Agenda (& recap) of class on Thursday, 10/6

Science Pub RVA (sign up if you want to attend; it’s free!)

Takeaways from our conversation with Michelle Nijhuis

Story #1

  • About the editing process
  • Workflow — my system
  • What you must do after I’ve edited your story (Riley, I need a volunteer)
  • General comments:
    • news stories, not essays
    • every story needs a focus
    • your story can’t be boring
    • soft lead (creative hook) or hard-news lede (start with nut graph)
    • “gold coins along the path” (Joe Johnson)
    • logical organization and transitions (repeat a word from previous graf)
    • no jargon; define terms (Jacob Jaminet)
    • no first person
    • no honorifics; follow AP style
    • mechanics: complete sentences; no run-ons; subject-verb agreement; pronoun-noun agreement
  • When it’s all done — through two edits — here is what I’ll send you

Distribute critiques/edits of Story #1 (I handed back printouts and did a quick huddle with each student.)

Discuss with your neighbor while I do a consult with each student and we set deadlines: I’ve asked some students to finish their stories by Friday; others have until Tuesday.)

Story #2 — Let’s look at the budget

Story request from RVA Hub (Shawn has first dibs on this assignment; I’ve emailed him details.)

Where to find story ideas

Deadline for Story #2: Oct. 18

Book reports schedule: Select a date

Let’s talk about the midterm — we’ll do this on Tuesday. It will be a take-home midterm.


Story #1: revise copy … fact-check … get photo

Story #2: get a focus … contact sources … schedule interview

Read about the panelists for the Oct. 13 event:

  • Tim Wheeler, former president of the Society of Environmental Journalists
  • Erika Engelhaupt, online science editor for National Geographic
  • Tim Appenzeller, news editor for the journal Science
  • Tammie Smith, longtime health and medical reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Everyone must contribute at least one question before we meet on Tuesday. Oct. 11.

Everybody must take the NewsU course: “Whose Truth: Tools for Smart Science Journalism in the Digital Age.” Do it by Oct. 11.

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