Sunday, February 27, 2011

Strat 7: Big Picture

I think this is a popular story idea for this time of year. With enough support and valid evidence, it could have been done well. In this story on Tampa Bay Online from the Associated Press, the reporter writes that if local businesses have a good Spring Break, then it could be a good indicator of how well the area is recovering from last year’s BP oil spill. The article depends mostly on anecdotal evidence from business owners and one statistic from an Expedia spokesperson. The story also doesn’t measure what a good Spring Break is for the region by providing actual statistics and figures.

In my opinion, the story isn’t well-focused because it isn’t really reporting on anything but rather posing a question that can’t be answered yet. If a reporter gave me this story, I would ask them why they think this story should run now. I think this story would be much stronger if 1) it explained what a financially successful Spring Break would be for the local businesses and 2) the reporter gathered a month’s worth of data to support a later version of the story. I think asking, “What’s the story?” would help strengthen the story by making the reporter think about the timing and factual support.

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