JOUR 5580 * Mag writing

Week 4: Story concepts


  • Budget: Sept. 12
  • Profile: Oct. 14
  • Trend and pick-em:
    • Topmatter  due Oct. 24
    • Full story due Oct. 31
  • Multimedia: Nov. 18



  • A subject who has influenced a community
  • A subject whose story explains how a community is changing


  • This is a thing that exists in the world
  • It is new
  • It is important (or at least interesting)


Behind the numbers: Using stats to tell a story

Behind the scenes: Getting access to tell the inside story

An insider's look: Profile of a player and their perspective

Life off the "field": Profile of someone outside the role they usually play

Localizer: Taking a national issue and explaining it locally

Look back: How an event in the past shaped current events

Off the beaten path: Something you wouldn't ordinarily find

A big-picture preview: How an event today explains tomorrow


  • Photo package
  • Infographic package
  • Audio package (video if you have mad skills)


It’s not enough to have the what; we need the why and the how.

Why now?

Why do we care?

Picky details

  • Interviews: 5 per [written] story
  • Reporting packages with interviews and background research
  • No first person
  • Deadlines are deadlines
  • Graduate assignment: Graduate students will be required to complete an additional research project in which they pick specific issues or controversies in their beats and analyze how the media have covered it. Include in your budget.

For Thursday

  • Clark, part IV, especially tools 40-46
  • Check out these student budget proposals and using Clark’s suggestions to offer three ideas that would make them better in a Module 4 post with the tag “budget critiques” by Sept. 7
  • Brainstorming list:
    • Expand your brainstorming list to at least 20 story ideas for your beat. These can be one sentence or even a sentence fragment
    • Of those 20, take six that fit the assigned story categories (2 per category) and expand them into a full paragraph explain what the story is about and what local people or organizations are involved in them.
  • Put both the big list and the small list in a post on your beat page with the appropriate category and the tag “brainstorming list” by Sept. 7.

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Tuesday 9/6: Story basics

by welchsuggs


Public - 9/6/16, 3:40 PM