Some people want to talk and others don’t. You must try your best to get people to talk to you and tell you what you want to know.
All interviews require the same basic skills. You need to prepare. You want to research and find out everything you can about the subject before you ask a question.
Breaking News Challenge
If you head to a breaking news story, you want to find out whatever facts are available before you get there. When you arrive at the scene of the story, you want to quickly assess the situation and decide who can give you the best information.
You want to pause for a minute or two to think about what you learned and decide who you need to interview.
Then you want to calmly approach the person, introduce yourself and try to make a human connection. That will help you talk to the interview subject and get the best answers.
Remember to ask open-ended questions instead of questions that give you a yes or no answer.
Listen to the answers. Look into the interview subjects’ eyes and pay attention to the cues they give you.
Ask follow-up questions based on their answers.
Remember to be a fellow human being instead of a reporter on a mission.
In a sit-down interview preparation is key. You want to make sure that you know everything about your subject. Celebrities, politicians and athletes will tell you what they want to tell you. So you must think about what you and your readers, viewers or listeners want to know. Look for the unusual, something others haven’t covered before.
In an effort to
For the purpose of
In order to
Is of the opinion that
Due to the fact that
In the near future
At this point in time
During my time
In general, do not use courtesy titles except in direct quotations. When it is necessary to distinguish between two people who use the same last name, as in married couples or brothers and sisters, use the first and last name.
Journalism means more than taking handouts or reporting what’s said in news releases. Good journalism rests on a set of principles. Solid stories require accurate information and balance in reporting it.
Think about answering a story’s basic questions:
Then examine how the story happened.
How do we connect the dots to tell a good story with a beginning, middle and end?
The inverted pyramid.
Traditionally journalists use the model of the inverted pyramid construct a story.
But increasingly, news organizations encourage reporters to use better storytelling techniques, using characters and interesting details to get the reader, viewer or listener interested. Television stories often start with small details, or personal stories and we see that more and more in print, digital and radio.
Only report what you know was said, and by whom. This means attributing statements to specific people:
The mayor says…
The district attorney says…
The neighbor says…
According to the Associated Press…
According to The New York Times…
According to the website….
Wikipedia and many other websites aren’t always reliable sources. If a site quotes another source, it’s important to go to the primary source to make sure that you have accurate information.
Just because somebody says something doesn’t mean it’s true. Even high-ranking public officials may be misinformed, or may have an agenda that obscures the truth. Even when you’re under deadline pressure, try to confirm everything that you’re told with additional sources. It’s a good idea to have at least two sources. Remember: truth is an absolute defense against libel.
Elements of a Good Story
Ancient Greek writers developed a basic storytelling formula and they understood the importance of characters:
You’ll find victims, villains and heroes at the center of every good drama. Audiences recognize the victim’s pain, hiss at the villain, and cheer for the hero. Most of what we cover will not be as dramatic as a classic Greek tale, and news coverage demands that we balance two sides of a story. Until the jury returns a guilty verdict, it’s unfair to characterize the accused as a villain. But if the actions of the accused are villainous, you report the facts and the audience, like the jury decides.
In daily news reporting, we don’t always have the luxury of a developing a story around a character. We do have to report the facts. But where we can, we want to highlight characters.
Often they reveal themselves in what they say, how they act, and through the expressions on their faces.
Readers, viewers and listeners want to engage with the real drama in real people’s lives. We feel their pain, their anger, their frustration and their triumph. We cheer them, get angry, or feel their pain. We’re indignant or inspired.
Characters drive stories and make them memorable.
Whether you begin with just the facts, an engaging character or an interesting detail, you need to let your reader, viewer or listener in on the point of the story pretty quickly.
Journalism uses the nut graf , or paragraph, to explain the heart of the story. The nut graf should come pretty close to the top of the report. It helps to tie everything together. It helps you keep the focus and continue to the ideas in your story.
Once you explain the point of the story, you can move on flesh it out with facts and details.
News organizations gather information with teams of reporters and editors. But they also use outside sources including wire services, or news agencies, to provide information.
These news agencies have their own teams of reporters, videographers, editors and producers who cover breaking news, politics, business, sports, entertainment, culture and more. They have investigative teams that frequently break important stories.
