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MN Voices: Information for the writer
Minnesota Voices is a TC Daily Planet feature that highlights individuals from many different places in our community. They are not just the usual voices who are quoted in news stories and appear on editorial pages (though those people may appear from time to time), but artists, business owners, community organizers, teachers, and more.
Minnesota Voices stories are, above all, interesting and personal. These stories are NOT dry, formulaic, or the same old, same old message that a lobbyist or advocate has given sixteen times already. Minnesota Voices focuses on who people are and what they do in the world, and on what motivates their lives. We want the voice of this Minnesotan to come through loud and clear. This might be a Q&A format, or a regular article format, but the article will be different from and more than a biography.
Most of our Minnesota Voices are interviews -- in print, video, audio or slide show format -- that let our readers forge a personal connection with people they might not otherwise know. Some of our Minnesota Voices articles are written by individuals who have a story to tell. Minnesota Voices is a weekly feature in the TC Daily Planet.
Please read, or at least skim, several of the Minnesota Voices articles that we have published before you begin work on your article.
WHO WRITES MINNESOTA VOICES?
For the most part, they are written by TCDP free-lancers. Some of the articles could be written by the subjects themselves -- but it is not easy to find interesting people who will agree to write interesting articles. I'm open to suggestions. The example that I can offer -- and that I would offer to anyone we ask to write a Minnesota Voices piece -- is Professor Joseph L. Mbele's "I will never be a millionaire." It's not a Minnesota Voices article, because it was written for a media partner, but it has the style and flavor I would hope for in a Minnesota Voices article.
FOR WRITERS / PRODUCERS:
First, read the description of the Minnesota Voices feature above. We are looking for stories that are, above all else, INTERESTING. Nothing dry, nothing formulaic, nothing that is the same old, same old message that a lobbyist has given sixteen times already. For an example, see Grace Kelly's article, Dusty Trice: One of the heroes in the background.
We need basic information for everyone, but then pick and choose among the rest of the questions (or invent your own) to get an INTERESTING and PERSONAL story.
Name, age, contact information - email and phone
Where do you live? (city, neighborhood)
What work do you do? Where do you work? What issues do you work on?
If someone asked "Who is [your name]?",what would be a good answer to the question?
PHOTO (If you can take a good photo, that's great. If not, let us know and we'll find a photographer.)
Where did you grow up?
What is one event that really made an impression on you in your youth?
Who have been some of your major influences, both professionally and personally?
Can you think of one event or period of time that had the most influence on your character, on who you are as a person?
How did you know what you were going to do with your life?
What path brought you to the work you do today?
What is your passion?
If you could do it over, what is a choice that you would make differently in your life?
What is your model for leadership?
Why is the work that you do important?
What do you contribute to the community?
What has shaped your character?
Are you religious? Why?
Is music important to you? What is the place of music in your life?
How, if at all, have you achieved balance in your life?
Who's in your family? What's your greatest joy and your greatest trial in your family life?