News writing | Article writing homework help


Exponent Story Requirements 

Before leaving an interview, a reporter should make sure they:

  • Recorded the interview
  • Asked the source whether they are okay with their quotes being published
  • Asked for the source’s (1) full name (2) major/position (3) year in school, if applicable
  • Got the source’s contact info in case they need to ask follow-up questions
  • Politely declined if a source requests to view the story/their quotes before it is published
    • (you can tell them Exponent policy does not allow this)

Before turning in a first draft to an editor (3 days before final deadline!), a reporter should make sure their story:

  • Is a minimum of 300 words
  • Has direct quotes from at least two — preferably more — sources
  • Sources are people who the reporter has met with in person, talked with over the phone or communicated with via email
  • Sources cannot be a person the reporter is friends with/related to/roommates with/basically knows at all
    • If a friend is involved in something you are reporting on, do ask them if they know someone else you can talk to
    • Do not call someone whose number is already in your contacts list, even if it’s last-minute
  • Research, literature and prior reporting from The Exponent or other news outlets can (and should!) help supplement a story, but do not count toward the two-source requirement
  • All sources mentioned are attributed with their (1) full name (2) major/official position (3) year in school, if applicable
  • Includes what/where/when/how/why of story/event
  • Starts with an eye-catching lede that doesn’t include the location, date or time of event
  • Attributes all claims, knowledge and ideas to a source/research
  • Informs reader of how the news/event might affect them
  • Adheres to AP Style
  • Does not contain biased language or opinion
    • Ex. Adjectives like “good,” “beautiful” and “unfortunate” can only be used if paraphrased from a source’s quote and attributed to the source
  • Does not contain sweeping generalizations that are impossible to verify
    • Ex. “Many students have trouble knowing where to go for computer help.” Is this true? Possibly. Can we verify it? Only if we talk to over 60% of students on campus. Can we do that? No.

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