…more on the advance stories

The paper due on Oct. 22 will be an Advance Story, one that alerts your readers to an interesting and newsworthy upcoming event or opening. You see these all the time for scheduled press conferences/announcements, speaking engagements, symposia, exhibit openings, festivals, groundbreakings, etc. Look for all the news qualities we’ve talked about in case: proximity, timeliness, celebrity, unusual, conflict, impact, usefulness, and so on. Where to find ideas? Look in your Towson University email, specifically Towson Tigers Today or the official TU broadcast email. Look at the school’s Events calendar. Look at all the TU offices who schedule campus-wide events. And that’s just Towson. Trust me, you’ll find something. What I would do is collect a list of three to four possible stories, and then rank their newsworthiness. Ultimately pick something that will make a good story and will interest you. You’ll have to do some reporting on this one, meaning looking up background from reliable sources and interviewing at least one primary source.

Here (below) is another example of an advance story. Notice how it’s just the facts. No opinion or judgement. Don’t “promote” the event, just give the relevant details. I’m thinking the story will be anywhere from 150 to 600 words depending on the news value and how much background or details need to go into the piece. Just the relevant details, with the most important higher up in the story.

(Towson, MD.) More than 30 employers, from private local firms to international companies, will descend upon campus this weekend as part of Towson University’ s annual job fair.

Participants can meet with company officials, learn how to craft the perfect resume, apply for internships, and otherwise get a leg up on joining the workforce.

Employers scheduled to attend include Siemens, IBM, Legg Mason, PNC Bank, Rouse Co. and Under Armour.

The job fair, started in 1987, has increased in popularity in recent years. University officials estimated that over 800 students attended last year’s event.

“With the job market being so competitive, students are looking to gain any edge they can,” said Barbara Luckett, director of Towson’s Office of Career Services, the event’s sponsor. “Getting face-to-face with a possible future employer is a great first step.”

The fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4 and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5 in the Student Union. No registration is necessary.

For a full list of participating employers, go to www.towson.edu/careerservices/events.

[What is missing? What would make this a better story and have a wider readership appeal?]

Here is another advance story sample. Look at how her bio/background details are used.

And here is one from the Washington Post.  And one from the Baltimore Sun.

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