COM252 Lecture Notes and Study Guide
COM252 Lecture Notes and Study Guide COM252
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This 20 page Bundle was uploaded by Cecilia Daizovi on Monday January 19, 2015. The Bundle belongs to COM252 at Purdue University taught by Erin Doss in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 98 views. For similar materials see Writing for the Mass Media in Communication at Purdue University.
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Date Created: 01/19/15
COM252 Lecture Notes Midterm Exam News Values 0 Impact information has impact if it affects a lot of people 0 A proposed income tax increase 0 The accidental killing of a little girl during a shootout between rival drug gangs Timeliness information has timeliness if it happened recently as de ned by the publication cycle 0 For quotNewsweekquot events that happened during the previous week 0 For a daily newspaper however events that happened during the 24 hours since the last edition of the paper 0 For CNN Headline News events that happened during the past half hour 0 Prominence information has prominence if it involves a well known person or organization 0 If the president of the United States trips and falls 0 Proximity information has proximity if it involves something happened somewhere nearby o A bus wreck in India that kills 25 people 0 A bus wreck in West Lafayette that kills 25 people 0 Con ict information has con ict if it involves some kind of disagreement between two or more people 0 Fights have drama 0 Good democracy involves more civil con icts over the nature of public policy 0 Journalists see themselves as playing an important role in the public debate that forms the basis for democracy 0 Weirdness information has weirdness if it involves something unusual or strange 0 Charles A Dana a famous editor once said quotIf a dog bites a man that39s not news But if a man bites a dog that39s newsquot 0 Currency information has currency if it is related to some general topic a lot of people are already talking about 0 A mugging in downtown Lafayette o If the same mugging occurred a day after a report by the FBI had named Lafayette the city with the state39s fastestgrowing crime rate the mugging would be big news Six Rules for Writing News Leads 0 Rule 1 A straight news lead should be A single paragraph 0 A single sentence 0 Should contain no more than 30 words 0 Should summarize at minimum the most newsworthy quotwhatquot quotwherequot and quotwhenquot of the story 0 Example quotFire destroyed a house on Main Street early Monday morningquot 0 Rule 2 The lead39s rst verb should 0 Should express the main what of the story 0 Should be placed among the lead s rst seven words 0 Example quotFire destroyed a house on Main Street early Monday morningquot 0 Rule 3 The lead39s rst verb should be active voice not passive voice 0 A verb is active voice if the verb39s subject did is doing or will do something 0 A verb is passive voice if the verb39s subject had is having or will have something done to it 0 Example quotFire destroyed a house on Main Street early Monday morningquot 0 Rule 4 If there39s a quotwhoquot involved in the story the lead should give some indication of who the quotwhoquot is 0 First example quotAn elderly Lafayette man died Monday when an early morning re raged through his Main Street homequot 0 0 Second example quotLafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski died Monday when an early morning re raged through his Main Street homequot 0 Rule 5 The lead should summarize the quotwhyquot and quothowquot of the story but only if there39s room 0 Example quotAn elderly Lafayette man died early Monday morning when re sparked by faulty wiring raged through his Main Street homequot 0 Rule 6 If what39s in the lead needs to be attributed place the attribution at the end of the lead 0 Example quotFaulty wiring most likely sparked the blaze that claimed the life of an elderly Lafayette man last week the city39s arson investigator concluded Mondayquot Lead Tips 0 Include something that sets this story apart o If it is a car fatality for instance what separates this car fatal from dozens of others each week 0 Remember your audience 0 Who is reading this Why do they care Leads to avoid 0 Question leads in most cases 0 Quote leads 0 quotMetquot and quotspokequot or quotspoke aboutquot leads Leads must be complete sentences including articles No headline or broadcast style 0 It39s not quotTwo killed in auto accidentquot 0 It39s quotTwo people were killed in an auto accidentquot 0 Always include the day of the week but never lead with the day of the week 0 NOT quotOn Monday the City 0 Use the day of the week NEVER use quottodayquot quottomorrowquot etc 0 Never put an unfamiliar name in the lead blind lead 0 Instead use another identi er such as quotA Lafayette manquot The Inverted Pyramid