The Associated Press, a not-for-profit news cooperative, has teams in 100 countries and provides content to more than 1500 news outlets. Those news outlets contribute to the cost of news gathering and can use the material that the AP provides.
Reuters describes itself as the “world’s largest multi-media news-provider.” Part of the Canadian Reuters Thompson Company, traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange, it says it serves more than a billion people every day.
Bloomberg, a privately-owned company, provides business and other news, digitally, through video, audio and on TV. It has a big business providing news to Wall Street firms and other financial companies.
News agencies headquartered in countries around the world also report and provide important information.
ABC, NBC, FOX ,CNN, NPR , BBC and other broadcast groups have services to provide content including video and audio to smaller TV and radio stations around the country.
Police departments, fire departments and some government agencies have public information offices that put out alerts and updates about breaking news.
Increasingly, news organizations look to social media to stay up with breaking news. They monitor social media platforms and then verify information from the posts, or tweets.
Other News Outlets
Newspapers, radio stations, television news organizations and digital news companies monitor one another. If one breaks a story, others may pick it up and give credit: The New York Times , ABC News, the BBC , Al Jezeera, ESPN, etc. reports, or they may assign a reporter and try to advance the story themselves.
Reporters and editors in news organizations work as a team, but they also compete with each other and other organizations to get stories. Sources provide an important stream of information that reporters and editors verify and expand.
Public Relations and Communications Directors
Public relations firms representing companies and clients, communications and p.r. people from companies, sports teams, not-for-profits and every type of organization you can imagine contact news organizations and individual reporters to push stories.
Reporters and editors often pick up these stories, verify and expand them.
News organizations and reporters often reach out to p.r. people to provide an expert who can help flesh out a story. They also use public relations representatives to help get access to government buildings, hospitals, sports arenas and private spaces.
People we talk to every day.
Family and friends.
The crossing guard on the corner.
Reporters get assigned to beats — the police, the courts, city hall, the White House, the arts, celebrities, fashion, food, movies, books, business.
Reporters develop sources and the best reporters get information from those sources regularly.
Reporters get access. Access to a crime scene, a fire, politicians, a mayor, a closed meeting with a group of people making a big decision, athletes, a sports team, celebrities and more.
What’s the difference between an opinion piece and a news story?
An opinion piece gives you information from the point of view of the writer, or presenter. It may include facts, and reporting, but it differs from a news story in that it lays out an individual’s ideas and often their biases. Opinion is, essentially, someone’s argument for a certain point of view about a specific topic.
When we read newspaper editorial pages, we see two types of opinion. We get the collective opinion of the editors and we also read, on the OpEd page — the page opposite the editorials — what individual columnists have to say in their byline pieces.
A news story reports the facts without the opinion of the reporter, writer, producer or presenter. It can contain attributed or quoted opinions of people interviewed. So a news story can contain opinion and tell a compelling story. But it should not include the opinion of the newsgatherer or the news organization.
A Pew Research Center poll, in 2018, found that younger people were better than older people at figuring out what’s factual and what’s opinion.
Pew said, “About a third of 18- to 49-year-olds (32 percent) correctly identified all five of the factual statements as factual, compared with two-in-ten among those ages 50 and older. A similar pattern emerges for the opinion statements. Among 18- to 49-year-olds, 44 percent correctly identified all five opinion statements as opinions, compared with 26 percent among those ages 50 and older.”
The teen had come into the shop with friends looking to pick up a black Mercedes E300 which had been in a crash. He was mad his repaired car hadn’t been washed yet and angry he had to pay a $1,000 deductible, according to shop manager Armando Lio.
“We told him, ‘Listen, we’re gonna wash your car so you can take it,’” Lio said. “And I guess he was on drugs or something…His eyes — it was like he had a demon in him. He was like, ‘Yo, I want my car right now.’”
BOLOGNA, Italy — The last time Martin Adler saw the three Naldi siblings in person, it was during World War II in the central Italian village of Cassano di Monterenzio, some 40 kilometers south of Bologna, during an Allied offensive.
Searching door-to-door for German soldiers in October, 1944, Mr. Adler, then a 20-year-old American private, and another soldier stumbled upon a large wicker container covered with a cloth in one house and were about to open fire after seeing it suddenly move.
