Flashcards in Vol 4 Unit 3 Deck (115):
List five of the best sources from which reporters can gather news.
Meetings, events, Public Affairs representatives, stringers, and beats.
How can a reporter gather information from meetings and events?
Take notes, ask questions, and keep eyes and ears open.
What are stringers?
People other than UPARs who write stories for your paper or feed you information for stories.
How can UPARs help you gather news?
They see what’s happening in their unit and can provide stories and ideas for the base newspaper or website.
What information do you record in each UPAR’s reference file?
Name, squadron, duty title, phone number, and e-mail address.
What type of system is used when a reporter is assigned a list of offices to visit each week?
A beat system.
What publications can you use as an outline for assigning beats?
Base telephone directory and wing organizational chart.
What are two alternatives to basic news sources from which you can gather news?
Any two: Base telephone directory, the Force Support marketing specialist, other people, electronic media.
How can you use the base telephone directory to gather news?
Browse for ideas or behind-the-scenes organizations.
What is the Force Support marketing specialist’s duty?
Publicize all of the sporting events, tickets and tours, and outdoor recreation programs on the base.
How can the Force Support marketing specialist assist you in gathering the news?
Often times, the marketing specialist is willing to gather all of the services material and submit it to you in the proper format for publication.
As a reporter for your newspaper, who are some of the people you must get to know?
Commanders, staff agency chiefs, command chief master sergeants, first sergeants and local recruiting offices.
What can electronic news sources provide a Public Affairs reporter?
Story ideas, photos, and graphics support.
List the four steps in preparing for an interview.
1) Prepare; (2) devise a story angle; (3) write questions; and (4) make an appointment.
List eight items to research before you schedule an interview.
(1) The spelling of the person’s name; (2) the person’s title or rank; (3) the person’s background (where the person was before assuming the current position); (4) what has been written about the topic in newspaper articles before; (5) what has the person said about this topic before; (6) the air Force policy concerning the topic; (7) your commander’s position on the topic; and (8) other relevant details.
When developing a story angle (or peg), what four questions do you ask yourself?
(1) What will the story be about? (2) What information gaps remain after my research?; (3) What sources
must I interview?; and (4) What can each source tell me?
After conducting your research, what do you do to form your thinking and help prevent you from groping during the interview?
Write a trial lead or two.
How many questions should you prepare before going into the interview?
At least 10.
In what order do you write down your questions?
In a logical order.
Why do you make an appointment in advance for an interview?
People are busy in their jobs.
Why do you keep conversations with aides, secretaries, and so forth friendly and respectful?
To help ensure you get the interview.
Identify 10 interview techniques.
Any 10: prepare; be punctual; check your appearance; be respectful; state the purpose; ask your questions;
probe; be sensitive; be flexible and attentive; vary procedures; take good notes; leave gracefully.
What should you have ready when you leave for an interview?
All of your supplies and your questions.
What is a good way to relax your source in the opening of an interview?
Ask three or four easy questions.
If you are getting vague answers from a source, what do you need to do?
Ask follow-up questions to get more definite and useable story information.
What do you do if, during the course of an interview, a new angle becomes apparent which may
prove more interesting than the original plan?
Abandon your preplanned approach and follow the new angle.
Why should you take good notes, especially when you interview someone who is talking about numbers or highly technical information?
You can’t remember everything a source says.
Why do you review your notes immediately after an interview?
To fill in gaps and clarify your scribbling while the information is still fresh in your mind.
What determines the type of technique you use during an interview?
The subject’s temperament and your ability to adjust to each situation.
What does using an audio recorder during an interview help you do?
It helps you concentrate on what is being said rather than on taking notes.
If you discover your audio recorder stopped in the middle of the interview, what do you do?
Use your notes to fall back on.
What are the six advantages of using an audio recorder during an interview?
(1) They record everything; (2) they catch the words of fast talkers; (3) they allow you to capture the “mood” of a speaker; (4) you can concentrate on what is being said instead of just taking notes; (5) they help protect you from charges of misquoting someone; and (6) they help you improve your interviewing
techniques by providing immediate “feedback.”
List the seven disadvantages of using an audio recorder.
(1) The tape cannot be “read” easily; (2) recorders pick up all sounds; (3) recorders are not always available; (4) recorders are subject to dead batteries, mechanical failures, and other problems; (5) electrical generators and broadcasting equipment can make recorders useless; (6) the source may refuse to speak in
the presence of a recorder; and (7) all persons present must agree to allow you to use the recorder.
