For Tuesday’s class you will write a one-page proposal for your investigative article.
An investigative article is different from a news article in that it covers a story that raises complex issues, or has far-reaching effects that need to be explored. As a result, investigative articles are longer that hard news articles (usually 3,000-10,000 words) and require more research and reporting. This means that you will need to choose a subject for your article that is big enough and complex enough to warrant investigation.
That said, please follow the guidelines below:
- Be as specific and concise as possible when identifying the topic or issue.
- What is at stake? Why is it important for someone to write about this topic? What will be the benefits? Who will benefit?
- Provide a list of people you will interview and resources you will use to aid your research. Be ambitious. If it would be ideal to interview a Senator, then put him/her on your list. If it would be helpful to consult the National Archives, then put that down, too. Note that for this assignment you will need to interview no less than 6 credible human sources, and consult no less than 6 previously published stories on, or relating to, the topic you are writing about. (The College has a wonderful collection of full-text on-line databases.)
- What types of media would enhance the story, or help to better explain the complex data, ideas, or issues that comes with the story?
This is due next Tuesday. Please send it via email before class begins.
Also, please remember that Tuesday we will meet in the Class of 1948 Theatre inside the FAC. Bryan Alexander will be speaking to us about digital storytelling. Check out his bio and the following links, so that you have an understanding of the really interesting work he does.
As you will see in his bio, he is on the staff of NITLE (The National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education), the organization that Sweet Briar President Jo Ellen Parker lead before coming to SBC.
Check out his blog, in particular this post, in which he discusses his self-imposed “Month of Digital Story-telling.”
Lastly, please read (in its entirety) his essay on Web 2.0 Storytelling.
Note that I have briefed Alexander on what we have been doing in our class so far. I have told him about the class blogging project on tumblr and your long-term investigative article, so his remarks will be aimed at helping us realize the potential of the blog platforms and social media we have at our disposal.
Have a good weekend.