Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Wall Street Journal" Formula

What exactly is the "Wall Street Journal" Formula? It consists of four main sections:

  1. The story typically opens with a specific example
  2. A nut graf relates that example to a ore general point and explains what the story is about
  3. The body of the story provides support for the general point
  4. The story typically ends with another anecdote or description - often featuring the person or people featured in the lead - or speculates on a future development related to the lead

I found a story in the Washington Post that implies this formula. This article contains all of the four sections that is described in a "Wall Street Journal" Formula. The opening paragraph in the story is very specific. The nut graf explains in great detail what the story is about followed by the body of the story which includes quotes from the main character of the article. The story concludes with a quote, which may not be the best ending for this type of formula, but it ends with an interesting description and leaves the reader wanting to continue with the story.

My Beat Blog

I decided to make a separate blog for my beat to try and keep both of them organized. So check out my beat blog:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's That Time Again...

The beginning of the semester only means one thing for Greek Life at Towson: time for recruitment. For this blog I'm going to focus on the sororities of Towson University. Each fall all eight sororities participate in the formal fall rush. However, in the springtime, depending on if each sorority met quota or not, they may have a formal or informal spring recruitment.

This year only four sororities participated in spring rush. Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Phi Sigma Sigma and Zeta Tau Alpha were the four groups that decided to add more women to their sorority.

Spring recruitment began on Friday, February 13th, where all the Potential New Members (PNMs) were able to go to the University Union and meet all of the sororities at Table Night to get a feel for a first impression of each different sorority.

"We didn't participate in spring rush this year because we met quota in the fall," sophomore Jenny Balsamo said. "Recruitment is very stressful so it's nice to be able to take the semester off."

Each sorority got the option to choose to hold their events on or off campus. They also were able to decide if they wanted to just hold their parties over Valentine's Day weekend or hold events throughout the entire week.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Feature or Summary Lead?

According to All the News, many short feature stories begin with summary leads. Summary leads that are used in feature stories do not try to pack in the 5 W's and an H, but rather focus on providing a quick preview of what's coming. Summary feature leads can include details and may add description to try to set a scene for the reader.

Many writers choose to use summary leads but there are many other feature leads that may come in use. The different feature leads give writers room to stretch out and gradually draw the reader into the story. Other feature leads include anecdotal leads, narrative leads and descriptive leads.

There are two stories I found in the Baltimore Sun that I believe represent very well-written feature leads. For some reason my link won't work so just click on the following links to view the stories:,0,4050882.story,0,314168.story

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Towson's Zetas Recognized Nationwide

Okay so it's a little cliche that I'm talking about my sorority for my first beat but the semester just started, so there hasn't been a whole lot of Greek news in The Towerlight. Themis is the nationwide magazine for sisters, alumni and parents for Zeta Tau Alphas across the U.S. Each ZTA chapter sends in updates, photos and achievements to the magazine in hope that it will be published in on of the four issues sent out each year.

In the Winter 2009 edition Iota Delta (Towson's Zeta chapter) was recognized for their amazing dedication and efforts shown at the 1oth anniversary of the Redskin's Think Pink game. 70 members of Towson's ZTA attended the game at FedEx Field on October 12. At the game more than 42,000 Think Pink ribbons were handed out to Redskins fans thanks to the ZTA sisters.

I agree with the reporter that what we did was remarkable and very inspirational but I think it would add more to the article if there was a quote from one of the Zeta sisters. Philanthropy events mean a lot more to us than people would expect and hearing a direct quote from a sister about how the day affected her would probably be more heart touching to the reader. There is a picture of someone places the pin on someone's chest but I think a more effective picture would be one of the sister's interacting with the fans before the game. Seeing how many people supported us and our efforts to help fight breast cancer is ultimately breathtaking.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Beat!

The beat I chose to select for this semester is Towson University's Greek Life. I'm in a sorority at Towson, so this is a topic that is of interest to me. Not only do I have to be aware of what other Greek organizations are doing on and off campus, but I must attend all mandatory events for their philanthropies.

My beat will not only cover my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, but all other sororities and fraternities on campus. I feel like this beat topic is the best choice for me.