The Next Step


One thing that has been drilled into my head by my boss Mike is adding “the next step” for each story.

It never matters what kind of story it is.

Whether it’s a budget season or a summertime story, it still needs the next step. It doesn’t need to be five paragraphs long in the story, but it needs to be in there.

Imagine if this story didn’t have a next step. It wouldn’t be complete, or make sense, for that matter. The whole point of the story is the update (the taxpayers may get more time), but without the next step (when the next meeting is and what the council members are thinking) the story is worthless. It would just be a measly update that ends, with no future.

This issue won’t go away anytime soon and, as I write more updates, more stories will be written. The next step will be a part of all of them. It has to be.

In my first few weeks, I realized I was missing this vital piece of information in my stories. Mike was getting frustrated because I wasn’t getting the hint. I became just as frustrated because I wanted to stop “missing” the vital information the story needed.

Finally, I ended up making a sticky note that read “Add the next step.” I put it directly under my computer screen at my desk. I knew I wouldn’t be able to forget anymore.

Eventually, I didn’t need the note any longer because I was adding the next step in my stories without thinking.

Now, with each new story or follow-up, the first thing that crosses my mind is the next step.



One Response to The Next Step

  1. Pingback: Future Focused « Just Starting Out

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