- Negative/Doom and Gloom
- Soon to be outdated. Editing time always fluctuates based on the writer to editor ratio. If the story is “timely” don’t cover it or change your angle. For example, don’t write a story about what to expect in the President’s State of the Union Address… If the State of the Union Address is in 3 days or less. You could however, do a piece on the history of the State of the Union Address or famous State of the Union Addresses, etc.
OBJECTIVE OF THE BLOG & MAGAZINE
- Educate the public about important issues.
Convey The Borgen Project’s brand/essence. Make the cause interesting/relevant to people who wouldn’t typically be engaged in helping the world’s poor. Tie it into global issues if it’s more of a national topic.
Report the news. Keep people informed about the latest news related to global poverty.
Steer new visitors to the website. Help increase traffic to the website by creating SEO friendly articles (make our website appear when people search key terms).
Keep visitors coming back to the site. Create consistently great articles that will keep people coming back to the site.
TYPES OF WRITING
There are three types of articles you’ll primarily be writing:
1. Summarized News: Most articles will fall under this category. These are articles about news being reported on other sites. For example, if you saw a great article in The NY Times about poverty in Afghanistan, you can write an article based on the info in The NY Times article. Be sure to always pull in content from at least one other source. Your article could start out primarily with info from the NY Times site, but end with great info from the White House or from Al Jazeera.
2. Research – If you ever wondered how polio is spread, research the topic and write your masterpiece “How to avoid getting polio.”
3. Original Reporting: These are articles that are not summaries of other articles. These articles are traditional journalism where you go out and find a story. They can often be interviews (Op Ed).
Example: Attending Senate Hearings and writing articles based on what happened. If a prominent speaker is talking in your city and it ties into global poverty you can report on it (ie. “Hagel Slams Congress for not Funding USAID” … While speaking at the University of Denver, Hagel told the audience…).
FINDING STORY IDEAS
1. Monitor the Assignment Desk: The “Topics Needing Covered” tab of the “News Team & Assignment Desk” is frequently updated with articles that the organization needs covered. Select 1-2 topics at a time and be sure to update the status tab. You can cover any topic listed, even if it doesn’t fall under your focus categories. Put your name and the date started. When you complete it, change that date to “completed.”
You are not required to take topics from the Topics Needing Covered tab, however. We’d prefer you to seek out your own topics and find things that are interesting to you!
2. Google Alerts: http://www.google.com/alerts – Register keywords to receive e-alerts anytime those words are mentioned in the news. Suggested keywords: Global poverty, world hunger, foreign aid, world’s poor, USAID, international development.
3. News Search: Search keywords in Google News to find the latest (Foreign Aid, Global Poverty, etc.)
4. Monitor Key Sites. In the “News Team & Assignment Desk” the “Links” tab is packed with good sites to monitor for story ideas.
5. Sign up for E-Newsletters. These can be found on just about every site. As you find sites you’d like to get updates from signup for the e-newsletters.
STAY ON MESSAGE
Be sure to follow the steps in the New Hires Boot Camp. Those links to videos and articles will quickly give you insight into the cause and what we care about. A few important aspects to remember when writing.
- Be positive.
- Don’t write opinion pieces/convey bias in your article.
- We like to hear your written voice but not just your stated opinion.