How to organize a story

Often, when journalists approach an assignment, they start one of two ways:

One way is to read previous stories or check the Web, see what has been written before, then add what’s new on top, refreshing what’s already been said.

The other is to meet with an editor, develop a theme for the piece and pursue that, adding in the background from the earlier stories.

The problem with both of these approaches is that they can leave out the audience.

If the purpose of journalism is to tell people what they need to know to navigate their way through their world, it follows then that journalists need to keep our audience in the forefront when making decisions about coverage.

The tools in this section help you understand how to organize your stories.