I Spy with my Little Eye…A Story-Telling Structure!

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I was a bit surprised by these articles.  I guess what I was picturing “on-the-spot” article to be is a bit different than what they are in reality.  I was imagining the article to focus on the event and what happened there.  Neither of these articles do that.  In fact, it is not even really clear what prompted these news writers to report on these places.  I mean, in the first article, the subject is the lay-off of workers from Golden Gate Park and in the second it is the efforts of race car drivers to cut down on pollution.  However, these are much broader topics than just referring to one specific event.  The reporter does not say, “this one time, I went to Golden Gate Park…”  In fact, it’s not even really clear when or where they got their quotes or did their interviews. 

As for the structure of the articles themselves, something very notable to me in both cases was that the article at the end looped full-circle.  The articles basically consist of three parts:

1. They began in a positive way

  • In the first article, a worker is caring for trees in an idyllic setting.
  •  In the second, the racer comes up with a way to pollute less while racing.

2. They move to some sort of challenge of problem

  • In the first article, the monetary problems of keeping the park running threaten the beauty and well-being of the park.
  • In the second, there is the problem that not all racers try to be more environmentally conscious.

3. And finally, they end on a more positive note.

  • In the first article, the laid-off employees have such strong “community values” that they volunteer their time to keep the park going.
  • In the second, there is the hope that other racers will follow Steve Zadig’s environmentally friendly policies. 

This again makes these stories seem like story-telling in a sense.  We have the beginning of the story, where everything is happy.  Then some problem occurs, and finally there is some resolution. 

Return home. 

3 Comments

Wendy Scott said:

I really like the point that you mentioned in your post. The articles to me seemed a bit all over the place. The articles are two different leads, and two diffrent sets of information. Your post really let me think further into the articles and how important they are in aspects of the environment. The love for the race it lik the die of a job. This could be out of the ordinary but your points. Gave me a view that the workers of the recreational parks work so hard to provide programs to save the parks, pollution such as that from car races effect the growth and outcome of Recreational Benefits. Forests and trees provide oxygen so it is important to save them. I agree withstory telling each article had a relationship with an action of events or occurance of outcome that you would tell and talk about. I think the problems are stated and the reolution is evident as well!

Angela Palumbo said:

Greta, you broke it down well just like Jeanine. I like how you two pointed out completely different things. Jeanine wrote about how spot news usually has a big picture and little picture. I did not really notice that these two articles followed this pattern. Maybe spot news will give us the opportunities for creativity that we've been looking for. At least you can make it read like story or novel (that we both covet).

Josie Rush said:

I agree that these type of articles have more of a story-telling vibe. This may feed that hunger for creativity a lot of people have been experiencing. You're also right about the ambiguous starting point. Why exactly were these writers at these locations? That question popped into my mind as I began reading. When we lose that information, I think it sort of brings up the dreaded "why should I care" question sooner than usual. That may be something to watch out for when writing these types of articles. Thanks for breaking down the structure. I'm going to link to this entry in my blog because I think knowing even the basic format for a story can really help a person, not only write them, but read and appreciate them as well. Great job.

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