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A free summer seminar for experienced high school journalism advisers

From the 23 teachers who attended this workshop in July 2019, we have included Solutions Journalism Story Ideas, other Story Ideas for a whole range of topics and Tech Examples of something they learned, many of these for data visualization, plus some resources anyone can use in the future for these topics.

Moore story ideas

  1. Story Idea
    1. Every year we cover who won the Halloween dress-up competition. A new way to cover this would be a video story package following the shopping/dress-up routine, reactions when winners are announced.
  2. Story Mission and need
    1. The mission for this coverage is to have a fresh angle for information that typically hasn’t been dealt with in a fresh way.
  3. Why report it now?
    1. We will report it on the dress-up day because of the timeliness.
  4. Essential Questions
    1. Who is planning to dress up?
    2. Which categories are they planning to compete in?
    3. How can we set up times to get video coverage?
  5. Sources to use, live and non-live
    1. Sources should try to represent each of the categories for which we offer an award
  6. Potential issues with sources and how to solve them?
    1. A potential issue would be working around the schedules of students we want to video, trying to get footage that we need
  7. Medium/media to best tell the story? Why this or these choices?
    1. Video story package posted to our Vimeo channel
      1. Student costumes are often super visual, and we’ve done a poor job of showing anything other than showing a group shot of the winners.
  8. Depending on the media used, what visuals would you suggest?
    1. A graphic of the categories in advance, as I feel many of our students don’t know which categories are judged in advance
  9. Range of story angles, supporting materials
    1. Past winners and their thought process in deciding their costume
  10. How will the various information pieces by visually, alternatively presented?
    1. We can present short student videos where they explain where they get their costume ideas.
  11. From infogathering to presentation, what legal, ethical and social responsibility questions might you face and what are some ways they might be handled?
    1. There shouldn’t be any legal issues.
  12. Other questions, points, approaches or media:
    1. Finding a fresh way to present institutional ideas is something I want to focus more on this year, and I feel the presentation by Tasha and Kevin gave a ton of practical ways to accomplish this.

 

 

 

Story my staff has always wanted to do

 

Sheila Moore

Meridian High School, Macon, IL

moores@meridianhawks.net

 

  1. Story Idea
    1. We have a few teachers who share their political beliefs in class, sometimes in a way which makes students feel uncomfortable.
  2. Story Mission and need
    1. Students have wanted to address this issue for a while, but we haven’t felt we had a way to cover this that wasn’t polarized. The Solutions Based Journalism presentation may have given us the opportunity to cover this story.
  3. Why report it now?
    1. As the presidential debates heat up, the climate surrounding it will as well.
  4. Essential Questions
    1. Will students be able to find how other schools have worked with their teachers on this subject? Have these schools been successful?
  5. Sources to use, live and non-live
    1. Administration regarding what the school policy is
    2. Students who’ve felt uncomfortable because of teacher comments
      1. We could even reach outside of our school for this information. The point here is to show this is a problem because of the current political climate.
    3. Administration from area schools regarding their policies
    4. Schools who’ve successfully implemented solutions to this problem
  6. Potential issues with sources and how to solve them?
    1. Some students may want to name drop regarding teachers who’ve done this. I think it’s important to not focus on specific teachers, but rather how policy shapes this issue and how schools with successful programs have dealt with this same scenario.
  7. Medium/media to best tell the story? Why this or these choices?
    1. This would best be covered as a print story on our online publication.
      1. We would then post the story to our social media accounts.
  8. Depending on the media used, what visuals would you suggest?
    1. Creative word art using hot button topics to form a graphic
  9. Range of story angles, supporting materials
    1. A story covering how school systems are a portion of the society who (like what they’re seeing in the media), have strong feelings. This story could cover how what students see in the media impacts how they feel/think about candidates.
  10. How will the various information pieces by visually, alternatively presented?
    1. We could create a chart on Flourish to show how student views of candidates are immediately impacted by news coverage. If we released a survey in the midst of whatever the latest controversy may be (I’m sure there will be no shortage of those), we could use the data in several different chart forms.
  11. From infogathering to presentation, what legal, ethical and social responsibility questions might you face and what are some ways they might be handled?
    1. Should we be worried about creating resentment with the teaching staff?
      1. If we do this story correctly, following solutions based journalism, we should be able to address the issue and offer solutions (where individual teachers don’t feel like targets).
  12. Other questions, points, approaches or media:
    1. This would be an important story in our school, but I worry about the time constraints it would take to cover it accurately, and since many of my students have strong political beliefs, I would need to work with them on this solutions based approach, rather than them feeling they need to convince others to believe the same way they do.

