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News Reporting & Writing Week 2: What is news? Kevin Voigt.

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Presentation on theme: "News Reporting & Writing Week 2: What is news? Kevin Voigt."— Presentation transcript:

1 News Reporting & Writing Week 2: What is news? Kevin Voigt

2 What is it? Is journalism a science, or is journalism an art?

3 Types of reporters Traditional newspaper model General Assignment Beat Specialty Emerging model Super-specialist, blogger, commentator, etc.

4 Is it news? 7 questions Is it new? Recent? Does it affect many people? Does it affect many people in my intended audience? Does it involve well-known people, places or institutions? Does it involve conflict or struggle? Is it unique or rare? Do you think its important?

5 The 5 Ws & 1 H Who What When Where Why How

6 News versus Features News stories (straight news or hard news) Focusing usually on WHAT happened, WHEN and WHO was affected and WHERE WHO can make it more news worthy (public official/celebrity – people you have a reasonable expectation the readers know)

7 Features Feature stories (color stories, soft news- although I dislike both the hard and soft) Best typically bring to surface information the reader didnt know about, or makes the common seem uncommon The best of both types of stories are new to the reader, hence news Contrary to expectations – counterintuitive

8 Hard news v. Features Although most new non-fiction writers prefer to write feature stories, actually these are the most difficult to do well Skills of newsgathering for hard news stories of fast breaking events (fires, accidents, natural disasters) help you to write feature stories. Why? Eye for details Accuracy – double-checking facts Anticipating the questions readers will want answered in the story, and answering them

9 Therefore a key skill to becoming a good journalist is…

10 EMPATHY Understanding your sources Understanding your readers This understanding, however, brings conflict – empathizing with your sources versus empathizing with your readers In the final analysis, great writing ALWAYS empathizes with readers

11 News story structure 1-2-3-4 1. The lead. What is the most important news? How can you write it in the clearest way and make it interesting too? 2. Elaborate on the lead. Two, three, four or five paragraphs that explain, support and amplify lead. 3. Key background and context of event, if needed; information that helps readers understand more about the news they are reading. 4. More elaboration of the news, in descending order of importance.

12 Ledes: Hard Vs. Soft Hard news lede Gives readers the basic facts of what happened and where it happened Entices readers to keep reading to find out thehow and the why Soft news lede Gives readers a small, intriguing taste of the story

13 Elements of a hard lede What happened or what was said When the event occurred Where the event occurred Who (or what) was the source

14 Formula for a hard lede Subject Verb Object Example: I love you. Not: You are the person that I love.

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