Update, Next Class


Last class we started to build stories, going beyond the lead. We wrote a short story in class and looked at how to order the details. Here is the short story  based on the summary lead assignment.

Secondhand smoke linked with cancer in dogs

Humans can be a dog’s worst friend.

Short-nosed dogs of owners who smoke are 50 percent more likely to develop lung cancer, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Long-nosed dogs such as collies and retrievers are more protected against second-hand smoke.

John Reif, the study’s lead researcher and a professor of environmental health at Colorado State University, used dogs as models to study the environmental risks of smoke on humans. The results, he said, confirms that exposure to passive smoke increases the risks of humans acquiring lung cancer.

Reif studied the lifestyles of 51 dogs with lung cancer, and 83 dogs with other types of cancers.

He is also studying the effects of pesticides on dogs

Due next week is Story #1, which is based on info found here STORY # 1 (accident). Using the details provided, write a short, straight and objective news story. Inverted pyramid style structure with a summary lead. Remember the 5 Ws and the How and So what? (if applicable). Also remember to Delay ID of certain details. Someone might be referred to as a 21-year-old Towson University senior in a lead, but in the 2nd or third paragraph the person is identified by name as Michael B. Klein, a native of Trenton, New Jersey. No need to invent any facts or details, just use what is given. Quotes should stand alone. Use “says” or “said.” Punctuation goes inside the “”s. Like this quote in the story below, which was based on information from the handout I gave you in class.

Revving up by the sun

A professor at the University of South Florida will soon test drive America’s first solar-powered car.

The vehicle is powered by roof-mounted solar panels and 36 batteries affixed to its undercarriage. The car can cover up to 60 miles per charge and reach speeds of up to 55 mph. It costs roughly 4 cents per mile to operate, compared to 40 cents per mile for gasoline-powered cars. The car even has air conditioning.

Last year, the university received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to study ways to make motorists less dependent on gasoline.

Lead researcher Lee Stefenakos said the sunshine state makes an ideal setting for such a test.

“Florida does not have any energy resource of its own except the sun, so it makes sense to use it,” Stefenakos said.

Stefenakos and others at USF will also test a fleet of 12 other vehicles powered by electricity.

Feel free to Google similar accident stories from NY Times, Baltimore Sun and other daily newspapers. You can use them as a model.

Also due by next Tuesday is your pitch for the advance story about an upcoming newsworthy event. See other post for details of what this assignment entails. A pitch is just a few sentences detailing what you want to write about and why. Why is it newsworthy and worth drawing attention to?


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