Beat Story 3 Story Pitch

Barnes and Nobel at Ole Miss : Keeping the Company Afloat?

I’d like to do my third beat story on the Barnes and Noble at Ole Miss, and how it’s affecting the company as a whole.  For the past few years, sales had been declining with an explosion in the use of tablets and e-readers.  Yet, according to the company’s recent third quarter reports, the company had a 3.9% raise in college earnings during the Spring buying season.  I want to localize the story and see how much students individually are buying at Ole Miss, what the Barnes and Noble on campus brings in for the company, and how this affects the company as a whole.  I would like to see if our individual store is following the national trends.



Press Release From Barnes and Noble Regarding Third Quarter Sales:

Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 12.26.17 PM

Manager at the Ole Miss book store and ask:

(662) 915-7137

1.) How much revenue do you bring in a semester?

2.) Recently, have you been selling more e-editions of books, or hard books?

3.) Have you as a store noticed an increase in revenue over this semester?

4.) As a store, do you bring in more revenue in the fall or spring?

Students at Ole Miss:

1.) How much did you spend on books this semester?

2.) Do you typically buy e-editions or hard copies of your text books?

3.) Do you feel like you spend more in the fall or spring?

Professors at Ole Miss:

1.) Do you look at prices when you choose books for your classes?

2.) Do you give the options for students to purchase e-editions or hard copies?

3.) Do you usually require students to have a book?


What Works : Amid the Triumphs, an Argument for Tolerance

This article caught my attention via twitter.  While scrolling through my feed, I saw “The Olympics were a success for Vladimir Putin, but they also exposed a less endearing side of Russia”.  I had seen some photos from the Sochi olympics that were not too pleasant so I decided to click on the article and see how this had changed.  The article ended up being a somewhat personal piece and spoke about how the olympics had turned out great, even though there had been some issues with politics.

The first thing that made this article newsworthy was timeliness.  The closing ceremonies occurred yesterday, so the timing is obviously relevant.  Another thing was impact.  Many people around the country were shocked at Russia’s behavior toward gay rights during the Sochi olympics.  As a free country, this certainly had an impact on many Americans.  Finally the article shows oddity.  There has not been this controversy during the Olympic games in quite some time.  The fact that such a happy event for many athletes was clouded with so much political conflict is shocking.

The story uses a narrative lead.  Instead of jumping into the hard facts regarding politics, the author started with talking about the games closing ceremonies.  They then went on to speak about how well the games had actually gone, and what great facilities had come out if it.  She tells the reader how a old vacation town from Stalin’s era had been turned into a beautiful facility.  The author uses a narrative to make this not such a hard news story.  If she had used a hard lead, she would have needed to jump into the issues with politics and the triumphs would have been over looked.

The small seventh paragraph seems to be the nut graph of this story.  It is only two sentences but this paragraph explains why people may be so reluctant to acknowledge the success of the games.  This is the paragraph that leads from the fluffier information about the games to the cold hard facts about policy.

This story provides a great amount of detail, and it was a very interesting read.  I had only heard bad things about the Sochi olympics before hand.  Yet a quote from an American women’s hockey player showed otherwise.  I think the most memorable quote was, “By living together under one roof in the Olympic Village, you send a powerful message from Sochi to the world, a message of a society of peace, tolerance and respect,” from the president of the games.  This quote is great because it not only illustrates how great the games were, but how they can effect policy.

There was a great variety in sources in this story.  A great deal of information is provided from the president of the games and people in charge.  But, we see that the story is not biased by receiving quotes from actual athletes

I’m not sure you actually need any multi media for this story.  It’s a very descriptive piece and the author got some great quotes from both sides.  The only thing I could think of would possibly be a video with highlights from the olympics, showing how policy affected them.

Oxford To Gain New Business

Starting in Fall 2015, Oxford, Mississippi may not seem as such a small town with the addition of Oxford’s Galleria, including a new Marshalls.

According to the Oxford Business journal, a new addition to the galleria will start being constructed for $35 million. The addition will be bringing more revenue and jobs to the town.

Marshalls department store was founded in 1956, in Boston. Currently, there are stores in 48 states. Yet, Mississippi only offers three, located in South Haven, Jackson, and D’Iberville.

Marshalls’ mission is to have shoppers “never pay full price for fabulous,” according to their website. The only other discount clothing store in Oxford is Goodwill, which is not designer or new. The closest in price range to Marshalls is J.C Penny, but the store does not carry many high end designers.

The store will be a huge hit with college kids. Not only does the department store carry clothing items, but also shoes, and accessories. They also carry house hold items and home décor. This is perfect as most upperclassman students live off campus in apartments. With the number of out- of-state students, the need for these household items is huge, since no one wants to lug kitchen wear across the country.

Many college students are excited about the new business in town. Firstly, there will be more to choose from when shopping. Since Oxford is a college town, most college students are on a budget.

