Journalism 133: Prof. Craig: Follow-Up Stories Exercise
Follow-Up Stories Exercise
Follow-up stories are news stories that build upon an original story in subsequent days with new information, new angles and/or new developments related to the subject. These commonly flow from stories which affect many people, involve actions to be taken at a later date, or which contain few details in their original publication. Often a single editor and a single reporter will provide continuing coverage of the topic with many follow-ups.
Your assignment today is to meet in the groups assigned below and come up with follow-up story ideas based on the material provided here. When coming up with these ideas, think about these questions (and any others you may come up with in the process):
- Who will this story affect? Are there angles you could take that would reflect affected people's concerns?
- What is still unknown about the story beyond the information you've been given? What are the most important omissions or unanswered questions?
- What types of experts might you interview about the subject? How might they change the focus of a follow-up story?
- How might actions taken elsewhere affect or change the outcome of this announcement? Who might take those actions?
- Who might object to the policy announced? What recourse might those people have?
Here is a quick summary of your original story, adapted from existing coverage:
The California State University system will not require employees and students at its 23 campuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall.
Its decision comes as some other colleges and universities are announcing plans to mandate vaccines to restore a sense of pre-pandemic normalcy this fall. Such requirements may face political and legal challenges, however.
Other Bay Area campuses – including Stanford, Santa Clara and University of California at Berkeley and Santa Cruz – are considering their options and have not yet announced their plans.
CSU campuses may still require specific populations of students, such as athletes and dorm residents, to be vaccinated, said spokesman Michael Uhlenkamp. These policies would vary from campus to campus.
Because the vaccines are currently being offered only under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization and don’t have formal approval, CSU's Board of Trustees worried about its legal liability, said CSU’s Uhlenkamp.
“Upon advice from the CSU Office of General Counsel, and in extensive consultation with counsel at other institutions of higher education throughout the country, the CSU has determined that it is not able to require all employees and students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of maintaining employment or enrollment,” he said.
I will put you in breakout rooms in the groups below (subject to change due to absences), where you will come up with as many feasible follow-up story ideas as you can. You won't need lots of details about them, but they should all be ideas on which you could base a news story. We will reconvene in a few minutes and discuss everyone's ideas.
Kah Mun Chia
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