1. What is JOURNALISM? journalists who do their job, who push back screens,
peer behind façades, and lift rocks. Opprobrium from
Journalism- is the craft of conveying news, on high is their badge of honor."
descriptive material and comment via a widening
spectrum of media. These include newspapers, Censorship, governmental restriction or even active
magazines, radio and television, the internet and even, repression of individual journalists and non-state
more recently, the cell phone. They are also a writers, organs of communication continue to cause, at best,
editors or photographers; broadcast presenters or intermittent friction in most countries. Few formal
producers—serve as the chief purveyors of information democracies and no authoritarian governments make
and opinion in contemporary mass society According provision for protection of press freedom implied by
to BBC journalist, Andrew Marr, "News is what the the term Fourth Estate.
consensus of journalists determines it to be."
The INTERNET TECHNOLOGY
From informal beginnings in the Europe of the 18th
century, stimulated by the arrival of mechanized The rapid rise of Internet technology, in particular the
printing—in due course by mass production and in the advent of blogging and social networking software,
20th century by electronic communications technology further destabilize journalism as traditionally
—today's engines of journalistic enterprise include understood and its practitioners as a distinct
large corporations with global reach. professional category. Combined with the increasing
leakage of advertising revenue from pre-existing
The FORMAL JOURNALISM journalistic media into the internet, the full impact of
the arrival of the citizen journalist—potentially positive
The formal status of journalism- has varied historically (proliferation having thus far proved more difficult to
and, still varies vastly, from country to country. The police) as well as negative—is yet to be seen.
modern state and hierarchical power structures in
general have tended to see the unrestricted flow of THE ELEMENTS OF JOURNALISM
information as a potential threat, and inimical to their
own proper function. Hitler described the Press as a According to The Elements of Journalism, a book by Bill
"machine for mass instruction," ideally, a "kind of Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, there are nine elements
school for adults."  Journalism at its most vigorous, of journalism. In order for a journalist to fulfill their
by contrast, tends to be propelled by the implications duty of
at least of the attitude epitomized by the Australian
journalist John Pilger: "Secretive power loathes
2. providing the people with the information they need to more likely to have a small number of reporters
be free and self-governing. They must follow these covering all areas of interest. Investigative reports
guidelines: may cover lengthy stories that require days or weeks
to gather sufficient information. Articles must be
1. Journalism's first obligation is to the truth. produced to meet a limited deadline determined by
2. Its first loyalty is to the citizens. the broadcast or print time of the specific publication
3. Its essence is discipline of verification. and working hours may vary according to the
4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence deadlines set and depending on projects or last-minute
from those they cover. developments may be long or irregular.
5. It must serve as an independent monitor of
6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and
compromise. Newspapers and periodicals often contain features
7. It must strive to make the significant (see Feature style) written by journalists, many of
interesting, and relevant. whom specialize in this form of in-depth journalistic
8. It must keep the news comprehensive and writing.
9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise Feature articles are usually longer forms of writing;
their personal conscience. more attention is paid to style than in straight news
reports. They are often combined with photographs,
In the April 2007 edition of the book, they have added drawings or other "art." They may also be highlighted
one additional element, the rights and responsibilities by typographic effects or colors.
of citizens to make it a total of ten elements of
journalism. Writing features can be more demanding than writing
straight news stories, because while a journalist must
Article topics and writing apply the same amount of effort to accurately gather
and report the facts of the story, he or she must also
Articles- are written about topics that are considered find a creative and interesting way to write it. The lead
notable by the editors of the publication, with (or first two paragraphs of the story; see Nut graph)
notability varying depending on the focus and must grab the reader's attention and yet accurately
audience of the publisher. Large agencies or embody the ideas of the article.
companies may have reporters that are specialized to
discuss specific topics (a beat); smaller agencies are
3. In the last half of the 20th Century the line between Western culture has justified the attention of
straight news reporting and feature writing has journalists to not just the competitive events in sports,
blurred. Journalists and publications today experiment but also to athletes and the business of sports.
with different approaches to writing. Tom Wolfe, Gay
Talese, Hunter S. Thompson are some of these Sports journalism in the United States has traditionally
examples. Urban and alternative weekly newspapers been written in a looser, more creative and more
go even further in blurring the distinction, and many opinionated tone than traditional journalistic writing;
magazines include more features than straight news. the emphasis on accuracy and underlying fairness is
still a part of sports journalism. An emphasis on the
Some television news shows experimented with accurate description of the statistical performances of
alternative formats, and many TV shows that claimed athletes is also an important part of sports journalism.
to be news shows were not considered as such by
traditional critics, because their content and methods Science journalism
do not adhere to accepted journalistic standards.
