Meeting Story – Jour

For Story Assignment , you will write a 300-350-word meeting news story enhanced for an online audience based your bellow; Meeting Story.

Keep in mind that Story 2 has two parts:

1) a 300-350-word news story based on the scenario or scenarios assigned by your instructor; and

2) Web or social media enhancements (i.e. links to relevant Web resources, tweets, Instagram photos, Snapchat texts, Pinterest posts, etc. ).

The assignment assumes you are a reporter for the Harkensville Daily Gazette. Your job is to assemble the information from one scenario into an inverted pyramid for a summary news story that will be published online and in print after midnight on the evening that the meeting was held. Assume Harkensville is in your home state. Make sure your story contains correct grammar, punctuation and AP style

Some tips for success:

·         The lead for your story should contain no more than 20 words and a single sentence. Write it in the active voice. Include the most important detail of the story.

·         Answer these questions in the lead: What happened? Who-did-what-when?

·         Use The Inverted PyramidThe Central Point and The Body of a News Story lectures to help you write the story in inverted pyramid style. Start with the most important detail. Each paragraph should include the story’s next-most important detail. The last paragraph should be unimportant. 

·         Use the Transitions lecture to help you ensure every paragraph has something to do with the ones before and after it. Ask yourself: What does this sentence have to do with the one before it? If you can’t pinpoint the relationship, you’ve got your paragraphs in the wrong order. Use the News Article Paragraph Organizer to help you figure out an appropriate flow for your story. 

·         If you use a quotation, make sure it is a direct quote. You may not put quotation marks around anything that you cannot attribute to an individual. If the scenario does not have quotation marks around a sentence, do not add them. It is inaccurate (and a serious journalistic offense) to enclose paraphrased material in quotation marks. Be sure to follow the rules for punctuating quotations outlined in the Newsgathering and Interviewing lecture.

·         Do not offer any opinions or draw any conclusions. Do not wrap up the story in the last paragraph. Avoid adjectives; most are value-laden and may even be considered libelous. Use the Libel and Ethics lecture as a guide.

·         Delete any unnecessary words. Your goal: economy of language. Write short, simple words, short paragraphs, short sentences. (But try not to make your writing choppy.) Use the Concise Writing lecture to help you.

·         Look up all style points in theCourse AP Stylebook lecture.

·         Check spelling and grammar. Make sure your facts are absolutely accurate. Do not add or assume anything that’s not there in black and white.

·         Spell names correctly. For this exercise, the names in the police report are spelled correctly. You’ll lose a full letter grade for a misspelled name.

·         Write literally. Avoid misplaced modifier.

Meeting Story

You are a reporter for the Harkensville Daily Gazette. These are your notes about the Harkensville County Council meeting that you attended this evening. Edit and assemble these facts into a summary news story of 300-350 words.

 Assume Harkensville is in your home state and that your story will be published online and in print after midnight on the evening this meeting was held. Make sure your story contains correct grammar, punctuation and AP style.

The County Council heard about the hate crimes in a report from sheriff during the County Council’s regularly scheduled Tuesday night meeting. The Sheriff’s Office is seeing a rise in hate crimes in Harkensville County. Sheriff Noah Lane said his office has investigated 54 hate crimes and bias incidents this year, which is up 21 percent from last year. Most of the incidents have occurred since the summer, including an Israeli flag burning on Monroe High School’s football field, a swastika painted on a fence near the front doors to the Libertyville library and racist graffiti spray-painted on cars parked at Steiner’s Grocery. He also said a Pakistani exchange student was attacked outside the Pennywhistle Diner. A Baptist church was vandalized with the words “Whites only.” County Commissioner Thomas Roszkowski had his “Make American Great Again” banner splattered with eggs and later torn down from his liquor store in Grantville. He said a Muslim-American teen had her head scarf yanked off on Maple Street in Longview last month.

The council also heard from Harkensville Police Chief Denny Malloy. He said a physical education teacher at Harkensville Elementary School was suspended last Friday after he allegedly told some Latino students they were going to end up in foster care because their parents were going to be deported. He said many of hate crimes have occurred in the county’s schools. He said many cases go unreported because the victims are afraid. He said his the Sheriff’s Office, the City Police Department and the public school system are committed to investigating every reported case. The state attorney general has setup a 1-800-555-1212 hate crime hotline.

Comments from the council members at the Tuesday meeting included: County Council member Antonio Delgada said, “Are people losing their minds?” County Council member Hilda Sweet said, “We need to speak out against this kind of bullying.” County Council member Arthur Price said, “Getting involved will only make things worse.” County Council member Martha Glick said, “We have to stand up for our constituents’ constitutional rights. When one person in our community is a victim, all of us are victims.” County Executive Marion Thomas said, “These are cowardly acts taking place after dark. Their victims are traumatized, angry and scared. They feel powerless and vulnerable.”

 The city council members called on residents and county agencies to take a stand against the hate crimes. Council member Hilda Sweet proposed that the County Council formally endorse the rally that the county’s Interfaith Coalition was planning to champion diversity and tolerance. Thomas said the civil rights leader Jesse Jackson had been invited to speak. It is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon at the town square in Harkensville. The board’s vote to endorse the rally was unanimous.

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