3 Part Journalism Assigment

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You need to answer the following 3 Part assignment
clear, well developed, NO PLAGARISM at all, OWN
STORY
PART 1
Story Proposal
You will produce a story proposal. Follow these steps to fill in the various parts of your
story proposal graded assignment:
1. Choose an organization or individual who has recently made news in your local
community.
2. Provide an overview of your idea—include a brief description of the story idea
and why it’s a compelling
subject for readers. Include whom you think would be interested in reading this
story:
3. Identify potential sources—both human and nonhuman: The work you have done
in the two Reporter’s Reflections will provide the information you need for this
portion of the assignment.
See the File Graded Assignment Story Proposal and complete it correctly
considering a story proposal. Think you are able to complete the full
assignment after this preliminar part
PART 2
Reporter’s Reflection 1
Time to Scavenge!
Where do reporters find people who have the information they need? In this
lesson you will do independent research to learn how to identify and locate
your own human sources.
In this activity, you will get some practice identifying and locating human
sources for your story proposal. Be sure to:
•
•
•
Review the Assignment Overview: Interviewing and Research Skills (PDF).
Find and read news stories as directed in this lesson’s assignment.
Record your findings in the online journal as instructed.
•
Review the Journalism: Reporter’s Reflection Journal Rubric (PDF) so that you
understand how your work will be graded.
Consider the Source
Where do journalists go to find people who have the information they need to
report their stories?
Think about your story idea:
•
•
•
•
•
•
What sort of people does it involve? Contact the people or organization
that you plan to write about. You most likely can find them online. But
who else will you interview who knows about the topic of your story?
Where do they spend their time, either in real life or online?
What professional organizations might they belong to?
Are there any religious organizations or charities that have people who
have relevant information or expertise?
Are there government agencies that have staffers who have
information?
Can you ask your friends and relatives if they know anyone who has any
information or connections related to your topic?
By asking people you know and looking at organizations, agencies and other
venues in the community, you should be able to establish avenues to
investigate to find the right sort of people for your reporting.
Record Your Findings
Once you have identified the names, positions and contact information of
your potential sources that you will be recording in your journal, you are
ready to write down your observations in your journal.
Journal entries should include the following:
•
•
A one-sentence description of your story idea and a short paragraph
describing the sorts of places you looked for appropriate sources
A list of four possible human sources
•
Links to where you found the possible human sources or a
description of where you found them offline
Label your journal entry 3.1 Human Sources.
PART 3
Reporter’s Reflection 3
Where do journalists go to find the nonhuman sources they need to report
their stories? Quoting people is the lifeblood of a journalist’s trade. But
sometimes, documented facts and figures add credibility and clarity to a story.
In this activity, you will get some practice identifying and locating nonhuman
sources for your story proposal. Be sure to:
•
•
•
•
Review the Assignment Overview: Interviewing and Research Skills (PDF).
Find and read news stories as directed in this lesson’s assignment.
Record your findings in the online journal as instructed.
Review the Journalism: Reporter’s Reflection Journal Rubric (PDF) so that you
understand how your work will be graded.
Reminder: Your story proposal is due at the end of today.
Reading Between the Lines
When considering a story idea, ask yourself what sort of documents might
exist, and where would you most likely find them?
•
•
Your first source should be the person or organization that you plan to
write about. You most likely can find them online. What sort of
documents and information is provided on the website? Are there
annual reports, news releases, studies and statistics?
Are there professional watchdog groups or government agencies that
might compile the sort of information that you need?
•
•
•
Are there any religious organizations or charities that keep records that
might lend some insight into your topic?
Have other media done stories that might help you with your own
research?
Do local public libraries or academic libraries have special collections or
databases that you can access?
By investigating organizations, agencies and other venues in the community,
you should be able to establish what entities create, collect or compile the sort
of information you need for your reporting.
Record Your Findings
Once you have identified the names, positions and contact information of your
potential sources that you will be recording in your journal, you are ready to
write down your observations in your journal.