National Public Radio, on the other hand, is considered Science journalism- is a relatively new branch of
a good example of mixing straight news reporting, journalism, in which journalists' reporting conveys
features, and combinations of the two, usually meeting information on science topics to the public. Science
standards of high quality. Other US public radio news journalists must understand and interpret very
organizations have achieved similar results. A majority detailed, technical and sometimes jargon-laden
of newspapers still maintain a clear distinction information and render it into interesting reports that
between news and features, as do most television and are comprehensible to consumers of news media.
radio news organizations.
Scientific journalists also must choose which
STYLE OF JOURNALISM developments in science merit news coverage, as well
as cover disputes within the scientific community with
Sports journalism a balance of fairness to both sides but also with a
devotion to the facts.
Sports journalism -covers many aspects of human
athletic competition, and is an integral part of most
journalism products, including newspapers,
magazines, and radio and television news broadcasts. Investigative journalism
While some critics don't consider sports journalism to
be true journalism, the prominence of sports in
4. Investigative journalism,- in which journalists meaning by Tom Wolfe in a 1973 collection of
investigate and expose unethical, immoral, and illegal journalism articles.
behavior by individuals, businesses and government
agencies, can be complicated, time-consuming and It is typified by using certain devices of literary fiction,
expensive — requiring teams of journalists, months of such as conversational speech, first-person point of
research, interviews (sometimes repeated interviews) view, recording everyday details and telling the story
with numerous people, long-distance travel, computers using scenes. Though it seems undisciplined at first,
to analyze public-record databases, or use of the new journalism maintains elements of reporting
company's legal staff to secure documents under including strict adherence to factual accuracy and the
freedom of information laws. writer being the primary source. To get "inside the
head" of a character, the journalist asks the subject
Because of its high costs and inherently what they were thinking or how they felt.
confrontational nature, this kind of reporting is often
the first to suffer from budget cutbacks or interference Because of its unorthodox style, new journalism is
from outside the news department. Investigative typically employed in feature writing or book-length
reporting done poorly can also expose journalists and reporting projects.
media organizations to negative reaction from the
subjects of investigations and the public, and Many new journalists are also writers of fiction and
accusations of gotcha journalism. When conducted prose. In addition to Wolfe, writers whose work has
correctly it can bring the attention of the public and fallen under the title "new journalism" include Norman
government to problems and conditions that the public Mailer, Hunter S. Thompson, Joan Didion, Truman
deem need to be addressed, and can win awards and Capote, George Plimpton and Gay Talese.
recognition to the journalists involved and the media
outlet that did the reporting.
New journalism Gonzo journalism- is a type of journalism popularized
by the American writer Hunter S. Thompson, author of
New Journalism- was the name given to a style of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on
1960s and 1970s news writing and journalism which the Campaign Trail '72 and The Kentucky Derby is
used literary techniques deemed unconventional at Decadent and Depraved, among other stories and
the time. The term was codified with its current
5. books. Gonzo journalism is characterized by its punchy Weekly, syndicated television shows like
style, rough language, and ostensible disregard for Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, The Insider,
conventional journalistic writing forms and customs. Access Hollywood, and Extra, cable networks like E!,
More importantly, the traditional objectivity of the A&E Network and The Biography Channel, and
journalist is given up through immersion into the story numerous other television productions and thousands
itself, as in New Journalism, and the reportage is taken of websites. Most other news media provide some
from a first-hand, participatory perspective, sometimes coverage of celebrities and people.
using an author surrogate such as Thompson's Raoul
Duke. Gonzo journalism attempts to present a multi- Celebrity journalism differs from feature writing in that
disciplinary perspective on a particular story, drawing it focuses on people who are either already famous or
from popular culture, sports, and political, are especially attractive, and in that it often covers
philosophical and literary sources. Gonzo journalism celebrities obsessively, to the point of these journalists
has been styled eclectic or untraditional. It remains a behaving unethically in order to provide coverage.
feature of popular magazines such as Rolling Stone Paparazzi, photographers who would follow celebrities
magazine. It has a good deal in common with new incessantly to obtain potentially embarrassing
journalism and on-line journalism (see above). photographs, have come to characterize celebrity
"Celebrity" or "people" journalism
Another area of journalism that grew in stature in the
20th Century is 'celebrity' or 'people' journalism, which An emerging form of journalism, which combines
focuses on the personal lives of people, primarily different forms of journalism, such as print,
celebrities, including movie and stage actors, musical photographic and video, into one piece or group of
artists, models and photographers, other notable pieces. Convergence journalism can be found in the
people in the entertainment industry, as well as people likes of CNN and many other news sites. The
who seek attention, such as politicians, and people Washington Post has a notable amount of this.
