We made it! This is the final story assignment of the semester. All that’s left after this is improving this website and fine-tuning portfolios.

Because this is the final story, and because it’s weighted more heavily than other story assignments, this story will be demanding. And it will require that you use all the skills we’ve been practicing this semester.

Part 1: 800 to 1,000 written words

This should be written as a news feature story, which means you need a super strong headline and storytelling lede to pull readers in. The story should be on your beat, of course, and requires at least two human sources and at least two non-human sources.

Part 2: audio, video, social and data viz

Beef your story up with additional elements by choosing two from this list:

  • audio slideshow
  • video
  • Storify
  • Infogr.am chart
  • map

These elements should tell very specific parts of the story and fit into the written story. Use the houseboat story from earlier this semester as an example. You might also include a map of the houseboats with a key showing who lives where, and your written story could be about development changes on the river putting houseboat owners at risk of eviction. And consider the guitar slideshow. Maybe your written story is about guitar shop and you create a Storify that shows how much effort musicians put into finding the perfect instrument. Your finished product should have three pieces of a story that come together to tell one.


We’ve done lots of pitching and plenty of discussion and editing, so this is your chance to apply everything you’ve learned to one final story. Come to class with at least one strong pitch that you’ve given a lot of thought to and you feel confident about. Show me you’ve done research and you know what you’re talking about.

See requirements for the video and audio slideshow assignments on deductions related to those specific elements. See Storify requirements on deductions related to that specific element. Maps and Infogr.am charts need at least 10 data points.

  • -10 if you’re unprepared to pitch your story or aren’t participating in the pitch process
  • -10 for every factual error
  • -10 for every source that is missing, does not meet our source requirements or does not have contact info
  • -5 for a headline that doesn’t meet our requirements (this applies to the written story and all additional elements
  • -5 for elements that do not add to your story
  • -5 for not crediting a source on the Infogr.am or map
  • -5 for not adhering to our storytelling style
  • -3 for not tweeting a link to your story
  • -2 for grammar and spelling errors

Email me a piece of your story by Thursday, Nov. 10. This can be a link to your Infogr.am, b-roll for a video, your Storify or another element you’ve made real progress on. This story should be published no later than 3 p.m. Nov. 17. All elements must be live at deadline for this assignment to be considered complete. Failure to publish your story by deadline will result in an automatic zero. Written stories published without two other elements will be considered incomplete and therefore will result in an automatic zero. Email me the contact information for your human sources and the link to your tweet of the story. Extensions will not be granted for this assignment unless you can prove a true hardship. This will require advance notice and documentation.


Your two additional story elements should appear within the written part, not way at the bottom of your post. Check out some of these examples for formatting, and to see how other journalists use tools like video, slideshows and data viz to tell a story within a story.

Philadelphia Neighborhoods story on Mummers diversity

NewsWorks feature that tracks Philly’s recycling

Billy Penn story on Citywide Special values