Thursday, February 18, 2010

Class Feb. 17

Prepare for writing your Spring Break story by reading Chapter 11 Preparing for the Interview, Page 272.

We won't have a news quiz Monday so you can spend time interviewing students for your Spring Break story, which we will write in class.

But first we'll share information that you researched Wednesday about a variety of background issues ranging from unemployment rates in Central Florida, the economic situtation in the area that could affect students ability to go, how many students take part in Spring Break, top places to go, prices -- are cruiselines and airlines cutting rates.

This story will require a different approach from the straight "give us the facts, maam" leads we have been learning. You will be required to interview 6 students and you can work in teams.

Here are examples from The Elements of News Writing by James W. Kershner of the various approaches you can take.

The quote lead - but only if you have a good, strong quotation, which is not a cliche. "It was a hell of a melee," said Dean of Students John McIntyre. Next graph outlines what he was referring to.

The anecdote lead - begins with a short vignette or story that sheds light on the subject of story. Should only be used when the anecdote is exceptionally telling and it must be accurate. Here is an example for a story about the increase in coyote sightings.

Mary Silva was pushing her 2-year-old daughter, Tiffany in a stroller through the UCF campus Monday. The toddler was practicing new words she had learned. She pointed out "tree" and "truck" and "flower."

Then Tiffany said "dog!"

But the animal she saw was not a dog; it was a coyote.

A rapid increase in sightings of coyotes in the city has wildlife officials, pet owners and parents concerned.

The list lead - this involves starting a story with three examples of people, places or events that demonstrate the thrust of the story.

The descriptive lead - sets the scene or paints a picture of a place or situation.

The question lead - There is one important rule about question leads: They must be followed quickly by the answer. The question should NOT be directed at the reader. .. Have you ever wondered what it would be like...? runs the risk of receiving a negative answer. Don't give the reader the chance to say "No, not me" and then turn the page.

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