thrust into the attention of the public, such as people
who do something newsworthy. Ambush journalism
Once the province of newspaper gossip columnists and Ambush journalism refers to aggressive tactics
gossip magazines, celebrity journalism has become practiced by journalists to suddenly confront and
the focus of national tabloid newspapers like the question people who otherwise do not wish to speak to
National Enquirer, magazines like People and Us a journalist. The practice has particularly been applied
6. by television journalists, on news shows like The includes points like respecting people's privacy and
O'Reilly Factor  and 60 Minutes and by Geraldo ensuring accuracy. However, the Media Standards
Rivera and other local television reporters conducting Trust has criticized the PCC, claiming it needs to be
investigations. radically changed to secure public trust of newspapers.
The practice has been sharply criticized by journalists
and others as being highly unethical and sensational, This is in stark contrast to the media climate prior to
while others defend it as the only way to attempt to the 20th Century, where the media market was
provide those subject to it an opportunity to comment dominated by smaller newspapers and pamphleteers
for a report. This can usually be discerned by the level who usually had an overt and often radical agenda,
of physical aggression the journalist displays and in with no presumption of balance or objectivity.
the time allowed for an uninterrupted answer.
Recognition of excellence in journalism
There are several professional organizations,
• Advocacy journalism universities and foundations that recognize excellence
• Citizen journalism in journalism in the USA. The Pulitzer Prize,
• Social news administered by Columbia University in New York City,
• Participatory Media is awarded to newspapers, magazines and broadcast
• Community journalism media for excellence in various kinds of journalism.
• Environmental journalism The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
• Fashion journalism gives the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards
• Innovation journalism for excellence in radio and television journalism, and
• Online journalism the Scripps Howard Foundation gives the National
• Parachute journalism Journalism Awards in 17 categories. The Society of
• Service journalism Professional Journalists gives the Sigma Delta Chi
• Video journalism Award for journalism excellence. In the television
• Trade journalism industry, the National Academy of Television Arts &
Sciences gives awards for excellence in television
Professional and ethical standards journalism.
In the UK, all newspapers are bound by the Code of Failing to uphold standards
Practice of the Press Complaints Commission. This
7. Such a code of conduct can, in the real world, be Self-censorship is a growing problem in journalism,
difficult to uphold consistently. Journalists who believe particularly in covering countries that sharply restrict
they are being fair or objective may give biased press freedom. As commercial pressure in the media
accounts—by reporting selectively, trusting too much marketplace grows, media organizations are loath to
to anecdote, or giving a partial explanation of actions. lose access to high-profile countries by producing
(See Media bias.) Even in routine reporting, bias can unflattering stories. For example, CNN admitted that it
creep into a story through a reporter's choice of facts had practiced self-censorship in covering the Saddam
to summarize, or through failure to check enough Hussein regime in Iraq in order to ensure continued
sources, hear and report dissenting voices, or seek access after the regime had thrown out other media.
fresh perspectives. CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour also
complained of self-censorship during the invasion of
A news organization's budget inevitably reflects Iraq due to the fear of alienating key audiences in the
decision-making about what news to cover, for what US. There are claims that the media are also avoiding
audience, and in what depth. Those decisions may covering stories about repression and human rights
reflect conscious or unconscious bias. When budgets violations by the Israeli and Iranian regimes in order to
are cut, editors may sacrifice reporters in distant news maintain a presence in those countries.
bureaus; reduce the number of staff assigned to low-
income areas, or wipe entire communities from the
publication's zone of interest.
Reporting versus editorializing
Publishers, owners and other corporate executives,
especially advertising sales executives, can try to use Generally, publishers and consumers of journalism
their powers over journalists to influence how news is draw a distinction between reporting — "just the facts"
reported and published. Journalists usually rely on top — and opinion writing, often by restricting opinion
management to create and maintain a "firewall" columns to the editorial page and its facing or "op-ed"
between the news and other departments in a news (opposite the editorials) page. Unsigned editorials are
organization to prevent undue influence on the news traditionally the official opinions of the paper's
department. One journalism magazine, Columbia editorial board, while op-ed pages may be a mixture of
Journalism Review, has made it a practice to reveal syndicated columns and other contributions,
examples of executives who try to influence news frequently with some attempt to balance the voices
coverage, of executives who do not abuse their powers across some political or social spectrum.