What is the policy for use of an audio recorder in a meeting or during a phone interview?
Everyone in the meeting must agree to you using an audio recorder. If even one person objects, you may be legally prohibited from doing so.
What type of news comprises the bulk of your base newspaper or website’s content?
What types of articles does the Air Force newspaper or website carry for balanced and comprehensive coverage?
News, features, commentaries, sports and entertainment from local, command, Air force, and Department of Defense sources.
What type of reporting is inappropriate for base Public Affairs reporters?
What three characteristics does an editor use to determine news value?
Authenticity, good taste, and mass appeal.
Placing the most important element of a story at the beginning is an example of what type of writing style?
In the inverted pyramid writing style, how do you present facts?
In descending order of importance.
What does the widest part of the inverted pyramid represent—the lead sentence or the closing sentence?
What are three important advantages of the inverted pyramid style of writing?
(1) It highlights the news, thus acting as a news bulleting for each item. (2) Having the main idea of an article confined to a single sentence or paragraph at the very beginning helps headline writers and editors by allowing them to write a headline without reading the entire story. (3) It allows the editor to cut copy from the bottom, while preserving the essence of the story.
What is the most important sentence in a news story?
The lead (opening) sentence.
On what factor does lead emphasis depend?
The element you choose to feature.
What variation of the “Who” lead are you using when you identify the people or organization in the bridge?
Compile four questions that you may use as a self-test to check the effectiveness of your leads.
(1) Can your lead stand along? (2) Is your lead conclusive? (3) Does your lead suggest a good headline? and (4) Is your lead authenticated?
What element connects the lead and the body of a story?
What are two purposes of the bridge?
To bring in significant details that are unsuitable for the lead but too important to place in the body and to
provide a smooth transition and continuity between the lead and the body of a story.
Name the five forms of bridges.
(1) How and why, (2) attribution, (3) identification, (4) tie-back, (5) secondary facts.
What is the primary purpose of transitions?
To provide a smooth move from one idea or paragraph to the next.
What part of the news story supports the lead by telling the story in detail?
What percentage of space in your base newspaper should be sports coverage?
10 to 25 percent.
Why should sports writers have knowledge of the game they are assigned to cover?
To be able to interpret the game and related actions to the readers.
What format do you use for most sports stories?
The inverted pyramid.
List at least six elements that make good lead material for a sports writer.
(1) Outcome; (2) significance; (3) how the victory was won; (4) important plays; (5) comparison of teams;
(6) individual records or stars; (7) weather; and (8) crowd or occasion.
What information do you include in the body of a sports story?
Amplify the lead and write a concise, vivid description of the contest.
In a sports story, where does a box score appear?
Immediately following the account of the game.
If you’re assigned to cover a sports event, when should you get the lineups?
Before the game.
What could you do with information about an injury?
Mention the injury in the main story and write a separate short story about the injured player.
Compare the style and construction of the sports story to that of a straight news story.
Sports are written in a more informal style than straight news, even though actual story construction is usually the same.
What are five subjects that make good copy for the sports columnist?
(1) Criticism and comment; (2) predictions; (3) gossip; (4) sports editorials; and (5) practical guidance.
In what type of column do anecdotes about well-known sports figures fall?
A sports gossip column.
In what type of column would you plug attendance for an event?
What is a commentary?
An article in a newspaper or magazine that give the view of the author.
What is the policy for Air Force newspaper commentaries?
Reflect the policies and views of the command and promote specific information objectives.
May a commentary in an Air Force newspaper ever imply criticism of another government agency? Explain.
No. Editorial comment must neither imply criticism of other government agencies nor advocate or dispute
specific political, diplomatic, or legislative matters.
What guidelines do we have on the opening of a commentary?
It should not be long and drawn out.
What are two types of materials, other than commentaries, that often appear on editorial pages?
Columns and cartoons.
Why should a cutline be included with every photo?
It is critical to include additional written information to explain what is happening in that photo and how it ties in to your story. Never take it for granted that your readers are going to derive the same information or draw the same conclusions as someone else simply because it seems “obvious”.
What is the rule regarding text duplication in a cutline and the text of a story?
When used in conjunction with a story, cutlines should be tied to both the photo and the story; but the text should not be a duplication of the text used in the story itself.
What are the key elements which must be included in every cutline?
The key elements must answer the questions: Who?; What?; Where?; and When.
What is normally the maximum number of people you should identify by name in a photo?
Normally no more than three.
What should you do when you have more than the maximum number of identifiable people in the photo?
