapter...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedTypes of leads Second-day lead Catches up with a story/writes next chapter...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedNow that you have your lead… Consider whether your story needs a “nutgraf”
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the ‘nut graf’ A perspective paragraph Provides clarity for reader...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the ‘nut graf’ Not every story needs a nut graf Needed for:– Anecd...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the ‘nut graf’Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is calling trucking companie...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the ‘nut graf’BAY VILLAGE - A fourth person has announced plans to r...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedThe rest of the story After the nut graf: The rest of thefacts, indescendi...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedFeature story Scale story appropriately– How much time do you have– How muc...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedFeature leadBy Gene WeingartenSunday, January 22, 2006The Washington PostThe...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOther important stuff Tighten tighten tighten– Your first draft will be 50%...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOther important stuff Attribution: Hang it on someone else– Objectives: Hon...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOther important stuff Quotes: Only use good ones– “When you come to a fork ...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOther important stuff Write for the reader and to tell the story– Not for y...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOther important stuff Sweat the details: check your facts– Never assume the...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where noted05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission required for use 47Uploadin...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedUploading to the Observer05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission re...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedUploading to the Observer05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission re...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedUploading to the Observer05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission re...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedUploading to the Observer05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission re...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedUploading to the Observer05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission re...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedUploading to the Observer05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission re...
All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedKick back and relax05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission required...
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You Too Can Write the News

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You Too Can Write the News

  1. 1. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedBob Rosenbaum, www.theMarketFarm.com May 2013 © 2013; Permission required for useYou Too Can Write the NewsA workshop inshort-form citizen journalism
  2. 2. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedObjectives Find stories worth telling Report stories effectively and efficiently Write stories using a formula that makes thejob easier Upload stories to the Observer system Do this without cold sweats and nightmaresBob Rosenbaum, www.theMarketFarm.com May 2013 © 2013; Permission required for use
  3. 3. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedFinding the storyBob Rosenbaum, www.theMarketFarm.com May 2013 © 2013; Permission required for use
  4. 4. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story“Great stories happen tothose who can tell them.”Ira GlassThis American Life
  5. 5. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story Almost anything can be made interesting– Identifying a good subject– Asking enough questions– Drilling down on the right questions– Getting enough detail– Focusing the single topic– Writing crisply and without affectation
  6. 6. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story News– Important issues– Changing status quo– Interesting events• Marty Mace announces plans to run for mayor of BayVillage• Diamond Services survives by cleanup after the movies Personality profile/Feature– Interesting people doing interesting things
  7. 7. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story News stories just happen Feature stories must be created Process same for both– Evaluate everything you hear as a potential story– Keep a notebook with ideas
  8. 8. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story Look for:– People who tell good stories themselves• Interesting people make interesting stories• Boring people will make you work much harder– People with hobbies• Kids building battling robots in school• Mom training for her first marathon• Guy restoring old car in his garage– Idea nuggets• People who work from home
  9. 9. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat makes a good story It’s all in the telling; i.e. YOU make it good
  10. 10. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the storyBob Rosenbaum, www.theMarketFarm.com May 2013 © 2013; Permission required for use
  11. 11. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story News story– Job: Inform/explain– 5 W’s & H• Who, what, when, where, why, how– Find multiple sources– Look for the honest/reasonable disagreements– Most useful ( and underused) question: Why?• If you don’t understand it, you can’t report it
  12. 12. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story Personality/feature story– Job: Enlighten/entertain– Focus on what’s interesting• But listen for important digressions– Spend less time with the subject / more time with3rdparties– Most useful question: Can you give me a real-lifeexample?
  13. 13. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story“Joe didn’t seem to care aboutbeing a leader, but he was one.He led quietly by example and bycaring about others,” said FaithGill, the mother of one ofQuandt’s closest childhoodfriends.
  14. 14. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story“Joe didn’t seem to care aboutbeing a leader, but he was one.He led quietly by example and bycaring about others,” said FaithGill, the mother of one ofQuandt’s closest childhoodfriends.“When there was a new kid inschool or class, it was always Joewho would make that person feelwelcome and at home. If you’rethe new person, that’s somethingyou just don’t forget. He madethat kind of lasting impression oneverybody he met.
