How strong a story?

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Offline Ratul.JMC

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How strong a story?
« on: August 05, 2021, 10:25:01 PM »

A story which is new, unusual, interesting, significant and about people is going to be a very good story indeed. One way of deciding the strength of a story is to check how many of those five criteria it meets.

There are other factors, though, which make stories strong or weak:

The same event happening in two different places can have two quite different news values. A coup d’état in your own country is as big a story as you can ever have (although you will probably not be at liberty to report it as you would wish!). A coup in the country next door is still a big story, because it may affect the stability of your own country.
However, a coup in a small country in another continent is unlikely to merit more than a few paragraphs.
The appeal of local news is that your readers or listeners might know the people or place involved.
Remember, though, that the word "local" means different things to different people. If you broadcast to a wide area or sell your newspaper in many different towns, you must realise that a small story which interests readers in one place, because it is local, may not be of any interest to readers elsewhere.

Personal impact
The average reader, listener or viewer may be a parent, a person wanting a good education for the children, dreaming of buying a car, looking forward to going home on leave, anticipating the next big community feast or festival. You will need to have a very clear understanding of what your own readers or listeners are like.
So stories about bride-price or dowries, children, land disputes, new schools, cheaper or dearer fares, or whatever else is important and may affect your average reader, will have personal impact.
People can identify with stories about other people like themselves. So those stories with which many people can identify are stronger than those which only apply to a few.

Md. Rashedul Islam Ratul
Lecturer, JMC
Daffodil International University