February 11, 2013 was among every Monday where I attended Steve Rice’s Journalism 2150 lecture with the 300+ students in his class. Rick Agran, was the speaker and he spoke about writing with a mission, as well as writing in a group. His speech was interesting and also relevant to us as journalists because writing with a mission is something we each need to take to heart. I also found his strategies on how to write in a group applicable to us as students. While writing in a group is not something we will use everyday in our future careers, it is applicable in our classes today. Also as students we are just starting to capture the idea of being unique and creative in our writing, which seems to align similarly to having a mission. Some of the interesting points I enjoyed from Ricks lecture include:
- To write good Missions:
- Write a draft mission, Share reflect, focus and get feedback
- Focus on the values or outcomes rather than the specific tactics
- Explain what the story is going to accomplish rather than what reporters are going to do with it
- Clearly define your project boundaries, given the time and resources you have
- Reflect on your audience and its needs
- Group writing:
- Have each group member write a draft mission. Share, reflect, focus and combine.
- If your questions are going all over the place you might need to revisit, rewrite or refocus your group mission.
- Always revise the mission together as a group
Another source for learning about how to write with a mission is the from Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. This link provides an article sharing the SPJ view of writing with a mission: http://www.spj.org/mission.asp
Lastly, writing in a group or with a mission is something that we are still learning. While Rick Agran had some great tips on how to start this process, Steve Row from hsj.org had 15 other tips on news writing. Check out his 15 suggestions and article here: http://www.hsj.org/Students/index.cfm?requestAction=goMenuContent&menu_id=7&CmsPagesID=261