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01 finding stories


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01 finding stories

  1. 1. Finding Stories & Angles Lizabeth A. Walsh, MJE
  2. 2. Stories are everywhereBe interested to create an interesting story. If you act like you care about people, you will have opportunities to care about them. If you care about them, you will want to tell their stories. Whole school surveys Assigned beats Focus groups Randomly selected students Specifically selected students Teacher recommendations Open your eyes and ears Ask people about themselves
  3. 3. Video 1
  4. 4. Whole school surveys Obtain administrative approval Get teacher buy-in (bribes can work) Have teachers support your goal Do it on one day, collect it that day Sort& read all the surveys as a sponge activity or “bonus time” activity (this can be extra credit, an assigned grade, or a “work night” activity)
  5. 5. Assigned beats Journalistic approach to coverage Setup a system for getting and reporting information Have share time so staffers are made aware of interesting events (overlap coverage)A regular beat report IS a grade and has academic merit
  6. 6. Video 2 id=618642n
  7. 7. Focus Groups Invitations- specific vs. general topics Scheduled events- organized & prepared On-the-spot- stop in to a meeting Surveys- tailor questions to each group Infiltrate the group- have staffers join
  8. 8. Randomly selected students  Throw a dart  Every Nth person  Color of the day  Musical pointing
  9. 9. Video 3 id=618642n
  10. 10. Specifically selected students  Everyone who had only 1 entry last year  Students who are in a given group or demographic designation  Students our staffers know (1 degree)  Students staffers’ friends know (2 degrees)  Students the friends know (3 degrees)
  11. 11. Teacher recommendations  Emails to teachers  Don’t just ask for “kids who are different”  Counselors also have access to students  Can be standouts or just interesting
  12. 12. Video 4 id=618642n
  13. 13. Open your eyes & ears Hallway observations are valuable Stay IN at lunch Go OUT at lunch Come to school extra early Stay extra late Make it a contest to find the best story
  14. 14. Ask people about themselves  Insteadof staying in your comfort zone, begin conversations with others  Comment on a piece of clothing, an accessory, a homework assignment, a situation, the weather- whatever  Learn to ask questions and listen more than you talk- the one who leaves with the most information wins, and you want to win.
  15. 15. Angles & ApproachesNEWS VALUESProximityCurrency / TimelinessImpactProminenceConflictEntertainment
  16. 16. Video 5
  17. 17. Proximity How close is the event to your school? Isthe event in your town or surrounding area? (city, county, region, state, country, etc.) How much is it reported in local news? Ifit’s not close, it doesn’t have proximity, but that doesn’t remove it from the list, it just doesn’t get full points for MOST IMPORTANT
  18. 18. Currency / Timeliness Since the book comes out in May (or August), it needs to be a story that still matters. Historical content matters. Evergreen material matters.
  19. 19. Impact How many people were affected? In what way were they affected? How significant were the effects? How many people could relate to this?
  20. 20. Prominence Important people matter to others. Famous people anchor the year in their timeliness or popularity Student Body Officers, Elected Queens & Kings, Teachers & Administrators, etc. Politicians, School Board members, Superintendent, etc.
  21. 21. Conflict If it bleeds, it leads (gross!) Teenagers can relate to drama We like to hear about a problem- we get emotionally involved People who overcome tragedy are inspiring
  22. 22. Entertainment Funny isn’t universal, but it’s close Bizarre traits or events catch our attention Thisis pretty much the excuse for telling a story when it doesn’t have any other news value at all
  23. 23. All materials presented… Remain the property and copyright of the various owners of the original works. These yearbook samples were presented at BALFOUR workshops for the benefit of their clients and customers. Please do not alter these presentations. Use of these shows is intended only for individual adviser-to-staff classroom teaching, not for publication or reproduction in any form for any type of presentation at a conference, camp, convention, or gathering of multiple schools’ staffs.