Students will be responsible for composing a formal Hard News Article. Students will work on story selection, research, sourcing, and following AP Style Guidelines. A main aspect of hard news is that you cover a local event, occurrence, or ongoing issue. This is your chance to cover an event (modified for Fall 2021) or an issue that interests you and write a story that gives us a detailed account. Remember hard news is all about objectivity. Your story should not include any of your opinion. Let your quotes present the opinion or the first-hand account of the event.
Process – Topics may be modified due to COVID-19:
1. Normally students would cover events on campus or issues affecting our school but due to the current situation everyone will now have 3 main options for topics:
a. Option 1 will be to “attend” a virtual or in-person event and cover it like you would in the normal world. This is the easiest option. You may attend an event through CCBC, a local college or anything that would be appropriate for Hard News. (No plays, concerts, art shows etc.…This is features.) You may also attend an in-person event if possible.
b. Option 2 will be to compose a news article that relates to COVID – 19 (The Coronavirus) in some way. You way write about how it has affected our school, our lives, local businesses, sports etc.…Remember, if you choose this option, it is not a commentary and should not include any of your opinion.
c. Option 3 is to create an article of your choice on a current topic that relates to some aspect of our readership (College students, CCBC, Community College, Maryland, Politics etc.) Try to think of a topic that could be published in our student newspaper.
2. Topics must be current. You may not write your article on an old news story. You must be able to interact with the story in some way in order to cover it (mostly electronically).
3. Once you determine your topic you are going to investigate this topic and be able to cover all angles and aspects of it. You will be required to obtain quotes through phone call, Email, text or video chat.
4. Then you will be required to write 1 full-length article documenting various aspects of this occurrence, issue, or event. You must work on structure of lead, quotes, etc.…You must also refer to the text/slides in order to structure your article around the inverted pyramid or the other news structures mentioned in the class resources.
5. When composing the final draft, you must also act as if you are a real reporter for a real local newspaper. This means your story will have a headline, by-line, and then should say what publication you write for. This demonstrates your understanding of news coverage and newsworthiness. Example: if you say you are writing for The Sun but cover a story about a small fire on campus this would show you do not understand the concepts of newsworthiness as only The Connection would cover this.
• 500-1000 words
• Minimum of 3 sources – 1 quote from 3 different people. (These must be direct quotes and each quote must have full name and proper attribution.)
• Pullout quotes from other sources are accepted but do not count as part of the minimum requirement. Make sure to provide proper attribution otherwise it is considered plagiarism or fabrication.
• AP style
• Made up publication that you write for
• Any pictures or graphics you want to include
Sample Topics: Updated for Fall 2021
• CCBC/local Events:
o Virtual speakers
o Virtual conferences
o Guest speakers in class
o Guest speakers at local colleges
o Outdoor events
o Protests/political rally
o CCBC Sports
o CCBC Clubs
• COVID – 19
o How is it affecting schools and colleges?
o What is it like now that things are getting back to normal?
o How is it affecting local businesses?
o How is it affecting health industry?
o How is it affecting daily life?
o Basic facts/history of virus
o Any angle related to the way this has affected our lives.
• Non COVID – 19 Topics
o Maryland/Baltimore Politics
o Local elections
o College based stories
Profile a major or program or club at CCBC
Basic informative articles about CCBC or any local college
o Try to think of any topic that would be of interest to The CCBC Community.
You will also be graded on how well you write each article. This means that grammar, punctuation, spelling, objectivity, and AP style will all be major aspects of the grade. Refer to the Rubric for more information on grading.