WEEK 9 – Storify Review

This week’s practical task is to review a peer’s storify article. I have decided to review the following student’s storify submission:

Student Name              –          Tarah Rhodda

Storify Story Title        –          #BlackLivesMatter Activist Found Dead in Jail Cell

Click here to view Tarah’s Storify article: https://storify.com/Tarah_JR/sandra-bland

This article is an interesting read, particularly as if follows many stories that have put the United States (US) police and the US justice legal system under scrutiny in relation to similar incidents against African-Americans.

Tarah has obviously applied good media writing techniques to this article. The heading is fairly clear and draws impact to the article prompting the viewer to continue reading.

The first paragraph is a straightforward lead into the article, whereby Tarah has included the 5 W’s, this of course follows the journalistic style of writing of the inverted pyramid by placing the most important and significant information first (Whitaker et al. 2012).

Tarah has included a number of tweets to support her article. These tweets come from witnesses, media sources and organisation representatives, a credible curation for her article.

This article is consistent with news values such as consequence, conflict, human interest and timeliness which make it newsworthy. Whitaker (2012, p.19) suggests that information that can be judged newsworthy is that which meets these news values.

There are a few suggestions I would make regarding Tarah’s article. For example, the use of adding a hashtag to the beginning of the heading, whether or not the same meaning could have been achieved without the hashtag.

Possible alternative “African-American Activist Found Dead in Jail Cell”. There are some punctuation and grammar errors, these include no spacing between words (could be a program or website format issue or unintentional) and the lead paragraph has the word ‘failure’ that should be replaced with ‘failing’.

I would also liked to have seen evidence of a quote from the authorities to add more impact to this story.

Overall, this article demonstrates a sound level of media writing technique and I will be interested in reading more of Tarah’s stories.

References

Rhodda, T 2015, Black lives matter activist found dead in jail cell, viewed 4 August 2015, https://storify.com/Tarah_JR/sandra-bland

Whitaker, R, Ramsey, J & Smith, R 2012, Media writing: print, broadcast, and public relations, 4th edn., Routlage, New York.

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