Comm 2221…2nd story rules/advice


* 500 words. Must be more than 400 and less than 600

* At least 3 sources, and at least 2 quoted directly

* Don’t forget proper header and contact sheet


* No email interviews

* No conflicts of interest

* This is not PR


* AP style counts

* Spell checking is not editing


Here is what not to do when starting an interview. This is NOT GOOD ON ANY LEVEL.

A journalist talks about interviewing and the importance of preparation.

Some broad, but useful interviewing tips can be found here. Poynter is a great place to look for information about any journalism-related topics that we discuss in class.

Here is another useful article about interviewing tips. Most are perfectly valid for our purposes, except maybe “bring a buddy.”

Comm 2221…Sources

What is a “source” and how do you find the best?
What sources are acceptable and why? How many do you need?
Why is source research so important?
What is the basis of their knowledge?
Are they credible?

Here is a great resource for finding expert sources. But there are hundreds of other places to look also.

This outline of the Principles of Journalism is strong. No. 3 is all about sources.

Grantland piece to discuss….and edit this Comm 2223

This piece from has been making news since it was published. But what started as mostly praise quickly turned into criticism, threats and then explanations and apologies. Read it before class Wednesday.

Ohio became the first state to use a two-drug protocol for lethal injection on Jan. 16, which caused controversy in world news and caused mixed reactions with some Ohioans.
Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire was the first inmate in the US to be executed using a new combination of drugs. This new method caused him to experience 10 minutes of convulsing and gasping for air, reporters who witnessed it said. He was pronounced dead 24 minutes later at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. The prolonged execution has some Ohioans feeling like it was cruel and unusual punishment, while others who have no remorse.
Ryan King, associate professor in sociology of law and crime and deviance, said that the state has their eye on the wrong ball.
“It’s an important discussion to be had, but the larger issue is that the state is killing someone and how humane they’re doing so,” King said.
McGuire was found guilty in 1994 for the rape and murder of 22-year-old Joy Stewart, who was seven months pregnant. However, he was not aware he would be executed differently.
Meredith Gibson, a third-year criminology and sociology double-major, said that based on an educational standpoint, McGuire’s case was cruel and unusual punishment because it is unique.
“I’ve learned about procedural law and the rules and regulations that dictate how this execution should’ve been done,” Gibson explained. “All of the inmates on death row before McGuire were entitled to a quick death, but he had to suffer while those before him didn’t in the same way.”
Others feel differently and do not remorse over the case.
Bob Sherman, a third-year in criminology and a member of ROTC, said McGuire’s extended execution is nothing for the state to feel bad for.
“He was convicted for killing a pregnant woman so his suffering is the last thing anyone should worry about,” Sherman said.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, this is not the first time Ohio has been the first state to try new lethal injection methods.
In December 2009, Ohio was the first state to use a one-drug method of sodium thiopental. After switching the one-drug protocol to pentobarbital in March 2011, no problems were reported until there was a shortage of the drug. After restrictions on its use were enforced by its European manufacturer, the state changed to a two-drug combination of midazolam and hydromorphone first used on McGuire.
Paul Bellair, professor of sociology with an expertise in crime, deviance and social control, talked about the state’s decision to switch to a two-drug combination.
“The state has to be very careful in the decisions it is making about which drugs to use because they are legally liable for the decisions they make in correctional contexts,” Bellair explained. “They have to be sure that what they are doing is medically sound and the fact that they used the specific combination of drugs selected implies that they feel comfortable that their decision is legally sound.”
Regardless of agreeing with putting Mcguire to death, Sherman thinks the state should change their drug protocol based off of this situation.
“The drug sounds really ineffective and should be changed to a formula that kills the prisoner faster and that’s more efficient,” Shermann says.
McGuire’s execution is currently under investigation of whether or not his convulsions and suffocation were staged and coached.

Comm 2221: What is news?

Here are some characteristics of news outlined in Bender’s Reporting for the Media. Keep these in mind as you identify, and then prioritize the 5 W’s and H.

**Unusual or quirky — singularity
**Conflict or controversy


Hard — happening now or about to happen. Think “breaking news.” Accuracy is always first priority but speed does count with these stories, especially in the 24/7 global news cycle/competition.

Soft — features or human interest stories. They should have a news hook, but often it is not immediate. These stories tend to take longer, but have a longer shelf life, or potential interest for readers over extended period of time. Look for universal themes in life…try to evoke emotion.

Comm 2221 — Check this out before submitting story #1

**Remember to include your headlines and a tweet.
**Short/simple sentences and grafs: Perfectly fine to have 1-sentence paragraphs and most should be no more than 2-3 sentences.
**Organization is important, starting with the lede of 35 words or less. Focus on the most interesting/newsworthy items.
**Transitions are a must. If person, scene, time or anything else changes, be sure to write a transition and take your audience along for the ride.
**AP style counts!!
**Punctuation of quotes is key. Only put inside the quote marks EXACTLY WHAT THE PERSON SAID!! Punctuation goes inside the quote marks, NOT outside.                                                             **If attributing without quotes, that is paraphrasing. You can summarize or change the words, but not the meaning.
**Kicker. Is there a good quote to end on? Not a requirement, but if you have one, use it.

Let’s dissect this Lantern story to illustrate/better understand these ideas.

Lantern class — Some things to remember

**Remember that we must do things the right way. Always be professional.

**Remember to send me your raw copy that editors received. I have seen some stories in the paper/online already this week that I have not received from you.

**Remember that your stories must include contact sheets for all human and other sources. Include URLs to help the editing process.

**Remember that you must suggest headlines for every story.

**Remember that you must be thinking visually for every story. Is a photo request needed? Would video work? What about a graphic or other design element?

**Remember that punctuation marks go inside quote marks “like this,” NOT “like this”.

**Remember to get the answers to the questions you ask for. If you ask for the cost of something, get a number, NOT a generic quote with no specifics.

COMM 2221– Let’s get into the news….and start writing

Where do we find news? How is it valued? To answer those incredibly important questions, you first need to ask one: who is my audience???


* 500 words. Must be more than 400 and less than 600 * At least 3 sources, and at least 2 quoted directly * No email interviews * No conflicts of interest * This is not PR * Focus on 5 W’s and H * AP style counts * Spell checking is not editing


The Hemingway legend is that his friends bet him, or he bet his friends, about the ability to tell a complete a story in 6 words. Here is what he came up with:

For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.

A bit of a downer, right?

Here are three I came up with. I tried to summarize how some of you might be feeling.

1. Tuesday through Friday class. Not fun.

2. Two days off every week? Yes!

3. Intimidating and scary but meaningful. Journalism.

Welcome Comm 2221 and Comm 2223 students to Spring 2014

A quick note on how to file stories this semester.

For Comm 2223 (Lantern Practicum):

Send me an email with the raw copy you sent your editors. Subject line should be Section, Number of story.

For example: if Dan is filing his first story for Campus, the subject line would be: Campus 1.

If Joan is filing her 4th story for Sports: Sports 4.

For Comm 2221:

Need 1 printed copy, double-spaced, due at beginning of class following instructions on syllabus, unless I ask for it to be posted to your blog.

Header should be:
Your name
My name
2-4 word slug —describes story / Word Count
short headline of 50 characters or less, including spaces
long headline of 94 characters or less, including spaces
a tweet of 140 characters or less

Any questions, let me know.