  15. 15. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story Personality/feature story– Don’t overreach – set a tight focus– Stay in control and be proactive• Let sources guide you, not direct you– Expand on the minutia– Try to define angles early– Battling robots – 1 kid, 1 technical problem– Mom training for marathon – 1 rainy, busy day– Guy restoring old car in his garage – Wife’s reaction– Corporate refugees – Just a couple, or focus on 1 aspect: money,fulfillment, kids, wife
  16. 16. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story Ask questions– A discipline that improves with practice– Few stories are fully reported in 1 sitting– Be prepared to go back with more questions Seek multiple sources– Few people know everything about a story Don’t assume your sources know best– Most people don’t think in terms of storytelling Identify multiple points of view– Few stories are one-dimensional
  17. 17. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the story Fairness– Give ample time to valid perspectives– Does not require “equal time” to every perspective– You are not required to honor “crazy”
  18. 18. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the storySeek the right mix Citizen complaints that potholes aren’t being fixed quickly enough– Mayor: We’re working as quickly as we can– Streets Commissioner: We need more people - tell the mayor tostop cutting shifts and laying off employees– City Engineer: Data shows we’re repairing at a faster rate thansurrounding communities– Council candidate: There is gross incompetence and newenergy is needed to fix this mess– Vocal activist I: We’re using the wrong materials– Vocal activist II: We need to ban commercial truck traffic fromour streets
  19. 19. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the storyWhat do you cover? Report all of it Report what makes sense Report what’s going to becomethe focus of discussionBut how do you decide? What’s interesting What’s important Context– Length restriction– Lead time– Competition
  20. 20. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedReporting the storyWhen are you done reporting? When you feel you have a grasp When you know how the story will begin When you run out of time After you’ve turned in the story(and the editor clears it)– There will always be holes as you write– Lazy reporters write around them– You will fill them
  21. 21. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the storyBob Rosenbaum, www.theMarketFarm.com May 2013 © 2013; Permission required for use
  22. 22. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the story Newswriting is a formula It’s supposed to be fast and repeatable 80% reporting/20% writing
  23. 23. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedStory format Inverted pyramid– Lead with most important facts– Filter down to least important– No conclusion: just end it LeadExposition/Other facts
  24. 24. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWhat goes in the pyramid1.Who2.What3.Why4.Where5.When6.How
  25. 25. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedInverted pyramid in actionFBI agents at headquarters of Brown’s owner Jimmy Haslam’s familybusiness in Tennessee
  26. 26. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedInverted pyramid in actionFBI agents at headquarters of Brown’s owner Jimmy Haslam’s familybusiness in TennesseeWHATWHENWHEREWHYWHOHOW
  27. 27. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedInverted pyramid in actionFBI agents at headquarters of Brown’s owner Jimmy Haslam’s familybusiness in Tennessee
  28. 28. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOrganizing to write Review and organize notes– For short news stories re-read/review– Longer, complex stories require a process• Print out notes• Color code or number “sections” based on topicscovered• Move topics around into a logical order of mostimportant to least important
  29. 29. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedMaking it look easyThe Lead:If you can figure outhow to start,the rest of the storyoften takes care of itself
  30. 30. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the Lead First paragraph of the story Summarizes most important point(s)/event(s) Lead should rise to the top from yourorganization processA Digression about paragraphs•1 paragraph = 1 or 2 sentences; 4-10 lines•Paragraphs are non-structural to story
  31. 31. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedTypes of leads News lead The facts and just the facts Jimmy Haslam suddenly has bigger issues than theCleveland Browns.On Monday, federal agents descended on the Haslamfamily business in Knoxville in a raid the FBIdescribed as part of an “ongoing investigation.”
  32. 32. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedTypes of leads Second-day lead Catches up with a story/writes next chapter ofan ongoing story– When other media have already covered the news– Requires a different level of reporting• Consciously looking for something new to say• Explore unreported facts• Find a new angle• Uncover deeper meaning/fuller context
  33. 33. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedTypes of leads Second-day lead Catches up with a story/writes next chapter of anongoing story The rebates that Jimmy Haslam says are at the heart of afederal criminal investigation into his company have made itimpossible for smaller, independent truck stops to competeagainst Haslams massive Pilot Flying J, a trucking industryofficial says.John Caniglia, Plain Dealer, April 17, 2013
  34. 34. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedNow that you have your lead… Consider whether your story needs a “nutgraf”
  35. 35. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the ‘nut graf’ A perspective paragraph Provides clarity for reader 2nd paragraph of story Answers the question: “So what?”– Think, or actually write, “It’s important because...”