over journalists, and of journalists who resist such
8. The distinction between reporting and opinion can public opinion for or against governments, their
break down. In the UK, the Press Complaints officials and policies, as well as the perception that the
Commission states that "the Press, whilst free to be press often represents their consumers. These
partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, privileges extend from the legal rights of journalists
conjecture and fact" but some commentators have but are not guaranteed by those rights. Sometimes
suggested there can sometimes be a blurring of government officials may attempt to punish individual
opinion and fact. Complex stories often require journalists who irk them by denying them some of
summarizing and interpretation of facts, especially if these privileges extended to other journalists.
there is limited time or space for a story. Stories
involving great amounts of interpretation are often Nations or jurisdictions that formally license journalists
labeled "news analysis," but still run in a paper's news may confer special privileges and responsibilities along
columns. The limited time for each story in a broadcast with those licenses, but in the United States the
report rarely allows for such distinctions. tradition of an independent press has avoided any
imposition of government-controlled examinations or
LEGAL STATUS AS a JOURNALIST licensing. Some of the states have explicit shield laws
that protect journalists from some forms of
Journalists around the world often write about the government inquiry, but those statutes' definitions of
governments in their nations, and those governments "journalist" were often based on access to printing
have widely varying policies and practices towards presses and broadcast towers. A national shield law
journalists, which control what they can research and has been proposed.
write, and what press organizations can publish. Many
Western governments guarantee the freedom of the In some nations, journalists are directly employed,
press, and do relatively little to restrict press rights controlled or censored by their governments. In other
and freedoms, while other nations severely restrict nations, governments who may claim to guarantee
what journalists can research and/or publish. press rights actually intimidate journalists with threats
of arrest, destruction or seizure of property (especially
Journalists in many nations have enjoyed some the means of production and dissemination of news
privileges not enjoyed by members of the general content), torture or murder.
public, including better access to public events, crime
scenes and press conferences, and to extended Journalists who elect to cover conflicts, whether wars
interviews with public officials, celebrities and others between nations or insurgencies within nations, often
in the public eye. These privileges are available give up any expectation of protection by government,
because of the perceived power of the press to turn if not giving up their rights to protection by
9. government. Journalists who are captured or detained Reporters- are one type of journalist. They create
during a conflict are expected to be treated as civilians reports as a profession for broadcast or publication in
and to be released to their national government. mass media such as newspapers, television, radio,
magazines, documentary film, and the Internet.
Reporters find sources for their work, their reports can
be either spoken or written, and they are often
expected to report in the most objective and unbiased
way to serve the public good. A columnist is a
journalist who writes pieces that appear regularly in
newspapers or magazines.
Depending on the context, the term journalist also
includes various types of editors and visual journalists,
such as photographers, graphic artists, and page
Journalists put the information in their own words,
making it creative in their own way so it will catch the
reader's or viewer's attention.
A reporter - is a type of journalist who researches and
A journalist- is a person who practices journalism, the
presents information in certain types of mass media.
gathering and dissemination of information about
current events, trends, issues, and people while
Reporters gather their information in a variety of ways,
striving for viewpoints that aren't biased.
including tips, press releases, sources (those with
newsworthy information) and witnessing events. They
perform research through interviews, public records,
10. and other sources. The information-gathering part of appear on a daily basis and later reprint the same
the job is sometimes called "reporting" as distinct from material in book collections.
the production part of the job, such as writing articles.
Reporters generally split their time between working in
a newsroom and going out to witness events or PHOTOGRAPHER
A photographer- is a person who takes photographs
Most reporters working for major news media outlets using a camera. A professional photographer uses
are assigned an area to focus on called a beat or photography to make a living whilst an amateur
patch. They are encouraged to cultivate sources to photographer does not earn a living and typically takes
improve their information gathering. photographs for pleasure and to record an event, place
or person for future enjoyment.
Photographers are often categorized based on the
Editing - is the process of preparing language, subjects they photograph. Some photographers
images, sound, video, or film through correction, explore subjects typical of paintings such as
condensation, organization, and other modifications in landscape, still life, and portraiture. Other
various media. A person who edits is called an editor. photographers specialize in subjects unique to
In a sense, the editing process originates with the idea photography, including street photography,
for the work itself and continues in the relationship documentary photography, fashion photography,
between the author and the editor. Editing is, wedding photography, war photography,
therefore, also a practice that includes creative skills, photojournalism and commercial photography.
human relations, and a precise set of methods.
Paparazzi are photographers who take candid
COLUMNIST photographs of celebrities.