“I am so excited for Marshall’s to open, there’s no where cheap to shop, all the stores on the square are super expensive,” said Freshman Megan Ferguson.

Styles at Marshalls never stay the same for long, and students always have a need to shop. A good deal of students on campus are involved with Greek life, and between swaps or formals, they always are looking for a specific style at a good deal.

“There are themed parties almost every weekend, and I’m going to two formals this year. I don’t have time for a job with my major so I’m always looking for good deals on clothes,” said pre-pharmacy student Alex Dorris.

Not only will the community have more shopping options in town, but also job opportunities. Many students are looking for part time jobs. The store would be right across the street from campus, making it convenient for college students to work part time. According to, the store is already hiring for part and full time positions.

“I am definitely going to apply, I’m trying to make as much money as possible to save for school, plus it’s so close to campus, the commute would be nothing,” said sophomore Neil Harrington.

The price range of Marshalls is definitely the most appealing to the community. Shopping at stores on the square can cost you a pretty penny. At the boutique “Material Girls”, on the square, a simple tank top will cost you $35. Marshalls sells designer shirts for under ten dollars, depending on brans. This is going to create a great deal of competition for the boutiques on the square.

“I will not be paying a hundred dollars for a formal dress from a boutique any more. No, not if I can get it at Marshalls for a better price,” said Kelsey Downie, a frequent shopper of MisBehavin on the square.

The location of the new galleria addition is key for the students as well. Currently, the O.U.T bus runs every five minutes to and from the Jackson Avenue center. It would only be a short walk for the students to go on over.

The store will not only be good for the students, but for the town itself. The store will bring in revenue for Oxford, as well as creating new jobs. Also, this is away for the town to modernize. While the square may keep up with the trends fashion wise, it has an old time Southern feel. With the new Galleria, the main street will seem more modernized and up to date with other towns in the state.

Marshalls offers men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and accessories, as well as house wear, which makes the business appealing to every one in town.

SoundCloud Snippet With Sarah Bradley, Freshman At Ole Miss :


Material Girls :

Alex Taylor = 212-704-4509

Mara Hershkowitz = 212-642-7756

Oxford Business Journal:

What Works : Meredith statue incident ‘life-changing’ for witness

This headline really caught my attention while scrolling though news on the Daily Mississippian.  The story about the vandalism is obviously a hot topic at the university right now.  Yet, I have only heard about the story from students perspectives and of course from the university itself.  It seemed very interesting to see how the man who made the discovery felt.

This story illustrates many news values.  Firstly, it has impact.  Race has been a huge issue at Ole Miss for quite some time and people always jump all over the school when a story like this surfaces.  Secondly, it also has proximity, since we’re in Oxford, Mississippi.  It also has timeliness since the first incident occurred on Sunday.  Finally, it shows oddity since it was such a strange, shocking event.

This piece uses a narrative lead.  Since it is a more emotional story, the author used a softer approach.  It has to do with Mr. McMillian’s feelings about the vandalism, so the author starts the story by talking about how the witness’ day started.

The seventh paragraph down is the nutgraph of the story.  Although the paragraphs above tell of what actually happen, these are not the main idea of the story.  The point of this story is to tell the reader about the witness’ feelings.  This seventh paragraph is a quote from the witness about his emotions.  It is in this paragraph that he describes how although he had been prejudiced  growing up and for the majority of his life, he was sickened that someone could do something like this.  This paragraph is what really conveys his emotions and thoughts.

This story provides a huge amount of detail about both the incident and emotions that go along with it.  The first half of the story provides a complete eye witness account about what happened that Sunday morning.  The witness gives great detail and describes the sights and sounds he experienced.  The witness also provides detail about the general consensus of emotions that have risen from this.  The story uses emotionally charged quotes from the witness to show disgust.  “Seeing that sent chills down my back,” he said. “I’m a 64-year-old white man that grew up in rural, backwoods Mississippi. I’ve always been a little prejudiced at times, but this changed my life.  This was a quote that was really striking, as it spoke about a life changing event for this older man.

This story only used two sources, the eye witness and a police chief, who provided little information.  The police chief’s quotes were not really relevant, as this was an emotional piece but the witness’ were what certainly charged the story.

There was no multi media in this story.  I think a video would have been really nice.  I think it would have been very emotional and make the story even more effective.

What Works : “The Creation Museum wants your children”

The title of this story immediately made me want to click on it. For the past couple of weeks, there has been a great deal of buzz about Bill Nye and Ken Ham of the creation museum. With the mention of children in the title, I was interested to see how the reporter was going to talk about the story from the direction of children.

This story is absolutely newsworthy. First of all, it is extremely timely. The debate just occurred this week, but there has been buzz going on for a month. The story also has a sense of oddity. It is not every day you hear about a TV scientist and a creationist museum founder debating each other. Also the idea of children being brought into a debate like this is some what strange.

