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Notes from Lecture from Jan 13-Feb 17

by: Laurenzo Pate II

Notes from Lecture from Jan 13-Feb 17 CO 2413

Laurenzo Pate II
GPA 3.0

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Intro News Writing
Phillip Poe
News Writing
75 ?




Popular in Intro News Writing

Popular in Journalism and Mass Communications

This 12 page Bundle was uploaded by Laurenzo Pate II on Monday February 22, 2016. The Bundle belongs to CO 2413 at Mississippi State University taught by Phillip Poe in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see Intro News Writing in Journalism and Mass Communications at Mississippi State University.


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Date Created: 02/22/16
Wednesday January 13th Tuesday, January 12, 2016 8:13 PM  News quiz #1- 120  Writing well o Strong verbs o Transition smoothly o Hook o Peak interest o Flow well o Appear that it cannot be improved o Details o NO BAD GSP o NO EXCESSIVE DETAIL o Efficiency (straight to the point, minimum number of words to make a point) o Precision (does exactly what it is supposed to do with no consequences) o SPELL OUT THE STATES o Clarity (easy to understand, no room for confusion) o Modesty (not boastful, not beating people over their head with your intelligence, DO NOT make people feel dumb. DO NOT use giant words, that people have to look up.) o Know the language.  Know the rules of GSP o Know your subject  If you want your audience to understand what you are writing about then you must first understand what you are writing about.  RESEARCH THE TOPIC IF YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE TOPIC  ONCE YOU DO THE RESEARCH THEN GO TALK TO YOUR SOURCES o EDIT/REWRITE  Have the discipline to self-edit and rewrite  Do not send in your first draft.  Good place to start.  Reread, then edit.  Rewrite what needs to be changed.  Learn to read critically (with an analytical eye) o Tips and Suggestions  Simple (easy to understand)  Write in plain conversational English  Write with one person in mind  Be brief, eliminate words that don’t add to or improve your story  Avoid jargin (specific language that certain groups use. Doctors and Lawyers.)  Pacing (don’t write a children's story. Vary your sentence type and length.)  Bully chewed a bone.  Bully chewed a bone after dinner. Wednesday January 20th Wednesday, January 20, 2016 10:03 AM o OBSERVATIONS DUE NEXT FRIDAY THE 29TH o READ OVER SECTION C&D FOR AP QUIZ o BRING STYLEBOOK TO CLASS MONDAY o The basics of writing o A successful writer must know what good writing is.  GSP  Knowing your subject o Word usage is often difficult  Knowing when to use a word for its precise and generally accepted meaning is particularly important in writing for the mass media.  Ex. Their, they're, and there  Ex. Further and farther o Why is writing for the media different from other forms?  You must address a wide variety of subjects and use various formats  News stories, features, editorials..  Three main purposes:  To inform, entertain or persuade o So what? o Writing is not necessarily a matter of natural talent.  It requires patience, perseverance and discipline  It's hard work, and may seem tedious. o Writing is a process; it evolves. o FIND OUT WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU AND PRACTICE IT OFTEN. o Taming comma the terrible o Overuse and underuse of commas are common problems.  Should be used for clarity  To separate items that would be confusing if they weren't separated. o Consider the difference:  Let's eat grandpa.  Let's eat, grandpa.  Commas save lives. o Agreement o Verbs and subjects must agree in number.  Singular subject = singular verb  Plural subjects = plural verbs. o What about this one?  The team believed they would win.  The team believed IT could win. o Active vs. Passive voice o Active and passive voice refer to the way in which verbs are used.  Active voice= the emphasis is on the doer of the action.  Bully chews the bone  Passive voice= puts the action on the object and hides the doer.  The bone is chewed by bully.  Which is more appropriate for our purposes?  Active, always active. Monday January 25th Monday, January 25, 2016 10:01 AM  AP QUIZ ON A&B  OBSERVATION EXERCISE DUE  NEWS VALUES EXERCISE  Meet the Stylebook o It's an encyclopedia/dictionary o The way entries are spelled/written means that's how you should write them. o We'll go through it alphabetically. o Note: the Briefing on Media Law  The Essential Elements o What does every good news story need?  Essential Elements  The what?  The who?  The when?  The where?  The why?  The How?  News Values o Along with the essential elements, what else contributes to the definition of news? o How do you figure out what information is most newsworthy?  Must know your audience  It's up to you - you must use your judgement. o Fortunately, some general guidelines exist.  Impact o Information has impact if it affects many people. o A proposed income tax increase has impact, because the proposed increase would affect many people. o The accidental killing of a little girl during a shootout between rival gangs has impact, too.  Timeliness o Information has timeliness if it happened recently. o "Newsweek" = ?  Anything that has happened in the past week. o Daily newspaper =?  Daily o FOX, CNN, MSNBC = ?  Every 3 hours or so o Blogs, websites = ?  CONSTANT  Websites die when they don’t produce new content  Prominence o Information has prominence if it involves a well-known person or organization.  If you or I trip and fall, no one will be all that interested, because you and I aren't well known. But if the president of the U.S. trips and falls, everyone will be interested  because the president is well-known.  