Writing And Reporting The News: Profiles

Academic Connections, Summer 2008

Group One:

  • Devin and Chloe
  • Melissa and Kennedy
  • Brittany and Hailey

Group Two:

  • Chloe and Sydney
  • Kennedy and Danielle
  • Hailey and Toni Lynn

Group Three:

  • Sydney and Devin
  • Danielle and Melissa
  • Toni Lynn and Brittany

Writing and Reporting the News: Profiles

To keep in mind during your interview and during the writing process:

  • What is your angle that makes this piece newsworthy? What is the relevance?
  • What is your focus? What is the main idea for your profile?

What are the “hard goods” on who, what where, when and why? Then move beyond those … Remember The GOAL Method:

  • Move beyond what the person does to consider the interviewee’s goals, obstacles, achievements, and logistics (background).

Graphics: Although you will be incorporating graphics into the body of your piece rather than pulling them aside into an extra box, some of the prompts suggested for graphics might be helpful when engaging with your interviewee:

  • Statistics (occupation, birthday, birthplace, current home, etc)…
  • My fantasy is…
  • If I could change one thing about myself, it would be…
  • The best times of my life…
  • Behind my back my friends say…
  • These words best describe me…

Organizing the Profile (p. 501-502):

  • What are the supporting themes?
  • How are time frames best approached?
  • How can you move beyond basic chronology?
  • Can you use a point and counterpoint method?

Consider transitions (493-494):

  • Focus on seamless transitions
  • Weave background information into the story rather than including it in one long paragraph
  • Think about rhythm and flow

Other ideas:

  • Establishing rapport is crucial to the interview process.
  • Conducting research about your interview subject (and his or her interests) before the interview is also an important strategy.
  • Details are also important: notice sounds, smells, colors, appearance, modes of interaction, etc.
  • Do not try to write everything down. Engaging with the interviewee and listening are both important skills you bring to the interview process.
  • You do not have to ask just one question about one particular topic. You can ask the same question in more than one way.
  • Be creative. Grab your reader’s attention quickly. Find a hook!
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