Writing for the Mass Media UCSD Extension Mike Lawson 760/753-5943 [email_address]
Writing in a Media Environment <ul><li>Be accurate </li></ul><ul><li>Present information efficiently </li></ul><ul><li>Be ...
Elements of News <ul><li>What do you think makes news? </li></ul>
News Values <ul><li>Impact  - events that change people’s lives </li></ul><ul><li>Timeliness  - how long ago when an event...
5 Ws and H <ul><li>Who?  - (Who’s important?) </li></ul><ul><li>What?  - (What’s the major event?) </li></ul><ul><li>When?...
3 Fundamental Sources of Information <ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>Records (written or stored) </li></ul><ul><li>Person...
Attribution of Sources <ul><li>Attribution in a news story means telling the readers the source of the information so that...
Interviewing <ul><li>News stories use two types of quoted material: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct quotations </li></ul></ul...
Steps to a Successful Interview <ul><li>Deciding what information is needed </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing for the conversati...
Types of Questions <ul><li>Closed-ended questions </li></ul><ul><li>Open-ended questions </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothetical qu...
Interviewing Tips <ul><li>Control the situation </li></ul><ul><li>Set the tone of the interview early </li></ul><ul><li>Ta...
Following the Interview <ul><li>As soon as possible after the interview, review and rewrite your notes -- even if you tape...
Observation <ul><li>Good observation requires the writer to develop a sense of what is significant. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>...
Stored Sources of Info <ul><li>Government documents </li></ul><ul><li>Company records </li></ul><ul><li>Books </li></ul><u...
Credibility of Sources <ul><li>Make sure your sources are credible! </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes have to double check sourc...
Accuracy <ul><li>Spell sources’ names correctly! </li></ul><ul><li>Quote sources correctly </li></ul><ul><li>Get info from...
Deadlines <ul><li>Chief enemy - sometimes a friend - of writers is  time </li></ul><ul><li>Deadlines enable an organizatio...
Ethical Behavior <ul><li>Tell the  truth ! </li></ul><ul><li>Dishonesty  gets you fired, causing you to find another caree...
Finally… <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>
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Writing for Media - Media Environ

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Writing for Media - Media Environ

  1. 1. Writing for the Mass Media UCSD Extension Mike Lawson 760/753-5943 [email_address]
  2. 2. Writing in a Media Environment <ul><li>Be accurate </li></ul><ul><li>Present information efficiently </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Have integrity </li></ul>
  3. 3. Elements of News <ul><li>What do you think makes news? </li></ul>
  4. 4. News Values <ul><li>Impact - events that change people’s lives </li></ul><ul><li>Timeliness - how long ago when an event happened </li></ul><ul><li>Prominence - celebrities, politicians, sports stars, authors, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Proximity - Events that occur close to home </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict - when people disagree </li></ul><ul><li>Bizarre or Unusual - rare event that occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Currency - issues with current interest </li></ul>
  5. 5. 5 Ws and H <ul><li>Who? - (Who’s important?) </li></ul><ul><li>What? - (What’s the major event?) </li></ul><ul><li>When? - (When did it occur?) </li></ul><ul><li>Where? - (Where did it occur?) </li></ul><ul><li>Why? - (Why did it occur?) </li></ul><ul><li>How? - (How did it happen?) </li></ul>
  6. 6. 3 Fundamental Sources of Information <ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>Records (written or stored) </li></ul><ul><li>Personal observation </li></ul>
  7. 7. Attribution of Sources <ul><li>Attribution in a news story means telling the readers the source of the information so that the readers can judge the credibility of the info. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Interviewing <ul><li>News stories use two types of quoted material: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct quotations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indirect quotations / paraphrase </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Steps to a Successful Interview <ul><li>Deciding what information is needed </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing for the conversation - research! </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out what questions to ask beforehand (8-10 questions) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Types of Questions <ul><li>Closed-ended questions </li></ul><ul><li>Open-ended questions </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothetical questions </li></ul><ul><li>Agree/Disagree questions </li></ul><ul><li>Probes </li></ul><ul><li>Personal questions </li></ul>
  11. 11. Interviewing Tips <ul><li>Control the situation </li></ul><ul><li>Set the tone of the interview early </li></ul><ul><li>Take notes </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you understand what the source says </li></ul><ul><li>Do not respond to attacks from source </li></ul><ul><li>Use a tape recorder with permission </li></ul><ul><li>Note the surroundings </li></ul><ul><li>Always be courteous and professional </li></ul>
  12. 12. Following the Interview <ul><li>As soon as possible after the interview, review and rewrite your notes -- even if you tape recorded the interview. </li></ul><ul><li>Always ask if you can call back for follow-up questions or clarification. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Observation <ul><li>Good observation requires the writer to develop a sense of what is significant. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples on p.94 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Put yourself in situations where you see what you need to see </li></ul>
  14. 14. Stored Sources of Info <ul><li>Government documents </li></ul><ul><li>Company records </li></ul><ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines </li></ul><ul><li>Internet (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive by asking credible users questions </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Credibility of Sources <ul><li>Make sure your sources are credible! </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes have to double check sources for accuracy -- especially if they’re on the “fringe” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be aware of source’s hidden agendas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Follow the money!” </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Accuracy <ul><li>Spell sources’ names correctly! </li></ul><ul><li>Quote sources correctly </li></ul><ul><li>Get info from more than one source </li></ul><ul><li>Do the math </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure numbers in story add up (example p.99) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Deadlines <ul><li>Chief enemy - sometimes a friend - of writers is time </li></ul><ul><li>Deadlines enable an organization to function and be reliable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When working with reporters, always ask when their deadline is and work with that timeline </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Ethical Behavior <ul><li>Tell the truth ! </li></ul><ul><li>Dishonesty gets you fired, causing you to find another career </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Falsification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plagiarism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Misrepresentation </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Finally… <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>
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