Reporting on a deadline – IMR

For Intro to Media and Reporting

You are  reporter on assignment and you have to produce a story by tomorrow.

Choose ONE of the following:

– a news or feature story about a current issue or event in Coppell. Minimum 400 words with two or more sources. Or you can write a column about a current issue or event in Coppell. Make it timely. Story or column needs at least one photograph with cutline.

– photo gallery (of the same topic or event, current and Coppell related) of 12 photos with full cutlines (5 W’s and an H included). You must be the photographer and it must be 12 distinctly different photos.

– minimum 90 seconds video news segment on a current Coppell issue or event

NOTE: Your sources can not be Intro to Media and Reporting learners in 2nd, 3rd and 7th periods.

Remember, your topics must be timely and Coppell related. Follow the proper structure

DEADLINE: End of class Wednesday, March 19. Post assignment to your WordPress when you are finished.

Tips: Remember the following when producing your pieces.


  • When finishing your story, please look it over and check for the following.
    · Is the lede paragraph 1 or 2 sentences and totaling 35 words or less?
    · Is each paragraph indented?
    · Are the paragraphs following my lead 1, 2, or 3 sentences and not 4 or more?
    · Are my sentences concise (25 words or less?)
    · Do I have a minimum of three quoted sources? These need to be good, insightful quotes that do not state the obvious.
    · Do the quotes follow the following style?
    “Students at the high school who have turned 18 or will be by election day need to get out and vote,” school board president David York said. “This election is very important and will really benefit all of CISD. It would be great to see high school students voting.”
    · Remember, it is not ,” said David York.  It is ,” David York said. 
    · Did you check for AP Style? All stories must comply with AP Style
    · Avoid redundancies. For example, you would not say At the age of 16, instead say Joe Bob, 16, is the sports editor of the Sidekick.
    · For dates, remember it is April 16, not April 16th .
    · Did you start a sentence with It’s? If so, change it – we do not start sentences with It’s
    · Did you use the phrase a lot anywhere in your story? If so, take it out. This is a weak, vague set of words we must avoid. Also avoid words like many and some as much as possible.
    · Do NOT insert any opinion in a story unless it is a column/editorial. News stories must be objective without your opinion.

Example photo cutline: Coppell High School journalism teacher Chase Wofford (right) assists freshman students Mary Sue and Bobby Jack write cutlines during first period on Friday. Sue and Jack are planning to apply for The Sidekick newspaper as photographers and will need to write cutlines for their photographs.

Video segment reminders: 

Do’s: Identify an original/different angle, be professional (what does this mean???), engage your audience, speak clearly, pace yourself appropriately, stick to your specific topic, open your segment with a catchy lede, sequence appropriately (it does not always have to be start to finish mirroring the progression of the event), choose solid sources providing insight, make your deadline!

Don’ts: Choose an overdone story topic, make your segment a humorous special feature, mumble or speak too fast, allow sources to not take your segment seriously, have distractions in background of your footage/b-roll, violate copyright laws, miss your deadine!


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