Bush over the Iraq war, telling him that he was letting the wrong people sway his judgment, Page said. Her dislike of Donald J. Page also received no assurances of subsequent interviews, so she packed in as many questions as she could.
Consider Your Audience
Bush agreed to a second interview, then a third. In total, Page would conduct five interviews with Bush, which became more like conversations, Page said. At the end of the fifth interview, however, Bush finally granted Page full access to the personal diaries she had kept since , which no one other than George H. Bush biographer Jon Meacham had seen previously.
Bush still kept a pastel portrait of Robin, given to her by a relative after the tragedy, in the living room where the two women held their conversations for the book, and Bush would tear up when they spoke of her.
You have to let it go. Obviously, your story will be grounded by your familiarity with your own school.
Interviews with authors
But you should seek a variety of perspectives and several expert opinions. Try to interview students from at least three different schools, and look for recent research studies that may help illuminate some of the points your article makes. Interview the authors of the studies if you can. Keep an open mind. Don't assume that you understand all the nuances of your topic.
Expect that your understanding will evolve as you report. If it doesn't, you may not have reported thoroughly or aggressively enough. Once you're ready to write: 7. Decide on an approach. Outlining your story is the best way to start.
Questions to ask someone to write a biography
This means reviewing your notes, marking the most interesting or articulate quotes, making a list of important points, and creating a structure into which you can fit your information. Spend extra time of the beginning of your story. Readers will decide whether to proceed based on the capacity of your lede to grab their interest.
Focus on what's most compelling. Before you start writing, think through all the information you have and all the points you plan to make. What's surprising? What's important?
What's useful? Show, don't tell. It is tempting to describe a room as messy or a person as nice. But carefully-observed details and well-chosen verbs make a much stronger impression than adjectives. Put your story in context. You must help answer a reader's biggest question about any story: Why should I care? Don't overuse direct quotes. Sometimes you can best capture a mood with your own prose. Think of direct quotes as icing on a cake -- they enhance, but they shouldn't form the substance of your story.
The quotes you do use must be attributed, always. The reader should not have to guess who is talking. Fill holes. Are there questions raised by your story that you have not answered?
Ask a friend, teacher, editor or fellow reporter to read through your story and tell you what else he or she would want to know. Triple-check for accuracy. Spell names right. Get grade levels and titles right. Get facts right. If you are unsure of something and cannot verify it, leave it out. Before you turn in your story, ask yourself these questions: Have I attributed or documented all my facts?
Are the quotes in my story presented fairly and in context? Am I prepared to publicly defend my facts if they are questioned?
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Do not turn in a story with spelling or grammatical mistakes. The focus should be on a news angle or a single aspect of the subject's personal or professional life. The article should begin with the reason the subject is newsworthy at this time, and should be based not exclusively on an extensive interview with the subject. Biographical material is important, but should not be overemphasized: the biography is background to the news. Readers should be allowed to better understand the subject by seeing this person in the context of his or her interests and career, educational and family background.
When reporting a profile feature article, observe your surroundings carefully. Pay attention to your subject's habits and mannerisms. Subtle clues like posture, tone of voice and word choice can all, when presented to readers, contribute to a fuller and more accurate presentation of the interview subject. When interviewing, encourage your subject to open up and express significant thoughts, feelings or opinions.
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Do so by asking open-ended questions that are well-planned. Make sure to research the subject of your profile before beginning your interview. This will help you to maintain focus during the conversation and to ask questions that will elicit compelling responses.
The article should open with the subject's connection to the news event and should deal later with birth, family, education, career and hobbies, unless one of those happens to be the focus of the story. Interview at least five other people, representing a variety of perspectives, about the subject of your profile. Ask them for telling anecdotes. You don't have to quote, or even mention, all of these people in your article.