Explain a person and his or her significance at a moment in time in photographic detail, not portraiture.
- Monday, Sept. 18: Launch + be familiar with reading list
- Wednesday, Sept. 20: Individual story conferences. (Sign up)
- Monday, Oct. 2: Peer-review day; draft shared via Google Drive
- Wednesday, Oct. 4: Individual story conferences (Sign up)
- Wednesday, Oct. 11: Final version posted to WordPress
For each style of feature I will ask you to complete I will provide some examples that we can discuss in class to help jog your creative muscles and that you can refer to for inspiration while you work on yours. Please read, listen or watch at least three of them — some by the pros, some by the students — before we launch each segment.
- The strange and beautiful life of Katherine Dunn, Portland’s beloved geek by Aaron Mesh, Matthew Korfhage and Beth Slovic, Willamette Week
- The barber: Portland man’s big dreams hit gentrification’s hard reality by Casey Parks, The Oregonian
- Unfinished business by Geraldine Brooks, The New Yorker
- How does Paul Rudd work? by Molly Young, The New York Times Magazine
- OU student, mother pursues career while embracing true gender identity by Ali Stratton, The Oklahoma Daily
- How Bob Miller and the Greatest Generation saved the RUF/NEKS by Tyler Woodward, The Oklahoma Daily
- Sorry not sorry by Tim Keown, ESPN The Magazine
- Jason Molina’s long dark blues by Chicago Reader
- All times a great artist, Ken Kesey is dead at 66 by Jeff Baker, The Oregonian
- Man in the red bandana by Tom Rinaldi, ESPN
A well-done profile explains a person at a moment in time. Ours will be fully developed photographic profiles, rather than more portrait-like exercises focused solely on a subject’s flattering qualities. Although profiles regularly focus on newsmakers, society’s overlooked members often can make more compelling subjects. Universal themes and transformational moments may re-appear in profiles, but are not required for success. Some students may choose to pre-write a deeply sourced obituary on a notable figure in the university’s history such as President David Boren, professor George Henderson or former football coach Barry Switzer that could run in the event of their deaths.
- Write a minimum 1,000-word (digital) or 4-minute package (broadcast) piece that…
- Explains a person who is either in the news or has a compelling and newsworthy story…
- Is fully-developed in examining the subject in depth via research and at least three sources (more may be necessary to be successful)…
- And is relatable to a clearly defined audience.
You will not
- Write a biography
Rubric (250 points total)
- Topic | 125 points (50 percent)
- Clearly explains a newsworthy subject at a moment in time
- Is explored in significant depth via research and at least three sources (more may be necessary to be successful)
- Is relatable to a broad audience
- Writing | 125 (50 percent)
- Meets the word-count or script-length minimum
- Uses clear, conversational language
- Fully examines the subject
- Does not resort to biographical tendencies
- Fact errors: -50 percent
- Spelling: -10 points
- Grammar, punctuation, AP style: -1 point each
Profile writing tips
- 40–40–20 rule
- 40 percent research
- 40 percent reporting
- 20 percent writing
- Types of profiles
- Portrait profiles are positive.
- Photographic profiles are fully developed.
- In this class we will write photographic profiles.
- What makes a profile candidate newsworthy?