e What when where why Iif ea utee r 4 Mire deteile utes Least implement iiriifeirmetieni Inverted Pyramid Checklist Introduce information not in the lead Indicate signi cance the sowhat factor Elaborate on information in lead Continue introducing new information in order in which you have ranked it by importance 0 Introduce one new idea per paragraph To Write Clearly Keep sentences short 0 One idea per sentence One to two sentence paragraphs Use subjectverbobject sentences Favor action or active verbs Use plain simple words Avoid editorializing 0 quotEveryone had a good timequot o quotIt was an unfortunate eventquot Avoid Too Many Prepositions The board voted 186 to pass the ordinance which will allow manufactured homes to be built in the area surrounding Spring Creek a part of the county which has long been a matter of heated debate among board members Aboard About Above Across After Against Along Amid Among Around As Atop Before Behind Below Beneath Beside Betwee Beyon But n d except Despite Down During Except For From In nto Like Near Of Off On Onto Out Outside Over Past Per Regarding To Throughout Ti Toward Under Underneat Until Up Upon With h By Without Since Within Concernin g Whom Should You Quote Experts Doctors researchers academics business people Officials Police government 0 Real people Those affected by the news 0 Documents Polls studies statistics Three Kinds of Quotes 0 Direct quotes 0 quotWithout this time professional development would have come kind of hit or miss after school during lunch or teacher prep timequot Wea Ridge Principal Cory Marshall said Paraphrases o Coordinator Richard Richardson said Tippecanoe Adult Guardianship Services will help adults who need temporary or longterm assistance with personal nancial or health needs that they cannot handle on their own 0 Partial quotes 0 That training session was one way the school is using the 30 minute quotinstructional improvement blockquot that Tippecanoe School Corp elementary and middle schools implemented this fall When to Attribute Almost always attribute direct and indirect quotes and information obtained from documents 0 You do not have to attribute if the information is a matter of public record is generally known is available from several sources makes no assumptions contains no opinions is noncontroversial 0 you were a witness 0 Avoid attributing factual statements to quotofficialsquot quotauthoritiesquot or quotsourcesquot 0 WHEN YOU HAVE DOUBTS A39ITRIBUTE OOOOOO Quote Grammar Tips The quote format 0 quotThe play lifted my spirits on a cold dayquot Jane Natt said Put attribution for quote at the end 0 Bad Jane Natt said quotThe play lifted my spirits on a cold dayquot Place the attribution after the rst sentence in a quote Don t break up a onesentence quotes with the attribution o quotl have learnedquot she said quotthat politicians can t be trustedquot Put name rst then said unless adding identifying material after name Put commas and periods inside quotation marks Question marks and other punctuation marks go within quotation marks if referring to the quoted material otherwise they go outside When continuing a quote from one speaker into another paragraph don t use closing quotation marks after the rst paragraph Quotes within quotes take a single quote mark When paraphrasing separate said or the speaker39s name from the rest of the sentence only if attribution is at the end Do not separate attribution from rest of sentence in a paraphrase if attribution is at the start 0 Example Today is a nice day said John Smith 0 Example John Smith said today is a nice day However always use a comma with according to 0 Example According to Jones the day will be nice 0 Example The day will be nice according to Jones In general quotes get their own paragraph Break up long quotes into two paragraphs Use said lt39s neutral no connotations o The rst time you attribute a direct or indirect quote identify the speakerquy o The second time you refer to a source in a story use only a last name 0 When a person s title is before a name capitalize it and don t set it off with commas o quotElon MayorJeff Smithquot o If after don t capitalize and do set of with commas quotJeff Smith the Elon mayorquot Do not attribute direct quotes to more than one person ie witnesses said 0 Don39t put factual information into quotes 0 Limit the use of partial quotes 0 The quote has to add something to story 0 Something unique or said uniquely that you could have obtained only from them Simple Transitions Repeat key words 0 Use demonstrative pronouns such as quotthe quotthisquot etc o The old reliables quothoweverquot quotalsoquot etc 0 Order placeholders quotfirstquot quotthenquot quotfinallyquot Complex Transitions Separate speakers or ideas 0 Separate direct quotes from the same speaker o Are complete sentences that can stand alone without quote 0 Chris