How to Report a Story to the Local News

If you have a story tip for the local news, there are a few ways to get in touch. Here’s how to report a story to the local news.

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Research the story

Before anything else, you need to make sure that the story you want to report is newsworthy. This means that it needs to be something that will interest the general public. Check with other local news outlets to see if they have already reported on the story. If they have, you may want to consider finding another story.

Identify the newsworthy elements

One of the most important elements of a good news story is that it is newsworthy. This means that it is something that would be of interest to the general public, and is not just a personal interest story. There are several things you can look for to determine if a story is newsworthy:
-Timeliness: Is this something that is happening right now? Or has happened recently?
-Impact: Will this story have an impact on a large number of people?
-Proximity: Is this something that is happening close to home?
-Conflict: Is there some element of conflict or controversy involved in the story?
-Prominence: Is someone involved in the story who is well-known or prominent in the community?

If you can identify one or more of these elements in a story, it is likely to be newsworthy and of interest to your local news outlet.

Find supporting evidence

Once you have your basic story idea, it’s time to do some research and find some supporting evidence. This is especially important if you’re planning to report on a controversial topic. You’ll need to find credible sources that can back up your claims.

Here are some tips for finding supporting evidence for your story:

– start with a Google search. This can help you find news articles, blog posts, and other resources that are relevant to your story.
– look for primary sources. These are firsthand accounts of what happened, such as eyewitnesses, police reports, or court documents.
– find experts to interview. These could be people who have studied the issue you’re reporting on, or people who have first-hand experience with it.
– look for data and statistics. These can be helpful in demonstrating the magnitude of a problem or the effectiveness of a solution.

Write the story

Before you even start writing, make sure to have all the basic information about the story. This means having the who, what, where, when, why, and how. Once you have all the basic information, you can start writing the story.

Write a catchy headline

Your headline is your story’s first impression on the editor or producer reading it. If it isn’t interesting, accurate and attention-getting, he or she may never even finish reading the story.

A headline should be:

Accurate: It should reflect the content of the story.

Interesting: It should make the reader want to read the story.

Attention-getting: It should be unusual, eye-catching or otherwise grab the reader’s attention.

Creative: It should be clever or humorous, if possible. (Remember, a headline is not an article; it’s designed to sell the article.)

Write a clear and concise lead

The lead, or opening sentence of a news story, is perhaps the most important part. A well-written lead will grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. The following tips will help you write clear and concise leads:

1. Keep it short – A lead should be no more than 35 words long.

2. Get to the point – The lead should answer the who, what, when, where and why of the story in a brief and concise manner.

3. Use active voice – Active voice makes for more interesting and easier to read sentences. For example, “The school board voted to increase taxes” is better than “The school board was voting on increasing taxes.”

4. Use strong verbs – Strong verbs add tension and excitement to a sentence. They also make for more concise writing. For example, instead of saying “John ran quickly across the street,” you could say “John dashed across the street.”

5. Be specific – Vague leads are often uninteresting and can be confusing for readers. For example, “The fire started in the early hours of the morning” is better than “The fire started sometime during the night.”

Write in inverted pyramid style

If you want to report a story to the local news, you’ll need to follow a specific format known as the inverted pyramid style. This style is used by professional journalists to ensure that the most important information is communicated first, with lesser details appearing later in the story.

To write in inverted pyramid style, you’ll need to start by figuring out what the most important details of your story are. Once you know what these details are, you can arrange them in order of importance, with the most important details appearing first.

Once you have your story details arranged in order, you’ll need to start writing. Begin by introducing your story, then provide the most important details first. As you move through the story, provide less and less important information until you reach the end.

While writing in inverted pyramid style may seem daunting at first, it’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of it. By following this format, you can be sure that your story will be reported in an accurate and efficient manner.

Pitch the story

Every news organization is looking for stories. But it is rare for a member of the public to come to a news organization with a story idea and say, “Here, you should cover this.” You need to be able to sell your story idea to the news organization. This is called “pitching” the story.

Find the right contact

Before you start pitching your story to the local news, you need to find the right contact. The best way to do this is to look up the news organization’s website and find the name of the reporter or assignment editor who covers stories like yours. Once you have a name, you can either call the news organization or send an email.

When you call, explain that you have a story idea and ask to speak to the reporter or assignment editor. If they are not available, leave a brief message explaining what your story is about and how to get in touch with you.

When you send an email, make sure to include all of the same information that you would if you were leaving a phone message. You should also include any additional information or documents that might be helpful, such as a press release or links to additional resources.

Once you’ve found the right contact, it’s time to start pitching your story!

Write a great pitch email

Whether you want to get your business on the local news or you have a newsworthy story to share, pitching the media can be a great way to get attention. But how do you write a great pitch email that will actually get read?

Here are some tips:

1. Keep it short and sweet: The first paragraph of your email should be no more than a few sentences long, and it should summarize what you’re pitching in a clear, concise way.

2. Be specific: Be sure to include all the key details about your story in the email, including who, what, when, where and why. This will give the reporter everything they need to know to decide if your story is a good fit for their publication.

3. Personalize it: Generic “To whom it may concern” pitches are more likely to get deleted than read. Take the time to research who you should be contacting at the outlet you’re pitching, and then address them by name in your email.

4. Make it interesting: Why should the reporter care about your story? Be sure to address that in your pitch email, and make it clear why readers would be interested in learning more.
5. proofread!: With so many emails flooding reporters’ inboxes every day, it’s important that yours is error-free and easy to read. Before hitting “send,” be sure to proofread your pitch email carefully (and have someone else do it too, just to be safe).

Follow up

After you report your story to the local news, follow up with the station or newspaper to make sure they received your information. Many media outlets receive hundreds of story pitches every day, so it’s important to follow up to ensure your story doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

When you follow up, be polite and professional. Reintroduce yourself and briefly remind the reporter or editor of the story you pitched. Include any additional information or updates that may be helpful. If you don’t hear back after a reasonable amount of time, it’s probably safe to assume that your story wasn’t selected for coverage.

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