For your Story 3 assignment, you are to conduct an interview or interviews and write a 350-word news feature story (not a Q&A) that can serve as a sidebar to the meeting you wrote about for Story 2.
Your interview must be with a real person, such as a community leader or a subject matter expert who is in a position to talk authoritatively about an issue of your choosing that is closely related to your Story 2’s topic. You will need to apply creative critical thinking and researching skills to figure out who that should be and what topic to explore. Along with the story, you must include the sources full name, title and contact information.
For example, if you wrote about a county council meeting at which funding for the local kill shelter was an issue, you might interview an animal rights advocate about alternative programs. If you wrote about a public school board meeting to eliminate bus routes, you might interview the PTA president who spoke at the meeting about the dangers of walking to school. If you attending a police town hall, you might interview a precinct captain about the rising crime rate you discovered in reviewing the FBI crime date online.
The person or persons you interview must be a community leader, activist, law enforcement official, or other local, state, or national authority on your topic — or someone who spoke at the meeting about the issue, for example, or someone you discovered in your post-meeting research. No friends. No co-workers. No family.
Apply the tips from Newsworthy Interviewing Skills in the Assignment Handouts under the Course Resources link to help you craft your interview questions.
If you are stationed outside the country, you may be tempted to use email to try and reach hometown law enforcement or other authorities to interview for this project. This will take time you may not have. Consider using Skype or the free Zoom software to make your call. If you have a G-mail address, you can make international calls using Google hangout software. Or see this tutorial on how to install Hola, the free Google Chrome extension for a VPN that will allow you to use a proxy server to make calls. Viber is another free option. These options would allow you to interact directly with a source. (Feel free to suggest alternatives to your classmates in Ask the Professor!)
As you integrate quotes into your story, keep in mind that this is what editors look for in a writer’s use of transitions:
Follow journalistic conventions carefully in your interviewing techniques and in your writing, including the rules in the Tipsheet for Using Quotes & Attribution in the Assignment Handouts under the Course Resources link.
The actual story is number 3 not 5
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