Where Does All That News Come From?
It should be a given (but seldom is) that all principal officers contribute to the bulletin on a more-or-less regular basis. Foremost among them is the chapter president. He should always have something to say. If he doesnt, impeach him; hes not doing his job. So, probably, should the secretary, though he can usually get by with a short summary report of the most recent executive board meeting.
Other chapter officials should know they are expected to contribute periodically:
Membership V.P.as often as he has plans or projects in progress. His report may be brief, but should detail upcoming activities, recent accomplishments, new member profiles, Man of Note awards, and the like.
Program V.P.a tough job in these days of chorus- intensive chapter meetings. Often hes not allowed the luxury of planning meeting activities. He should, however, be in charge and held responsible for complete planning and detailed information of events appearing in the chapters activity calendar.
Publicity V.P.see Membership V.P. comments. Music Committee Chairmanshould have things to tell the members rather regularly. Repertoire, vocal training, coaching, learning schedules all are within his purview. He should also be held responsible for accuracy and pertinence of craft stories appearing in the bulletin.
Chorus Directorshould have at least a few brief remarks for every issue.
Chorus Managerperiodically, as his needs arise.
Treasureroccasionally: annual financial statement summaries, reports on show receipts, etc.
Show ChairmanAs soon as a show begins to take shape he should become a regular contributor. He can discuss show repertoire, costuming, give a brief scenario, or call attention to needs. His reports should be ongoing right up to show time because an informed, savvy cast can be a great boon to him. And when the show is over, he should prepare the principal wrap-up report and award the appropriate atta-boys.
POINTS FOR EDITORS TO CONSIDER
WHATS AN EDITORIAL?
An editorial may comment on a news event, but it should not report the event. Chapter officers should be discouraged from reporting news, and encouraged to write editorially. Editorial writing fixes responsibilities and tells the readers they are being pursued. It is the editors responsibility to make this point clear to his officers.
Criticism for its own sakethe dog-in-the-manger or sour grapes varietyshould not be allowed in any editorial piece. Constructive criticism should be encouraged. Gripes and complaints should always be accompanied by some suggestions for alternatives; for better ways (in the writers opinion) to get the job done. This, again, is an editors judgment call, and he can always ask for a rewrite.
The bulletin editor is in a unique position: as he gathers news about his chapter, he gains first-hand knowledge of unfolding events, and he can witness developing trends. He should almost always have an editorial opinion to express.
BASIC NEWS WRITING
This is known as inverted pyramid writing, and is illustrated as follows:
This traditional inverted pyramid form calls for a summary lead and supporting facts arranged in a descending order. The facts most easily dispensed with are placed at the apex of the inverted pyramid. The advantage of this form of reporting is that the story may be cut, paragraph by paragraph, from the bottom up without losing its meaning.
The pyramid form will not, however, support a story that contains a lead and a body of ensuing information leading to a final conclusion, based on the information. This sort of writing is found most often in feature stories.