Skills for journalists in print and digital media.

Five Stages of a Story: Part 2

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The five stages of a story are: Idea. Report. Organize. Draft. Revise.

Each stage has a specific task that much be completed before moving on to the next stage. Skipping or not completing a task means it carries over into the next stage. Reporters and editors who find themselves trying to complete two, three or more tasks in one stage doom their work to failure.

Here are the tasks for each stage:

Five Stages of a Story

Idea: Many stories get off to a bad start when the initial idea is too vague. Even when not much is known about the subject, move beyond a simple topic (i.e. crime; poverty; water conservation) and try to frame a central question that seems to be at the heart of the story.

Report: With that question in hand, report until the question is answered.

Organize: Consider all the information. Reconsider what seems to be the central point of the story. Use that central point (well-shaped idea; one thing) to organize and structure the story, package or other content.

Draft: Produce a first draft to the plan.  Adjust as needed, but if all the conversations in the preceding stages were effective, this should be a time to focus on the elements of writing.

Revise: Revise and polish to the plan.


Written by mroberts8

October 16, 2009 at 11:39 pm

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