Is In-Depth Journalism Dead? Telling Sensitive Stories That Won’t Get Advisers Fired or Students Disciplined Karl Grubaugh...
So, what do you think? Is in-depth journalism dead?
It’s certainly in trouble <ul><li>Newspapers are fading and failing  all across the country </li></ul><ul><li>Staff layoff...
Signs of hope … <ul><li>National newspapers have an advantage because they have a broad audience </li></ul><ul><li>But sma...
So, Is In-Depth Journalism Dead? NO! <ul><li>The trick is getting readers to take the time to read in-depth stories – whic...
A Rose-Colored Look at the American High School Experience <ul><li>Sensitive stuff was happening back in the day, but sele...
What are some in-depth stories students have told in The Gazette? <ul><li>Student attitudes about homosexuality </li></ul>...
More in-depth stories that have  appeared in The Gazette <ul><li>Abortion.  </li></ul><ul><li>Voting patterns for young vo...
Are you living in one of the Sweet Seven States? <ul><li>Yes? Congratulations. Students choose the content, and administra...
You mean, in California the administration can’t control content in a student newspaper? Why don’t I know this! <ul><li>Yo...
No? You live in one of the Frustrated Forty Three? Bummer. <ul><li>LOBBY your state legislatures </li></ul><ul><li>It’s ea...
So, what has to happen to be able to tell in-depth trend stories effectively? <ul><li>Develop ideas </li></ul><ul><li>How?...
Next, it’s time to start doing some serious PLANNING! <ul><li>This is the crux of the matter – where is this beast headed?...
Another big issue when it comes to planning is TIME <ul><li>Planning and preparing an agenda-setting package of in-depth s...
Now you have to develop your sources to help tell the story <ul><li>You need credible, expert sources – administrators, co...
Try these Web sources, both to find experts and for background  <ul><li>Google.com, bing, etc. is ONLY A STARTING POINT </...
Criticisms of this approach, and how you might respond <ul><li>“ Everyone else has already done these kinds of stories.”  ...
Other issues you must consider when telling trend stories <ul><li>It’s really part of the planning process, but photos, il...
Some sample photo illustrations we’ve done at The Gazette
More samples
More samples
More samples
More samples
More samples
More samples
More samples
More samples
More samples
More samples
Are there problems with this approach? You bet. <ul><li>Stories fall through (Answer: Be flexible, and have a back-up plan...
But can it/does it work? Yes!  Is it worth it? Yes! <ul><li>Awards and other pleasant forms of flattery </li></ul><ul><li>...
Questions? <ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? <...
Thanks for Listening!  Go out and do good journalism! <ul><li>Karl Grubaugh,  </li></ul><ul><li>Gazette adviser </li></ul>...
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Is In Depth Journalism Dead

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Presentation at the 2009 Fall JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention, Washington, D.C. -- reasons why in-depth journalism isn't dead, and elements of how to do it

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  • Dear Karl Grubaugh
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    I am a PhD Candidate of Communication Sciences. Currently, I research about 'in- depth journalism'.I know you research about this subject. Please send Academic Resources for me if you can.
    Thanks for you
    E-mail: ranjbar2084@yahoo.com
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Is In Depth Journalism Dead