Proximity o Information has proximity if it involves something that happened somewhere nearby.  If a bus wreck in India kills 25 people, the Columbus Dispatch will devotee maybe three or four paragraphs to the story.  If a bus wreck in Columbus kills 25 people, the Dispatch will devote it's front page to the story (maybe the entire A section.)  Conflict o Information has conflict if it involves some kind of disagreement between two or more people.  Remember playground fights?  Fights have drama - who will win? - and invite those watching to choose sides and root for one or more combatants.  Good democracy involves more civil - we hope - conflicts over public policy.  That's why the media carry political news  Journalists see themselves as plain an important role  Currency o Information has currency if it is related to some general topic a lot of people are already talking about.  A mugging in downtown Starkville generally won't attract much attention from the Dispatch (or Daily News)  But if the mugging occurred a day after an FBI report names Starkville the city with the state's fastest-growing crime rate, the mugging would be big news.  Oddity o Information has oddity if it involves something unusual or strange.  THE POWERBALL  Dog bits man? Not news  Man bites dog? NEWS  People are interested in out of the ordinary things.  What two subjects do people want to read about? PEOPLE   ANIMALS  Emotion o Information has emotion if it takes into account human interests.  If it doesn't cry, it isn't news.  Stories of courage, overcoming, "everyman", etc. Monday February 1st Inverted Pyramid Monday, February 1, 2016 10:00 AM Topic or main point of the article is identified in the lead. Most of the who, what, where, when, how questions are answered. Essential Information !  Looking ahead o AP C&D and AP E-H quiz o News 1 Info  Inverted pyramid explained  Writing a lead o One paragraph/one sentence o 30-35 words or fewer o No direct quote  What should you include?  What should you focus on? o #1 Three people died today when a car collided with a bus full of tourists at  the intersection of Telegraph and Ford Road around 2 p.m.  Three people died in a fiery car accident this afternoon at the intersection of Ford Road and Telegraph Road. (Poe's Example) o #2  A student at Blue Mountain College is suing the school for 600,000 dollars after being suspended for plagiarizing.  A student is suing Blue Mountain College for $600,000 after being suspended for plagiarism. (Poe's Example)  Delayed Identification o Saving the name for the actual story because the name is not news worthy. The lead is used to describe the news and then the name is brought up in the second paragraph. o News 2: the unknown in news 2 is the name of the band. Use other details to describe them. Do not use the actual name of the band in the lead  Types of conclusions o Quotation conclusion  Uses a direct quotation to end the story o Tie-back conclusion  Links to the lead - especially useful in feature stories o More information conclusion  Provide detailed information (stories can usually live without it) o Future action conclusion  Most used in crime, legal stories  Attribution - using sources o Use of "said" for attribution is standard:  "Use it," Poe said, "even if it seems monotonous." o Always use noun/verb in simple situations:  "Get this right," Ramirez said. o Use verb/noun with descriptive phrase:  "Get this right," said Ramirez, a 10-year office vetern  Avoid burying quotations o Avoid buried quote, late attribution. o Buried: any words before or after quote:  Kent County has a two-fold interes in the lake negotiatioons. "We do want water for the Lake Alan Henry Water District, and, of course, the lake development around the lake will increase taxable value to our county," Kent County Judge Jim White said.  Buried quotes - unacceptable  Avoid attribution this late. Ideas that support and elaborate up the main idea are presented. This is essential inform action and provides necessary background information key to under- standing the topic. Background and Elaboration This information can be cropped w/o compromising the meaning of the story. Non-essential Extension Information Wednesday February 3rd Wednesday, February 3, 2016 10:01 AM  News 1  Constructing stories  Attribution - working with sources  News 1 - Event Preview o What's the "news"? o What do people need to know? o 150-225 words  Approx. 1-1.5 pages o Use at least one source and one direct quote. o Choose a conclusion  Quotation, more info, future action, tie-back  Foreshadowing Paraphrase o The Kent County judge said he and other officials have a two-fold interest in the lake negotiations.  "We do want water for the Lake Alan Henry Water District," Judge Jim White said, "and, of course, the development around the lake will increase taxable value to our county." o Foreshadowing: frequent; serves readers. o Kent County Judge: delayed ID example. o Avoid a buried quote; embed attribution.  Use of quote within a quote o Occasionally, a source will use a quotation within the quotation:  Reintroducing a source o Do not repeat full names in stories.  Use subtle reference if you need to reintroduce:  Biology major Johnson said although raising children can be challenging, her husband makes an effort to find humor in difficult situations.  *Exception: Duplicated surnames  Attribution for paraphrases o Ususually, the attribution at the beginning of paraphrased graphs:  Boren said he beliees cooperation …… o No comma after "said" use here.  The NPR website reported a 27 ….  According to the NPR website, the …. o Do not use "according to" a person; wrong o "According to …" for documents only. o Avoid using html language within a story. Monday February 8th Monday, February 8, 2016 9:57 AM  Looking Ahead o Today - Reporting basics; sources o Labs next week  News 1 due  AP I-L  News 2 info o Wednesday - News 2 info; interviewsing; asking better questions  Reporting o What is it?  