Journal entries should include the following:
•
•
•
A one-sentence description of your story idea and a short paragraph
describing the sorts of places you looked for appropriate nonhuman
sources
A list of four possible nonhuman sources
Links to where you found the possible nonhuman sources or a
description of where you found them offline
Label your journal entry 3.2 Nonhuman Sources.
FURTHER INFORMATION
What Makes a Good Question?
The Art of Asking
Asking a good question is not as easy as it sounds. Some people are famous
for their ability to ask just the right question at just the right moment. Diane
Sawyer, Katie Couric and Brian Williams are some of the best in the business.
In this lesson, you will learn how the pros do it—what it takes to elicit from
human sources the information that you need to tell the story.
In this activity, you will learn how journalists formulate questions to compel insightful
answers. This activity will also reinforce the importance of using information and
quotes responsibly, and adhering to ground rules you and your source have agreed
upon.
How do you ask a good question?
Asking good questions is harder than it sounds. The right question could convince a source
to open up. The wrong question could shut him down.
An interview may feel like a regular conversation but for it to be productive, the
interviewer needs to be prepared and flexible.
Explore the techniques that professional journalists employ
to ask successful interview questions.
•
•
•
•
•
Show you are interested.
Do your homework.
Ask open-ended questions.
Ask neutral questions.
Anticipate follow-up
questions.
What makes a bad question?
Asking a bad question can have painful results. Your questions need to be
simply and neutrally stated, and strategically timed. If you ask a question that
is ill-timed, you might cause your source to clam up instead of open up.
What makes a bad question?
Asking a bad question can have painful results. Your questions need to be
simply and neutrally stated, and strategically timed. If you ask a question that
is ill-timed, you might cause your source to clam up instead of open up.
Explore some things to avoid when asking interview
questions.
•
•
•
•
Don’t ask more than one question at a time.
Don’t ask biased questions.
Don’t ask questions that make an assumption.
Don’t ask leading questions.
Ground Rules for Attribution
Journalists must be transparent with their sources about how—or
even whether—they will use the information provided during an interview. This
is called attribution .
Explore the four ways journalists attribute information to sources.
Off-the-Record expanded
On-the-Record
You may use quotes and information attributable to the source by name.
Not for Attribution, On Background
You may use the information, but you protect the identity of the speaker, referring
to him by a description mutually agreed upon such as “said a former FBI
employee” or “said a person close to the investigation.”
Deep Background
You may use the information but give no description of where the information came
from.
Off-the-Record
You may not use the information in any way. You may not cite where the
information came from or even attribute it to an anonymous source. And you may
not even use the information to provide new leads to follow. Sources sometimes
talk under these conditions because they want to influence coverage. Journalists
should avoid agreeing to this ground rule because it can complicate how to pursue
further reporting.
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Once the ground rules are set and you have permission to use the information, you
need to attribute, or give credit to, your sources
Explore the methods of attribution.
Give credit to your source:
•
•
•
By name
By description
Anonymously
Notes on Quotes
No matter which ground rule you and your source agree upon, be sure that
you accurately record quotes.
Take good notes and try to use an electronic device such as a digital recorder
to record the interview.
You don’t want to be accused of misquoting someone; your best defense
against this charge is to:
•
•
Try your best to get the quote right.
Collect and preserve documentation to verify your work.
Paraphrased Material
Be careful not to alter the context in which you present paraphrased material.
Honor the spirit and meaning of the information your sources provide.
Your sources, your audience and your own reputation are all counting on you to be
accurate and responsible when gathering and disseminating information.
In this activity, you will study a model news story and model interview
transcript. You will identify key elements of a successful interview by
investigating how the writer organized her questions. You will also consider
how the reporter strategized as she decided on the kinds of questions to ask
and the order for those questions.
Print the Model News Story: Interviewing and Research Skills (PDF), and
the Model Interview Transcript: Interviewing and Research Skills (PDF). You will
reference both of these documents in this activity.
