COM 351: Story assignment #1

Your first reporting assignment is to interview someone who has been in the news, or someone who is quoted frequently in the media, and write a story that sums up the most interesting things that your subject tells you.
The assignment is due on Tuesday Feb. 1, so that means you have 11 days – not including today – to complete the assignment.

Story guidelines:

  • Please type your story, print it out and give me a copy of it by the start of class on Tuesday Feb. 1.
  • Do not post your story to your blog yet. Wait until I grade it and give it back to you.
  • You are not allowed to interview friends, relatives or family members.
  • Your subject should live in Florida or be of interest to Florida readers.
  • You may conduct the interview in person or by phone or by email.
  • You must shoot or obtain a photograph of your subject.
  • Make sure your subject knows that your story will appear online for the world to see.
  • Your story must include your subject’s first and last name, job title or occupation, age and town of residence.
  • Your must talk to and quote at least two other human sources who are knowledgeable about your subject.

Tips on how to approach the story:

  • If you aren’t following the news now, get up to speed and immerse yourself in what’s going on in Florida.
  • Pick out someone who might have an interesting story to tell.
  • Find that person and conduct the interview.
  • When writing the story, put the newest and freshest material at the top of the story.
  • Give readers enough background to understand what you are writing about, but try to break new ground.
  • Find two other people to comment on – and dispute, in some cases – what your source tells you. So if your source tells you he rode aboard a UFO, you should find someone who will discuss the possibility that the voyage never happened.

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