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My two (current) ideas

LawJedi

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My two (current) ideas
« on: July 07, 2006, 06:13:26 PM »
Need some input...

1. Being a journalist on the ground in New Orleans days after Hurricane Katrina. My story of how I got into the city, how I got out, etc. New Orleans is my hometown as well, so it's kind a personal thing for me...

or

2. My second option is more focused toward why I feel so passionately about freedom of the press, particularly for high school and college journalists. I was the opinion editor at my student newspaper (i later became editor-in-chief) during a scandal involving our new, relatively graphic sex column on a conservative southern campus. I learned a lot during that time, we were covered by national media, etc.


I want to go into first amendment/communications law and my hope is to continue to work for a newspaper in some form or fashion.

Thanks.

Re: My two (current) ideas
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2006, 06:37:33 PM »
I think I would pick the first one for 2 reasons: 1) I doubt a lot of people applying to law school will have your kind of experience with hurricane katrina so it will stand out and be memorable 2)i worry that the second idea might become sort of "preachy" and also runs the danger of alienating people who might not share your personal viewpoint

I'd be happy to read a draft when you have something...

Vick

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Re: My two (current) ideas
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2006, 06:50:51 PM »
I'd go with the first.  It's much more exciting.  You could have an amazing opening paragraph describing the things you witnessed.   

LawJedi

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Re: My two (current) ideas
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2006, 07:48:11 PM »
Here's the opening and second graph i have right now.


There were no lights on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway days after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans with water, and despite a curfew at 7:30 p.m., I managed to get my car onto the bridge and out of the city at 7:33.

I wanted to get out of that place. The day I had spent there was moving enough. I wanted food, a shower and sleep. As editor of my daily college newspaper, I had convinced another staff member to use our press credentials and attempt to get across the causeway and into the city. Armed with a four-wheel drive SUV, a few bottles of water, two cameras and our notepads, we were the first student journalists on the ground.


Re: My two (current) ideas
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2006, 07:51:57 PM »
The paragraphs are good but I would try and make them even more visual.  The best aspect of your ps i think will be its ability to let the reader be a part of something through you -- something that they only saw on tv.  So I think the beginning needs to make it feel as if they were with you.

Re: My two (current) ideas
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2006, 09:46:51 PM »
Here's the opening and second graph i have right now.


There were no lights on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway days after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans with water, and despite a curfew at 7:30 p.m., I managed to get my car onto the bridge and out of the city at 7:33.

I wanted to get out of that place. The day I had spent there was moving enough. I wanted food, a shower and sleep. As editor of my daily college newspaper, I had convinced another staff member to use our press credentials and attempt to get across the causeway and into the city. Armed with a four-wheel drive SUV, a few bottles of water, two cameras and our notepads, we were the first student journalists on the ground.



What you have now is very rough and not personal. I could get all the information in the opening paragraph except for how you got out of the city after curfew

I would start out with either how you managed to get out of the city at 7:33, if that's a good story. How did you talk the bridge guard (or whoever) into letting you out, or the frenzied packing and leaving for new orleans. Either would make a great opening scene and not sound so generic (as it does now).

Furthermore, of course you need a bed and a bath and all that. I would focus more on your experience while in New Orleans and not on the negative feeling after you left and how you were tired (if you must, do it later...because this early it sounds like you're whining in a situation where, at this point, you have little to be whining about).

HTH and good luck.

LawJedi

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Re: My two (current) ideas
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2006, 10:24:41 AM »
Thanks Paige. Sound advice. I have some trouble writing about myself, journalist's curse.