Now that you’ve organized and written a short story from a press release, it’s time for you to try your hand at reporting and writing the news.
Almost any time the president gives a press conference, it’s news. Here, President Obama makes a statement on the situation in Libya. You’re going to pretend you were in attendance, and write the story you’d submit to your editor to be printed in tomorrow’s newspaper. (Note - the video is dated March 18, but for our purposes just say it happened “yesterday.”)
Here are the specifics:
1. Watch the video all the way through, listening closely for your hard-news lead.
2. Watch the video again, but this time take notes and begin to sketch out your story.
3. Turn the video off.
4. Sit down with nothing but your notes and a blank computer screen, and try to write your lead. Can you do it? (If not, try watching the video again. But just remember that when reporters do this live, they only get one crack at it. They can’t ask Obama to repeat things or to read the statement again. Pretty impressive, right?)
5. After you write your lead, try to write a 250-word news story. For this, feel free to use outside sources if you like. Just don’t forget to attribute them.
American, European and Arab leaders began the largest international military intervention in the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq in an effort to stop Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s war on the Libyan opposition.
“Leaders meeting in Paris on Saturday afternoon said direct strikes against Libyan government forces, as approved by the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, would begin within hours.” - The New York Times
Looks like we’re going to bomb Libya. The Security Council approved a measure on Thursday authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians from harm at the hands of forces loyal to Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi.