Chapter 6 a straight news story
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Chapter 6 a straight news story Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Chapter 6 A Straight News Story
  • 2. What is a straight news story?
    • A straight news story is a timely report on an event, usually written within 24 hours after the event takes place.
  • 3. Features of a straight news story
    • 1) On the front page of a newspaper
    • 2) Present facts only (should not contain any of the reporter’s own interpretation or evaluation)
    • 3) Stay in third person point of view
    • 4) Follow the inverted pyramid structure (The lead advertises what is coming in the rest of the story and conveys the most important information in the story. Other paragraphs explain or provide evidence to support the lead, and non-essential background information is presented at the end of the story.)
  • 4. Four C’s in news writing
    • Conceive, i.e., developing the idea for a story
    • Collect, i.e., gathering information through interviews and research
    • Construct, i.e., writing the first draft of the story
    • Correct, i.e., revising and polishing the story
  • 5. What should be kept in mind when writing a news story?
    • 1) Protecting yourself from a libel suit ( Libel: a printed or written statement that says unfairly bad things about a person and may make others have a low opinion of him or her )
    • e.g.
    • Before: A Wenxin Pharmaceutical Lab driver was arrested this morning because he killed a pedestrian last night.
    • After: A Wenxin Pharmaceutical Lab driver was arrested this morning after he allegedly killed a pedestrian last night, according to the police .
  • 6.
    • A) You should always remember the motto: “Facts, facts, and facts alone.”
    • B) You should always indicate the source of information and attribute any conclusion to that source.
    • C) You must carefully check the name and the identity of the person concerned.
    • D) You should give your source the warning that he or she will be quoted and therefore will be held legally responsible for what is said.
    • E) Be considerate of the individuals you write about. Never attack them personally. Do not intrude into people’s private life.
  • 7. 2) Using quotations correctly
    • 2.1 The Effective use of quotations improves one’s writing
    • A) Direct quotations may carry the weight of authority and make your report factual and more convincing.
    • Compare:
    • “ We are absolutely confident,” said Chief Engineer Mr. Sui, “that the railway construction will be completed on time, and in two years’ time, people here can go to Beijing directly by train.”
    • Chief Engineer Mr. Sui was absolutely confident that the railway construction would be completed on time and people could go to Beijing directly by train in two years’ time.
  • 8.
    • B) A quotation may show the personality of the speaker, which is often difficult to describe in your own words.
    • e.g.
    • “ I’m running into all kinds of closed doors,” Franklin said. “At times, when people look at us and sometimes think we could do a little bit better, it’s not our fault. The help is not there.”
    • The speaker is sharing his painful experience in a very personal way. Few reporters can do this because few of us had such experience.
  • 9.
    • C) Using a ready-made quotation may save you the trouble of writing up new sentences.
    • D) Using direct quotations allows you to express your own opinions.
    • As a reporter, you are expected to present the facts, not to express your own preference or interpretation. However, as all reporters do, you may extensively quote those who say what you would like to say.
  • 10. 2.2 Use direct quotations sparingly
    • Overusing direct quotations will make a story boring and difficult. Here are a few rules to bear in mind:
    • A) A direct quotation should say something significant. Use direct quotes when someone says something unique; when someone says something uniquely; when someone important says something important.
  • 11.
    • B) You may quote a source that is well known to most readers. That way, the quotation will lend authority, credibility and interest to your story.
    • C) Avoid quotations that repeat what you have already told the reader.
    • D) Avoid quotations that provide statistics.
    • E) Use a paraphrase when the quotation would be confusing, unclear, or needlessly long and wordy.
  • 12. 2.3 When you do use a quotation, be careful with your punctuation.
    • The following passage is a discussion on this issue, and it follows the rules of punctuation in American English.
    • “ Always put the comma inside quotation marks,” the professor said.
    • Then she added, “The same goes for the period.”
    • “ Does the same rule apply for the question mark?” he asked.