Sigurdson assistant vice president of external relations said none of the funding for any of these buildings will come from student tuition Never use attribution as a transitional device 0 When asked So and so said quothere is quotequot 0 Don39t repeat the quote 0 Howard Byers evening general supervisor of building services thinks this is the rst time this has ever happened 0 quotI don39t know that that39s ever happened to anybodyquot he said Before the MeetingSpeech Get background information on the group or speaker including a copy of the agenda or the speech if 0 Learn the names of all participants 0 Assign them a number before the meeting etc so you don t have to keep writing their name 0 Know president and secretary they may have handouts and can help ll in missing information 0 Find out if there will be an opportunity to interview the speaker or participants before or after the event 0 Arrive early and nd a seat where you can see and hear as much as possible During the MeetingSpeech Listen to others questions to identify makings of a good story 0 Introduce yourself to the speaker or the participants in the meeting if they do not know you already 0 Describe what you see Report what you hear Quotations direct and indirect help the writer describe any debate that takes place You must cover the entire event including the possible consequences of what was said or of the actions taken 0 Remember you are taking the place ofJohn Q Public who couldn t be there After the MeetingSpeech Provide clarity and detail Be speci c as possible Use and equal number of direct and indirect quotes Rarely will you have a speech story with just one source quoted 0 Try to quote at least three sources in each story a reaction quote a quote from an opposing viewpoint an analysis quote etc Check facts Identify and seek responses from people who may be affected by what happens at a speech or meeting or who may have other points of view 0 Also people say things in speeches that may or may not be true or may be opinion Rarely report events in chronological order Never start a speech or meeting story with quotJohn Smith spoke on Wednesdayquot and never write quotThe City Council met on Wednesday and In a speech look for the theme of the speech and note those quotes that explain and relate to that particular theme o If possible nd the summary quote that best re ects the speaker39s theme write it as an indirect quote and use it as thelead 0 Remember what is generally said is more important than who said it so your leads will start with information rather than a name Sources of Computer Info News libraries maintained by publications often called morgues Internet searches Commercial database services Dialog LexusNexus Government databases city county state and federal Specialinterest group databases those created by organizations with a cause Selfconstructed databases Guidelines for Evaluating Web Info Check the extension on the site s Internet address to get clues as to the nature of the organization gov edu com mi org net In almost all cases do not take information directly from the home pages of commercial and notforpro t organizations and use it without veri cation Check the date when the page was last updated Guidelines for Using Web Info Before using information from a Web site in a story verify it with a source Information taken from a Web site and used in a story must be attributed o If you have veri ed information with a source you can attribute to organization such as quotaccording to the EPAquot o If not you must attribute unveri ed information to the Web site quotaccording to the EPA s Web sitequot If you have doubts about the accuracy of information and you cannot reach the source get it from another source Four Goals of Service Journalism Attention Comprehension Retention 0 Action Service Journalism Devices 0 Blurbs 0 Summary blurbs after headline before article begins Subheads QampAcmumn 0 Repeat things in different way 0 Don39t be afraid to say something in a box or graphic you said elsewhere 0 Think more visually 0 Stop using pictures and graphics that contain no useful information Guidelines for Service Journalism 0 Save them time 0 Help them make or save money 0 Address different levels of news interest 0 Address niche audiences more effectively 0 Become more personally useful 0 Become more immediately usable Become more accessible Userfriendly More visual and graphic o More engaging and interaction The Interview Environment 0 Choose attire to t environment o If the story is a pro le or feature it is usually best to get the source away from work o It is important to let source know how much time you will need and whether you expect to return for further information 0 Ask about tape recorder 0 Don t sit right in front of those interviewed it makes them uncomfortable Conducting the Interview 0 Begin with a friendly