  36. 36. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the ‘nut graf’ Not every story needs a nut graf Needed for:– Anecdotal leads– Features– Complex stories– Second-day leads/ongoing stories Acts like a drawstring to pull the story together– If your story just isn’t working – fix the nut graf
  37. 37. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the ‘nut graf’Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is calling trucking companies,offering to pay back owners of firms who say they lost money in thefuel rebate program of Haslams company Pilot Flying J.But legal experts say Haslams calls present a legal dilemma in hisquest to clear his companys name as a federal investigation is underway. Haslams calls can be seen as his attempt to correct a wrongcommitted by his company. Or, prosecutors might view it interferingwith witnesses, according to interviews with several attorneys andlaw professors.
  38. 38. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedWriting the ‘nut graf’BAY VILLAGE - A fourth person has announced plans to run formayor this year.Recently retired Bay Village firefighter Marty Mace announcedplans Friday afternoon to seek election. His announcement camehours after his retirement took effect. He joins incumbent MayorDeborah Sutherland and fellow challengers Claire Banasiak andDavid Volle.Providing three or more candidates file petitions with the requirednumber of valid signatures, it would force a September primary priorto the November general election. Only two names would appear onthe November ballot.Bruce Geiselman, Cleveland.com, 5/3/2012
  39. 39. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedThe rest of the story After the nut graf: The rest of thefacts, indescending orderof importance,combined with alogical flowNut grafExpositionLead
  40. 40. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedFeature story Scale story appropriately– How much time do you have– How much space do you have– How committed are you Choose 1 major theme– Eliminate everything else Lead: Use your most telling, interesting,compelling anecdote Don’t tell me; show me
  41. 41. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedFeature leadBy Gene WeingartenSunday, January 22, 2006The Washington PostThe Great Zucchini arrived early, as he is apt to do, and began tomake demands, as is his custom. He was too warm, so he wanted thethermostat adjusted. It was. He declared the basement family roomadequate for his needs, but there was a problem with the room nextdoor. Something had to be done about it.The room next door was emblematic of the extraordinary life andtimes of the Great Zucchini, Washingtons No. 1 preschoolentertainer. The homeowners, Allison and Donald Cox Jr., are in theirlate thirties, with two young children – Lauren, who is 5, and DonaldIII, who goes by Trey, and whose third birthday was being celebratedthat day.
  42. 42. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOther important stuff Tighten tighten tighten– Your first draft will be 50% too long• Tangents• Stuff you’ve fallen in love with– Your next draft will be 20% too long• Still more stuff you love even though it doesn’t belong– Your next draft will be 10% too long• Wordiness, imprecise phrasing
  43. 43. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOther important stuff Attribution: Hang it on someone else– Objectives: Honesty, limiting liability What to attribute– Direct quotes– Paraphrased quotes– Statements of opinion– Others’ observations– Facts that you haven’t otherwise confirmed– Anything about an individual How to attribute– It’s as simple as adding a comma and writing, “he/she said.”– One attribution per paragraph
  44. 44. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOther important stuff Quotes: Only use good ones– “When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” said Yankee’sManager Yogi Berra.– “The city needs a new ladder truck for $900,000. We only haveone building tall enough to require a ladder truck. Isn’t there asmarter way to solve this problem?” asked Councilman KevinPatrick Murphy. Not:– “He came to play, and he left it all out there on the field.”– “No I didn’t.”– “If this prevents one other person from going through what Iwent through, then it will be worth everything.”
  45. 45. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOther important stuff Write for the reader and to tell the story– Not for yourself or your source(s) Use active voice– Not: He had gone– But: He went No exclamation points!!! No cliches
  46. 46. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedOther important stuff Sweat the details: check your facts– Never assume the editor will catch it Package your story– Take photos– Write a good headline– Collect relevant links for work appearing online Hunt down and delete every extra word– Whether or not = whether
  47. 47. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where noted05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission required for use 47Uploading to the Observer
  48. 48. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedUploading to the Observer05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission required for use 48CLICK ON MEMBERCENTER
  49. 49. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedUploading to the Observer05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission required for use 49CLICK ON “Submit newstory”
  50. 50. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedUploading to the Observer05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission required for use 50•Populate Title,Category.•Paste article into“Article section”
  51. 51. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedUploading to the Observer05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission required for use 51•Write Bio•Attach photos
  52. 52. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedUploading to the Observer05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission required for use 52Look foruploadcounter
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  54. 54. All photos by Bob Rosenbaum except where notedKick back and relax05/08/13 © 2013 www.themarketfarm.com Permission required for use 54

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