Story Visioning

How many times do you sit down to edit a reporter and discover their story isn't even close to what you expected? Perhaps a key interview is missing. Or the focus isn't quite on target. With deadline looming, you find yourself running out of time to make the necessary changes. We've all been there and it isn't fun.

The key takeaway from that experience is that it's dangerous to assume you and your reporters share the same vision of a story. If you follow this simple story visioning process, you'll find a little work on the front end will save a lot of time - and heartburn - on the back end.

Story Visioning Tools

These tools provide a useful framework for the story visioning process. They give both reporters and editors a "common language" to use to develop stories.

Basic Guidelines

  • Ground Rules
  • Content Questions
  • Production Questions
  • Reflective Practitioning

And Remember: Once you've set your vision, continue to check in with your reporter throughout the research, reporting and writing process. Sometimes a story changes once a reporter is in the field. Make sure you know how that process is developing so you're not surprised at edit time.