Presentation on theme: "Organizing a News Story"— Presentation transcript:
1Organizing a News Story Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass CommunicationArizona State University
2Now what?Great that you can write a summary lead -- a promise of a story.But how do you move from a lead to a story?How do you fulfill that promise?Your story will need structure, some form of organization.
3Story structures Inverted pyramid Hourglass Circle Feature Other approaches are covered in the textbook.
5Inverted pyramid Most Popular News Structure Facts in Descending Order of ImportanceMost Important Material at Story BeginningSucceeding Grafs Explain & Amplify LeadLess Important Material Follows
6Inverted pyramidThe inverted pyramid is popular because it still serves readers well. It tells them quickly what they want to know.It also allows reporters to focus their news judgment, to identify and rank the most important elements of the story.
7Inverted pyramid Summary lead News in descending importance Background facts highQuotes interspersedUse of transitionsNo editorializingEnd when done, often with quote
8Example High school eligibility simplified for evacuees By Jose E. GarciaThe Arizona Republic
9Summary leadThe Arizona Interscholastic Association cleared the way Wednesday for Hurricane Katrina evacuees in the state to play high school sports here.
10Following upThe AIA Executive Board voted unanimously to allow school administrators and students and parents to fill out an eligibility hardship two-page waiver that the AIA drafted for this circumstance. The students will not have to show any identification, such as a birth certificate, to prove eligibility.
11BackgroundThe students were displaced this month when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, forcing mass evacuations from New Orleans and other cities that were devastated in the aftermath.
12News in descending order Chuck Schmidt, an AIA assistant executive director, estimates about 70 evacuees will participate in AIA-sanctioned events, from athletics to band, this school year.Some athletes already are practicing with local teams and may see action as soon as Friday.
13Quotes interspersedTroy Harris, a junior already enrolled at Chandler High, is practicing with the varsity football team and was waiting on the AIA's decision on whether he can play on Friday against Mesa Westwood. The defensive back was rescued from the roof of his parent's suburban New Orleans home after the hurricane."It's not important for me to start or anything," Harris said. "After what I've been through, I can relax and release some of the anger and fear I have inside me. I can just let loose on the football field. It will help take my mind off what's happened. It eases me."
14Use transitionsSome administrators and coaches have expressed a concern that some programs may gain an athletic advantage with evacuees who transfer in.However, Schmidt said the AIA's priority is to get the displaced students to feel somewhat at home on Valley high school sports fields.
15Ending"Our concern is to give these kids an opportunity to participate," Schmidt said.
16Inverted Pyramid Advantages Gives the gist of the story in first few grafs.Delivers the most important news first so that hurried readers quickly get the story gist.Satisfies reader curiosity in a natural way from important to least important facts.Facilitates copydesk headline writing.Makes story cutting from the bottom easier.
23CircleA more feature-friendly approach that brings stories “full circle” by tying the story end to the lead.
24Circle Style Advantages Narrative and descriptive writing can be used.Readers can attach to a key source and feel story is about the source as well as a broader topic.Based on effective storytelling techniques that can keep readers interested to the end.Editors cannot slash the story from the bottom.
25ReferencesItule, B.D., and Anderson, D.A. News Writing and Reporting for Today’s Media. New York: The McGraw-Hill CompaniesHall, J. Beginning Reporting.Garcia, Jose E. “High school eligibility simplified for evacuees.” The Arizona Republic 15 Sept. 2005: C1.
26Features: Writing with a heart There’s an infinite number of feature possibilities.The best way to find them is to look around you --look at the news, talk to people in class, the grocery store, library, lunch room, home, neighborhood, at social events and everywhere you go. Just live!Whatever you find around you is a potential story.
27Types of Features Personality Profiles Human Interest Stories News with more relaxed time deadlinesPersonality ProfilesHuman Interest StoriesTrend StoriesIn-Depth StoriesAnalysis Pieces
28Feature Organization Tips 1) Choose a theme.2) Write a lead that invites us into the story.3) Write clear concise sentences.Provide vital background information.Use a thread.
29More Feature Tips Use transitions. Use dialogue when possible. Use Voice.7) End with a quotation or extended thread.
30Feature Idea Examples Can you localize the ideas below to your campus? Profile people who are making news or offerhuman interest.2) Explain events that are making the news.Analyze school, community, nation or world happening. Consider education,health, accidents, census, law enforcement, data bases.4) Teach your audience how to do something.
31Feature Ideas (cont) Can you localize these ideas to your campus? Suggest better ways to live from complicated world to high school campus.6) Examine trends in society.7) Take people somewhere to see something they haven’t seen before.8) Entertain or humor an audience.