Get your story idea early, then you can have time to aim at your sources, contact them and get the information you WANT, rather than they GIVE. The last two days before the deadline, i was still hanging around in the nursing school, talking to anybody who is willing to talk, and passively being led to one and another new angle of the story.

Contact the sources, especially those big figures, before starting reporting, then you can get sufficient time for a good interview. This time, when I started contacting the dean of the nursing school, I found her time had been booked for the following two days. I got this interview because I met her outside the restroom when I was sitting in the lounge of the nursing school, and she happened to go out because the restroom beside her office was occupied. How lucky that I had seen her picture on the website before I came, so I could recognized her! So, I decided to go ahead and ask her to spare just a few minutes with me. I knew it’s an awkward time to make an appointment, but I had no choice. Finally, this method worked. People changed their mind when they SEE you. It’s much easier to decline someone via an email, because there’s no personal connection there.  The result was a 15-minute interview during her lunch time, and I had so many questions to ask and barely had time to raise critical questions. If I started contacting earlier, things might would have been much easier.

About the photos. I planned to have a main photo of the accelerated program students having class, because this is much more related to our story, which talks about the online programs, and this class increasing size in the last few years. Besides, there would be a photo of the dean chatting with studetns from the traditional program as a sidebar, which turned out to be the only photo of our story.

I spent an afternoon in the nursing school and finally found some students in this program, and asked them when they would have a lecture in the classroom, but at last, the faculty didn’t pick any picture from these pool of pictures maybe because of their poor technical quality. The lights in the front of the classroom were turned off, so the professor was in the darkness. Most of the students sit on the two sides, so there were a lot of spaces in the middle, which made it hard to show the “increasing” size of the program.

Still not sure how to get good pictures in this kind of situations : (

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the infographic.  Plan for the infographics at the same time when you work on the text or other main element. It should tell a whole story by itself, rather than be a dispensable stuff. In other words…Discuss with Reuben BEFORE you put hands on it. And this time, I didn’t come up with the idea of infographics until the night before production day : (

BUT, anyway, the most important is….We LEARN from our failures. : D

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