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The Art of Story Development. Journalism 350. Story Ideas and Development. Types of stories. Issues Profiles Trends Breaking news Reaction Localization. How to develop ideas. Be curious. Read stories critically. How did the reporter get the story? Who was interviewed?

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the art of story development

The Art of Story Development

Journalism 350

Story Ideas and


types of stories
Types of stories
  • Issues
  • Profiles
  • Trends
  • Breaking news
  • Reaction
  • Localization
how to develop ideas
How to develop ideas
  • Be curious.
  • Read stories critically. How did the reporter get the story? Who was interviewed?
  • Change your route.
talk to people
Talk to people
  • Friends, classmates, teachers, secretaries, people in lines, store clerks.
  • Ask: What’s on your mind? What gets you mad? What would you change? What are you passionate about? What’s the buzz?
where to get ideas
Where to get ideas?
  • Read everything – bulletin boards, ads, newsletters.
  • Set up an RSS feed and Google alerts so info comes to you.
  • Eavesdrop – coffee houses, restaurants, Union, elevators and Twitter.
finding the focus
Finding the focus
  • Be specific.
  • Story ideas: Not the debt ceiling legislation, but instead how the cuts created by it will affect student loans.
  • Who did what?
questions to ask
Questions to ask
  • What’s the news?
  • Who cares?
  • What’s the impact?
  • Has the story been done before?
think creatively
Think creatively
  • Think about different approaches. Potholes.
  • Whose point of view?
  • What is most interesting?
  • Who is most affected?
  • Browse and search.
  • Search #LNK
  • Search #UNL
  • Search #Huskers
  • Follow the right people
getting the story
Getting the story
  • Do background research.
  • List possible sources.
  • List questions you’ll want answered.
  • Call sources to nail down the idea.
  • Visualize the story – is it right for your medium?
  • For each pitch:
    • Include the basics of the story.
    • Include statistics, if applicable.
    • Start with a sentence that’s to-the-point.
    • Include the “so what” – why should we care.
    • Keep it short.
why write a pitch
Why write a pitch
  • Helps you visualize and focus.
  • Helps your editor “sell” the story.
story pitches
Story pitches
  • How to pitch a story -- AP
finding the focus1
Finding the focus
  • Use an outline.
  • Write a headline.
  • Tell the story in six words. Three words.
  • How would you tell the story to your Mom?
keys to a story
Keys to a story
  • News
  • Impact
  • Human element
  • Context
next steps
Next steps
  • Create your own Google alerts
  • Create an RSS feed
  • Create a Twitter account
other resources
Other resources
  • Social media tools for journalists