Archive for the ‘M44MC – Specialist Professionalist Practice’ Category


Part of our journalism practice training is focusing on how to further a story to offer a complete picture. Last week with John Lister we discussed how to frame and complete a story. One of the initial discussion points was whether you are writing a full story, and emphasising the missing facts. Journalists can dig for more information constantly, nothing runs out of evidence and this is what none should forget. If a bridge is being pulled down every reason has to be researched, it is only then you can choose what reasons are the most important to communicate.

When you do reach the point of communication you have to say why it’s being pulled down but also why it should stay standing. You must also take look at every aspect and pick a voice to appeal to. Will the lack of bridge have an effect on wildlife or perhaps insects that live in the soil underneath the rocks that hold the bridge together? How are travellers expected to cross the stream or road? Do you go for human interest or financial, or council viewpoint? Does it cost money to maintain the bridge? Is it a culturally important bridge and will it have a local impact?

The news value is important. The reason why global news isn’t always the most read or heard news items is because it’s not always something people can relate to. The butterfly effect means that everything can be related. If a national survey of happiness is released what does that mean for people in the local area? If one in ten people are miserable and you live in a constituency of 10,000 people, then 1,000 public members are potentially depressed. Perhaps you can interview someone who claims they aren’t happy and understand why? What are people doing about this situation, is there going to be a drive to get people in to therapy or see a doctor? Perhaps it’s a local charity that is supporting depression? Perhaps a local politician or celebrity is diagnosed with depression or is raising money to help those who are?

Extra information that may not necessarily be findable doesn’t mean that its not public information. Something to think about is just staying on top of industry news. If you are a music journalist, ring around your contacts to find out if they are releasing any new music or recording new music videos. If it’s a public body, they will have to have a Freedom of Information section usually in the contact or about section of the website. Some companies have whistleblowers keep an eye out for them, if someone is known to be grumbling in your chosen field perhaps contact that person?

2 final pieces of advice were, keep a hard copy of a contact book and don’t give up. Many people will expect you to back off if you don’t get the info you’re after first time but stay with it; most of them will give in.

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