Writing for Media Final Exam Story Assignment
Your final exam will be a 1,200 -word news feature on how Orange County residents feel about the
It is due Tuesday, July 27th at 1 p.m.
Hard copies only should be delivered to me at our classroom.
will not accept electronic versions. Please make arrangements with me should you wish to submit
your story before the 27
The exam is worth 120 points.
How to proceed?
The task is to talk to a good cross-section of people about the economy.
This is not an academic paper,
but rather a snapshot of how people feel the country is doing, likely to do and, most significantly, how
they personally are faring.
That will be your focus.
Your reporting, however, should include some basic economic information, including such key
indicators as unemployment figures, consumer confidence, home foreclosures and declining sales, the
budget deficit, retail sales, the stock market and other trends that portray the state of the economy.
probably will want to interview at least one economic or financial expert.
Again, for the most part you will talk to regular people.
A good mix is quite important, so that you don’t
end up with a skewed story.
Thus, take care to chat with professionals, blue-collar workers, students, old
people, maybe even someone younger than you.
In all, I think between six and ten interviews would be
These need not be long interviews.
I have provided an interview prompt below you should consult.
Beyond that prompt, here’s some additional guidance. The interviews should determine how the person’s
general views, opinions about why the economy is in its current state, how the November elections could
improve or worsen it and generally how he or she feels about the future.
Almost certainly, the people you
interview will have anecdotes to share.
You’ll want to ask if they are cutting back in response to
conditions. I have heard, for example, that weekday restaurant business is down.
It seems everyone is
cutting back on discretionary spending.
This means not taking trips or curtailing buying luxury items.
be sure, many have suffered greatly during the crisis, losing jobs, homes or both.
This story will require a good deal of work, so please don’t wait until the very end to start on it.
guarantee you the story will sub-par.
Between now and the final we will work on preparing your story. Consult with me as much as you would
like on any aspect of this project.