6 things I learned from last week’s training


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Note: This is one of several blog posts written by Shorthorn staffers about the conferences or training they attended. Today’s blog post written by reporter Hannah Beth Floyd about what she learned during a recent training with Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel features reporter Johnny Diaz.


We got the amazing opportunity to meet with Johnny Diaz last Friday. He had tons of great tips about life and feature reporting. Here are my top six tips he had for us.

1. If you need a student source, go to places where students are bored like the DMV,  advising office, or the line at Starbucks.

2. Write up a “dummy draft” when doing event coverage. Contact people to find out the whos and the whats before the actual event so you’re less stressed out after the event.

3. For life/feature stories, start stories by setting the scene.

4. Become an observer, always remember the things you see, hear, smell, and feel so you can add those elements into your story.


5. Keep a conversational tone when writing, it’ll keep the reader interested.

6. Write stories you want to write. Don’t wait to have something assigned to you, find stories on your beat that you want to write.

This entry was posted in Training by Icess Fernandez Rojas. Bookmark the permalink.

About Icess Fernandez Rojas

Icess is a writer, professor, and blogger. She is a graduate of Goddard College's MFA program. Her work has been published in Rabble Lit, Minerva Rising Literary Journal, and the Feminine Collective's anthology Notes from Humanity. Her nonfiction has appeared in Dear Hope, NBCNews.com, HuffPost and the Guardian. She is a recipient of the Owl of Minerva Award, a VONA/Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation alum, and is also a Kimbilio Fellow. She's currently working on her first novel.

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