Thorough Reporting by CBS’s Clarissa Ward

Screen shot 2013-07-27 at 7.30.41 PMI want to hold up a storytelling journalist who has both skill and courage.
Watch this piece of CBS’ Clarissa Ward.
From a storyteller’s perspective, pay attention to a few details. She does not take anybody’s word for how many died or HOW they died. She and her photojournalist partner go into the morgue, count bodies and look at the wounds that caused the deaths. The wounds show the government claims to be flatly untrue. The live tag shows her even-handedness as she reports there may have been a protestor who fired a weapon too. She explains the video of hospital workers lifting the grieving brother from the floor-why are they removing him? She explains what the chanters are saying as the bodies are carried past. Exceptional even-handed and measured writing in trying conditions, on deadline.

Covering an Addict’s Real Life

WUSA-TV in Washington DC tells the story of a young drug addict.

The station is with the addict when he injects drugs, suffers through a long day and night. The story seeks to open a window into the gritty life of addiction and recovery.

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Questions:

-What legal concerns should the journalist have about being present in the same place where a person is using drugs?  What would the implications be if the user had died that night?

-How did the production help or hinder the storytelling? How would the story have been different in full color? How did the music, the slow dissolves and other effects alter the story?

-Was the narration appropriate?

-Compare this story to the Pulitzer Prize Winning work of the LA Times.  In 1998, the Times documented the lives of the children of addicts.
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A Writing Challenge

Let’s suppose you have this story to cover for :

-television

-online multimedia

The story is from Casper Wyoming.  Here is a link:
http://trib.com/news/local/casper/casper-man-fulfills-lifelong-dream-dies-three-miles-later/article_1e0acb38-0309-5c6e-846e-439d30170b7b.html

Screen shot 2013-07-18 at 10.22.01 AMIn short, a man who has wanted a Harley motorcycle his whole life got one. He died after riding it three miles.

Here is my challenge.  Suppose you have three photos of the man, an interview with his wife, the Facebook photo he posted when he bought the bike.

-What is the anchor lead?

-What is the opening line and video of the story?

-What is the closing line and image?

-When do you reveal the crash and death?