Chapter 8

21 Feb

In Chapter 8 of The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachel Kanigel the main focus of the chapter is for young journalists to inform their student readers of what is going on in “Arts and Entertainment” without mimicing other weekly newspapers out there. The chapter specifically suggests to make the arts section “evocotive and distinctive,” while the entertainment section should be diverse. For example since I am a country music fan and I were doing a piece in the music section of the entertainment section then I would want to include other genres of music. The A&E pages of the paper should include music, dance, theater, also visual arts.

There are five sections that usually run in the A&E section of the paper, including previews, reviews, feature stories, columns, and news stories. Previews simply tell readers about upcoming performances They are useful because they help readers plan what they are going to see. For example you may want to give an artists background before their next show so people know more about them before going to see the show. The date time and place, should be included along with other crucial information.

Reviewing isn’t just about your opinions on a film, show, or art piece. Its about being able to write well, report, and being able to think. A review is really just a critical analysis. There are five basic elements to a review, a catchy intoduction, identifying information, like names of artists and where it can be seen. Next is a critical assessment of the work, followed by whether the audience would appreciate it or not. Background history should also be included.

The chapter also reccomends skipping the whole debate over whether or not to write in first person or not. The author says to write in a way that comes naturally to you when it comes to writing the A&E section.

Chapter 7

14 Feb

In chapter 7 of  The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachel Kanigel entitled Sportswriting the main idea is to entertain your readers by letting them feel as though they are in the uniform playing the game since it is one of the most read sections of the paper. It isn’t all about fun, there can be opportunities for more serious stories such as why the school is cutting classes, but is spending close to millions on a new stadium.

There are six categories that sports writers fall into, which include, advances, game stories, profiles, trend stories, sports news stories, and sports news columns. Advance stories just talk about upcoming games, and tell readers things they might want to know in order to be prepared. Its important to find a new fresh angle in order to keep readers coming back. Game stories are descriptions of a game or series of games. It is important to not incorporate too many details if they aren’t exciting or important. A few things to ask yourself while writing a game story, what made the team win, how did the star athletes perform, how did individual athletes effect the teams outcome. were any of the olayers injured and if so how did it effect the game, did the weather effect the outcome of the game, how did the game effect the teams standing or ranking, and finally how did the fans respond. A game story should also include a game summary, key statistics, and quotes from players and coaches that all offer analysis on the game and what happened.

Sports reporters must also come up with an efficient way of note taking and scorekeeping. Some reporters find it useful to keep a running tab as the game goes on. Keeping immaculate notes on the game helps many reporters keep a closer watch and pay more attention to the game. A lot of them take too many notes, but the never know which play will be significant enough to write about.

A profile is simply just a portrait of a player or coach. The book suggests that alumni are also a good idea to interview as well.It is also important to interview the coach or play off the court or field because you could gain more insights of their personalities, insights and goals. Find out when they started to play that particular sport.Sources will also help gain insight so make sure to interview their family, or friends.

When doing a sports feature it is important to look for themes such as if a team is on a winning or losing streak. A sports news story is simply when a coach is fired or hired, or when a player leaves or joins a team. Sports column writing has three important qualities, including that they must have an inspired understanding of a sport, an engaging writing style, and creativity to come up with a new angle each column.

Since sports writers are usually sports fans it is important to not show bias. Ways to do this include not wearing your favorite teams jersey or shirt, or cheering for the team you want to win.

Chapter 6

7 Feb

In chapter six of The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachel Kanigel it talked mainly about the lifestyle pages of a college newspaper. These pages should capture what students are talking about, whether it be them complaining about a raise in tuition or the lack of food choices in the Student Union, to what new fad or style is popular this month. Look and listen to what is going on around you, or even look at magazines for ideas.

Lifestyle stories may vary from light fun pieces such as personal interviews, to more serious issues, like date rape. Different types of lifestyle stories are profiles, a story about a specific person like the president of Kappa Delta Sorority. Trend Stories capture trends, like an increase in foreign students, or what theme parties are cool now, or even what the most popular shoes students wear on campus. Service features are about where to go, what to do, or how to do something this could feature events on or off campus. Finally there are first person accounts, in which the writer or editor shares something that they have experienced such as someone who has suffered an eating disorder or depression, or something more light-hearted like overcoming a fear you have.

It is important to find an angle on serious issues like abortion, drug addiction, credit card debt. Its common when a writer does a piece on an issue like one of these it comes out more as a research paper about the wrongs of society. You must find an angle and a good way to do this is, relate it to news developments. For example last summer/spring  the Xavier Highschool Student from Cincinnati, Ohio who fell off the balcony because he was underage drinking, could have been linked to a story on binge drinking or even problems on campus with underage drinking.

Another popular lifestyle section that many college and popular newspapers have recently incorporated are sex and relationship columns. Although on many campuses across the country these types of columns have cause controversy and raised eyebrows. Columns like this can be defended with the fact that they can be made educational for students, like doing research, reading books on the matter, and even talking to the health center on campus for any help with research, or the sexuality research center as it is known on many campuses.

This chapter helped me to realize that stories aren’t always hard to come by, and that sometimes the best stories are the easiest to comeby. Not only can everyone one campus relate to them, but they will actually want to read them because they are actually interesting to read.

Chapter 4/5

26 Jan

Chapter 4/5

I learned as I read these two chapters that a reporter must have good judgement. Good news judgement = good reporting. What this means is that a  college reporter needs to find stories that are important and mean something and have an impact on students and faculty, even alumni and the community surrounding the campus.Elements for identifying a good story may include: timeliness, proximity, novelty,impact,drama,prominence, conflict, human interest and usefulness. Simple questions to ask yourself would be “What is the story?”, “What makes the story news?”, “What do I need to know?”, and also, “Where can I find information?”  Resources are another important part of the chapter, because you need them in order to know more about what you are reporting on and how to gather this information in a quick and efficient way, go through documents, websites and newspaper archives. A valuble way to find sources at NKU would be to use the “find it” tool on the NKU website to find contacts to interview and use as resources. Your own observations are another important tool for reporting. If I were to do a human interest piece, like a profile on President Vortuba, I might observe where we were meeting, what he was wearing, his body language, in order to make the reader get a better grasp of how the interview went and learn more about him.

Interviewing can be tricky as well. Its good to get facts, opinions and reactions, statistics, and anecdotes. To make this easier, the book suggest using an audio recorder, because you will then be able to get verbatim quotes, pick up tones and accents, collecting sound and voice recordings for audio reports, and also interviewing fast talkers.  Note taking can also be tricky, so the book says to develop your own system of shorthand. I know that this is very tricky for me because I like to be thorough and get down all information that the person I’m interviewing is saying, so I need to work on my shorthand and note taking skills. The chapter also mentions that email interviews could be efficient and potentially dangerous because you never know who is answering, and its not a real life conversation, so you cannot tell tones, or if someone is responding in a funny way. Percentages are a good way to state facts, but it is important to learn how to calculate them and get them correct.

A reporter should be able to answer the questions that go through a readers mind when the read a headline clearly and quickly. The most important facts in a story are the five W’s and H, and all addressed in the lede. The most important fact are presented here, and less crucial details in each succeeding  paragraph. The second paragraph should back up the lede, then a quote that supports the lead, and finally a nutgraph that supports the story and tells readers why they should care. Hard news ledes state the news directly while feature news ledes delay it and take a more storylike approach. Attribution is very important and can be done through factual attribution, direct quote, or indirect quote. Quotes are also important because they add a human voice to the story, and can really enhance it. For example if I wanted to show how down to earth President Vortuba is, then I would include a quote where he is joking around, or being funny. Including history and backround, financial figures and reactions in a news story are crucial because the are what the reader wants to know and why they are reading the story in the first place.