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Story concepts that need to die

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TheMethod, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Charlie Brown

    Charlie Brown Member

    I'd say the Internet age is even more reason to continue the traditional practice. You can get the story out faster, plus you don't have to worry about bad information (which the Internet has in overabundance) creeping into your copy because you hastily threw it together and relied upon questionable sources. Could that be how what's her name made so many mistakes in her Cronkite piece?
  2. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    We're all missing the most obvious choice:

    "How bout that weather??? It's snowing/over 90 degrees/raining/hasn't rained/windy. We need a weather story!!!"

    Look, unless it's a nasty hurricane brewing nearby or hell freezing over, I think we can lay off the weather stories. We're not TV.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I think you could do any number of good back-to-school stories. But most newspapers, I'd say, take the easy way out and do the parents dropping off the kids at kindergarten with the call to see how backed up the buses were.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    There are some back-to-school stories that are routine, like enrollment, but are important because a loss of students means less money. I just think stories need to tell why they are important as well as giving us a picture of the situation.
  5. I think readers want anniversary stories -- especially on something like 9/11. It's just a gut feeling of mine. I have nothing to back it up. But judging from the number of memorials held last Friday, including special mention at probably every high school football game played, it seems people would want to read stories about it. People want to remember. The key is to find unique angles, which I admit can be exceedingly difficult at times.

    The same goes with the overcoming adversity stories. Readers eat that stuff up. We seem to think just because we've written and seen many of these story archetypes, they are old and cliched. Perhaps that's true, maybe even in most cases. But it doesn't mean the readers think that way.

    There are definitely some categories on this thread I agree should be shitcanned (fan reaction at local bars topping the list for me), but not all of them should be dismissed simply because we're tired of writing them. Now more than ever we need to deliver on what readers want to read, not only what we want them to read. The joy comes when we get both.
  6. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    Then why the heck did my editor spike the "Sports moments the 9/11 victims have missed in the past eight years" column we had worked on so long?
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

  8. Speaking of stale concepts, a version of this joke already appears on this thread. :D
  9. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Anniversary stories are a good peg if there is something newsworthy about the anniversary. Have things changed? Did the outrage, sorrow etc. lead to anything different? If not, why not? Seeing how little things have changed on Wall Street a year after the meltdown disturbs me. No doubt changes are even less likely now since Wall Street can say they may threaten the uptick in the Dow.
  10. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    I agree, mostly, with everything on this thread, that these stories are played out (especially the drunks in bars celebrating XXXX team winning championship). But taking off your journalist hat and putting on your business hat (not assuming you have one), are we forced to do these kinds of stories to give circulation some sort of boost? And this question is directed mostly at smaller community-type publications.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Anniversary stories can be great if you put some effort into them, but they are also too often treated as an easy story where you rehash what happened, spew out some facts since then, get some reaction and easily make happy hour.
  12. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    Any time a parent calls and asks/demands that a story be written about their kid.
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