Written story assignment details

Write and publish on your site a 500-600 word short feature story from your beat. Stories should include at least two human sources and one non-human documentary report or statistical source. Ask yourself who the story is for and what that audience would want to know. You are required to take a photo for this story.

We’re using this assignment to work on strong web headlines and storytelling methods. Take cues from the examples discussed in class and posted to this site.

Your human sources should have a first- or second-degree connection to the story, meaning you need topic experts, event organizers, attendees or parties directly involved with your story. Man-on-the-street interviews are not permitted. Friends, family, significant others, roommates, coworkers and fellow Temple students are off-limits. All sources need first and last names unless you clear anonymity with me first. Your non-human sources are fact-based, statistical and/or contextual website, studies, etc. Someone’s website is not a source. Wikipedia is not a source. A link to other media coverage is not a source. Think back to your journalism research days. Non-human sources must be hyperlinked or embedded — no floating links.

You need to take (at least) one photo to go with this story. It should appear at the top of your WordPress post with a detailed caption. Using someone else’s photo, regardless of whether you have permission, is not acceptable. If you are offered press photos, contact me to discuss how to use them.

  • 3 points off for breaking the headline rules we discussed in class
  • 2 points off for not hyperlinking or embedding your non-human source
  • 3 points off for every photo error (size/format, caption, usage rights)
  • 2 points off every grammar mistake
  • 1 point off for every AP Style mistake
  • 1 point off for missing tags and categories
  • 10 points off for every missing source/source that does not meet the requirements
  • 30 points off for misspelling, capitalizing or punctuating the name of a source
Publishing details

In addition to publishing your story on our site, you need to send me two things by deadline:

  1. The names and numbers of your human sources
  2. The link to your tweet about your published story

Publish your story to our class site by 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18. All required elements must be on your story for it to be considered complete. Failure to publish by deadline will result in an automatic zero.

Extra credit

Ten extra credit points are available to be added to this assignment only for students who include a data viz component on their story. You may use Infogr.am, Datawrapper or Google Fusion Tables to create a visualization using data that advances your story. Do not regurgitate the information from your non-human source. The data viz component must include a heading/contextual information about the data, and should hyperlinked or embedded in the final line of your story copy. You need to include the source for your data on the visualization.



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