For your first article, you will be writing a 400-500 word news story based on a public meeting. Your instructor will review it and return it to you for revision. See details below.
Important: Before you write, make sure you read this week’s module posting: Sample public meeting story as a guide for the style required to write this story. Also check out this SGA story example (Links to an external site.).
Meetings you can cover
Select from one of the following meetings that best meets your schedule demands. Dates and times are listed. Due to Covid and other considerations, you may want to choose a meeting that is already recorded and archived, such as a Denton City Council meeting.
- About these meetings
- These meetings generally run about two hours, but some can run longer. You must be present for the entire meeting.
- Some meetings may be simulcasted live. Some may also have recordings you can view online.
- Pay attention to resolutions that may be brought up for discussion and/or vote. This type of information is VERY important for constituents.
- Be sure to get the names and titles (if applicable) of the people who speak during these meetings. You will need these for the direct quotes. Everyone you quote must be identified with first and last name, and if an official, their title. (Ex. Mayor Gerard Hudspeth)
- Download the agenda that accompanies the meeting and click on hyperlinks contained inside to get background information helpful to your reporting and writing.
- Use this News Article planning sheet (docx) Download this News Article planning sheet (docx)to help you organize your facts.
- This story must follow the inverted pyramid structure. Do not relay the meeting in chronological order.
- Your lead must be a summary lead that captures the most newsworthy elements of who, what, where, why, when and how.
- Include at least two compelling direct quotes from the meeting’s speakers.
- With the exception of direct quotes, put EVERYTHING in your own words. Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty and will result in a grade of 0 for this assignment. Please see the syllabus for details.
- Create an appropriate dateline and headline. Remember, headlines must be present-tense sentences. Only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
- Spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and AP Style are important.
- Must have at least THREE sources. One of them must be a person who is impacted by the decision OR a person who can add understanding to what was discussed.
- Your word count does not include your headline or dateline.
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