A Beacon of Hope
Read the Model News Story (PDF).
What do you think the writer asked the subject of the article?
In your Student Guide, write down at least three questions you think the writer
posed to her subject during the interview.
Now listen to the audio clip of the interview and see if your three questions
were asked.
Your news stories depend on good, solid interviews. If you ask the right
questions, your interview transcripts can be a goldmine of information, quotes
and color that will provide you with everything you need to produce a terrific
story.
Study the Model Interview Transcript (PDF) to see what you are striving for with
your own interviews.
The Last Word
At the end of an interview you should always ask three things:
1. Is there anything I should have asked you that I didn’t?
2. If I have follow-up questions, may I contact you, and if so, is phone or email preferable?
3. Is there anyone else that I should contact for an intervie
ENG010: Journalism | Unit 3 | Journalism Resource: Model Story Proposal
Journalism Resource
Model Story Proposal
Choose an organization or individual who has recently made news in your local community. (This is the first step in
producing your own news story in the next unit.) Fill in the prompts below and then submit to your teacher for approval.
1. Provide an overview of your idea that includes a brief description of the story idea and why it’s a compelling
subject for readers. Include whom you think would be interested in reading this story.
Model Answer
I would like to write a story about Mariah Mendelson Jones, the director of an organization called Back On Our Feet.
In this story, I would like to explore both her personal triumph over homelessness as well as her professional
accomplishments with Back On Our Feet, showing how the organization has thrived under her leadership; I think
both threads of this story are obtainable. Her story is compelling because not only does she help homeless women,
but also she was homeless herself two decades ago. She went from being saved by this organization to now being
its director. I would like to find out how many people the organization serves annually and what its budget is.
I think anyone who lives in the Washington, D.C., area or anyone who cares about the issue of homelessness or
about women’s issues would be interested in this story. Ms. Jones is receiving an award from the mayor later this
week for her accomplishments so it is a good time to write about her. Also, while other reporters have written
about the organization, no one has written a story focusing on her.
2. Identify human sources by name, position at the organization or relationship to the organization or overall
story. State what sort of information you hope each source (at least two, preferably three) will provide.
Model Answer
•
Mariah Mendelson Jones, director of Back On Our Feet
I hope Ms. Jones will tell me about her personal experience with homelessness and also about her work
with Back On Our Feet and what sort of services the organization provides.
•
Atticus Martin, volunteer and Back On Our Feet Board member
Mr. Martin is the person who helped Ms. Jones become involved with the organization when he found her
sleeping on a park bench. I read a story from several years ago that mentioned this.
•
I would like to interview one of the women being helped by the organization or one of the women who has
recently gotten “back on her feet” so that I can get that perspective about the organization. I don’t have
any names yet because I think the best way to do this is to meet Ms. Jones first and ask her if she could
suggest one of the women and even make the introduction, given the sensitivity of the topic.
3. Identify nonhuman sources by title, citing location and any other identifying information and what sort of
information you hope each source (at least one, preferably two) will provide.
Model Answer
•
I have identified the organization’s website, www.backonourfeet.org, and it has information that will be
useful for my research such as PDFs of annual reports and information about what services they provide,
names of members of their board of directors, and contact info for various staff members.
•
I have found the organization’s tax records, which are public information because it’s a nonprofit
organization. I found these documents on a site called www.guidestar.org. I want to see how much
money the organization spends and how much money it receives through fundraising.
© 2010 K12 Inc. All rights reserved.
Copying or distributing without K12’s written consent is prohibited.
Page 1 of 1
ENG010: Journalism | Unit 3 | Lesson 5: What Makes a Good Question?
Journalism Resource
Model Interview Transcript: “A Beacon of Hope”
MN: Could you tell me a bit about Back On Our Feet’s beginnings? I’ve read the website but maybe there’s more…
MMJ: Well, unfortunately the founder of the organization passed last year. She was very sick for a long time.