A columnist- is a journalist who writes for publication FIELDS OF PHOTOJOURNALISM
in a series, creating copy that can sometimes be
strongly opinionated. Columns appear in newspapers, Photojournalism- is a particular form of journalism
magazines and other publications, including blogs on (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news
the Internet. Readers often open a publication with an material for publication or broadcast) that creates
expectation of reading a new essay by a specific writer images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually
who offers a personal point of view. Some columnists understood to refer only to still images, and in some
11. cases to video used in broadcast journalism or for training in this field. In 2005, Syracuse University
personal use. Photojournalism is distinguished from founded the Gold ring Arts Journalism Program, the
other close branches of photography (such as first arts masters program at an accredited school to
documentary photography, street photography or teach journalists to write about arts and culture.
celebrity photography) by the qualities of: Look at this site: http://artsjournalism.syr.edu
• Timeliness — the images have meaning in the
context of a recently published record of events. FIELDS OF BUSINESS JOURNALISM
• Objectivity — the situation implied by the Business journalism-is the branch of journalism that
images is a fair and accurate representation of tracks, records, analyzes and interprets the economic
the events they depict in both content and tone. changes that take place in a society. It could include
anything from personal finance, to business at the
• Narrative — the images combine with other local market and shopping malls, to the performance
news elements to make facts relatable to the of well-known and not-so-well-known companies.
viewer or reader on a cultural level.
This form of journalism covers news and feature
Like a writer, a photojournalist is a reporter but he or articles about people, places and issues related to the
she must often make decisions instantly and carry field of business. Most all newspapers, magazines,
photographic equipment, often while exposed to radio, and television news channels carry a business
significant obstacles (physical danger, weather, segment. However, detailed and in depth business
crowds). journalism can be found in publications, radio, and
television channels dedicated specifically to business
and financial journalism.
FIELDS OF ART JOURNALISM Business journalism began as early as the middle
Ages, to help well-known trading families communicate
Arts journalism -is a branch of journalism concerned with each other. Business coverage gained
with the reporting and discussion of the arts. This can prominence in the 1990s, with wider investment in the
include, but is not limited to, film, literature, music, stock market. The Wall Street Journal is one prominent
theater, and architecture. Traditionally, journalists and example of business journalism, and is among the
critics writing about the arts had a background in United States of America's top newspapers in terms of
writing and the arts; there was no formal advanced
12. both circulation and respect of the journalists whose Environmental journalism is the collection,
work appears there. verification, production, distribution and exhibition of
information regarding current events, trends, issues
A journalist who works in this branch is considered a and people that are associated with the non-human
business journalist. Their main purpose is gathering world with which humans necessarily interact. To be
information about current events in the economic life an environmental journalist, one must have an
of the country. They may also cover processes, trends, understanding of scientific language and practice,
consequences, and important people, in business and knowledge of historical environmental events, the
disseminate their work through all types of mass ability to keep abreast of environmental policy
media. decisions and the work of environmental
organizations, a general understanding of current
FIELDS OF ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALISM environmental concerns, and the ability to
communicate all of that information to the public in
Entertainment journalism is an umbrella term used such a way that it can be easily understood, despite its
to describe all forms of journalism that focus on the complexity.
entertainment business and its products. Like fashion
journalism, entertainment journalism covers industry- Environmental journalism falls within the scope of
specific news while targeting general audiences environmental communication, and its roots can be
beyond those working in the industry itself. Common traced to nature writing. One key controversy in
forms include television and film criticism, music environmental journalism is a continuing disagreement
journalism, video game journalism and celebrity over how to distinguish it from its allied genres and
FIELDS OF FASHION JOURNALISM
Fashion journalism- is an umbrella term used to
describe all aspects of published fashion media. It
includes fashion writers, fashion critics or fashion
FIELDS OF ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISM reporters. The most obvious examples of fashion
journalism are the fashion features in magazines and
13. newspapers, but the term also includes books about FIELDS OF SCIENCE JOURNALISM
fashion, fashion related reports on television as well as
online fashion magazines, websites and blogs. Since Science journalism- is a branch of journalism that
pieces more often than not deal with "tendencies" and uses the art of reporting to convey information about
"trends", which are subjective by nature, and due to a science topics to a public forum. The communication of
sometimes tenuous relation with facts, the term scientific knowledge through mass media requires a
"journalism" is used as monikers, but does not carry special relationship between the world of science and
the overall procedural and deontological aspects of news media, which is still just beginning to form.
