Reaching Out

This week we were sent out in the the mean streets of Auckland to test the waters of public opinion and to write our first article as journalism students. In partners, we were assigned the task of choosing a well known topic to quiz the public on, with no more than two questions. Upon doing so we were to hit the streets in search of interview subjects who would be prepared not only to give us their thoughts but hand over their contact details and personal information as well as have their photo taken. As it turns out, not only is it hard to get people to talk to you on record about something as simple as their opinion, but many are also very camera shy. Nevertheless, if you’re dressed well, walk with purpose and sound like you know exactly what you’re doing then it’s not as hard as you may think to get the job done.
[To find the finished article from this week, check out my previous blog post]

All news stories have a universal structure and categories, this was the focus of the week. To make headlines, a story must generally meet one of the following six news values.

Proximity – Timeliness – Prominence – Conflict – Novelty – Human Interest

With structure it must follow the inverted news pyramid. This is way of ensuring the most important and interesting part of a story comes first. The lead of the story contains the 5Ws and H, which should be followed by non-essential additional information that fills out the story, concluding with information surrounding the subject that supports the subject of the story. This structure was developed, not through newspaper logic, but by nineteenth century  telegraph operators in order to ensure that if messages were cut off mid way, they could still relay the essentials (Conley, 2002).

In terms of progress on my personal news story, I’ve heard through the grapevine of locals that an Engineering student studying Mechatronics in my street has just received a scholarship to work on developing robotic limbs for children. I’ve done some digging through old newsletters and records, and this is certainly an up and coming student. They are no stranger to scholarships. In the coming week I hope to reach out to discuss the nature of their scholarship and work.

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