Chapter 3

425 views

Published on

Published in: News & Politics, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
425
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
17
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Chapter 3

  1. 1. lcome to the world ofurnalism, whereporters have beengging dirt, raking muck,king headlines andadlines for centuriesw. It’s a history full ofbloid trash, of slimynsationalists, ofrunkards, deadbeats andmmers” (as a Harvardiversity president oncescribed reporters).But it’s a history full ofroes, too: men andmen risking their livestell stories of war andagedy, riskingprisonment to defendee speech. And as youn see here, reports havecome beloved charactersp culture, too, turning upmovies, comics and TVows as if guided by ancult hand.Every culture seekseffective ways to spreadnew information and gossip.In ancient times, news waswritten on clay tablets. InCaesar’s age, Romans readnewsletters compiled bycorrespondents andhandwritten by slaves.Wandering minstrels spreadnews (and the plague) in theMiddle Ages. Them cameink on paper. Voices onairwaves. Newsreels, Websites, And 24-hour cablenews networks.Thus when scholarsanalyze the rich history ofjournalism, some view it interms of technologicalprogress—for example, thedramatic impact ofbigger, faster printingpresses.Others see journalism asa specialized form literaryexpression, one that’sconstantlyevolving, reflecting andshaping its culture.Others see it as aninspiring quest for freespeech, an endless powerstruggle between Authority(trying to controlinformation) and the People(trying to learn the truth).Which brings to mind thewords of A.J. Liefling:“Freedom of the press isguaranteed only to htosewho own one.”In the pages ahead, we’lltake a quick tour of 600years of journalismhistory, from hieroglyphicsto hypertext: the media, themessage and the politics.Technical advances andbrilliant ideas forged a newstyle of journalism. It was acentury of change, andnewspapers changeddramatically. The typinewspaper of 1800 waundisciplined mishmalegislative proceedinglong-winded essays asecondhand gossip. B1900, a new breed oftor had emerged. Jourhad become big businReporting was becomdisciplined craft. Andnewspapers were becmore entertaining andessential than ever, wmost of the features wexpect today: Snappyheadlines, Ads, ComicSports pages. And an“inverted pyramid” stywriting that made storitighter and newsier.Radio and televisionbrought an end tonewspapers’ mediamonopoly. Why? Wellyourself: Which did yoNewswriting basicsInside ReportingTim Harrower3
  2. 2. NewswritingBasics2Just the factsThe five W’sThe inverted pyramidBeyond the basic news LeadLeads that succeedAfter the lead…what next? (continued)
  3. 3. Newswriting basics3(continued)Story structureRewritingEditingNewswriting styleMaking Deadline
  4. 4. Just the Facts4 Good reporters respectintegrity of facts. Facts tell the story. Readers draw their ownconclusions.You must try to be objective. Truthful. Fair.
  5. 5. The Five W’s5Facts usually fall into
  6. 6. The Five W’s6The WHOReaders love stories thatfocus on people.WHO keeps it real.Who’s involved?Who’s affected?Who’s going to benefit?Who’s getting screwed?The WHATWHAT gives news itssubstance.Stories become dry anddull if they focus too muchon WHAT.Need WHO.
  7. 7. The Five W’s7The WHENTimeliness essential to everystory.When events happened or willhappen.How long they lasted or will last.The WHEREThe closer the event, themore relevant it is forreaders.Many stories requiresupplements.MapDiagramPhoto
  8. 8. The Five W’s8The WHYFinding explanationsdifficult.The WHY is what makesnews meaningful.The HOWOften requires detailedexplanation.Sometimes omitted to savespace.Readers love “how-to”stories.
  9. 9. The Inverted Pyramid9Newswriting format summarizes most important facts at story’s start
  10. 10. The Inverted Pyramid10Summarize first.Explain later.Resolve everything in thebeginning.Allows editors to trim storiesfrom bottom.The typical news story uses the inverted pyramid
  11. 11. Writing Basic News Leads11 Collect all your facts. Lead should summarize. The more you know, the easierit is to summarize.How to write an effective news lead•Sum it up. Boil it down.• List who, what, when,where, why of story.
  12. 12. Writing Basic News Leads12 Writing leads often aprocess of trial and error. Try different approaches.How to write an effective news lead•Create different leads usingthe…• Who.• What.• When.• Where.• Why.
  13. 13. Writing Basic News Leads13 Prioritize the five W’s. Lead contains the mostimportant facts. Which of the key facts deservesto start the first sentence?How to write an effective news lead•Rethink. Revise. Rewrite.• Is it clear?• Is it active?• Is it wordy?• Is it compelling?
  14. 14. Writing Basic News Leads14 Basic news leads can be toodull and dry. All good reporters spendtime searching for theperfect lead.Not every story begins with a roundup of essential facts
  15. 15. Beyond the Basic News Lead15 Be accurate. Remember what day it is. Don’t name names. Use strong verbs.Story checklist Ask “Why should I care?” Sell the story. Don’t get hung up. Move attributions to the end ofthe sentences.
  16. 16. Leads That Succeed16 Basic news leads Anecdotal/ narrative leads Scene-setter leads Blind leads Roundup leadsA roundup of commonly used options• Direct address leads• The startling statement• Wordplay leads
  17. 17. Leads That Succeed17Basic news leads Summary lead Combines five W’s into onesentence. Delayed identification lead Withholds the name of theperson in question untilthe second paragraphA roundup of commonly used options• Immediate identification lead• Uses a public figure orcelebrity in the sentence.
