The Wash

Progress Report


The progress report helps you think about how much you’ve accomplished toward your story-goals and what work remains to make it publish-ready.

We don’t want to ask, “Are you done yet?” It’s your job to communicate successes, problems, delays, or alterations to your original story idea/pitch.

This is a written report due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday of your research/workday. It’s worth 10 points of your 100-point story. This is about communication.


The report should convince your editors you have:

  • Conducted at least one interview. Write out a great quote you might use in your story. Inform us if you spoke with a subject in person or on the phone. Tell us who you interviewed and why they are relevant to the story if it is not obvious.
  • Completed, set up or scheduled a second interview.
  • Plans for a third interview subject and location.
  • Completed or nearly completed research on your topic. If there are components which still need to be confirmed, list them.
  • Adapted the story to the facts you’ve discovered after making the pitch.
  • The ability to meet your deadline the following week.
  • Thinking about or have started a rough script on your social media tease.

We are not going to require a certain number of words or a format. You decide how to best communicate the information in a succinct and informal way.


Complete the Progress Report Form for each of your five planned stories. (No need to complete it for the spot news story.) If you make a mistake or need to resubmit, you can do that — we’ll assess your most recent version submitted before the deadline.


My story pitch is coming together beautifully. Here’s a quick recap of my work.

The director of the D.C. Planning Department sat down and did an in-person interview with me about my approved topic: a million dollars-worth of new sewer grates in my neighborhood. Many are missing or old. I also spoke with a deli owner who was really happy about the project. He told me, “Little kids run up and down the sidewalk in the rain and they can’t see that the grate is missing. I always feared one would fall in. I guess someone finally listened to my complaints.”

I’m going to go to another part of my beat Saturday and talk to regular folks who probably don’t know about all the money getting put into this.

I’ll snap a picture of a missing grate at that time too. I’m behind on the social media thing. I’ll email you a script over the weekend.

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