I’ve been evaluating news stories for classes the past few days, correcting and commenting about several repeated weaknesses in stories. Here are a few suggestions that I just passed along to my students.
The more student stories I read, the more I realize I need to condense reporting to its basics. I’ve never been one to base my courses on a text; rather, texts have been companions to class lectures, discussions, etc. Next fall, I am going to begin the semester by evaluating professional news stories and by hitting the basics early. To emphasize the basics, I plan to review the list cited below both early and often. As I tell students, reporting is fairly easy. But reporting well takes significant effort, knowledge, and intellect. Feel free to use this, or to add your own suggestions in the comments below.