Exercises

EXERCISE W13-1

 

Group the following information into four pods, numbered in the order in which they would appear in your story.

 

  • A local woman, Beulah McAdams, is turning 112 years old this week. She was born and raised in your city, where she worked as a grade-school teacher for 35 years.  She is blind, but still walks a mile a day with her granddaughter, Miko Amari.  McAdams, born Beulah Saint-Marie, was married to Walter McAdams, who died in 1995.  McAdams had six children, five of whom are still alive.  Two, Mary Amari and Jesse McAdams, live in your town.  McAdams lives at home with Amari, her husband and two children.

  • You talk briefly with Beulah McAdams.  She says the following:  “I’m as surprised as anybody that I’m still around.  But I’m happy to be here.  Not everybody gets to live close to family anymore.”

  • You talk with Dr. Lily Espinoza, who lives in your state capital, where she specializes in geriatric medicine and studying longevity.  She tells you the following:  McAdams will be the oldest person in your state, and one of the 25 oldest people in the U.S. McAdams is a supercentenarian, or a person who is 110 years or older.  She says there are currently 70 verified supercentenarians in the U.S.  The oldest living person in the U.S. is Misao Okawa, who is 116 years old.  “People get caught up in asking how they can live longer,” Espinoza says.  “But of course, the most important thing is how they can extend their quality of life, and that’s one of the wonderful things about Beulah:  She is physically mobile and still lively and happy.  We are particularly interested in studying people like her.”

 

EXERCISE W13-2

 

Group the following information into four pods, numbered in the order in which they would appear in your story:

 

  • You talk to police Capt. Sarah Meinhart, who tells you the following information:  A semi truck and a Ford pickup truck collided at the corner of Main Street and Fourth Avenue in your town at 7 a.m. yesterday.  The pickup was backing up and the driver, Sonny Manuelo, said he didn’t see the semi.  The semi truck driver, Fred Arleson, was speeding approximately 10 miles over the speed limit.  He tried to avoid the pickup but overcorrected and his truck overturned. Arleson was treated and released from Mercy Hospital. Manuelo was unhurt.  No one was hurt, although the pickup was totaled, and the semi truck flipped, spilling thousands of pounds of bananas.

  • You talk to Manuelo, who says the neighbors were collecting bananas and giving them to friends and family members.  “It smells pretty good around here,” he says.

  • Arleson says the bananas were on their way to your town’s nearest two supermarkets.

 

EXERCISE W13-3

 

Group the following information into pods, numbered in the order in which they would appear in your story:

 

  • Your area experienced heavy storms starting at 8:30 p.m. and ending around midnight.

  • This was after a month-long drought, in which your area had no rainfall.  Area farmers had lost some of their crops, and the U.S. Forest Service was concerned about wildfires.  People had been asked to voluntarily cut their lawn watering to twice a week.

  • The storms included 3 inches of rain in roughly three hours, according to a local meteorologist.  That’s a record for your area.

  • Mudslides covered area roads.  Two major roads had to be closed, and schools started two hours later than usual as a result.

 

EXERCISE W13-4

 

For a news story you’ve already begun researching and reporting, group your information into pods.

 

EXERCISE W13-5

 

Add transitions to the following brief story to make the connections between thoughts clearer:

 

     Two swimmers set a record Sunday night when they swam across Lake Ocochogee in fewer than two hours.

     Rory Hickenlooper, 25, and James Despacio, 24, said they were tired but happy after the effort. 

     They said that they had trained for months.  They said they never doubted they could make it.

     Lake Ocochogee is approximately three and a half miles wide, the widest lake in the state.

             

EXERCISE W13-6

 

Add transitions to the following brief story to make the connections between thoughts clearer:

 

     Student debt has continued to rise in the past 20 years, according to a recent study.

     Large groups of students in every income group now borrow money.  Twenty years ago,         low-income families were the only ones in which the majority of students borrowed, the study said.

     Students from high-income families don’t graduate with much debt.  Students in low-                income or middle-income families are graduating with debt, the study said.

 

Chapter 13
 

WHAT ABOUT OTHER KINDS OF NEWS STORIES?

 

Examples

Exercises