  1. 1. Is In-Depth Journalism Dead? Telling Sensitive Stories That Won’t Get Advisers Fired or Students Disciplined Karl Grubaugh Granite Bay (Calif.) High School The Sacramento Bee
  2. 2. So, what do you think? Is in-depth journalism dead?
  3. 3. It’s certainly in trouble <ul><li>Newspapers are fading and failing all across the country </li></ul><ul><li>Staff layoffs are happening at some of the most famous newspapers in America including the N.Y. Times, the Washington Post and others </li></ul><ul><li>Physical size of newspapers is shrinking – less space for stories </li></ul>
  4. 4. Signs of hope … <ul><li>National newspapers have an advantage because they have a broad audience </li></ul><ul><li>But smaller, local newspapers (and school newspapers) have the ability to burrow into their communities </li></ul><ul><li>Newspapers might be struggling, but consumers still want – and some are even willing to pay for! – good journalism </li></ul><ul><li>Readership of newspaper online content is skyrocketing! </li></ul>
  5. 5. So, Is In-Depth Journalism Dead? NO! <ul><li>The trick is getting readers to take the time to read in-depth stories – which, by definition, aren’t short. </li></ul><ul><li>So, then, how do we do in-depth journalism and do it well? … </li></ul>
  6. 6. A Rose-Colored Look at the American High School Experience <ul><li>Sensitive stuff was happening back in the day, but selective memory has either eliminated or changed how people remember it </li></ul><ul><li>This isn’t your mother’s (father’s, grandmother’s, uncle’s) high school – it’s yours, and Do you want to set the agenda on your campus? </li></ul><ul><li>Resolve to tell the important stories for YOUR HIGH SCHOOL </li></ul>
  7. 7. What are some in-depth stories students have told in The Gazette? <ul><li>Student attitudes about homosexuality </li></ul><ul><li>Making fake IDs for fun and profit </li></ul><ul><li>Girls on the pill </li></ul><ul><li>Religion in the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Marijuana use among students </li></ul><ul><li>Raves </li></ul><ul><li>Babies and other hazards of sex </li></ul><ul><li>Drugs at concerts </li></ul><ul><li>Binge drinking, and parents who buy alcohol for their children </li></ul><ul><li>Living in a sea of white (being a minority in a mostly white community) </li></ul><ul><li>Teenage suicide. </li></ul>
  8. 8. More in-depth stories that have appeared in The Gazette <ul><li>Abortion. </li></ul><ul><li>Voting patterns for young voters. </li></ul><ul><li>Drunk driving. </li></ul><ul><li>Sex education. </li></ul><ul><li>Being a teenage parent. </li></ul><ul><li>The debate over state-mandated high-stakes testing </li></ul><ul><li>And many, many more </li></ul>
  9. 9. Are you living in one of the Sweet Seven States? <ul><li>Yes? Congratulations. Students choose the content, and administrators can’t get you to stop covering controversial topics. </li></ul><ul><li>But what if they they try to anyway? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.splc.org </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider litigation, America’s favorite participatory sport </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It really needs to be a STUDENT fight, not the adviser’s fight. Your adviser can be your best friend, but it’s a STUDENT NEWSPAPER. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. You mean, in California the administration can’t control content in a student newspaper? Why don’t I know this! <ul><li>Your adviser doesn’t know it </li></ul><ul><li>People (you know which people) don’t want you to know it </li></ul><ul><li>You’re responsible for your own lack of knowledge, and you’re ignorant (but not lazy) </li></ul><ul><li>WRITE THIS DOWN! – California Education Code 48907 </li></ul>
  11. 11. No? You live in one of the Frustrated Forty Three? Bummer. <ul><li>LOBBY your state legislatures </li></ul><ul><li>It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission OR (alternative approach) run it past your administrators in advance </li></ul><ul><li>If you need allies, don’t make unnecessary enemies </li></ul><ul><li>Meet your local media! </li></ul><ul><li>Consider other alternative ways to get your story published (Sidwell Friends School and the web) </li></ul>
  12. 12. So, what has to happen to be able to tell in-depth trend stories effectively? <ul><li>Develop ideas </li></ul><ul><li>How? Become c onsumers of the media, especially national magazines and major-metro newspapers. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for national trends you can localize </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm the unique perspective your community has on these issues. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Next, it’s time to start doing some serious PLANNING! <ul><li>This is the crux of the matter – where is this beast headed? </li></ul><ul><li>One enormous story? Or a mainbar with sidebars? </li></ul><ul><li>Some different approaches and techniques vs. the standard news-feature approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Q-and-A </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Italics to set off different elements of the story </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Another big issue when it comes to planning is TIME <ul><li>Planning and preparing an agenda-setting package of in-depth stories is time consuming </li></ul><ul><li>Mini-deadlines work well – not one deadline at the end of the project, but mini-deadlines all along the way </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use mini-deadlines for all the different aspects of the package – writing/reporting, graphics, photography/ photo illustration, page design </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Now you have to develop your sources to help tell the story <ul><li>You need credible, expert sources – administrators, counselors, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>You also need to go OFF CAMPUS – counselors, medical experts, youth culture experts, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>It goes without saying that these sources need to be quoted correctly and in the right context </li></ul><ul><li>The Web can be your friend </li></ul>
  16. 16. Try these Web sources, both to find experts and for background <ul><li>Google.com, bing, etc. is ONLY A STARTING POINT </li></ul><ul><li>CSNE.org (The Journalist’s Toolbox) </li></ul><ul><li>Studentpress.org (NSPA sourcelist) </li></ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns with the Web: Facts can’t be copyrighted, but appropriately source your material, and avoid quoting someone else’s quote (even with credit) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Criticisms of this approach, and how you might respond <ul><li>“ Everyone else has already done these kinds of stories.” Answer: Your stories won’t be redundant if you enliven them with fresh perspectives from fresh sources. </li></ul><ul><li>“ We already did this last (year, semester, issue), so why are we doing it again?” Answer: Because, if you do it right, it’s not the same story. Look for the CONTEMPORARY HOOK that allows you to tell the story from a different perspective than you told it the last time. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Other issues you must consider when telling trend stories <ul><li>It’s really part of the planning process, but photos, illustrations, graphics and other artwork should be a significant part of your play for these stories. </li></ul><ul><li>Fast-fact boxes, lists, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Solid news photos can be hard to get – so what do you do to solve this dilemma? Photo illustrations are your friend </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful to label them as photo illustrations </li></ul><ul><li>Let your PhotoShop wizards and graphic artists help you – they should study the covers of the newsweeklies (Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Some sample photo illustrations we’ve done at The Gazette
  20. 20. More samples
  21. 21. More samples
  22. 22. More samples
  23. 23. More samples
  24. 24. More samples
  25. 25. More samples
  26. 26. More samples
  27. 27. More samples
  28. 28. More samples
  29. 29. More samples
  30. 30. Are there problems with this approach? You bet. <ul><li>Stories fall through (Answer: Be flexible, and have a back-up plan.) </li></ul><ul><li>Writers don’t meet deadlines or aren’t up to the task of doing serious, explanatory journalism. (Answer: Don’t assign these stories to rookies, and make sure your best people have enough time to do it right.) </li></ul><ul><li>Sources don’t cooperate. (Get different sources.) </li></ul>
  31. 31. But can it/does it work? Yes! Is it worth it? Yes! <ul><li>Awards and other pleasant forms of flattery </li></ul><ul><li>Increased readership </li></ul><ul><li>Attention from local media </li></ul><ul><li>Some scrambling from the rats in the hold of the ship (which can be redirected at you in the form of criticism and/or lawsuits) </li></ul><ul><li>And most importantly, credibility and R-E-S-P-E-C-T </li></ul>
  32. 32. Questions? <ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul>
  33. 33. Thanks for Listening! Go out and do good journalism! <ul><li>Karl Grubaugh, </li></ul><ul><li>Gazette adviser </li></ul><ul><li>Granite Bay High School </li></ul><ul><li>1 Grizzly Way </li></ul><ul><li>Granite Bay, CA 95746 </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: kgrubaugh@ rjuhsd.us </li></ul><ul><li>916-786-8676, ext. 5811 </li></ul>

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