How to Maestro



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Maestro Method

for High Schools
Buck Ryan

Beth Fitts

SIPA Convention 2014
Introduction to Maestro

Beth L. Fitts mefitts@gmail.com

Source: Buck Ryan, University of Kentucky
Creator of Coca-Cola = Reporter; Marketer = Designer

Bottler = Photographer


MAESTRO - A process of starting with a story idea by which you develop a story package.


  1. Assign topic

  2. Do preliminary reporting

  3. Meet with Maestro team

Reporter, photographer, designer (sidebar reporter)


    1. At the meeting refocus on the topic. Summarize the idea in 30 words or less.

    2. Discuss what will make the reader stop and look and read the article. Readers are busy. “WHY WILL MY READER CARE?”

What questions will my reader have?



  1. Q 1

  2. Q 2

  3. Q3

THE QUESTIONS DETERMINE THE DESIGN.

Keep going back to these points during the process.


THINK LIKE A READER when you plan what to have in the module and where you will place the elements within the module.
Elements in order of importance to the reader:

  1. PHOTO

  2. HEADLINE

  3. CAPTION

  4. LEAD

VISUAL AND HEADLINE SHOULD BE A 1-2 PUNCH; THEN ADD CUTLINES, CHARTS, LISTS, LEAD TO ANSWER OTHER QUESTIONS.


How to Maestro
Select heads of maestro teams. Use the number of teams in sets of page numbers. For example, the news team might handle the front page and the school news pages, and the sports teams would cover the sports section.

Have a maestro leader selected. He or she will guide the group and make notes and lists of articles. He should keep a list and make a copy for the editor-in-chief, who is the head maestro. You may, however use teams by page assignments. For example, team 1 might cover pages 1-4, team 2 could take 5-8, etc. The group maestro leader should be a tactful people-person who is very responsible.

Day one: (Editor has already set deadlines for articles, pictures and infographics.

In step 1 brainstorm article ideas. List all ideas without judgment calls. Try to have several more than needed for the pages in the section. In step 2 go back and narrow down the topics and finalize the ones you will use in the paper. In the left column prioritize the ideas according to timeliness and reader interest. Select the possible lead story and designate now as number 1.

Decide on pictures for stories. Write short descriptions of each. Include mug shots needed.

Assign infographics to some articles.

Suggest writers in the team or others in the class who may be gifted in writing specific articles. Remind the group that these are suggestions only. The editor will make the final decision.

Day two, during lunch or after school:

The team leaders will bring the group’s list to the main maestro meeting with the editor. The editor will discuss topics with leaders and approve assignments. The editor will confirm deadlines with staff leaders.

Maestro leaders return to groups and the layout editors will work with individuals to make dummy sketches of each pages inserting approximate sizes and placement of all pictures, graphics, etc. If students designing pages already have an example of a page they would like to try, the process is much simpler. This step is optional, but it makes for a polished design.
Maestro Teams
Group Members:

Team(Section) One Team Two Team Three Team Four


Maestro Sheet Issue______________

Section ___________ Leader_____________________
Article Ideas:

1. List five to seven articles topics than you will need for your section.

2. Go back and put numbers to the left of topics to rank them in order of priority. When selecting topics, always ask, “Why should the reader care?” You should be able to state that answer in 30 words or less.


Assignments:

Fill in the details for the stories selected.


Page Article Ideas Reporter Graphic
8 Freeman accepts bid Kimberly yes

about NCAA draft-straight news main source-Coach Hill NCAA




Dummy Layout Page ____ 6 columns


Planning a Centerpiece Package through The Maestro

Having a plan, checking back and modifying are key elements to having a dynamic module/package.

Remember modules can go in any section, not just the front page. Make a reader-friendly plan.

HAVE WRITERS, DESIGNERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS MEET FOR THIS SESSION.

PLAN YOUR MAESTRO STORY


The Topic___________________________________________________
Why will my reader care? Summary in 30 words or less:

Now, think of the questions the reader would have.


1.
2.
3.
Where can I best place the answers to AB123?

AB – Usually in the headline….What is an idea for the headline that will convey the purpose of the article and the reason the reader will care? ___________________________________________________


Q1 story subhead photo cutline sidebar infographic illustration
Q2 story subhead photo cutline sidebar infographic illustration
Q3 story subhead photo cutline sidebar infographic illustration
Note: Chose a type of infographic that would work to answer the reader’s question(s).
Bullet Box about ___________________Q & A about ____________________

List or Checklist about ____________Map about ______________________

Quote(s) Box about _______________ Timeline about _________________

Quiz about _________________________Top 5 Tips about _______________

How-To Guide about ______________ Glossary about _________________

Bio Box about _____________________ Diagram about _________________



Other about __________________________________________________________

Now sketch your maestro package below or on the dummy sheet provided.

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