My MMC 2100 lab students turned in their environmental, health and science stories today. The stories ranged from a fraternity that is participating in Adopt-a-Street to clean up litter to the increase of scooters on campus because of the rise in gas prices.
We started class with a debriefing session, asking them to share their reporting experiences. Some found people to be very helpful — especially if the story was about an event or a business that the person was involved with. Some found sources to not be helpful, polite or available. One student said one of her best sources was someone who didn’t “look” like he would be a good source. That led to a discussion of avoiding interviewing people who are just like us — our age or ethnic background or “look.”
Another major issue for the students with this assignment is having a news hook. Having a news hook and a target publication in mind enables the student to move from having a report to having a story.
I used this cartoon to illustrate being alert to events, special celebrations and holidays that can be used as a news hook — such as thinking “green” on St. Patrick’s Day.