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Question about an angle for a McCain story

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

    I have to start making calls soon on a story previewing Senator John McCain's visit to our coverage area for a fundraiser as part of my job for a daily news organization.

    The question I have is -- should my story focus on his answer where he was unable to say how many houses he owned?

    That is not a policy question and I prefer writing about that. However, it seems like the biggest McCain news now is his answer to that question.

    I have to discuss this with my editor shortly and just wanted to get feedback from other journalists before our conversation.
  2. I'm sure there are others here who will have better answers and more experience with this type of thing, but I'd say no.
    If I were previewing a presidential candidate coming to town, I'd focus more on how his/her policies would affect my readers.
    Localize the national candidate. Tell them why they should care.
    Unless you cover the race on a day-to-day basis, I wouldn't get bogged down in the hot story for the day/week.
  3. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    If you want to get feature-y, you might be surprised to learn that he was a POW.
  4. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    also, he's really old.
  5. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    What Demo said. What are some of his policies that will affect your readers?
  6. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    If your paper has AP, why would an editor send you to ask about McCain's homes?

    The situation is like the SE of the SW Rathole County Weekly who only writes about Brett Favre.
  7. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member


    Write a local angle. What's the hot button issues in your community? Stay away from the national horse race BS. That's for the press corps. I doubt you are going to get more than a question in on him, instead, talk to local republican operatives about him and why they are going to vote for him. Go to a fair and talk to regular people. That's the story.

    Sometimes, it's ok to play with the big boys, but even if I had a 5 minute 1-on-1 with him, I sure as hell I would't waste it on a home story. And, this is coming from an Obama backer. Local/ state angle.
  8. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Here's some real help instead of usual smart-alec remarks. Find out what Republicans think of McCain. Do they think he's not conservative enough or maybe the locals think McCain is the best thing for the party to ward off the religious right image?
  9. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Like any of your readers are going to get anywhere near McCain. Unless he intends to interact with people who aren't paying money to bask in his aura, I don't think it deserves much of a story. And I'd say that about both sides.
  10. A presidential candidate visiting your area doesn't deserve "much of a story?"
    I strongly disagree.

    Edited to get the quote right
  11. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    I don't. What's the relevance? Ooh, look at cool we are, we get a candidate visit! Again, if he intends to interact with anyone in the community who's not paying him, then go right ahead. Otherwise, just throw something in that he's coming, and leave it at that. Make sure people know which roads are going to be closed, so they'll know when and where they'll be inconvenienced so that the candidate can collect a few checks.

    I'm not saying ignore it. But it doesn't deserve the sort of breathless coverage that crap inevitably gets.
  12. I'd say the coverage shouldn't be fawning, but someone that important (yes, important) visting your area is a big damn story.
    It will be one that everyone in the area will remember for the rest of their lives.
    How many other events in a given year will pass that test?
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