This story definitely uses a delayed, narrative lead. The author does not even get into the part about the impact on children until the sixth paragraph. The writer pulls you in by first talking about the logistics of the debate. The author talks for a bit about the debaters back and forth, as well as some specific points they make.

The nut graph of the story was the seventh paragraph. Although it is short, this paragraph summarizes the story completely. This paragraph states that the most important thing to the two men was swaying parents. Neither of them wanted to influence current believers as much as they wanted to influence future generations in their decisions.

This story provides a good amount of detail. The author describes most of the main points of the debate. There are a great number of quotes from either side used in the story. I think the best take away from this story is the quote

 “I say that to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe that’s fine,” Nye said in the video, “but don’t have your kids do it because we need them, we need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.” I think this quote really sticks with certain people. It really talks about the future, but also with a sense of urgency and emotion, creating impact for the reader.

There were five people used for sources in the story. There were the two men in the debate, along with some government officials. There were also old court cases mentioned, as well as statistics about the creation museum. The quotes and statistics provide evidence and strengthen the story. Without the statics for both sides, there would not be a sense of impact in the story.

In the story, there are many slide shows embedded in the text. These are nice because the reader can see photos of the debate, as well as the creation museum. It gives the reader a better understanding of what they are reading about. There are also hyperlinks in the story, giving the reader access to more information about the topic.

What Works : “Living One Month At A Time”

 I chose this headline because of the title. It sounded rather dramatic and it made me think the that the story would be personal. I thought that the headline seemed to have some real impact when you read it.

The story has many factors that make it newsworthy. Firstly, there is certainly impact. By using a real woman’s story, there is more impact. It makes the information seem real and create sympathy. The story also has timeliness. Currently, there is a great deal of debate about welfare and poverty. By using this woman’s story, the author can bring up issues in the government while focusing still creating impact.

This is a narrative lead. Instead of just coming out with the subject, the author describes Cassie Winders. It plays into her emotions. Her bleak situation is also described through his description of her living situation. By using his descriptive language, the author conveys the distress that the woman is going through. He uses very specific examples to show her problems.

The nut graph is the fifth paragraph in. While it does not talk about Cassie directly, it shows the big picture. The paragraph describes what is happening to the stimulus package for people like Cassie. It gave facts about the decreases. This paragraph gives the reader an idea about what Cassie is going through, and helps them understand the rest of the story.

This story definitely provides enough detail. It has a great amount of facts, and quotes. I think the most memorable thing from the story was the quote, “What can I do differently?” she asked herself. “Will I lose the house? Can I pay the water bill? Is there enough food to last the week?”. I think the quote provides the most impact in the story. With the repeated questions, the quote gives a feel of desperation, with seems to be a theme within the article.

There were a few sources used in this story. The main one was Cassie. Another was U.S representative Paul Ryan, as well as Tim Huelskamp another representative. I think these were good sources because as Cassie’s story argued for food stamps, the representative’s argued against them. There were also a great deal of statistics used, providing the cold hard facts about the package. I believe all of these things were effective. These allowed the articles to show both sides of the argument.

Unfortunately, there was no multi media involved in the story. I wish there had been a video of Cassie or even photographs of her living situation. This would have created so much more of an impact if the audience could see it for themselves.

What Works : “Brain-dead Texas woman taken off ventilator”

This story immediately had me drawn in.  I’ve been following this women’s story since I had first seen it on Twitter, as it had been tweeted about by none other than Cosmopolitan magazine.  Although I do not consider myself someone who is hugely interested in gender issues, I felt that as a woman I needed to follow this story.

What makes this story so huge is impact.  Gender equality has obviously been a huge issue through out the history of our country.  It’s shocking that our country is still having issues with women’s rights.  It also had the factor of proximity.  As a citizen of Massachusetts, but a student in Mississippi, it’s rather scary to me that there could still stories like this in the south.

This story starts with a hard news lead.  Although it is a summary lead, it provides a bit of emotion, describing the court case as wrenching.  Using the quote, “who is dead and how the presence of a fetus changes the equation,” really grabs the readers attention.

The nut graph is the fourth paragraph into the story.  It tells the readers why Munoz was in the hospital, and how long of a fight there has been about whether she would be taken off life support.  It explains that although the doctors did not want to keep her alive, the state of Texas did.

I believe the most memorable take away was a quote from the affidavit given to the court.  In the affidavit, Munoz’s husband spoke about his wife.  “Her usual scent has been replaced by the “smell of death.” And her once lively eyes have become “soulles,” is a quote that really tugs at your heart strings.  It provides the reader with a human that they feel like they can relate to.

This story included quotes from Munoz’s lawyers, a statement from the hospital, and quotes from Erick Munoz in an affidavit.

The article included a video of the court decision.  I would have really liked a video of Erick Munoz and his family talking.  Yet realistically, this would have been hard to accomplish as they would have been upset.  But, this would have brought a very emotional spin to an already horrific story.