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How to get start as an. INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST. February 28, 2013 By: Karen Spring HSCI 825 Advocacy and Communication Simon Fraser University. Presentation Outline . ✜ Why be a journalist? ✜ Who can you write for? ✜ Six steps to writing a journalistic piece:

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How to get start as an

How to get start as an

INDEPENDENT

JOURNALIST

February 28, 2013

By: Karen Spring

HSCI 825 Advocacy and Communication

Simon Fraser University


Presentation outline

Presentation Outline

✜ Why be a journalist?

✜ Who can you write for?

✜ Six steps to writing a journalistic piece:

Step 1: Planning a story

Step 2: Research

Step 3: Making contact

Step 4: The interview

Step 5: Writing the story

Step 6: Don’t get sued

** Tips along the way **


Why would you start writing as a journalist

Why would you start writing as a journalist?

  • ✜ Advocacy strategy

  • ✜ A way to get your work, experiences and viewpoints out there

  • ✜ A way to translate your research to the public

  • ✜ A great skill set


For who

For Who?

Independent Media – “pitching” details on websites

Journalism skills is useful for many things:

Blogs

Pamphlets

Newsletters

Agency websites

Government

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)


Step 1 planning a story

Step 1: Planning a story

✜ Finding a story:

  • Is it timely?

  • Impactful?

  • Relevant?

  • Angle (community, local, national, etc) relevant to publisher?

  • What’s the major tension?

    ✜ Mapping the story


Step 2 research

Step 2: Research

✜ Internet

✜ Government & corporate websites

✜ Advocacy groups

✜ Health related organization

- WHO, PHAC, CDC, etc.

*** Make sure they are verifiable ***


Step 3 making contact

Step 3: Making Contact

✜ Finding a voice(s)

  • Community or individual perspective:

    talk to those most affected

    ✜ Do a call out using your networks, your friends, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    ✜ Allow for different points of view – diverging perspectives or the pros and cons


How to get start as an

✜ Google the person’s name with first 3 digits of area code or location

- Government – Database of experts (http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/Expert-Expert_eng.asp)

✜ Don’t leave a message until you’ve called at least 3 times

  • Be persistent & firm

  • Mention if you have deadlines

    ✜ Just show up

    ✜ Try, if possible, & if needed to avoid the ‘media rep’ (especially for investigative pieces)


Step 4 the interview s

Step 4: The Interview(s)

✜ Do your background research

✜ Questions: Easy, open-ended and one at a time

✜ How to end the interview – 5 major ending questions:

  • How do you spell your name?

  • Do you have a specific title?

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?

  • Are quotes attributed to you or your organization?

  • Is there anyone else I should talk to about this topic?


Step 5 writing the story

Step 5: Writing the story

Start:

✜ The “Lede”, a sentence or two that introduces your article. Opening paragraph: ‘Who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ & ‘when’

Middle:

✜ The ‘Why’ and ‘How’

✜ Context and quotes

End:

✜ Don’t summarize


Step 6 don t get sued

Step 6: Don’t get sued!

✜ Libel – Printed defamation

✜ Truth

✜ Fair comment

✜ Responsible Journalism

Doubtful? Consult a lawyer. Period.


How to get start as an

Questions?

Thank you!


How to get start as an

References

Paley, Dawn and Ling, Justin. (October 2011). So you want to write for the Media Coop? Vancouver Media Coop. Available at: http://www.mediacoop.ca/sites/mediacoop.ca/files2/mc/writers_guide.pdf

The Dominion. (no date). Write for the Dominion. Available at: http://www.dominionpaper.ca/write


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