Week 8 Writing (29/3): Leads & headlines

woman standing in front of mocked up newspaper posters
“Headline News – The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – Jun 2018” by Gareth1953 All Right Now is licensed under CC BY 2.0

BY RUTH BERAN

Headlines

Headlines are a way of grabbing the reader’s attention. In fact, a study has shown that almost 60 per cent of people will share a link having only read the headline.

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Week 7 (23/3): Great stories

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

BY CHRIS NORTH

This week:

  • WHS assessment due
  • Special guest journo live from LA: Cath Turner
  • Re-cap workflow – from idea stage to research and planning, through recording to production, editing and posting/broadcast
  • The 5 Ws
  • Scripting work flow – developing narration, intros and outros
  • Content – how to find an expert

From the desk of the Executive Producer

Reuters LA Bureau Chief Cath Turner

This week our special guest is coming in from LA, Cath Turner. Cath has been in front of and behind a camera in the media industry for 20 years. And she’s held some extraordinary postings – from New York Correspondent for Al Jazeera to UK/Europe Correspondent for Channel 7. Now she’s back in LA as the Bureau Chief for Reuters. She’s one of Australia’s most experienced foreign correspondents, and she’s zooming in some hot tips exclusively for TAFE MoJo.

How to create a great story

Yes, it’s true, you are not only reporting a story, but when you are creating content you are telling a story as well.

Based on our workflow from last week, here are some more help in developing a content angle for a story.

Start By Finding An Angle For Your Content

Man Bites Dog” (Man bites dog – Wikipedia) is a classic example of a strong newspaper hook. Dogs frequently bite people. Flip the script, though, and suddenly you’ve got a story.

It’s a different twist on a familiar subject. You’re showing people something they haven’t seen before. In other words, you’ve found an angle.

What is an Angle?

In simplest terms, an angle is the main point of your content.

There are a few components to formulating a strong angle, including:

  • A unique perspective. What can you show your audience about a topic that no one else has covered yet?
  • A clear focus. Which specific details will your content cover?
  • Relevancy to a target audience. What would make someone want to read or watch your content?

Here’s an example of a headline from The Verge, a popular technology news site:

The headline and subhead alone tell us a few different things about this story’s angle.

  • The internet is a problematic place to archive content.
  • That’s because it’s easy to delete or forget about content.
  • This is important because you don’t want to lose your favourite content because of neglect.

Craft better content by understanding the 5 Ws (Who, What, Where, When, Why)

The five Ws (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) are considered foundational elements for storytelling and information gathering.

They’re used to piece together important story elements to describe events. Everyone from journalists to crime scene investigators use them to help understand what happened in a given scenario. When determining your angle, ask the following questions:

  • What happened or will happen? This is about the audience. What are they getting from the story?
  • Who made it happen? In other words, who is the subject or protagonist in your story?
  • When did it happen? When did an event in your story take place? Or, when would your audience apply the information you’re providing?
  • Where did it happen? What’s the setting for your content?
  • Why did it happen? Or, what’s the purpose of what you’re communicating?

Sorting out the wheat from the chaff

MoJo is about keeping the information relevant.

We will talk more about this graph in class and how to filter information to be relevant.

Week 7 Writing (22/3): Story writing, fact checking, editing

man in tweed with a magnifying glass
Photo: “The Detective” by paurian is licensed under CC BY 2.0

BY RUTH BERAN

First another quick news quiz

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Week 4 (3/3): Getting the message out

“Social Media Icons Color Splash Montage – Square” by Visual Content is licensed under CC BY 2.0

BY RUTH BERAN

The human brain is wired to remember stories. Tell the right story, one that resonates with your audience, and it can build relationships, communities and engagement.

Stories create conversations with your audience, rather than just talking or broadcasting at them.

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