Story Standards for Journalism
- All news stories are a minimum of
- All feature stories are 250- 400
words in length.
- All direct quotes should be
accurate and appear before the person quoted’s name.
- All indirect quotes should have the
person quoted identified before his paraphrased quote.
- Write to more depth in feature
stories have been often too shallow in depth. Do not settle for short,
uninformative information. Ask the second or third level of questioning to
elicit solid information. If
you cannot get depth to your stories, don’t do feature stories.
- Never include yourself in a news or
feature story. (Never
use the pronouns “I” or “we” referring to
- Always do a fog index for your
- Identify all people quoted and
referred to in your stories. (Principal
Susan Dell said… or Freshman Tom Graham said…)
- Make sure your stories are logical. Use transition sentences to connect
quotes having opposite opinion: Don’t write: Principal Susan Dell said she favors
suits and ties as a dress code.
Freshman Tom Graham said suits and ties are stupid. Instead
Susan Dell said she favors suits and ties as a dress code. Many students however feel this is
a bad idea. Freshman Tom Graham said suits and ties are stupid.
- Interview people who either have
something to do with the story, who are active in school activities or who
represent a large number of students. Don’t just get quotes from your friends and
relatives. You’re a reporter; go talk to people.
- Polls should be done well or not
done at all. If you
are doing a real poll, talk to at least 30-40 people and get quotes that
represent that point of view. Asking 10 people how they feel about a
school issue isn’t a poll, it’s a feature story.
- Get pictures whenever possible.
- Find a way to spell correctly. Never misspell a person’s name. Always check the
spelling with the person interviewed. If you can’t spell or use a
spellchecker, find someone to proof your story before you pass it in.
- Send all stories to the student
address is firstname.lastname@example.org