Spring forward with an alternative story form

Alternative story forms are a good fit when you are covering a recurring event or presenting a “teachable moment” to readers.

The switch to daylight saving time is one of those opportunities. That’s why this story from The News & Observer misses the mark. It’s told and presented in a traditional way even though the subject matter lends itself to an alternative treatment.

The ingredients are in the story. The second paragraph, for example, describes the time change. This could easily be broken out into a textbox, where it would be easy to clip and save. The story then spends several paragraphs on the history of daylights savings. Again, this works better (and is more memorable) as a separate component as part of a larger story form.

Later, the story lists various ways that the time change will help people get outside and do fun things such as bicycling and gardening. Each has a subhead, so why not assemble this section of the story into a more obvious list format?

All of the elements are in place for a clever, well-edited ASF on outdoor activities and the time change. Perhaps next year, this will be an opportunity met, not missed.

More tips on story forms here. (Some of the links at this post will take you to this blog’s former home on Blogger.)