Monday, November 16, 2015

Looking at Our Sample Big Story

Who cares? So what?

Is the story’s point clear?

Are there enough sources? Are they good sources?

Evaluate beginning and conclusion.

Consider Blundell's Big Six Questions

  • History – Those roots in the past. Nothing comes from nothing.
  • Scope – How widespread, intense and various is the development?
  • Reasons – Why is it happening now?
  • Impacts – Who is affected and how?
  • Countermoves – Who is fighting back?
  • Futures – What could happen if the development proceeds unchecked?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Vox on Yale, Halloween and PC

English: The Village People receive their Star...
English: The Village People receive their Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
From this story

Yale University has been plunged into campus-wide debate and protest over issues of racial sensitivity and free speech so tense it's turning into a national news story, and it all began with two emails about Halloween costumes.

Also this from Vox

A group of 32 black football players at the University of Missouri announced on Saturday night that they're going on strike, demanding the resignation of the university's president before they'll play again.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Oklahoma City Bombing: The Jihad That Wasn't

English: Aerial view of Alfred P. Murrah Feder...
English: Aerial view of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building after bombing, 1995 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What people thought without thinking (if you know what I mean).

Seldom have so many been so wrong—so quickly. In the wake of the explosion that destroyed the Murrah Federal Office Building, the media rushed—almost en masse—to the assumption that the bombing was the work of Muslim extremists. “The betting here is on Middle East terrorists,” declared CBS News‘ Jim Stewart just hours after the blast (4/19/95).

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Big Story Materials

Excite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Checklist: Big Story Idea Due 11/15

1: Sum up your idea in no more than 50 words.

2: Identify the source(s) of your story idea.

3. Who has confirmed your conclusion that this is a good idea? Why did they like it? Did they describe any particular difficulties you might face in doing the story?

4. In descending order of importance, who are you going to interview to pursue your idea? Any other sources - books, scholarly articles, news sites, etc. - you think you will need to consult?

5. Are you going to do any “shoe leather” reporting? That is, what places do you think you will need to go to gather information?

6. What are several basic questions you will need to get answers to early on to confirm that your story can be done in the time allotted?

Big Story introductory exercises

Give me a list of things on your beat that


Checklist to Accompany Big Story

Outline including Thesis Statement

Methods Box including:

·      The number of sources interviewed or drawn upon for your story
·      The names of the most important of those sources
·      The location – url; name of book, newspaper or magazine – of any “paper” sources, even if you did not cite those sources in the story
·      Contact information for your three most important sources
·      A breakdown of how you contacted your flesh-and-blood sources – face-to-face, telephone, email, Psychic Friends Network.

Here’s a key element in your methods block. If you did anything in the course of your research – employing an interviewing technique, overcoming an interview blunder, showing unusual persistence, changing your mind about what your story was as the result of good interviewing and/or research – that doesn’t show in the finished story but which suggests what a good job you did, include it.