The first task of a science journalist is to render the
The work of a fashion journalist can be quite varied. very detailed, specific, and often jargon-laden
Typical work includes writing or editing articles, or information produced by scientists into a form that the
helping to formulate and style a fashion shoot. A average media consumer can understand and
fashion journalist typically spends a lot of time appreciate, while still communicating the information
researching and/or conducting interviews and it is accurately. Science journalists often do not have
essential that he or she has good contacts with people advanced training in the particular scientific disciplines
in the fashion industry, including photographers, that they cover — they may have been scientists or
designers, and public relations specialists. medical doctors before becoming journalists — or have
at least exhibited talent in writing about science
Fashion journalists are either employed full time by a subjects.
publication or are employed on a freelance basis.
In recent years, the amount of scientific news has
grown rapidly with science playing an increasingly
central role in society, and interaction between the
FIELDS OF MEDICAL JOURNALISM scientific community and news media has increased.
The differences between the methodologies of these
Medical journalism -is the dissemination of health- two "pillars" of modern society, particularly their
related information through mainstream media outlets. distinct ways of developing their realities, have led to
Medical issues are widely reported, and these reports some difficulties. Journalism tends to have a stronger
influence doctors, the general public, and the bias towards sensationalism and speculative theories
government. The coverage is often criticized for being than science, whereas science focuses more on fact
misleading, inaccurate, or speculative. Several web and empirical measurement.
sites and journals review medical journalism.
14. Science journalists regularly come under criticism for interpreted, and discussed by news media pundits and
falsely reporting scientific stories. Very often, such as editorialists.
with climate change, this leaves the public under the
impression that the scientific community is divided.
Science is based on experimental evidence, testing
and not dogma, and disputation is a normal activity. FIELDS OF TECHNICAL JOURNALISM
FIELDS OF POLITICAL JOURNALISM Technical journalism -is a branch of journalism that
uses the art of reporting to convey information about
Political journalism-is a broad branch of journalism technology to the public.
that includes coverage of all aspects of politics and
political science, although the term usually refers FIELDS OF TECHNICAL JOURNALISM
specifically to coverage of civil governments and
political power. Trade journalism- reports on the movements and
developments of the business world by way of articles
Political journalism is a frequent subject of opinion or analysis. Trade journalism also refers to industry-
journalism, as current political events are analyzed, specific news, such as exclusive focus on commodities
interpreted, and discussed by news media pundits and (e.g. oil, gas and metals) or sectors (finance, travel,
editorialists. food). Due to its business nature, trade journalism is
often expected to process and interpret a substantial
amount of market commentary.
FIELDS OF POLITICAL JOURNALISM WRITING NEWS TECHNIQUES
Political journalism- is a broad branch of journalism NEWS STYLE
that includes coverage of all aspects of politics and
political science, although the term usually refers News style- (also journalistic style or news
specifically to coverage of civil governments and writing) is the prose style used for news reporting in
political power. media such as newspapers, radio and television. News
style encompasses not only vocabulary and sentence
Political journalism is a frequent subject of opinion structure, but also the way in which stories present the
journalism, as current political events are analyzed, information in terms of relative importance, tone, and
15. News writing attempts to answer all the basic
questions about any particular event in the first two or
three paragraphs, the Five Ws. This form of structure Lead or intro
is sometimes called the "inverted pyramid," to refer to
the decreased importance of information as it The most important structural element of a story is the
progresses. lead or "intro" (in the UK) —the story's first, or
leading, sentence. (Some American English speakers
News stories also contain at least one of the following use the spelling lede (pronounced /ˈliːd/), from the
important characteristics: proximity, prominence, archaic English, used to avoid confusion with the
timeliness, human interest, oddity, or consequence. printing press type formerly made from lead or the
related typographical term leading.) Charnley (1966)
Terms and structure stated that "an effective lead is a "brief, sharp
statement of the story's essential facts"" (p. 166). The
Journalistic prose is explicit and precise, and tries lead is usually the first sentence, or in some cases the
not to rely on jargon. As a rule, journalists will not use first two sentences, and is ideally 20-25 words in
a long word when a short one will do. They use length. The top-loading principle applies especially to
subject-verb-object construction and vivid, active leads, but the unread ability of long sentences
prose. They offer anecdotes, examples and metaphors, constrains its size. This makes writing a lead an
and they rarely depend on colorless generalizations or optimization problem, in which the goal is to articulate
abstract ideas. News writers try to avoid using the the most encompassing and interesting statement that
same word more than once in a paragraph (sometimes a writer can make in one sentence, given the material
called an "echo" or "word mirror"). with which he or she has to work. While a rule of
thumb says the lead should answer most or all of the 5
Main article: Headline Ws, few leads can fit all of these.
