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Crafting the story

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Songbird, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I'm writing a story on an AD that has quit to become assistant principal elsewhere in the state. I've talked to several coaches at the school he's leaving along with the superintendent, and the AD/boys hoops coach of the school he's going to. Everyone gave me on-the-record quotes — even if it was a "no comment" — and an equal amount of stuff off the record. I'm writing this knowing that every letter of every word will be dissected by the outgoing AD and all of the coaches at the school, and it's making this particular exercise more challenging than most stories.

    Any of y'all have anecdotes about certain stories that had potential for being lightning rods because of the content?
  2. Bucknutty

    Bucknutty Member

    Funny you should ask...I'm working on a story right now about how religion plays a role in the college football recruiting process centered around the team I cover. With the fanbase here, I could be lynched depending on how it turns out, and right now I'm trying to decide what to focus it on.

    When I get in situations like this, I get all my information in front of me and trust that what I've learned about writing will get me through it. If not, I just start writing and go from there. And I read it dozens of times after it's complete.
  3. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    If there's one thing I've learned, it's that the stories that you think are going to raise shitstorms aren't necessarily the ones that do, and the fire-and-forgets draw more controversy than you've expected.
    Case in point: We had a girl getting a scholarship to go to college and run track. We put together something small on that, and it started a debate about why we don't run stories about non-athletes going to college.
  4. ostentatious

    ostentatious Member

    because those would look funny in a sports section?
  5. Great response, ostentatious...
  6. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    That's exactly what I said.
    The city editor wasn't amused.
  7. Babs

    Babs Member

    This is so true, and often leaves me scratching my head for months. I can find no rhyme or reason to it.
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