 

 

Idea of your choice

 

Sheila Moore

Meridian High School, Macon, IL

moores@meridianhawks.net

 

  1. Story Idea:
    1. Coverage of new trends for a particular season.
  2. Story Mission and need:
    1. This would be a light-hearted, fun read providing information regarding the latest trends.
  3. Why report it now?
    1. This might make a great back-to-school story. It would be easy enough for a new reporter to use as a first story.
  4. Essential Questions:
    1. What types of trends might we cover?
    2. Who will provide the information? Who is our expert in this area?
    3. Will we cover multiple areas? Fashion? Tech? Apps?
  5. Sources to use, live and non-live
    1. Some of this information can be searched for online. It would also be fun to ask students and get their input on the latest trends, maybe even taking photos of them sporting these trends.
  6. Potential issues with sources and how to solve them?
    1. Trying to make sure we have enough variety in our sources could prove problematic.
  7. Medium/media to best tell the story? Why this or these choices?
    1. We could write this for our online publication and include a photo gallery.
  8. Depending on the media used, what visuals would you suggest?
    1. Juxtapose a recent trend with a new trend. We could do this with several different trends.
    2. Photography would be important for this story.
  9. Range of story angles, supporting materials
    1. Short tutorial videos showing things like make-up trends.
  10. How will the various information pieces by visually, alternatively presented?
    1. We will post our story to our online publication, then use the video clips and photos on our social media platforms.
  11. From infogathering to presentation, what legal, ethical and social responsibility questions might you face and what are some ways they might be handled?
    1. There shouldn’t be issues with this story.
  12. Other questions, points, approaches or media
    1. I would like to come up with something that’s a little more exciting than the ideas I’ve mentioned for this story. I think something fun can be done with this, but I would want my students to brainstorm more for this.

 

 

 

 

Social Media Only Coverage

 

Sheila Moore

Meridian High School, Macon, IL

moores@meridianhawks.net

 

  1. Story Idea
    1. Yearbook Distribution Day is before our school year begins (same day as back-to-school registration), so I don’t have a journalist available to write a story. Instead, I have a yearbook staff who can get community attention via social media for our cause.
  2. Story Mission and need
    1. The mission here is to attract students/parents to pick up their 2018 yearbook and order/purchase the 2019 book.
  3. Why report it now?
    1. Using social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help give updates to our community will help us constantly remind others that books are here, they are exciting, and as a winner of multiple state and national awards, they will want to order the 2020 books on the one day they are available at a discounted price.
  4. Essential Questions
    1. What language (phrases) would be most appealing to students?
    2. Parents have to spend a lot of money at registration already. What will cause them to spend the extra $50 for a yearbook. Is offering the discount enough?
  5. Sources to use, live and non-live
    1. Editor-in-Chief
    2. Yearbook Staff
    3. Parents picking up books
    4. Student reactions to the finished product
  6. Potential issues with sources and how to solve them?
    1. Our sources may be in a hurry to get through the huge number of tables, getting them to stop may be difficult.
      1. Maybe we can offer a small gift, make it worth their while.
    2. What if a source isn’t pleased with something in the book, or the cost of the book?
      1. This would be an opportunity to answer questions for them, show them the value of our book.
        1. This would mean my staff would need prepared for how to answer/address these issues.
  7. Medium/media to best tell the story? Why this or these choices?
    1. Live Video at the distribution
      1. This would allow for viewers who haven’t considered buying a book to get caught up in the excitement of others.
    2. Live Tweeting student responses
      1. The ability for students to retweet posts which feature their reactions would allow staff to spread their message
  8. Depending on the media used, what visuals would you suggest?
    1. We would use the visual of the 2019 cover, and since we already have a cover design for 2020, we could share that as well.
    2. We could do snapshots of powerful photography in the book.
  9. Range of story angles, supporting materials
    1. Recap the creation of the book (photos from the 2018 camp)
    2. Recap working on the book
    3. Recap picking up the book–pics of the printing facilities
  10. How will the various information pieces by visually, alternatively presented?
    1. We could do live video to show excitement at the event
    2. We can release a hype video the night before distribution
    3. A TimelineJS of the book making process
  11. From infogathering to presentation, what legal, ethical and social responsibility questions might you face and what are some ways they might be handled?
    1. There shouldn’t be any issues with this coverage.
  12. Other questions, points, approaches or media:
    1. How can we increase 2020 book sales through this coverage.
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