Headline (or hed) To "bury the lead" in news style, refers to beginning
a description with details of secondary importance to
The head of a story, in newsman's jargon. the readers, forcing them to read more deeply into an
article than they should have to in order to discover
Subhead (or dek) the essential point.
A phrase, sentence or several sentences near the title Article leads are sometimes categorized into hard
of an article or story. leads and soft leads. A hard lead aims to provide a
16. comprehensive thesis which tells the reader what the
article will cover. A soft lead introduces the topic in a
more creative, attention-seeking fashion, and is
usually followed by a nut graph (a brief summary of
Media critics often note that the lead can be the most
polarizing subject in the article. Often critics accuse Nut graph
the article of bias based on an editor's choice in
headline and lead. Main article: Nut graph
Example Lead-and-Summary Design One or more paragraphs, particularly in a feature
story, that explain the news value of the story.
Humans will be going to the moon again. The NASA
announcement came as the agency requested ten Inverted pyramid
trillion dollars of appropriations for the project. ...
Journalism instructors- usually describe the
Example Soft-Lead Design organization or structure of a news story as an
inverted pyramid. The journalist top-loads the essential
NASA is proposing another space project. The agency's and most interesting elements of his or her story, with
budget request, announced today, included a plan to supporting information following in order of
send another person to the moon. This time the diminishing importance.
agency hopes to establish a long-term facility as a
jumping-off point for other space adventures. The This structure enables readers to stop reading at any
budget requests approximately ten gazillion dollars for point and still come away with the essence of a story.
the project. ... It allows people to enter a topic to the depth that their
curiosity takes them, and without the imposition of
Two other terms common in editing are hed and dek details or nuances that they would consider irrelevant,
or deck. Hed is used to denote an article's headline or but still making that information available to more
heading. Dek refers to a quick blurb or article teaser. interested readers.
17. The inverted pyramid structure also enables articles to A feature's first paragraphs often relate an intriguing
be trimmed to any arbitrary length during layout, to fit moment or event, as in an "anecdotal lead". From the
in the space available. particulars of a person or episode, its view quickly
broadens to generalities about the story's subject.
Inexperienced writers are often admonished "Don't
bury the lead!" to ensure that they present the most The section that signals what a feature is about is
important facts first, rather than requiring the reader called the nut graf or billboard. Billboards appear as
to go through several paragraphs to find them. the third or fourth paragraph from the top, and may be
up to two paragraphs long. Unlike a lede, a billboard
Some writers start their stories with the "1-2-3 lead". rarely gives everything away. This reflects the fact
This format invariably starts with a 5W opening that feature writers aim to hold their readers' attention
paragraph (as described above), followed by an to the end, which requires engendering curiosity and
indirect quote that serves to support a major element offering a "payoff." Feature paragraphs tend to be
of the first paragraph, and then a direct quote to longer than those of news stories, with smoother
support the indirect quote. transitions between them. Feature writers use the
active-verb construction and concrete explanations of
FEATURE STYLE straight news, but often put more personality in their
News stories aren't the only type of material that
appear in newspapers and magazines. Longer articles, Feature stories often close with a "kicker" rather than
such as magazine cover articles and the pieces that simply petering out.
lead the inside sections of a newspaper are known as
features. Feature stories differ from straight news in
several ways. Foremost is the absence of a straight-
news lead, most of the time. Instead of offering the
essence of a story up front, feature writers may
attempt to lure readers in.
While straight news stories always stay in third person
point of view, it's not uncommon for a feature ETHICS IN JOURNALISM
magazine article to slip into first person. The journalist
will often detail his or her interactions with interview Divulging the identity of a confidential source is
subjects, making the piece more personal. frowned upon by groups representing journalists in
18. many democracies   . In some jurisdictions • "Off-the-record": the information is provided
journalists can be compelled by law to identify their to inform a decision or provide a confidential
sources, and journalists can and have been jailed for explanation, not for publication.
upholding this principle.
However, confusion over the precise meaning of
There are several reasons to protect confidential "unattributable" and "off-the-record" has led to more
sources: detailed formulations:
• In some cases serious harm might befall the • "Chatham House Rule(s)": so called after
source if their identity is uncovered. Chatham House (the Royal Institute of
• The willingness of other potential sources to International Affairs) which first introduced the
share information with reporters may be eroded rule in 1927, now in widespread use:
if confidential sources are identified. o "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held
• The public perception of journalistic integrity is under the Chatham House Rule,
damaged when assurances about confidentiality participants are free to use the
are breached. information received, but neither the
• The so-called "chilling effect," which serves to identity nor the affiliation of the
dissuade sources in the future from stepping speaker(s), nor that of any other
forward with unknown information for fear of participant, may be revealed."
reprimand or retaliation. • "Lobby Terms": in the UK accredited
journalists are allowed in to the otherwise
"Speaking terms" restricted Members' Lobby on the basis that
information received there is never attributed
There are several categories of "speaking terms" and events there are not reported. "Lobby
(agreements concerning attribution) that cover terms" are agreed to extend this arrangement
information conveyed in conversations with journalists. to cover discussions that take place elsewhere.
