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Tuesday, October 7

October 7, 2014

Argument: Exam #1. For next Tuesday, you should have read “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”

New Media: Today we talked about the history of blogging. Hope you were paying attention…

The rest of the class time was spent working in your groups on the next steps you need to take for the blog project, as outlined here: New Media 10.7.14 – Assignment 4, blog creation. All four items on this list should be completed by next Tuesday, and you should post your materials for #1 and #2 (mission statement/about page, list of post ideas) to The Battleship, which you were officially invited to today.

Thursday will be a workday. Once the blogs are up and running, you should expect to do most of the blog work outside of class – these work days will not be a regular fixture, but they are right now because getting the blogs up and running will take more work than maintaining them. Hopefully, anyway. Remember to use your time in class wisely – today was not very focused. Thursday must be more serious and productive.

Siren: Today we talked about basic news leads. The general rule of thumb about a news lead is that:

1. It should be no more than 35 words. (Less is usually better.)

2. It should prioritize who-what-where-when-why/how information, based on your audience. To use our example from class: if Mr. Poling were hired as the defensive coordinator of the Steelers and we wrote about it for the SIREN, we would probably begin a basic news lead with Mr. Poling himself — since he’s the most important thing to our readers. If it were a piece for the Post-Gazette, on the other hand, the Steelers would probably get first mention — since most fans wouldn’t know who Mr. Poling is (yet).

We also talked about the most basic story organizer: the inverted pyramid. The principle here is simple: get your most important information into a story first, and then make successive grafs of descending importance. This is good for the reader: a quick scan of the first couple of grafs will give them the most vital info. And it’s good for reporters, because if a copy editor has to chop four inches from the end of your story, at least they’ll be the least important four inches.

For Thursday: please read the next two pages in your book: 40 and 41.

Style: Today you shared and handed in your Nancy Drew pieces. The style for this week is an essayist, Sloane Crosley. Two essays and an excerpt were handed out in class. Please read and do notes for Thursday.

8th Grade:

Survey: Poetry: Reviewed for the first exam Thursday. I gave out this guide to all the stuff that will be on it — download it if you need a refresher.

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