For example broad social issues often involve the

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situation. For example, broad social issues often involve the struggle between political parties, one seen as conservative and the other liberal. The conflict is not as simple as conservative versus liberal, and reporters should also be careful to avoid seeing political fights as an issue of good versus evil. Each side is convinced that its ideas and policies will work for the good of the community. The seemingly simple conflict represents complex ideas and reasoning. Whether the case is two opposing political candidates or two viewpoints about school vouchers, the story should go much deeper than the conflict. Good reporters will find the reasons each side believes as it does. Why does one person think vouchers will destroy public schools? Why does someone else think vouchers will improve public schools? Does either side have any evidence for its beliefs? When the reasoning and the evidence behind the conflict are presented, the public can make an informed decision about which side has the best argument. Informed voting follows—and perhaps improved education. The story is not just who is for and who is against. How will the whole community be affected by the outcome? Uniqueness A man working at a construction site bumps into a nail gun and winds up with a three- inch nail thrust into his brain—an accident that could easily result in death. However, the man remains conscious and walks and talks until surgeons remove the nail. To the astonishment of the medical community, the construction worker reports only one consequence—he can no longer do math. The unique nature of the story makes it newsworthy. A community of Amish people in Pennsylvania has long fascinated neighbors and tourists because of its simple lifestyle. Wearing mostly black clothing with no buttons or zippers, the Amish operate successful farms and eat from bountiful gardens, but they don't use municipal electricity, and they travel by horse and buggy instead of cars. They don't own televisions and don't go to movies. The children attend Amish schools or are home-schooled and generally isolated from the modem world. When an Amish teenager was arrested for selling cocaine, the story stunned the nation. How has such a modern- day problem penetrated the Amish community? The unusual nature of the story makes it newsworthy.
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Reporters learn to recognize that most news stories are unique or unusual in some way. Unusual stories often have important hard news value, such as the significance of a teenager firing a gun at classmates or a city council member stepping down to attend to a sick child. Sometimes the unique story is important simply in providing perspective on the varied and colorful world in which we live, such as the story of the doctor who composes symphonies or the 10-year-old chess champion. The unique and the unusual provide important news and important information about our world.
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