In the UK the following conventions are generally • "Not for attribution" (as described by the
accepted: Canadian Association of Journalists). The
comments may be quoted directly, but the
• "On-the-record": all that is said can be quoted source may only be identified in general terms
and attributed. (e.g., "a government insider"). In practice such
• "Unattributable": what is said can be reported general descriptions may be agreed with the
but not attributed. interviewee.
19. • "On background" (Canadian Association of in many parts of the world it is usual for journalists to
Journalists). The thrust of the briefing may be first complete university-level training which
reported (and the source characterized in incorporates both technical skills such as research
general terms as above) but direct quotes may skills, interviewing technique and shorthand and
not be used. academic studies in media theory, cultural studies and
• "Deep background" This term is used in the ethics.
U.S., though not consistently. Most journalists
would understand "deep background" to mean Historically, in the United Kingdom entrants used first
that the information may not be included in the to complete non media-studies related degree course,
article but is used by the journalist to enhance giving maximum educational breadth, and prior to
his or her view of the subject matter, or to act taking a specialist postgraduate pre-entry course.
as a guide to other leads or sources. Most deep However, this has changed over the last ten years with
background information is confirmed elsewhere journalism training and education moving to higher
before being reported. educational institutions. There are now over 60
universities in the UK offering BA honors degrees in
ABOUT THE EDITORIAL journalism. Postgraduate courses are more well-
established, some of which are either recognized by
Editorial independence -is the freedom of editors to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) or the National
make decisions without interference from the owners Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).
of a publication. Editorial independence is tested, for
instance, if a newspaper runs articles that may be
unpopular with its advertising customers.
A student newspaper- is a newspaper run by
A journalism school- is a school or department, students of a university, high school, middle school, or
usually part of an established university, where other school. These papers traditionally cover local
journalists are trained. An increasingly used short form and, primarily, school or university news. Working for
for a journalism department, school or college is 'j- one's high school newspaper is sometimes an
school'. Many of the most famous and respected extracurricular activity, but often, journalism classes
journalists of the past and present had no formal are offered. Journalism students learn about the
training in journalism, but learned their craft on the journalistic profession and also produce the paper.
job, often starting out as copy boys/copy girls. Today, Some schools have a basic class in which students
20. only learn about newspapers, and a class that NEWSPAPER
produces the newspaper.
A newspaper- is a publication containing news,
ABOUT THE LITERARY information, and advertising. General-interest
newspapers often feature articles on political events,
Creative nonfiction- (also known as literary or crime, business, art/entertainment, society and sports.
narrative nonfiction) is a genre of writing that uses Most traditional papers also feature an editorial page
literary styles and techniques to create factually containing columns that express the personal opinions
accurate narratives. Creative nonfiction contrasts with of writers. Supplementary sections may contain
other nonfiction, such as technical writing or advertising, comics, and coupons.
journalism, which is also rooted in accurate fact, but is
not primarily written in service to its craft. As a genre, Newspapers are most often published on a daily or
creative nonfiction is still relatively young, and is only weekly basis, and they usually focus on one particular
beginning to be scrutinized with the same critical geographic area where most of their readers live.
analysis given to fiction and poetry. Despite recent setbacks in circulation and profits,
newspapers are still the most iconic outlet for news
and other types of written journalism.
FREEDOM OF PRESS
Features a newspaper may include are:
Freedom of the press consists of constitutional or
statutory protections pertaining to the media and • Editorial opinions and op-eds
published materials. • Obituaries
• Comic strips and other entertainment, such as
With respect to governmental information, any crosswords, sudoku and horoscopes
government distinguishes which materials are public • Weather news and forecasts
or protected from disclosure to the public based on • Advice, gossip, food and other columns
classification of information as sensitive, classified or • Critical reviews of movies, plays, restaurants,
secret and being otherwise protected from disclosure etc.
due to relevance of the information to protecting the • Classified ads
national interest. Many governments are also subject
to sunshine laws or freedom of information legislation
that are used to define the ambit of national interest.