Daily Archives: Wed 30 Oct 2013
First, pitch a proposal after you have already identified sources who are willing to be interviewed. (Don’t propose interviewing a guest speaker who’s coming to SHU from out of town, unless you have first contacted the speaker and found if it he or she is, in fact, willing to meet with you.)
About the Ex 5 Proposal:
The assignment due today is a proposal. A few sentences, with a bulleted list of supporting details, should be enough. (Who has already agreed to be a source and/or cooperate? Have you checked whether the meeting you want to attend is open the public, or whether the people involved will meet with you for an interview? What problems do you foresee arising, and what steps can you take now to avoid or reduce the impact of those problems?)
Overview: About the Ex 5 Assignment:
Submit: In the “Ex 5 Pitch” slot in Canvas, before class Wed Oct 30.
Overview: This assignment happens in several parts. The deadlines are keyed to the date you want to cover, though it all has to be finished by Nov 20.
- 5a: A 400-word advance story (published to Turnitin.com, 24 hours before an event you plan to livetweet)
- 5b: At least 10 newsworthy tweets across 2-3 hours (including before, during, and after the event… note that a one-hour club meeting will probably not be worth 3 hours of tweeting). (Details about the content of the tweets follow.) Take screenshots and submit along with…
- 5c: 600 word second-day follow-up, with additional original reporting (beyond what you tweeted), published within 36 hours of your event, emphasizing new developments. (You might want to line up interviews in advance.)
- How newsworthy is your idea?
- Will it be of interest mainly to people who are in a particular club, who are in a particular major, or who are family and friends of those involved?
- Can you localize a national story, or regionalize a local story (remember this article, which covered bookstores at several area colleges)?
More Details about Ex 5
1) 5a: Advance Story: (15 pts) 400-word preview (posted and publicized at least 24 hours in advance, in a location and format agreed upon by your instructor and the Setonian editor) of an event you have been assigned to cover; the advance story should be written for online readers, with informative links and embedded media as appropriate, and with at least 3 credible sources… 1 direct quote from your own original newsgathering, and 2 more properly-cited quotes from online sources would be acceptable — but 3 original quotes would be better).
2) 5b: Live Coverage: (15 pts) Over the course of 2-3 hours, a timely stream of at least 10 newsworthy social media updates while an event is happening (including a mixture of your own direct observations; photos you take during the event; direct quotes from the organizers/speakers/leaders; direct quotes from members of the audience/observers/experts; responses to other people’s real-time social media posts about the same event.) (Please use hashtag #el227, as well as a hashtag appropriate to your event.)
3) 5c: Second-Day Story: (20pts) A separate follow-up article (not an update or revision), 600 words; that keeps the topic fresh by emphasizing new developments in the story. In the real world, such a story would be posted the morning after the event, but I’ll give you 36 hours, which will give you extra time to find a follow-up story if one isn’t obvious.
- For example, if you live-blogged the opening of a fund-raiser, your follow-up would naturally involve interviewing the organizers and asking how much money was raised; if you live-blogged a speech by an environmental activist who speaks of the danger of pesticides in foods, there might not be any immediate event that you could say was the result of the speech; however, you might interview SHU’s food services manager and a dietetics professor — neither of whom was at the event that you covered, but who kindly responded to your polite overnight inquiries when they checked their emails the following morning.
- About approaching sources:
- There’s no guarantee that someone you contact will, in fact, respond in time for you to meet your deadline. Everyone is just as busy as you are, and very few people will drop everything to help a complete stranger meet a last-minute deadline.
- You might need to reach out to six people, in the hopes that three will respond in time for you to meet your deadline.
- The more personalized, professional, and respectful your request, the more likely you are to get a positive response. (Read these email tips.)
- Your initial message should state your deadline, so that someone who’s been out of town doesn’t put time into submitting answers that won’t do you any good because your deadline has already passed.
- Not all campus events are newsworthy.
- Not all newsworthy events are worthy of live coverage.
- Not all events worthy of live coverage will come with a ready-made followup stories that you can publish within the time-frame of this assignment (the nationally-known entertainer who performance you cover may not grant you a personal interview after the show; someone arrested and booked into jail Friday may have to sit there until a judge is available maybe the person arrested on Friday night will have to sit in jail until Monday, so there will be no official announcements over the weekend).
- I am willing to be flexible, but your story pitch (the proposal) should explore alternatives and options, so that you will be able to meet the requirements of the assignment even if things don’t unfold according to your first plan.)