Emma Vanway. She started the organization in her living room.
MN: You took over as its leader in 1999.
MMJ: Right. It was Emma’s idea for me to take over when she fell ill.
MN: Tell me about how you first got involved in Back On Our Feet.
MMJ: Well, I started out as a client. I was homeless and needed Back On Our Feet’s services.
MN: Could you talk a bit about your experiences as a homeless person?
MMJ: It’s not something I aspired to (she laughs). The company I worked for went out of business. I lost my health
insurance and then I got sick. I was in total despair. I managed to hang onto my life but lost everything else.
MN: Do you mind my asking what sort of illness you experienced?
MMJ: Breast cancer. I spent my last dime on my last chemo treatment.
MN: You must be a very strong person to go through all that and find a way out, to hang onto hope.
MMJ: It’s hard to measure your own strength. I ran out of hope and was just surviving out of instinct. When
Atticus found me I was without hope. I had no dreams left at that point, only prayers. It’s no coincidence that
there’s only one letter’s difference between homeless and hopeless.
MN: I never thought of that! (Pause) Atticus?
MMJ: Atticus Martin found me sleeping on a park bench. I used to pray every night that the cold bench or bus
seat I was laying my head down on would miraculously turn into a warm bed.
MN: To go from that dire situation to become this organization’s director is unusual. What do you think about your
own story?
MMJ: Sometimes I can’t believe it myself. The fact that I have been there, that I know what it means to lose
everything including one’s dreams, makes me care more and work harder on behalf of our clients.
MN: What do you think is the main cause of homelessness, particularly in the case of women?
MMJ: Homelessness is a complex problem. No two women’s issues are identical, nor are the remedies. Poverty,
drugs, illness, both mental and physical … all these and more. We may need to offer psychological counseling in
addition to vocational counseling. We may need to offer parenting classes or we might just need to offer our
shoulder to cry on. Back On Our Feet provided me with counseling for depression that was a result of the perfect
storm of losing my job, my home, and my health all within a single period over several months. My clients know
that when I tell them I’ve been there, I’m not exaggerating. I’ve walked the walk. They look at me and I’m their
lighthouse. I tell them, just keep swimming toward me and I’ll get you to shore, one way or another.
MN: Is there anyone in particular I should talk to for this story besides you?
MMJ: Definitely talk to Atticus. And a woman named Maddie Ives. Maddie has given me permission to use her as
the poster child for success stories for our organization. She’s got a good, steady job now.
MN: And if I have a follow-up question would it be all right to call or e-mail you?
MMJ: I’m faster returning e-mails than I am phone calls so that might be your best bet.
MN: Thank you so much for your time and for opening up to me. Your personal story is inspiring.
© 2010 K12 Inc. All rights reserved.
Copying or distributing without K12’s written consent is prohibited.
Page 1 of 1
Journalism | Unit 3 | Course Resource: Model Article
A Beacon of Hope
By Majesty Norris
K12 Courier Staff Writer
E
very night for two years when Mariah
Mendelson Jones closed her eyes, she prayed
that when she woke up she would find
herself in a warm bed.
But it was not to be.
At least not until she had the good fortune to
encounter a volunteer from Back On Our Feet, an
organization in Washington, D.C., that helps homeless
women find shelter and work. “I was in total despair,”
Jones, 55, says, her eyes becoming shiny even though
she has recounted this story countless times in the
two decades since her run of bad luck ended. In
1990, she found herself out of work and evicted from
her apartment because she couldn’t pay the rent. “I
managed to hang onto my life but lost everything else.”
“She was in dire straits when I found her on that park
bench,” recalled Atticus Martin, 81, who was walking
his dog late one evening and saw Jones sleeping
on a bench in the park near his house in southeast
Washington, D.C. “She was scared and hungry and her
eyes looked a bit hollow to me, as though she had given
up,” he said. Martin is now on the organization’s board
of directors. “Now look at her, the program’s director,
raising money and saving lives. …
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