Week 9: Adding value to your stories

There are plenty of options for making your story stand out. Picture: otherthings/CC/flickr

By MARK GATELY

All the bells and whistles

Finding a great story and writing it beautifully isn’t enough these days – for your readers or the people who employ you.

It’s more important than ever to both get someone’s attention and keep them engaged.

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Week 5: Whose (head)line is it anyway?

Headlines, many would say, don’t get any better than this. Photo: minifig/flickr/CC

Headlines are more important than ever.

Historically, headlines have performed the role of a story’s calling card (or, more bluntly, its needy plea for attention) but these days they are pretty much all that stands between your story going viral and languishing as a wilting digital wallflower, unclicked and unloved.

Often this success can come at a depressing price.

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Week 4: The write stuff

Getting the news out in Harry Potter. Photo: Karen Roe/flickr/CC

BY MARK GATELY

Professional story presentation

Submitting a news story for a News Conference assessment is exactly the same as submitting a story for a newspaper or website – only the format will change.

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Week 3: Interviews, quotes and how to get them

A press conference is a great source of quotes. Photo: www.audio-luci-store.it/CC/flickr

BY MARK GATELY

Quotes are at the heart of just about every story you will do and the way you get those quotes in from interviews.

Interviews can be a daunting process for the reporter – both conducting them and obtaining them.

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Week 2: How the hell do I find a good story idea?

Sometimes a great yarn can be staring you in the face. Photo: musubk/flickr/CC

BY MARK GATELY

Potholes in local roads aren’t just something to be cursed because they set your teeth on edge when you hit one. They affect everyone – slowing traffic and causing damage to cars. They could even be a sign of local government corruption.

They are also the perfect example of not having to travel far to hit a good idea.

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