Multisource Web Story Assessment Process
Write an issue-oriented feature story about a topic that is relevant to campus or your local community (Pomona/Los Angeles). Issue-oriented features are usually not as time sensitive as hard news stories, but often relate to something currently in the news. For example, an issue-oriented feature about legal recreational use of marijuana was especially newsworthy during the 2016 California legislative session, but could be pertinent almost any time depending on an angle (for example, the growth of the industry).
The possibilities for this assignment story are vast, so consider choosing an issue that interests you or maybe even a problem you do not know anything about. It should be an objective-style report, not an opinion piece written in a blog-style format.
Your feature must be based on at least four sources with at least three interviews you have done for the story. Your story should include research from credible sources, and at least one of your interview sources should be an expert or official voice — someone who is an expert or responsible regarding the issue. Start early with emailing professors or campus employees so that you get a response on time.
Another source could be a document source – a document that you have found on the web, or a source from traditional media online formats (hint: a good option for a hyperlink). Do not use Wikipedia as a source. Other two sources could be two students, however, have in mind to use students’ quotes only if they are relevant for the story (e.g., if you are writing a story on the necessity that CPP increases the number of electric car charging stations, your sources can’t be any students, but only those who drive electric cars or have direct experiences with the charging stations on campus).
You story should include a headline, a summary (shorter for the Web) or alternative lead and could use any appropriate structure. The story also should include two hyperlinks to provide either more details/background, a link to the official document, etc.
At the end of the story provide your sources’ contact information and word count.
A story should be at least 750 words long, and it must be localized or about an issue of interest to Cal Poly Pomona students or Southern Californians.
Some examples of issue-oriented features include (but are not limited to):
– Low-cost healthcare for the uninsured
– Benefits and disadvantages to getting a degree in arts and sciences at the polytechnic university
– CPP population and enrollment trends affected by COVID-19
– Students who live green – dedicated to organics, recycling, etc. even though it may be costly when you’re a poor student
– Cheating on college campuses
– Immigrants on campus
– Students who work to survive financially
Ability to differentiate writing for the Web from writing for print
Application of elements crucial for writing for the Web (lesson on Writing for and on the Web)
Application of interviewing skills
Application of AP style quoting rules
Writing of grammatically and structurally sound sentences
Application of the concepts and rules relevant to journalism practice: headline, AP style, dateline, etc.
Ability to write a multi-source Web feature story
These objectives align with all course objectives listed in the syllabus and prepare students to write fairly, accurately, correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for communication professionals.
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