Mr. Adler hesitated and a woman burst into the room screaming: “bambini, bambini” — “children, children” — and two girls and a boy popped out of what turned out to be a cradle. The two American soldiers lowered their rifles and laughed in relief. A photograph of Mr. Alder with the children immortalized the encounter.
On Monday, Mr. Adler, now 97, and the three Naldi “bambini” — Bruno, 83, Mafalda, 82, and Giuliana, 80 — met in person for the first time in 77 years at the Bologna airport, amid a boisterous scrum of local, national and
From the New York Daily News
A copy of the 1938 “Action Comics #1” brought in $3.25 million in a private sale, according to a Tuesday announcement from online auction and consignment company ComicConnect.com.
The record-setting price, narrowly bested the previous record for the comic, sold in the auction of another copy in 2014 for slightly over $3.2 million, the Associated Press reported.
New York City-based company’s chief operating officer Vincent Zurzolo said the comic book that introduced Superman to the world is considered “is the beginning of the superhero genre.”
OTTAWA — For Murray Sinclair, being a bridge between Indigenous people and the rest of Canada has sometimes been a struggle. After he graduated from law school in 1979, a step that felt like “joining the dark side,” he was frustrated by courts where he heard racist comments flow and saw the justice system work repeatedly against Indigenous people.
“This is killing me, literally, to do this,” Mr. Sinclair, who is Anishinaabe, recalled telling his wife, Katherine Morrisseau-Sinclair. “I’m not really helping anybody, but I’m also being seen as one of them.”
Ms. Morrisseau-Sinclair persuaded him to visit Angus Merrick, an elder from the Long Plain Indian band and an Aboriginal court worker.
The two men met in Mr. Merrick’s tepee, the elder smoking cigarettes and both of them drinking pots of tea until 6 in the evening, at which point Mr. Merrick became direct.
The veteran Korean star Yuh-Jung Youn has had a thriving career for five decades — all because of a choice she made when she failed her college entrance exam.
By Carlos AguilarPublished April 2, 2021Updated April 7, 2021, 4:39 p.m. ET
For her 60th birthday, the veteran Korean star Yuh-Jung Youn made herself a promise. She would collaborate only with those she trusts. Even if their ventures fell short, as long as she personally appreciated the people making them, the result wouldn’t much concern her.
That late-life philosophy, born of decades of limited choices and professional trauma, brought her to “Minari,” the director Lee Isaac Chung’s semi-autobiographical story about a Korean family putting down roots in Arkansas. Youn’s bittersweet performance as the grandmother, Soonja, in the tenderhearted immigrant drama has earned her an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress, the first for a Korean actress.
“Me, a 73-year-old Asian woman could have never even dreamed about being nominated for an Oscar,” Youn said via video call from her home in Seoul. “‘Minari’ brought me a lot of gifts.”
As she recounted this triumph and the many pitfalls that preceded it, her pensive expression often broke into an affable smile, cheerful laughter even. Dressed in a demure black top and long necklace, there was an effortless grace to her serene presence. She came off unhurried and welcoming but determined to make her ideas understood. Occasionally she asked a friend off-camera for help with certain English words to hit each point more precisely.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, guarantees freedom of religion and speech, the press and the right of people to gather to protest and complain to the government.
In its own words:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to freely assemble, and petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
After the founders of the United States wrote the U.S. Constitution, some of them realized they had left out critical guarantees to safeguard the type of nation, free of tyranny, they and others wanted.
The newly minted senators and congressmen debated about whether “checks and balances” would protect the rights of the people, or whether they needed to write amendments to the Constitution.
Freedom of the press was one of the priorities for Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson wrote a letter to another lawmaker saying,
“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
Some wanted to rewrite the Constitution but worried that people would think that they intended to tear up what they wanted to protect. They turned to U.S. Virginia Representative James Madison, a good thinker and a good writer.
Madison argued that, “A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
In 1789 Madison drafted amendments and presented them to the House of Representatives. The House approved 17 amendments. The Senate approved 12 and the states ratified 10 in December, 1791 as the Bill of Rights.
Thomas Jefferson became the third President of the United States and James Madison became the fourth.