NPR Senior National Editor Steve Drummond shares his thoughts on making stories pop in this 30-minute chat with StateImpact reporters.
Among his tips:
- Break up the routine. Make sure your stories don’t follow a template or map. Continue reading
This morning, StateImpact Florida aired its first piece in a series of “Planet Money-style” explorations on an issue of interest. Reporters take a single question and pursue the answer, then they have a (scripted) conversation with one another with relevant sound bites sprinkled in.
Planet Money’s conversations come in the form of their tremendously popular podcasts and radio pieces, and their explanatory approach to reporting has landed their first Planet Money piece, “The Giant Pool of Money,” as one of the Top Ten Works of Journalism of the DECADE.
Florida StateImpact reporters John O’Connor and Sarah Gonzalez are aiming to do these segments regularly, and it’s a format you, too, can try in your own state. It’s a good way to work together with your reporting partner and give your audiences an answer to important question on your beat.
How does the Planet Money team do what it does? Here’s the guidance from Planet Money’s Robert Smith, who spoke with our Florida staff. (Hat tip to WUSF’s Scott Finn for taking notes that I could then turn into a blogpost.)
Thanks, broadcast reporters, for taking part in this week’s webinar with Ken and Cathy on how to keep your listeners hooked during your stories. Here are Cathy’s key tips in case you missed the action.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to ignore a radio story? It’ll start and then a few minutes later you’re lost and you don’t care. Once you get out of the story, it’s hard to get interested again.
The key to getting and keeping listener’s attention is storytelling.
The key to good storytelling is story structure.
That means a strong beginning, middle and end.
This is especially important with policy stories. You have to share your passion and enthusiasm for an issue in a way that makes people care. As Nancy Updike said at Third Coast a couple of years back, “the biggest enemy is not bad-ness. It’s okay-ness.” You need to constantly ask yourself: “Is there a better beginning to my story?” “A more interesting middle?” “A snazzier end?”
NPR.org weekend web editor Melisa Goh explains how to convert radio scripts for web and passes on some other helpful web writing tips.
Writing for the Web:
Melisa Goh’s Ten tips for writing web text: