Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Extraordinary story of the cowgirls in the garden

I am forever showing young reporters how to scour local newspapers, church magazines, classified advertising and their own library for stories and follow-ups. These days they also have to follow Tweets, blogs and a lot more besides. TweetDeck is a good research tool too. It takes a fair bit of legwork and constant monitoring but it's worth it for the gems you can uncover. I have a list of examples that we use on news writing courses, including:
  • The girl whose life was saved by a tin of pineapple chunks (carried in a weekly paper as a 'nobody hurt in car crash' short).
  • The 52-year-old woman who had first time twins (spotted as a throw away line in a newspaper report about a row over the appointment of a hospital anaesthetist).
  • The girl celebrating her 21st birthday on the anniversary of her father's death (from a library cutting about a disaster 21 years ago).
  • The footballer who scored 14 goals and was still on the losing side (from a three par filler on an inside sports page).
The list is almost endless.
I was amused therefore by the story (above) in The Sun and how it came about. Its origination goes back to April and the blog of occasional Press Association Training colleague Andrew Glover. There's a fair bit of licence from the Sun and the story is a trifle old but it's a real insight into the way newspapers work. Andrew tells the story on his blog, Questing Vole. Definitely worth a read.

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