Relearning the basics: covering entertainment and speakers

By Courtney Campbell

So far, I’ve mostly attended some of the more entertaining sessions that have been offered at the conference. This is why I decided to attend a reporting workshop on “Covering Entertainment Events and Speeches” with Geoff Carr. Though this is something usually assigned to reporters (sorry guys), I thought it would be an opportunity to learn how to spice things up and write better reviews for the performing arts shows.

What was different about this session is engaging and comes in three parts. In this first one we learned about basic reporting and were encouraged to come to Carr’s performance later where he acts out Steve Jobs, then write an article on it and get feedback. It’s a cool concept, but I don’t think I’ll be attending…

Most of the session went through interviewing tips and getting preliminary research, which I already knew about. It was good to note that while at these things we shouldn’t write everything down, just major facts and powerful quotes. He also told us leads shouldn’t include when, where and that something happened but instead to show what happened, which I HIGHLY recommend all staff to think about to produce more engaging content.

Carr didn’t go too in-depth about coving performances (even though he’s a huge theater buff) but I asked him how he would go about review shows. He recommended talking to actors after the show and taking detailed notes while watching, which was good advice. He also told me to not do audition stories, but I think I can take a cool features angle to that so look out for it in the near future.

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