News is anything you haven’t seen, heard, or read about. The difference between news and gossip is, news can be sourced. A source can be something you read, something someone you know saw take place, or you, if you made the news event happen. As 420Nurses and news hounds, you are expected to grow into all three roles.
Writing and reporting are two different aspects but here we will educate on both fronts to grow our staff into a first rate, high class, accurate, truthful news staff. The goal is to develop reporters and writers who can become role models for aspiring future 420Nurse writers, be they writing poems, stories, reports, news, or opinion pieces, as a way to foster literary talent in strengthening self-esteem through non-traditional sexual/gender avenues.
To start we will talk about reporting the news.
All stories have an angle and a slant. Our slant is cannabis and so in every story we post at NEWS.420Nurses.com there should be a tie-in to cannabis in some fashion. Since cannabis is our ‘one love’ all our stories should feature how this specific news ties in to cannabis as a subject. Here is an example:
The slant is ‘air’.
You can source a story about ‘air’ in general or about ‘air quality’. The air quality can lead to a story about elements found in an air quality report. All these subjects would fall under ‘health’ but let’s say you want to do a story on lifestyle. Here you could cover a bird [who flies through the air] or a fantasy piece about how Superman is able to fly through the air versus a bird, etc., you get my point. The angle of the bird/Superman stories ties in to air.
Since we as a news site represent cannabis in news, the subject is plentiful and growing every day as pot, which once was cool, is now the hottest subject on the planet and only growing in popularity WORLDWIDE.
How to report the NEWS.
The first step to reporting news is finding news to report, hence the term ‘hound’ as in hound dog. As a newshound, your nose is constantly keen for any story you consider news. If you surf the net and write from the same office location, strive to have an atmosphere around you that is your personal space. This will develop a relationship with your muse, or inspiration. Since you are 420 aware, I needn’t explain this aspect.
Finding news. Finding news on the net consists of either a commercial news source, ie, MSNBC, Yahoo, etc or a source site, the original site to post the news/report from.
As a reporter [not a writer], you are always professional. This means you don’t try to take credit for something you didn’t create.
Example: you are on MSNBC and spot a story of a clinic bust in your area. The commercial news site reporter/writer tells the incident and gives a link to a TV news report. If the TV report has more info or seems to add to the written site report, then you can rewrite what the site writer wrote. This usually does not happen. What usually happens is you cut and paste the site report. When you do this, a link to the original site and /or a story source credit is called for. Also the story source credit would be used if you did rewrite the site report by adding in some subjective commentary.
Now let’s go back to you reading a story with a pot/cannabis angle and you find either through the site link or a link in the comments if there are any, an original source site with the actual referenced story or the inside story, as they say. This usually leads to you writing a story that is fresh and accurate. If the site search leads to a published report that is different from the news site story slant/opinion, you have the option of not crediting the site where you found the tip. This is part of the ‘a reporter never reveals his sources’ credo. If you find a subject in a news site story and you do a separate search and find the story that way rules of preceding paragraph apply. If you think of a subject and search the web, same rules.
You are out and pick up literature, flyer, etc. which has a website on it. You go directly to the website. Here if you use a published report or some article written by someone else, you credit that source but because the report/article hasn’t been published on a commercial news site, you can take credit for releasing/breaking the news. There is a gold mine as the government has suppressed covering pot news on a national level and especially on an international level. Also remember, what you find beyond the ‘facts’ in stories on commercial sites are opinions they want you to have. The more polished you become as reporters/writers, the easier it is to pick out where they inject the ‘party line’ into the rhetoric.
So much for finding news to report from the web. Now let’s talk about reporting news from a live source. The picture at left illustrates the unique position of the 420Nurses as news reporters and news makers. At the pictured protest event, it can be exclusively reported by 420Nurse newshounds who are covering the event much like the photogs who roll with the Nurses to shoot pictures of them live on site. With the NEWS, now a newshound can post a live on site story while the accompanying photographer’s pictures can be used to provide a lead-in shot for the news story. In this case you are the news source and you credit the photographer or run the ‘420 logo’ watermarked photo identifying the Nurses website.
Let’s say that you are covering a non-420Nurses marijuana event, be it a protest, a city council meeting or a pot fest, you cover the event as the news source/writer and follow the same photo rules. If you don’t have a photographer and use published news photos, you can either credit or leave blank. The same rules apply for an opinion piece.
If possibly, always use an opening/lead-in shot. One of your own is best, a shot for the 420Nurses website stash is next best, and a standard/news site found photo is third.
If you are interviewing a person who has a negative opinion about pot, the Nurses, the culture, or the movement, record their argument accurately because many times an ignorant point is brought out by the opponent’s language skills. In the event the person is an orator, remember you as the reporter always have the last word, it’s your story.
Always keep your cool, don’t be goaded or get angry. Getting even is way better.
Gonzo journalism is similar to participatory journalism with one big difference, you are in the story but are not the story. However, in gonzo journalism you both report and help move the cause forward clandestinely: you are The Shadow who helps move the story he/she reports. Hunter S. Thompson invented and coined the phrase ‘gonzo journalism. He graduated my high school, Louisville Male High, in 1955.
Also this is never personal. A reporter never slanders a person. All gossip must be checked for accuracy and if the story, when broken, will destroy/damage the person at the heart of the story, and what is the blowback [repercussions]. Everything off the record stays off the record. If the info is that important, you will figure out a way to tell the story and stay honorable by keeping your word.
Trust your senses, watch your ass, be careful, ask for help, keep a Fortress of Solitude so you can duck out of sight to contemplate, and enjoy the ride. We are a news organization just starting out with the idea of delivering actual, factual real news you can use. NEWS.420Nurses.com, ‘the real news joint’