A formal account f the proceedings or transactions of a group; usually presented in detail. o What does this mean for us?  Find multiple sources, detail and current news o How does one 'report'?  What the audience needs the most o Context is key  Single issues vs. broader implications  How do we add context? o General knowledge  You can't understand/explain events you know nothing about. o Points of view  'International news' is not defined as 'what our leaders had to say/do with respect to the outside world' o Political spectrum  Right and left, sure; but what about the middle?  Framing o What is a 'frame'?  How news coverage shapes mass opinion.  Doesn't tell us what to think, but what to think about. o How are stories framed?  Journalists/editors decide which facts are included, emphasized; what sources are used; what's really at issue.  Sources of information o People  Human sources o Records  Information that is written or stored so that others may find it. o Personal observation  Listening with your eyes - you've practiced this.  Sources guide a story o What are some potential problems with "man (or woman) on the street" interviews?  "Apparently" Wednesday February 10th Wednesday, February 10, 2016 9:55 AM  Looking ahead o Today - dealing with sources, interviewing  "asking better questions"  If time permits o Labs - this week  News 1 due  AP Quiz - I-L  News 2 Info o Labs -- Next Week  Leads and conclusions; News 2 due  News 2 info o Follow-up story - what's the point? o Delayed ID summary lead  Summary lead - we practiced (essential elements)  Delayed ID - what should be delayed, what should be revealed? Why? o Two direct quotes (1st by third paragraph) o Two sources o Quotation conclusion o Approx. 1 1/2 pages  Working with human sources o Most information comes from human sources  The more people you talk to, the better a story is likely to be. o Interviewing occurs when a reporter talks to a source.  Talking with people is the main way of gathering information on almost any topic.  A good interview… o Should have the qualities of a good conversation  Exchange of information  Learning  Nonverbal gestures o Always a good idea to start with light conversation before you begin asking questions.  Save you 'tough' questions for last - must establish rapport, build trust.  Preparing for an interview o Decide what information you need  Who can you get it from? o Prepare for the conversation  Research your topic and your source.  Don’t make yourself or your source look foolish. o Develop an informal list of questions  Gives you something to fall back on when conversations lulls  However, do not just 'stick' to your questions.  Avoiding absolutes o Asking a source to identify the 'best,' 'worst,' 'most,' 'least,' favourite,' etc. of anything, is difficult o You have to lead them where you want them to go  Try breaking the topic into smaller questions  Ex. Travel  Topp 10 interviewing tips o Name and title accuracy o Identify yourself completely o Use open-ended questions - discuss o Highlight key quotes, comments - ask them to repeat If unsure about words o Do not try to write it all Wednesday February 17th Wednesday, February 17, 2016 9:55 AM  Looking ahead o Today - The Media Environment o Labs this week - leads and conclusions; News 2 o Monday - Photojournalism o Labs next week - AP; Interviewing; News 3 info  The News Culture o Anyone involved with the mass media is part of the news culture, whether they like it or not. o The media deal with information.  Must gather and process it  Must put it into an easily understood form  Must distribute to a relatively wide audience. o Purposes can include informing, persuading, or entertaining.  Rules for media professionals o The need for accurate information  The quality of a writer's info is tied to the writer's credibility o The need to present information efficiently  Even advertising and PR are structured to enhance efficient delivery of info o Deadlines enable organizations to operate efficiently. o The economic health of the organization  Writers must recognize and understand their role in how an organization functions in the marketplace. o The idea of individual and corporate integrity  Must be a part of the daily life of media professionals.  Need a strong commitment to honesty, fairness and ethical standards.  You must have confidence in you corporations/organization's standards  Components of news culture o Accuracy  Getting it "right" o Efficiency  Streamlined delivery of info. o Processes  Where do you fit? o Deadlines  Timeliness is key o Ethics  A responsibility to your readers and your organization  Accuracy o Spell names correctly o Quote sources correctly o Use multiple sources o Check your facts, especially numbers  Deadlines o Time is your friend -and your enemy  There is always a point when writing must be finished and put into production  Deadlines enable organizations to function  Production schedules get set, and broadcasts can air  Ethical behavior o "Advertising shall tell the truth, and shall reveal significant facts, the omission of which would mislead the public," -AAF ethics and principles o "Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering reporting and interpreting information," -SPJ code of ethics o "A member shall not knowingly disseminate false or misleading information…." PRSA prof. standards  Dishonesty o Can include:  Falsification  Stephen Glass  Plagiarism  Jayson Blair  Misrepresentation  What constitutes misrepresentation? o Dishonesty is the deadliest sin of the media professional.


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