Friday, June 18, 2010


As I sat down to brainstorm for my story, I had a legal pad full of ideas, some relevant and some not. After dumping anything and everything I could think of on paper, I needed some serious focus.
My students run into this problem all the time when starting to work on a story. How many times have I said cover the football game or the student council event? Where is the focus in that? No where to be found.
I so enjoyed "The Five Stages of a Story" by Michael Roberts. "Take off with an idea and your doomed to mediocrity," he said. "Do one thing really well."
Starting my research with a question and not a topic will make all the difference. Using my question as a backdrop for my research and organization will ultimately help me engage the reader.

Michael Roberts from The Arizona Republic addresses Reynolds Institute participates on narrowing story ideas to a specific question.

Jamie Ray
Vista Ridge High School
Cedar Park, Texas


  1. What a great reminder that there are journalists at the Republic that struggle with the same things I have struggled with... and what my students have struggled with....

  2. I completely agree Jamie. I think that this session was one of the best so far. Great writing tips that will help us as we write our stories this week and will also be valuable for our students.

  3. Every day I am learning so many more ways to make journalism exciting for my students. I, too am grateful to our sponsors, hosts, mentors and my colleagues for this opportunity. I have learned that journalism isn't just a course to teach because no one else would take it. It is an adventure and excitement I can't wait to take back to my kids.

    Nunn Winship
    Warden H. S.
    Warden, Wash.