Feature writing focus

Today we will:

Discuss stories — what’s your plan? Next week you will need a lead and nut graph for your main piece. How will you get it?

Focus on features:


Discuss class readings:

Dan Gillmor on cititzen journalism

We the Media,” Intro and Chapter One

  1. Journalism has changed, but need for news is still the same
  2. Blogging has a long history
  3. 9/11 was one of the first events covered by community media.
  4. Shift from journalism as lecture to journalism as conversation
  5. The need to defend grassroots journalism to make sure it thrives(“copyright cartel”)
  6. Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, federalists as the “original” bloggers. Muckrakers at the end of the 19th century as the original “personal journalists.”
  7. Journalists have changed history – history of journalism
  8. The rise of the internet & inexpensive tools for production
  9. The web can be used for one-to-one, one-to-many, OR many-to-many communication. Anyone can own a press. The rise of convergent journalism.
  10. Importance to business: “markets are conversations.

Steve Butry

How do his ideas and lists pertain to your search for story and focus?

Picking the right media for a story

Mission Local and NY City News Service

Multimedia Roundup

LA Times —River People

Media Storm — Common Ground — Lost Farms of America 

UB Reporter — Organ Man

Lexington Herald Leader — Turtle Man


Read: (1) Melvin Mencher’s News Reporting and Writing, Chapter 7 (The Writer’s Art) (posted on UB Learns)

Read: (2)  50 Writer’s Tools You Can Use

Write: Write a possible lead and nut graph for your main piece and an idea for your slideshow and third piece.  Also include what questions you hope each piece will answer and a list of possible sources. Email this to me by 3 p.m. Sept. 29.








About jkbiehl

Jody Biehl is the Director of the Journalism Certificate Program at University at Buffalo.
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