Category Archives: Assignments

Reporting challenge

Run, run, run

Students in News & Feature Reporting class at Flagler College will hit the streets of St. Augustine, Fla., in search of their next story.
The challenge will be to find a news story in a specific section of the city – defined by the three maps below.
Maps A, B and C will be assigned at random. Students should be able to defend their stories as newsworthy. Among the traditional qualities of a news story, according to the book, “Writing and Reporting News” by Carole Rich:

  • Timeliness: An event happening now or in the immediate future.
  • Proximity: An event happening in or near St. Augustine.
  • Offbeat or unusual: Bizarre events or people doing unusual things.
  • Human interest: Stories of people with exceptional experiences or achievements.
  • Conflict: Confrontations among people, or people vs. an institution, company, government, etc.
  • Impact: How a regional, national or international story might affect residents in St. Augustine.
  • Helpfulness: A story that helps readers with consumer, health and other issues.
  • Celebrities: Stories of entertainers, musicians, athletes and others who have gained fame or notoriety.
  • Entertainment: Stories that are funny, inspiring or enlightening.
  • Issues or problems: Stories about crime, racism, immigration, poverty and other issues.
  • Trends: Stories that illustrate shifts in opinion or behavior.

Stories should be at least 400 words long and cite three human sources. Due date: Sept. 27.

Map A

Map B

Map C

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Magazine article presentations

Here’s the assignment: Read your article – some assigned and some wild card (your pick) – and then tell the class about it.

Please answer the following questions in your presentation to the class:

  1.  Name of article
  2. Name of magazine where it first appeared
  3. Name of author
  4.  Background of author. Is he/she a freelancer, staff writer or contributor?
  5. What expertise does the author have to write the article? Was the author a good or a bad pick to do this story? Why?
  6. What is the article about? Briefly summarize the story.
  7. What is the article’s news peg, if any? A news peg is often a tie to current events, trends, news, or a specific date.
  8. Is the article credible? Does it have depth? How many sources are quoted? Are they primary sources – people with direct knowledge of the topic?
  9. Does the article cite any public documents, reports or records? If so, which ones?
  10. How would you rate the article? Boring? Interesting? Disturbing? Thought-provoking? Give the class your opinion on the article.

During class on the day of your presentation, you are required to turn in a typed sheet that summarizes your answers to the questions above.

This assignment is worth 10 points. Your oral presentation is worth 5 points; your written summary is worth the rest of the points.

The schedule:
Oct. 8
Rebecca – Trial by Fire
Johanna – p 57
Kevin – p 183
Kristen – Sixty Hours of Terror

Oct. 17
Joe – Vanish
Chelsea – Wild card
Crystal – The Last Abortion Doctor

Oct. 22
Brittany – p 343
Sam – p 119
Lois – p 31
Abby – p 195

Oct. 29
Chase W – p 171
Chase C – Wild card
Kiersten – p 91
Elizabeth – p 3

Nov. 5
Shane – p 467
Katie – p 215
Pauline – p 493
Brianna – p 235

Nov. 14
Isabella – Wild card
Zach – p 315
Maria – p 369