There's a local angle in there somewhere!

25 questions to ask before you trash the "A" wire.

by Don Ray, Exclusive News Group, Burbank, CA
Pat Murkiand, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, CA

There are very few state, national or even international stories that you can't localize. Be on the lookout whenever you read national headlines or watch the evening news. Your editor has surely told you to ask yourself whether local folks care. We suggest you go a step further - make the local folks care. To do that, you have to find the sometimes obscure reasons they should care.

You don't have to invent it - the relevancy is already there. You just have to find it. Here are 25 questions you can ask that will help you find relevancy in any story - whether it's a story about a crime, a disaster, pending legislation, a medical breakthrough, a death, a dispute between any two entities, an act of terrorism, a business story, the results of a study or poll or a story that seems to be happening again and again in different places.

  1. Is it happening here?
  2. Could it happen here
  3. Has it ever happened here?
  4. What if it were to happen here?
  5. Are people here prepared?
  6. Is anyone from here a victim there?
  7. Do we have local experts?
  8. Has anyone here ever experienced what happened there?
  9. Is one of our residents already there?
  10. Are any of our residents going there?
  11. Are any of our residents from there?
  12. Is anyone playing a role right here?
  13. Will there be repercussions that could trickle down here?
  14. Is what they're saying is happening everywhere actually true here?
  15. Have we already solved the problem here?
  16. Have the promises been kept here?
  17. Do we have a better plan?
  18. Are people here quietly scurrying to change the situation?
  19. What will happen to us?
  20. Are they talking about us?
  21. Will it end up costing something here?
  22. Will it end up affecting people's jobs here?
  23. Will it somehow complicate things here?
  24. Is there a pattern here?
  25. Are we with the tide or against it?

Feel free to copy and distribute this without permission. Please credit.

Don Ray, Exclusive News Group, P.O. Box 4375 Burbank, CA 915034375 Phone: (818) THE-NEWS E-mail: donray@donray.com
Pat Murkiand, The Press-Enterprise, 3512 14th St., Riverside CA 92501-3878 Phone: (909) 782-7575 E-mail: pmurkiand@pe.com