    • “ Only if the entire statement is a question,” she replied, “and never add a comma after a question mark. Also, be sure to lowercase the first word of a continuing quote that follows an attribution and a comma.
  • 13.
    • “ However, you must capitalize the first word of a new sentence after an attribution,” she continued. “Do not forget to pen and close the sentence with quotation marks.”
    • “ Why are there no quotation marks after the word ‘comma’ at the end of the fourth paragraph?” he asked.
    • “ Because the same person is speaking at the beginning of the next paragraph,” she said. “Notice that the new paragraph does open with quotation marks. Note, too, that a quote inside of a quotation needs a single quotation mark, as around the word ‘comma’ above.”
  • 14. A speech tag/ An attribution
    • A speech tag or an attribution tells the reader who made the statement (where and when, if necessary).
    • If a direct quotation is more than one sentence long, place the attribution at the end of the first sentence or at some natural break within this sentence.
    • Note that each paragraph needs only one speech tag.
    • Do not put the attribution at the end of a long comment.
    • Avoid placing the attribution at the beginning of a quote unless you want to emphasize the fact that the quotation comes from a different speaker.
    • Do not attribute direct quotes to more than one person.
    • Generally, use only one new idea in each paragraph. Do not let an individual speak of several ideas in a one-paragraph quotation.
  • 15. You should avoid writing in these ways:
    • A) “Because the same person is speaking at the beginning of the next paragraph,” the professor said. “Notice that the new paragraph does open with quotation marks,” she added. “Note, too, that a quote inside of a quotation needs a single quotation mark, as around the word ‘comma’ above.”
  • 16.
    • B) “Put the question mark inside quotation marks only if the entire statement is a question, and never add a comma after a question mark. Also, be sure to lowercase the first word of a continuing quote that follows an attribution and a comma,” the professor said.
  • 17.
    • C) The professor said: “Put the question mark inside quotation marks only if the entire statement is a question, and never add a comma after a question mark. Also, be sure to lowercase the first word of a continuing quote that follows an attribution and a comma.”
  • 18.
    • D) The professor said that we should “never add a comma after a question mark. Also, be sure to lowercase the first word of a continuing quote that follows an attribution and a comma.” 
    • (√) The professor said that we should “never add a comma after a question mark” and should lowercase the first word of a continuing quote that follows an attribution and a comma.
    • (√) The professor said that we should never add a comma after a question mark and should “lowercase the first word of a continuing quote that follows an attribution and a comma.”
  • 19.
    • E) Teachers said: “Put the question mark inside quotation marks only if the entire statement is a question.”  Specify which teacher said it.
  • 20. A quick summary
    • 1) With single-sentence quotations
    • A) The speech tag precedes the quote – rarely does this happen in news writing – as in
    • She said: “Yes, I did.”
    • B) The speech tag follows the quote, as in
    • “Yes, I did,” said she.
  • 21.
    • C) The speech tag is placed at some natural break within the quote. It may be placed between the subject and the verb, as in
    • “ My real love,” she said, “was his mother.”
    • It may be placed immediately after the verb, as in
    • “ The love ended,” she said, “after I discovered his past.”
    • It may come after a clause, as in
    • “ The love ended,” she said, “but the marriage continued.”
    • It may also be placed between a modifying element and the main part of the quote, as in
    • “ Typically,” she said, “I would go to stay with my own parents when he returned.”
  • 22. 2) With multiple-sentence quotations
    • A) The speech tag is placed at the end of the first quoted sentence, as in
    • “The love ended after I discovered his past,” she said. “Typically, I would go to stay with my own parents when he returned.”
  • 23.
    • B) The speech tag is placed at some natural break within the first quoted sentence, as in
    • “The love ended,” she said, “but the marriage continued. Typically, I would go to stay with my own parents when he returned.”
  • 24.
    • C) The speech tag ends in a colon and is followed by a paragraph (or two or three paragraphs) of quotation, as in
    • She paused and said softly:
    • “The love ended, but the marriage continued. Typically, I would go to stay with my own parents when he returned.”