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Finding the angle

There are lots of different angles to the same story. Each publication puts its readers' interests first in reporting what's happened, and that means that what's essential to one magazine might not even get a mention in another.

Here's an exercise to practise finding the angles in a story.

Below is a real press release. Have a go at writing a brief news item (50-100 words) for each of the following publications (some of them imaginary):

  • Stevenage Comet - local newspaper for Stevenage
  • Uplift - the monthly magazine for forklift buyers
  • Shout - the Lulu fanzine
  • Women's Weekly
  • PR stunts monthly
  • Holiday News (let's pretend the holiday was supplied by Thomsons)
  • Lansing Linde company newsletter
  • Competions magazine
  • The Sun
  • TV listings magazine

Start with whatever matters most to readers of that title and don't write anything they're not interested in. Write in a style suitable for the magazine as well and don't forget to include a headline. Assume the press release was issued yesterday.

The press release

IMPORTANT: This is a journalism exercise. This is a real press release but it dates from 1999.


PRESS RELEASE

RED ALERT: BBC CHOOSE LANSING LINDE

When Chris Evans' company Ginger Television approached Lansing Linde to use a lift truck in the launch of the new BBC show 'Red Alert with the National Lottery', Lansing Linde were delighted to get involved.

The new show, which is transmitted on primetime Saturday night television, needed the Lansing Linde truck for a special item in the show, Red Alert with the National Lottery, called 'What are you like?', introduced by celebrity Lulu.

An unwitting member of the audience was revealed as being terribly houseproud and especially fond of her leather sofa, which she believed to be at the cleaners. Her surprise was complete when, courtesy of the Lansing Linde electric fork truck, her leather sofa entered the studio with presenter Terry Alderton sitting comfortably! After jumping on to the sofa next to Terry, the sofa's owner had the chance to win a holiday to Colorado by pulling down all the cushions suspended in mid-air. Luckily the Lansing Linde truck was on hand to oblige in lifting the sofa, which was mounted on a specially constructed safety platform, high enough and smoothly enough to reach the prize-winning cushions!

Fork lift truck instructor Clive Flucker, who hails from Stevenage, was the lucky man chosen to operate the truck on the day and certainly enjoyed his moment of fame! "When I volunteered for a Saturday of work, I didn't imagine I would end up on television!" he commented, "I've lifted many things on fork trucks in my time but never a BBC Television presenter!"

Stage manger Shona Penman approached Lansing Linde after deciding to go ahead with the "What are you like?" feature. "We approached them with the idea and they were extremely helpful and efficient in providing information about the kind of truck we would need and keen to become involved in such a fun item."

Lansing Linde Promotions Officer Ian Ferris dealt with the concept from the beginning. "As soon as the BBC approached us enquiring about the possibility of using a truck for 'Red Alert', we were happy to get involved. It was certainly a strange application for a lift truck, but it shows just how versatile our lift trucks are!"

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