Bob's Newswriting Demo Page
This is a simple Web page made with Dreamweaver to show students a quick way to get started in "Web Publishing" and share news story suggestions and useful-site links.
News writing examples: Beat Reporting
President Obama's response to the shootings of civilians is a good example of using attribution and multiple sources as discussed in chapter 4 of Tim Harrower's Inside Reporting.
Websites with news about Virginia communities and my hometown
- Pulaski's Southwest Times
- The Patch site for Leesburg (look for other Patch.com Virginia communities, from Annandale to Woodbridge)
- TheBurgs.com (the regional section of The Roanoke Times)
- local WDBJ TV
- Daily Hampshire Gazette (the paper I delivered when I was 11 years old)
News I've Read Recently
The death of a Pennsylvania football coach proves many people can't spell "coach" and called him "couch."
RU Tartan: Censorship Bills Suspended
The SOPA and PIPA bills were suspended in response to an Internet protest that included blacking out Wikipedia and other popular sites.
First assignment (will be done in-class):
- Make a "coms104" folder in your public_html folder, and start a simple Web page there using one of Dreamweaver's single-column layouts. Here's a how-to page. Please see the professor during office hours if you have trouble!
- Pick a story YOU like from a major newspaper's website and post the headline and a short summary to your page. Make the headline a link to the original story.
Second assignment (same or next class):
Add a sentence or two to the top of the page saying who you are, where you're from and what your major is.
Add a headline and link to another story you have read recently, with a summary paragraph saying what the story was about and why the story was interesting to you. (Was it one or more of the traditional things news editors think people look for?)
Third assignment (deadline to be announced):
Add a list of at least seven news sites you promise to visit frequently during the semester for experience reading the news:
- A national newspaper (New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post etc).
- Your hometown newspaper or TV station or another Virginia paper (CollegiateTimes, Virginian Pilot, etc.)
- The Roanoke Times
- Another New River Valley regional newspaper or regional TV station,
- A national TV news channel or national magazine or web 'zine. (CNN, FOX, ESPN, Time, Slate, Salon, HuffingtonPost, etc.)
- RU Whim
- The Tartan
Fourth assignment (deadline to be announced)
Add a paragraph that says something like, "My newswriting professor says professional journalists, public relations practitioners, advertising and marketing executives are all starting to explore Twitter.com as a way to share news-links and short updates. Not to be left out, I have created a Twitter account to see what's going on, and I am following these Twitter users..." Then list SIX twitter accounts you are following. They could be related to your news sites above, or different. Possible sources:
- The professor's address: http://twitter.com/bobstep
- His list of New River Valley news-related folks on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/bobstep/nrvj
- All Roanoke Times reporters with Twitter accounts
Story Origins & Sources (for class discussion)
This Roanoke Times story had mostly police and official sources and direct observations by the reporter. There were no in-depth interviews with students, sober or not.
The professor's pages
COMS 104 Basic News Writing http://www.radford.edu/rstepno/104
COMS 460 Journalists in Popular Culture http://www.radford.edu/rstepno/460/jpop