Journalists Meet: Apply the principles to news selection
Yes sir, people say you’ve copyrighted the creative work of the founder of ‘Journalists Meet’ online.
Class, don’t mind him, he is getting over excited over the things he sees Sierra Express Media inject into the heads of people. When we get there we’ll cross it – trust me, our next topic will be copyright and plagiarism or illegal use of people’s possessions.
Anyway, we shall be looking at how journalists apply professional principles in their selection of the news.
Of course, most students seem to understand the ideas discussed in this chapter but have difficulty applying them.
It is so because understanding the true meaning of ‘news’ is half way to accessing its value.
Journalist teachers often ask all the students in reporting classes to find and write about a newsworthy topic on campus.
Several students in a typical class return empty-handed especially the students without any practical experience at all.
Other students, even if given a week to complete the assignment, return with stories likely to interest only a few other people.
How can you find a good topic? As your tutor, allow me suggest to you that whenever you find yourself laughing at a situation, or shaking your head, or saying to someone, ‘Listen to this’, you’ve probably got a story, it can be good news.
Remember also that what amazes you amazes the reader too.
If your idea for a story is not a good one, no amount of solid reporting or pretty writing can salvage it.
What is planned for next week, next month, or next year? What is needed? What do you like? What do you dislike? What interests you and your friends? What puzzles troubles you and your friends? Who is your most interesting friend or faculty member? If something is new, needed, interesting, troubling or confusing, it may worth a story.
Also approach other people. Ask them about ideas for news stories that are new, different, interesting and important.
You may have to approach a dozen friends, secretaries, faculty members and other people before finding a good topic.
That type of digging is part of a reporter’s job, perhaps the most important part.
Now, when you get home, read your notes well and try to practically implement skills learnt.
Have a good day and hope seeing you in our next class, bye.
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