Model Story #3

http://joeposnanski.com/joeblogs/the-promise/
A story that I just came upon the other day is still sticking in my head. It’s not even published. It’s on some regular guy’s blog page, but it is beautiful. In “Promise Land,” Joe Posnanski relates his father’s life to Bruce Springsteen’s music. The story was featured on The Atlantic’s “Nearly 100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism,” and it definitely ranks as my top three favorites.

What did you like best about the story? What did you learn from it?
The best part about the story is the way he used lyrics as transitions between Bruce’s life and his dad’s life. It was an extremely unique way to organize the story. I learned that comparing two situations need an effective transition.

What is the best source in the story and why?
There really are no sources, but the choice of song lyrics for transition was clearly thought out. Research was also thorough.

What was the best example of great reporting and why?
The analysis of all of Bruce’s songs was the best reporting in the story. It’s hard to analyze an artists work, and it requires a ton of background information on the artist’s life. Yes, the detail on childhood memories were great reporting as well, but the content analysis was much more impressive.

What other questions would you ask?
Can’t think of any others to ask because it’s more of a personal reflection.

What other sources?
Same answer as above.

Can you relate it to do a similar story for the Prospector?
I could not do a story as in depth as this one as I don’t really have a deep personal experience such as the author in this story. I can, however, relate music to my life.

Model Story #2

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gcXoj_UBXv8&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgcXoj_UBXv8

My number one model publisher is hands-down 60 minutes. Ever since I was ten, I’ve been watching that show every Sunday night before I go to bed. 60 minutes is the perfect example of feature and breaking news broadcast journalism because of its production quality, topic choice and dedication, and information editing.
One element of broadcast journalism that is often neglected is the production quality. News stations often throw together a broadcast story with poor cut-off edits, terrible audio, and shaky clips. 60 Minutes, on the other hand, clearly cares about production quality. Each reporter is accompanied with their own complete film crew when they are seeking out sources, which makes for a much better product. 60 minutes broadcasts use high quality cameras to give the viewers an HD resolution and extended overhead microphones to give interviews a conversation-like feel to it rather than asking questions to only report answers. Also, 60 minutes shoots their segments in multiple locations, which keeps the viewer paying attention as well as showing the effort that the reporter exercised to complete this story. This high production quality gives each segment an artistic flare, which sets a 60 minutes segment apart from a boring, old NBC news segment.
I’ll used the recent 60 minutes segment on Amazon to explain 60 minutes’ greatness. The segment starts out with correspondent Charlie Rose leading in front of a green screen. Later dropped into the green screen is a black gradient background that looks like something Steve Jobs would use for his keynote presentations along with an open book with a visual to represent the topic. 60 minutes starts out all of their segments in this way, immediately giving each segment that unique artistic quality in broadcast journalism. Next, the segment is moved to b-roll footage with Rose talking in the background about the history of Amazon and the process a product goes to from a click of a purchase button to the delivery at the door. The b-roll stands out, in this case, because of its careful editing. No clip is on the screen for too long, and all of them flow into each other chronically to help the viewer understand the distribution process.
60 minutes effectively uses camera angles and short audio clips to highlight detail. In the Amazon segment, odd angles and panoramas in the distribution center helped us understand the behind the scenes detailed machines that deliver our products, such as little gadgets called shoes. All throughout the segment, little sound bites like a register device beeping or a photographer saying “Alright let’s get started” are edited in to contribute to better production quality.
Lastly, 60 minutes is careful in the way they word things in order to produce accurate news. The issue with the Amazon segment was that the Amazon CEO decided to release the top secret drone project to the public. Since the drone project is a few years from being completed, 60 minutes was put to the test in reporting this news. They had to make sure to emphasize the fact that the drones are extremely underdeveloped. Personally, I believe they did a wonderful job in doing so as they included two clips of the CEO talking about how the implementation of this product won’t occur for many years. However, leave it to lazy TV watchers to freak out thinking that these drones would be on the streets tomorrow. This situation is just a perfect example of readers/viewers completely ignoring some aspects of a journalistic piece, and I do not blame 60 minutes for the panic.
If I did this story, I probably would have covered the history of amazon more. However, I don’t think I could relate this story to Prospect unless I covered a new technology that is coming to the computer labs.

Model Story #1

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1191093,00.html

“Was Stephen Colbert funny?” by Ana Marie Cox
One of my models of great journalism is an article written by Ana Marie Cox five days after Stephen Colbert’s infamous white house correspondent’s speech. Right after Colbert made the speech roasting the Bush administration, chaos occurred in the media. No one knew how to react, so a multitude of opinions on the speech were flying around in this way and that. Cox lays out every opinion for the reader, while effectively instilling her own opinion in the perfectly constructed column story for TIME magazine.

First of all, with limited sources, Cox still acquired an adequate amount of information in order to lay out the different opinion’s on Colbert’s speech. Cox stated herself in this story, only the New York Times and the Washington Post published a story covering the speech. Still, Cox understood the opinions by thoroughly researching them. She also made the opinions more understandable to the reader by providing analysis of why certain people thought what by relating a person’s opinion back to typical conservative and liberal opinions.

Secondly, Cox uses humor and wit PERFECTLY in this story. The title of the story is, “Was Stephen Colbert funny?” which is ironic because the story itself is ridiculously funny. Cox lightly teases a conservative opinion to show the liberal side of the story, and vice versa, which further provides the reader with a deeper analysis. Although the article is slightly sarcastic at times, it is easy to pick up on the tone and understand what point she is trying to get across.

Lastly, Cox includes her opinion in the perfect amount. She clearly looks at each opinion on Colbert’s speech, and then shows her opinion, which tells us that it is a well thought out, respectable opinion. She’s not simply ranting on how she hates/loves Colbert’s speech, nor is Cox overstating the situation.

Overall, Cox calms down the confusing situation by constructing her argument in an organized way while also including humor to lighten the mood. For me, Cox’s story will be used as a template when a hectic situation occurs similar to, I don’t know, maybe a reporter severely insulting the President of the U.S. at his own dinner.

I would have included sources from moderate Americans. Unless a student bashes on the principal in front of the whole school, I doubt I can write a story like this for the Prospector.