Your third assignment is to conduct an actual news interview with someone other than a relative, roommate or friend.
You should seek out someone who is newsworthy, and your questions should relate to current events. You must actually talk with this person – face to face, on the telephone, or over the internet using Skype or similar software. An interview conducted by email is not acceptable
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Your interviewee can be someone who holds a leadership position in an organization or just someone who is newsworthy by criteria such as timeliness, impact, proximity, conflict, unusualness, prominence and emotion.
Write a news story (300-400 words) centered on the interview you conduct. This story will contain direct quotation from your interviewee, as well as explanatory information you gathered in your preparation for the interview. Verify factual assertions. Give information from at least two additional sources, either human or documentary. Name all sources in the text of the story.
You can organize your story as an inverted pyramid, with the most important point at the top, followed by points of descending importance. Or you may use another good newswriting story form. In any event, be sure that the main point of your interview is Use short, direct sentences and short paragraphs. Most versatile should be just one sentence.
Do not start the story by saying that someone was interviewed. Start by telling the reader something newsworthy about the person or what he or she said.
At the top of the story, identify the hypothetical audience you are writing for. For example, you could say the story is for readers of the Tropolitan (BB University’s student newspaper), the BB Messenger, the NY Advertiser, another community paper or website you can not say the audience is BB University students or residents of BB or your hometown.
Also provide the following to go with your story:
A photo of the person interviewed – preferably a photo made by you. This photo should be of publishable quality – in sharp focus, well-lighted, high-resolution, not too far away. (If you wish, you may submit a short video or a sound file in lieu of a photograph. If you want to do this, contact the professor ahead of time for more information.
Complete caption information for the photo. This may be as simple as the person’s name if the photo is of just the person’s face. But if the photo shows the person doing something or in a particular location, the caption information must include facts the reader would want to know, such as who, what, why, where, when and how. One or two sentences are basic enough for a caption. Put this caption information at the bottom of your story, but submit the photo as a separate file.
Edit your work carefully. Save your story in a computer format compatible with Microsoft Word, and submit it as an attachment through Canvas.
You will be graded on the newsworthiness of the story; how well you develop it; how well you write it, including the use of quotations; its factual accuracy; whether you use complete sentences and correct spelling, grammar and punctuation; and how well you follow directions
From this is a class in gathering information rather than writing, the information your story provided and the clarity of presentation will count the most. I will not be a stickler about the finer points of newswriting style, but I will expect you to write clearly and edit carefully. Use the computer’s spelling checker.