Where Sime and Gen Meet, Creativity Happens
|Anne Phyllis Pinzow
is a script writer who makes her main living as a newspaper reporter and
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Matzel Twersky, wife of Rabbi Isaac Twersky, of Monsey, is traveling with him and their nine children and his mother.
Hear, O Israel, Jews Are Going Home
TIPS AND TRICKS OF FOREIGN ASSIGNMENTS by Anne Phyllis Pinzow:
Though published as a personal perspective, this article above is actually a shell with interchangeable modules for different markets and locations.
I have interviews from people from different areas of the country and will put those in when marketing the article to those areas. Also, the interview pieces will be longer with less of the news aspect or the atmospheric aspect depending on the nature of the interviews. But this was the hard part yet it was done rather quickly.
Also, this was written for the secular press and most of the market is in the Jewish religious press so more emphasis on the outlooks of the people towards their religious beliefs will be included in those pieces.
Also, when doing articles of this nature, always get a means of contacting the people because as you develop more articles from the material, you will need more information.
Something similar to this might be a march for solidarity, a demonstration or a rally, something where there are a lot of people who are there for what seems like one purpose.
Also, make sure you actually get interviews, talk to the people and don't let them brush you off with short, standard, canned or yes and no answers.
Ask difficult questions.
In this case, no audience would be interested in the operational aspect of how to move from here to there but it could be interesting to focus on one family and how they dealt with it.
Also keep your eyes and ears open and don't be afraid to jump in with both feet. If you overhear a conversation in an elevator or at dinner, that sounds like there are interesting aspects to it, then be polite, admit that you could not help overhearing, introduce yourself and explain your interest and ask if later you could interview the people. Let them finish the business at hand first.
Again, let them talk but if you find you're getting mediocre material go for the guts.
Most of the families were talking about the higher spiritual aspects of this move which was wonderful but the country was in the midst of hostilities.
So I went straight to the mothers, with their babies in their arms and their teenagers around them. "All high school graduates in Israel are required to serve in the armed services. Your children could be drafted to fight in just a few months instead of playing baseball in the States? What will you do?"
Notice I didn't ask them what they felt about it. The reason I chose the "What will you do?" as the question is that it opens the options up for them and invites a broader, richer diversity of answers. It also went straight to the issue of consequences of the move at this time.
I always advise that you be as prepared as possible by doing your homework before going into any story.
When dealing with highly charged issues, it's even more important because that homework will enable you to have those "nail on the head" questions when you need them.
Understand where the people are coming from in their viewpoints. Also, understand your own bias in the matter and either use it or edit it out, depending on the nature of the story.
But above all, especially in such a highly charged situation, check everything. Write what you actually observe and give proper attribution to add to the credibility of the story.
One last thing, take tons of pictures and give he ones you want to use all slugs (one or two word identifiers)
Then, when you write the captions, give them slugs to match them to the pictures. This makes it much easier for editors to match up pictures with captions and choose which pictures they want to include in the story.
Read the other lessons by Anne Phyllis Pinzow. Especially her Rules for good reporting.
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This Page Was Last Updated 08/21/06 03:33 PM EST (USA)
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