How to turn a big story into a ton of big stories

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When the University of Louisville canned coach Rick Pitino after yet another scandal at the school, The Courier Journal didn’t do one big opus story.  They did a ton of them. This is a great example of how to break out sidebars to dive deeply into worthy stories.

And, as Poynter.org reported, the readers flocked to the coverage:

Joel Christopher, the paper’s editor, tells me that two-thirds of a 65-person reporting staff have worked the story over two days. It’s broken all online readership records by various indices (and the vast majority are local readers), he says, and prompted surprisingly little negative response by pro-Pitino diehards in a town where college sports is everything, especially since there are no pro teams.

Let us celebrate the Nut Graf

 

My former Poynter colleague Chip Scanlan explains what the nut graf is and why it is important.

The nut graf has several purposes:

    • It justifies the story by telling readers why they should care.
    • It provides a transition from the lead and explains the lead and its connection to the rest of the story.
    • It often tells readers why the story is timely.
    • It often includes supporting material that helps readers see why the story is important.

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A VR guide

The AP has compiled a fairly massive guide to VR.  (full disclosure they interviewed me for this and I am like a paragraph or so of this very detailed report.)
It claims:

After reading this report, you will know:

1. A new reporting approach called dynamic storytelling that puts the news consumer at the center of the process.

2. Best practices in virtual reality journalism and the tools used, including the nascent technology of “volumetric capture” as well as computer-generated imagery (CGI).

3. Considerations when constructing a news story, including audience participation, the immersive technologies available and the various perspectives presented.

4. Key challenges in immersive storytelling and ways of mitigating those concerns. These include ethics and standards, newsroom workflows, technology deployment, skills and user adoption.

5. Data-driven strategies to produce and distribute immersive media across devices.

A Critical Thinking Exercise About Studies

Every year at TEACHAPALOOZA educators share stories about how they are trying to find ways to get students thinking more critically about the information they hear and read. Here is a great case study.

The University of Maryland released a study that suggests a particular brand of chocolate milk may help young athletes who suffered concussions to recover. The questions arise whether the study makes any scientific, let alone logical sense. Then we learn that the milk company helped pay for the study.