Jour – Story

Please see attached 

 

This week you will complete a crime news story and sidebar enhanced for an online audience as your Story 2 assignment. Your news story will be based on the police report attached

Some tips for success:

  • Story – has three parts: 1) a 250-word news story based on a police report or police story scenario assigned by your instructor; 2) a 150-word sidebarfor which you must do your own newsgathering; and 3) Web enhancements (links to relevant Web resources). n.b. You must use the police report provided in this Try It. Do not try to complete this exercise using a story you have selected from the news. 

  • Use the Checklist for News Story Exercises to help you perfect your story. Submit the completed worksheet with your assignment.

  • Your main story should be about 250 words.

  • Your sidebar should be about 150 words. It is worth 25% of this project’s grade.

  • The leads for each story should contain no more than 20 words and a single sentence. Write it in the active voice. Include the most important detail of the story.

  • Answer these questions in the lead: What happened today? Who-did-what-when?

  • Use The Inverted PyramidThe Central Point and The Body of a News Story lectures to help you write the story in inverted pyramid style. Start with the most important detail. Each paragraph should include the story’s next-most important detail. The last paragraph should be unimportant. 

  • Use the Transitions lecture to help you ensure every paragraph has something to do with the ones before and after it. Ask yourself: What does this sentence have to do with the one before it? If you can’t pinpoint the relationship, you’ve got your paragraphs in the wrong order. Use the News Article Paragraph Organizer to help you figure out an appropriate flow for your story.

  • If you use a quotation, make sure it is a direct quote. You may not put quotation marks around anything that you cannot attribute to an individual. If the scenario does not have quotation marks around a sentence, do not add them. It is inaccurate (and a serious journalistic offense) to enclose paraphrased material in quotation marks. Be sure to follow the rules for punctuating quotations outlined in the Newsgathering and Interviewing lecture.

  • You can learn about sidebars and how to enhance your stories with hyperlinks from the Packaging Online News lecture and the Step-by-Step: How to Write a Sidebar handout.

  • Do not offer any opinions or draw any conclusions. Do not wrap up the story in the last paragraph. Avoid adjectives; most are value-laden and may even be considered libelous. Use the Libel and Ethics lecture as a guide.

  • Delete any unnecessary words. Your goal: economy of language. Write short, simple words, short paragraphs, short sentences. (But try not to make your writing choppy.) Use the Concise Writing lecture to help you.

  • Look up all style points in the Course AP Stylebook lecture.

  • Check spelling and grammar.  A typo costs you as much as a misspelled word.

  • Make sure your facts are absolutely accurate. Do not add or assume anything that’s not there in black and white.

  • Spell names correctly. For this exercise, the names in the police report are spelled correctly. You’ll lose a full letter grade for a misspelled name.

  • Write literally. Avoid misplaced modifiers.

  • Please do not submit a draft until you have studied and learned the rules for writing in inverted pyramid style.

 

News Story Rubric

Trait/Score

Acceptable/Poor (C/D) 

Competent (B)

Exemplary (A)

Lead

Leads may not be focused, clear, concise; may exceed 20 words or one sentence; may not emphasize most appropriate angle or is label lead. News angle is in/appropriate. May/may not address news value(s) appropriately [Proximity, Impact, Prominence, Conflict, Consequence, Timeliness, Singularity]. May violate more than two major summary news lead rules (time element, name, voice, fact, tense, fragment, bias, angle).

Leads are focused, clear, concise, no more than 20 words, no more than one sentence. News angle is appropriate. Addresses news value(s) appropriately [Proximity, Impact, Prominence, Conflict, Consequence, Timeliness, Singularity].No more than two major summary news lead rules are violated (time element, name, tense, voice, fact, fragment, bias, angle).

Leads are focused, clear, concise, no more than 20 words, no more than one sentence. News angle is appropriate. Addresses news value(s) appropriately [Proximity, Impact, Prominence, Conflict, Consequence, Timeliness, Singularity].No major summary news lead rules are violated (time element, name, tense, voice, fact, bias, fragment, angle).

General level of writing

Stories attempt inverted pyramid. Stories are readable and generally flows well; transitions between sources and ideas are evident; few grammatical errors

Stories employ inverted pyramid. Writing is fluent; transitions are effective; details and quotes enhance stories; journalistic conventions are evident; no grammatical errors

Stories employ inverted pyramid effectively. Stories are engaging, easy to read, detailed, and interesting; quotes and background are woven into narrative; strong sense of journalistic style; no grammatical errors

Journalistic rules

May contain major violations of AP or journalistic style rules, i.e. passive voice, libel, bias; may contain some lesser AP style infractions.

No libel, bias, or major violations of journalistic rules or of AP style; may contain some lesser AP style infractions.

No libel, bias, or major violations of journalistic rules or of AP style.

Number and quality of sources

May/may not contain minimum number of required quoted sources; sources or quotes may/may not add value to content. May not contain secondary sources of information.

Meets the minimum required number of quoted sources; sources are diverse in background, i.e. include at least one official and two audience members who spoke at the meeting; secondary sources are used to provide specific, relevant additional supporting information

Meets or exceeds the required number of quoted sources; sources are diverse in background and add significant value to content, i.e. include one or more experts on story’s topic; secondary sources provide rich, relevant additional supporting information

Use and quality of quotes

Quotes may/may not be relevant, diverse, or appear often

Quotes are relevant and interesting; they add flavor to the story; the quotes tell much of the story in a natural voice

Quotes weave the narrative together; they are interesting, relevant, and important; every quote flows naturally in the story

Accuracy of Information

-5 points for each factual error.

-5 points for each factual error.

No factual errors.

Depth of information

All of the important questions may/may not be answered clearly. Package does not contain sidebar, or sidebar may not add value to package.

All of the important questions are answered clearly. News sidebar adds sense of timeliness and information richness to package.

The reader is left with no unanswered questions; the story goes beyond what the reader should expect in terms of information and background; the story is instructive in its depth. News sidebar adds sense of timeliness and depth to package.

Packaging

May/may not demonstrate evidence of organizational scheme or pattern; ideas may/may not be presented logically organized/layered/enhanced; news sidebar may/may not fulfill minimum requirements specified; package may/may not be enhanced for online presentation.

Evidence of an organizational scheme or pattern; nut graf is apparent; ideas are organized/layered/enhanced; news sidebar fulfills minimum requirements satisfactorily; package is enhanced with at least 2 urls for online audience; may/may not contain other multimedia enhancements.

All ideas flow together seamlessly from lead; nut graf is apparent; ideas are organized/layered/enhanced; news sidebar fulfills/exceeds minimum requirements specified; online enhancements meet/exceed minimum 5 urls, suggesting strong sense that author has anticipated the reader’s needs.

Grade of “F”: A project that is plagiarized, breaks multiples major rules and/or commits multiple journalistic “sins.”

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