News Writing (EL 227)


2 Sep 2005

Workshop: Peer Profile

Time permitting, you'll get time to start on Exercise 2: Peer Profile. Feel free to get inspiration from page 23 of The Reporter's Notebook, but please DO NOT plan to throw all the answers to these questions, one after another, into your story. Your interview subject might give completely boring and unremarkable answers to these questions. I'm asking for a minimum of three sources. (Ask your partner whom you should contact.) Look for a "news angle" and stick to it. How could you make your subject's experiences relevant to a wider potential audience?

Update: If you've got a good sense of humor, check out the personality profiles in The Onion (a "fake news" comedy publication).

Note that, while all these articles would qualify as personality profiles, they aren't random collections of details about where the person grew up or what they want to do with their lives. They tell a coherent, clearly focused (but satrical and exaggerated) story. Note the the subject is typically depicted as doing something -- and often, the action helps tell the story even more powerfuly than the spoken words.

But remember -- these profiles are spoofs, and they all take a negative slant in order to poke fun at parts of society. I'm not asking you to mock your peer -- just hoping that the humor in these fictional articles will amuse you while you examine the form of a profile article.

Area Man Well-Versed In First Thirds Of Great Literature

Graphic Artist Carefully Assigns Ethnicities To Anthropomorphic Recyclables

Soup-Kitchen Volunteers Hate College-Application-Padding Brat

High-School Science Teacher Takes Fun And Excitement Out Of Science

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