Class notes: March 28

TIMELINES (Email me or post if you didn’t already!)

STORY #3 NOTES (you should submit for late grade if you haven’t already)

Always lead with your best info!

Many stories are “moving” stories — they don’t start or end with your coverage — and some of the information you include will necessarily be based on prior research/reports.

But the story shouldn’t just rehash information that’s already available — it should advance the story, move it forward in some way.

***The most effective way to accomplish this is to put your strongest, newest information that’s unique to your reporting at the very top of your story.*** You want to emphasize the information that the reader can find out only from reading your story.


Stick with the facts:

If you’re frequently relying on words like “seemed,” you need to make sure that you are sticking with factual information, not hearsay or false assumptions.

Ex: Oxford’s construction has been on a trend lately where things just can’t seem to get finished on time…


No need to do a windup…just cold open on the quoted material:


When reached for comment Rod Guajardo Associate Director of Strategic Communications for the university said that the statement sent from The Department of Student Housing would remain the university’s statement.

Use only the best parts of a quote: (good photo)

“Getting to not only serve with Denver as a committee member on SAA Pageants, but now as a co-director has been the best experience. Denver brings so much joy and excitement to everyone around him, and I am so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to serve with him. Anytime I am around him, he truly does bring out the best in me. He is so accepting and loving of everyone he meets, and I truly admire that in him. I can truly say my time here at the University of Mississippi would not have been the same without him,” Thomas said.

A story is better than no story…and a bad interview is better than no interview!!!



SHOW don’t TELL — Using words to paint a picture



The following are due before class time on Tuesday

1. Pitch for news feature story #4

(750 words, three sources, two media formats — due April 11)

This should be written on your class blog and you should be prepared to pitch it verbally in class.

Be sure to have a source wish-list filled out as well.

Useful for workshopping strong story ideas, sourcing

2. What Works for next Tuesday, April 2: Read and critique Wright Thompson’s “A Ride Down Paradise Road” 

Extra Credit:  Friday, April 5, at 11AM at the Overby Center, Senior ESPN Writer Wright Thompson will read from his new collection, “The Cost of These Dreams: Sports Stories and Other Serious Business” (Penguin).

The event marks the first in a series curated by Thompson in honor of renowned Mississippi writer and editor Willie Morris.

The reading will be followed by an informal reception – both are free and open to the public. Students are encouraged to attend.




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