You should focus on identifying the people performing the actual action within the photos who are also identified in the body of the story. Use a generic descriptor for the rest of the people.
What questions can be answered in an extended cutline?
Additional questions answered by an extended cutline are How and Why.
What is a feature story?
An interesting, but not necessarily timely, article that stresses the information or human interest angle more than the news angle.
List the five types of feature stories.
(1) News, (2) human interest, (3) news sidebar, (4) personality, and (5) auxiliary features.
Under what four circumstances might you use a news feature?
(1) Another newspaper has already reported on the event; (2) The news is “old”; (3) The feature aspects of
the story outweigh the news value; and (4) you want to add human interest aspects to the story.
What type of feature story is a dramatization of life, rather than merely conveying information?
When an important news story breaks and there are several angles that you might write into separate stories, what type of feature might you use for these other stories?
What type of feature story can you write on the assignment of a new key member of the base commander’s staff?
Cite two reasons a personality feature has more appeal than a news story.
(1) It puts the reader in the story and (2) it takes a different approach to what could be a dull story for the reader.
What is the most important part of a feature story? Explain.
The lead. It starts the readers on the journey through the story, compelling them to read on. It captures the
reader’s attention by answering the question, “What’s in it for me?”
List nine types of feature leads.
(1) Summary, (2) narrative, (3) descriptive, (4) direct address, (5) freak, (6) teaser, (7) question, (8) combination, and (9) quote.
Which type of feature lead is much the same as a straight news lead?
What type of feature lead places the readers into the story and tends to make them part of the adventure?
What type of feature lead speaks directly to the reader?
What do we call a feature lead that teases the readers in a jesting manner?
Name the feature lead that works only if it arouses or challenges the reader’s knowledge.
What type of feature lead uses the best element of two or more feature leads?
What are four of the most common types of special columns?
Action line columns, birth announcement columns, spotlight columns, and sortie scoreboards.
What information do you avoid in birth announcement columns? Give an example.
Clichés. “Bouncing baby boy.”
What are the three types of spotlight columns?
(1) Individual, (2) unit and (3) recognition.
List six events you could use in a recognition spotlight column.
(1) Promotions, (2) certificates of appreciation, (3) retirements, (4) reenlistments, (5) hails and farewells,
and (6) CCAF graduations.
What is one of the most read columns of any base newspaper?
What can you use to keep base people informed on the status of the wing’s flying program?
What type of column do we use to show how the people of your base feel about topics that are important to them?
Sidewalk interview column.
Why must you know copy editing symbols and processes?
Correct stories and make them “read” better.
What three things must you know to quickly edit news copy?
English, good writing practices, and copy editing symbols.
What are copy editing symbols?
A type of shorthand to help editors make corrections quickly and efficiently.
What is the greatest problem with which an editor struggles?
Why must editors and writers always strive for accuracy?
A newspaper’s reputation is largely based on how accurate its audience perceives it to be.
List six areas of grammar to check when you edit copy.
Any six: Verb tenses, active voice, editorializing, dangling participles, noun-pronoun agreement, incorrect
antecedent, split infinitive, misplaced modifier.
What is the problem with using a grammar checker?
They cannot undertand the content of an article, and they often indicate problems where none exist.
List nine pitfalls to look for when you check linguistic style.
(1) Verbosity, (2) word choice; (3) word length, (4) generalizations, (5) long sentences, (6) clichés, (7)
undefined acronyms, (8) slang, and (9) illogical organization.
When you are checking copy for cohesiveness, what are you ensuring?
How the story flows.
State three reasons rewrites are sometimes necessary.
New angles may come up that you must include in the story, the copy may be too long and require shortening, or the story may need to be updated or reorganized to make it more effective.
What are three types of rewrites?
Follow-ups, localizing news, and combining stories.
What is the first step in rewriting a story?
Verify the facts.
What are the two types of a follow-up?
Follow-up to an earlier feature or to a former news story.
What is “localizing” a story?
Taking an important news service article and applying a local angle to it.
Where can you find DOD and Air Force policies on security review?
DOD 5200.1–R, AFI 35–102, and AFI 31–401.
What do you do to distinguish between fact and opinion in a news story?
When an opinion is expressed, identify the person or source.
When is it appropriate to mention the use of alcohol and tobacco products in articles?
These products can be mentioned as long as the emphasis is on the activities and not the products.
Can you mention commercial sponsors with other pertinent facts in news? If so, how?
Yes, only incidentally.