A Note About Stories
Stories will be graded based upon their state at 5 p.m. the day they are due. That’s for a couple of reasons:
- In a professional newsroom, even though you’ll work with editors, you’re expected to submit professional-quality work that you think is ready for publication. Undoubtedly, it’ll go through rounds of edits. But no editor will want to edit something that’s half baked, with incomplete sources, spelling and AP Style errors and the like.
- We have a professional-quality standard for work published on The Wash. That means we’ll keep editing and editing your stories before they’re appropriate for publishing — which means that “C” quality work won’t get published. Instead, it’ll get edited and developed until it’s “A” quality, at which point it’ll get published. This process unfairly benefits stories that arrive in less-than-desirable quality but uses production day to get better. Therefore, we grade stories based on how they arrive when they dare first due, not how they end up.
To compensate for this policy, both instructors will allow you a “free pass” first look at your story, sometime before it’s due. We will offer feedback and specific edits in addition to the ongoing editorial guidance. Just be sure to get us a draft with enough time for us to look at it — and for you to take our edits and rework the article — before production day.
(100 points total)
Communication (10 points): Communication with editors on the student in-class workday. The majority of this score is a written progress report, but also includes clear verbal communication with editors during the gathering of the news story.
Execution (50 points): Execution of a professionally written news story within the assigned timeframe on the student’s publishing day. This includes the headline and excerpt.
Visual Elements (25 points): Visual elements, including the required featured image and a social media story which both provides news content and entices the reader to visit The Wash for the full version. (This needs to include video and/or pictures with graphics.) You are strongly encouraged to go beyond the minimum requirements for visual elements and include any relevant photos, audio bites, video snippets, pull quote, charts/graphs and/or interactives, etc.
Newsgathering (15 points): Newsgathering effort, including the strength and depth of research, news timeliness and the quality of interview subjects.
*The spot news story will add 10 extra points to the newsgathering category and eliminate the communication category.