With so many different ways to tell stories, I created this checklist of questions to keep things organized. The list is a work in progress — often more aspirational than actual.
- Is this a radio story, web story or both? (Consider content and turnaround time)
- What visuals would make this an exciting story to see? Would this need a photographer? Who can I brainstorm with?
- Any cool graphic, data or interactive ideas? Who can I brainstorm with? Are there easy tools to help me build it myself?
- Should this go in the Parallels blog? Other NPR blogs?
- Does this fit into any radio series or branded programming?
- When am I going to write the web copy? When should I file?
- What are my deadlines for all components?
- Is there a callout or preview or public conversation with sources (even thanks for interviews) for NPR social media during reporting or in run-up to publishing?
- If so, when should it go out? On which platforms?
- What elements do I need be sure to get for all platforms? (i.e.: photos, money quote, one “take-away” fact, details for written text, ambi for radio, backstories or one liners for social media, etc.)
- Can I do these all at once or do I need more than one visit?
- Should I focus first on writing the web text or making the radio?
- What’s my headline?
Social (at or after writing / edit time)
- What’s my Twitter quote or fact?
- When should that go up?
- Who can I tweet at when the story is done (with the link)?
- When should I do that?
- What’s my Facebook / Instagram extra — photo, question or backstory?
- When is it going up?
- Who can I tag?
- Is there an audio clip (that made it in to the story or not) I can share on social media?
- What’s my pitch to NPR social?
- Who do I contact and how?
- Who do I need to thank? What’s the best way? (social, email, call)
- Who do I need to share a link with?
- Who else can I share a link with?
An example list