  18. 18. Leads That Succeed18 Anecdotal/ narrative leads Have a beginning, middle andend. Will be mini-story withsymbolic resonance for biggerstory.A roundup of commonly used options• Scene-setter leads• Lack urgency of hard-newsleads.• Borrowed from fiction.• Blind leads• Extreme delayed informationlead.•Deliberately teases reader.
  19. 19. Leads That Succeed19 Roundup leads Rather than focus on oneperson, place orthing, impress reader withlonger list. Direct address leads Use second-person voice.A roundup of commonly used options• The startling statement• Also called a “zinger” or a“Hey, Martha”• Wordplay leads• Encompass wide range ofamusing leads.• Watch out. These can becorny.
  20. 20. Leads That Succeed20 Topic leads Convey no actual news. Question leads Are irritating stalls. Quote leads Don’t fairly summarize the story.…and three lazy leads you should usually reconsider
  21. 21. After the Lead…What Next?21 Know how long the story shouldbe.Add another paragraphWrite the nut graf• Paragraph that condenses thestory idea into nutshell.
  22. 22. Story Structure22 No one-size-fits-all solution. Every story unfolds in adifferent way.Giving an overall shape to writing
  23. 23. Story Structure23 The inverted pyramid Use for: News briefs. Breaking news.Organizing your storyMost important factsAdditional factsMore factsEtc., Etc.Etc.
  24. 24. Story Structure24 The martini glass Use for: Crimes. Disasters. Dramatic stories.The leadKey facts in inverted-pyramid formChronology of eventsKickerGiving an overall shape to writing
  25. 25. Story Structure25 The kabob Also called Wall Street Journal formula, thefocus lead or the Circle. Use for: Trends. Events where you want to showactual people.Giving an overall shape to writingAnecdoteNut grafMeatMeatMeatAnecdote
  26. 26. Story structure26 Modern journalist’s jobbasically boils down to Teaching. Storytelling.Keeping readers from getting bored• Use narratives when you can.• Think like a teacher.
  27. 27. Story structure27 Keep paragraphs short. Write one idea perparagraph. Add transitions.Writing tips as you move from paragraph to paragraphAlternatives to long, graynews storiesBullet itemsSidebarsSubheadsOther storytellingalternatives
  28. 28. Story structure28 Good writers agonize over thekicker as much as the lead. Plan ahead. Don’t end with a summary. Avoid clichés. End with a bang.The big finish
  29. 29. Rewriting29 Writing is rewriting. Make things a little better. Few stories arrive fully formed andperfectly phrased. Most require rethinking, restructuringand rewording.Good story. Now make it better.
  30. 30. Rewriting30 Passive verbs Start sentences with theirsubjects. Replace to be with strongerverbs. Redundancy Avoid unnecessary modifiers.Reasons to hit the delete key5Wordy sentencesJargon & journaleseFilter out jargon andofficialese.ClichésLower the IQ of yourwriting.
  31. 31. Editing31 Before you write Assigning story. Planning angle. Estimating scope. Anticipating packaging.The role editors play in your storiesWhile you writeAdding details.Monitoring speed.Fine-tuning.Layout changes.
  32. 32. Editing32 After you write Editing content. Copy editing. Cutting or padding. Assigning follow-up stories.The role editors play in your stories
  33. 33. Newswriting style33 Every news outletcustomizes guidelines. Copy desk’s job tostandardize style. Know AP and your newsoutlet’s style.Who’s right?
  34. 34. AP Style Highlights34 Numbers Titles Capitalization Abbreviations AddressesThe InternetParenthesesPossessivesPrefixesAnd others…
  35. 35. Making deadline35 Deadlines are mandatory. Pass the deadline checklist. Accuracy. Fairness and balance. Writing style.Live by the clock
  36. 36. lcome to the world ofurnalism, whereporters have beengging dirt, raking muck,king headlines andadlines for centuriesw. It’s a history full ofbloid trash, of slimynsationalists, ofrunkards, deadbeats andmmers” (as a Harvardiversity president oncescribed reporters).But it’s a history full ofroes, too: men andmen risking their livestell stories of war andagedy, riskingprisonment to defendee speech. And as youn see here, reports havecome beloved charactersp culture, too, turning upmovies, comics and TVows as if guided by ancult hand.Every culture seekseffective ways to spreadnew information and gossip.In ancient times, news waswritten on clay tablets. InCaesar’s age, Romans readnewsletters compiled bycorrespondents andhandwritten by slaves.Wandering minstrels spreadnews (and the plague) in theMiddle Ages. Them cameink on paper. Voices onairwaves. Newsreels, Websites, And 24-hour cablenews networks.Thus when scholarsanalyze the rich history ofjournalism, some view it interms of technologicalprogress—for example, thedramatic impact of bigger,faster printing presses.Others see journalism asa specialized form literaryexpression, one that’sconstantly evolving,reflecting and shaping itsculture.Others see it as aninspiring quest for freespeech, an endless powerstruggle between Authority(trying to controlinformation) and the People(trying to learn the truth).Which brings to mind thewords of A.J. Liefling:“Freedom of the press isguaranteed only to htosewho own one.”In the pages ahead, we’lltake a quick tour of 600years of journalism history,from hieroglyphics tohypertext: the media, themessage and the politics.Technical advances andbrilliant ideas forged a newstyle of journalism. It was acentury of change, andnewspapers changeddramatically. The typinewspaper of 1800 waundisciplined mishmalegislative proceedinglong-winded essays asecondhand gossip. B1900, a new breed oftor had emerged. Jourhad become big businReporting was becomdisciplined craft. Andnewspapers were becmore entertaining andessential than ever, wmost of the features wexpect today: Snappyheadlines, Ads, ComicSports pages. And an“inverted pyramid” stywriting that made storitighter and newsier.Radio and televisionbrought an end tonewspapers’ mediamonopoly. Why? Wellyourself: Which did yoNewswriting basicsInside ReportingTim Harrower3

×