News stories

Look at the news stories in The Age today.

Pick three of the main stories and then discuss the Who, What, Where, When and How.

Present your findings to the class.

How can the inverted pyramid cut the story down.

Then read through previous news stories of former media students.

Example of news story written in class

Underage Drinking In Dangerous Depths

Local Wynard teenagers were spotted drinking alcohol at Sisters Beach on Friday night in an underage an party. The popular, cheap wine cask of Fruity Elixer (commonly referred to as Goon) was being shared amoung six teenangers as they lay floating in the surf.

The teens, all under 18, were drinking as part of a Valentine Day’s celebration and were seemingly unaware of the dangers of drinking and swimming.

The rise of binge drinking amoungst teens is causing concern with public health officials. Local teen, Jamie Bond believes that risky behaviors are due to boredom and a lack of stimulation in the local area.

 Other angles you could write about to flesh out the story

  • Views of local parents
  • List the dangers of drinking whilst swimming
  • Interviews with local health officials
  • Teen quotes
  • Statistics of drownings involving alcohol

Example of chequebook journalism

These two articles give recent examples of chequebook journalism.

Simon Gittany’s girlfriend gets handsome sum from Sunday Night
chequebookjournalismanalysis

What are the moral implications of chequebook journalism? Tweet your response.

Actor Alec Baldwin says the press are ‘toxic’.

Alec Baldwin quits public life

Tweeting a story

Social media has been an increasing source of news over the past few years. Twitter and Facebook have broken stories including the death of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston before major news outlets.

Most journalists should have a social media account to which the public can follow. This not only personalises the journalists but also allows them to source information from the public that may have once been difficult.

It also of course contains risks. See post on Catherine Devaney

Your task today is to find something to tweet about within the school grounds. You are to take a picture with your tweet. It could be some student/staff reactions to the Schapelle Corby parole story or something else topical. Or it could just be a tweet about something you find newsworthy.

News has to be immediate to be effective.

Tabloid Headlines

Have a look at these tabloid headlines and stories:

http://www.worldwideinterweb.com/item/2560-the-most-ridiculous-tabloid-headlines-of-all-time-25-photos.html

1/ What is the importance of the headline?
2/ Do you think they are meant to be taken seriously?
3/ What sort of design is used for tabloid including typography and image

Tabloids often rely on puns to generate interest.

http://tabloidcolumn.com/

What is the difference between a tabloid and a broadsheet?

http://journalism.about.com/od/trends/a/tabloidsbroadsheets.htm

Is it all about size or content?

Two of the most famous tabloids that are still around today are The Sun in the UK and The National Enquirer.

What are some of the production values in magazines and print for tabloids?

Read through this post about the gutter press and answer the questions.

Tabloid story of Phillip Seymour Hoffman

phillip seymour hoffman

By now you should have researched and written about the death of Hollywood actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Think about the language you used to describe his death in sensational detail.

Was the story more interesting to write?

How did you feel about exaggerating the facts?

Should the story entertain or be merely factual?

How accountable are newspapers/magazines for exploitative articles.

Given the OJ article as an example we will use Photoshop to manipulate an image of Hoffman to implicate him in a bigger drama.