An outline for taking ownership of your stories

Reporters who own their jobs with an entrepreneurial spirit and energy will also own each story they do. What does story ownership mean?

  • You generate your own story ideas.
  • You decide the angle, who to talk to, where to gather information and what you do with it.
  • As you gather information, you find and save any relevant links.
  • You decide what other assets the story needs — video? a map? a pdf? a database? a graphic? pictures? You then either create or get created those assets.
  • When you write the story, you include appropriate links (to names, locations, documents, previous stories, blogs and previous coverage).
  • You gather all of the assets, publish the story in draft form and let an editor know it’s ready (with the expectation that the story will be live on the web within 10 minutes).
  • When the story is published, you socially bookmark the story as appropriate; you send the link to bloggers you know who might be interested; you e-mail the link to sources or readers you know would be interested.
  • After the story is published, you follow and participate as appropriate in the online conversation, either via comments on the story or on other sites (blogs and forums).
  • You take everything you’ve learned and repurpose the story for print.
  • If the conversation brings to light any new significant information, you plan a new story and the process starts over.

Editors, are you writing this into your job descriptions?

8 thoughts on “An outline for taking ownership of your stories

  1. You say nothing about interviewing people, you are suggesting this reporter get all his or her information from the internet. This is called blogging, not reporting. It’s also for someone who writes one story a week, not four a day.

  2. Bunk = Let me put it this way … it’s such an outragesously, over the top, silly statement that it’s not even worth addressing any further.

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