opening 0 O O O 0 Leave all preconceptions and misconceptions at home Establish a rapport share and care Reporters who can show sources what they have in common have more success getting information Sources who think you are sympathetic are more likely to volunteer information If you think source might be skeptical about your knowledge of the eld ask a question that demonstrates your knowledge 0 Construct a logical series of questions to get the information you need 0 Close the interview in a friendly manner 0 Arrange a time to call and check parts or clear up questions Question Tips 0 Write down a list of questions you want to ask Phrasing of questions 0 Favor openended questions 0 Keep rephrasing the question until the source gives you an answer o If time allows save your most controversial embarrassing questions for later in the interview Interview Tips 0 Maintain control 0 Avoid becoming the interviewee 0 Taking copious notes may interfere with your ability to interact Before you leave ask if there s anything you forgot to ask Listening Tips 0 Focus on the quothearquot and now 0 Be quiet Be responsive 0 Just let source know you are paying attention Listen for what isn t being said 0 Listen with your eyes 0 Use quotthe pausequot NoteTaking Tips 0 Be prepared 0 Bring extra pens and pencils In the rain you ll want a pencil Concentrate 0 When you hear a good quote or the start of one write rapidly Then concentrate on what you have just heard and block out everything else until you have written the quote 0 Listen for a key word to introduce something special today that39s why I am therefore Use key words 0 When you are not trying to get a direct quote jot down key words to remind you of facts and statements Develop a shorthand o Abbreviate as many words as possible Make eye contact 0 Practice taking notes without looking at your notebook Mark your margins or notebook covers 0 When you hear something that prompts another question in your mind jot it in margin soon as you think of it Use a symbol system 0 Put a star or some symbol next to information you think is important Slow the pace Ethical Issues forJournalists Dece 0 Issue of profound public importance All alternatives exhausted Full disclosure of deception and reason for doing it Harm prevented outweighing any harm caused Meaningful collaborative decisionmaking process including taking into account impact on credibility and legal implications OOOO Friendship o Reporters can get too close to sources Payola 0 Money for talks talk shows Freebies 0 Free trips lunches Checkbook journalism 0 Paying sources Participation in the news 0 quotYou have every right in the world to run for office or participate in a political activity or lobbying activity You don39t have the 39right39 to work for The Washington Postquot Post ombudsman Richard Harwood after some staffers participated in a proabortion rights march Advertising pressure Invasion of privacy 0 Naming of crime victims Withholding information 0 Do least harm possible and the greatest good Plagiarism 0 Taking material from any source without giving that source credit Accuracy and Fairness Check and recheck using different sources Don39t assume Watch out for hidden agendas Get both sides of the story One try isn39t enough Avoid gender racial age or cultural bias Avoid opinion Be complete Include only relevant material Watch your adjectives descriptions o Is there a difference between quotambitious politicianquot and quotdynamic politicianquot Writing with Numbers Readers want people not numbers 0 When you can39t report on people at least keep your story short A wellselected number or set of numbers can add depth and breadth to many spot news stories 0 Look for opportunities to put an event in perspective by gathering statistics on the growth decline or scope of a seemingly isolated event The most effective writing comes from selection not compression of facts 0 Choose only the numbers that have meaning to your readers Consider charting numbers instead of writing them 0 Removing them from the text not only improves your story it often makes a bigger impression on readers Recast as many numbers as possible in simple terms that remove their abstraction o Ratios rates pictorial images and rounding can help simplify numbers 0 For small numbers put them in perspective for your readers by emphasizing change or the lack of it o In a set of related numbers decide what you want to say and construct a passage to do it as simply as possible Remember that numbers in dates are just as dif cult for readers as other numbers 0 Correct quotSpending on redundancy research by the Of ce of Unessential Affairs rose from 847 million in scal 1994 to 126 billion this year a 49 percent increasequot Four numbers with 12 digits 0 Better quotOver the past scal year the Of ce of Unessential Affairs increased spending on redundancy research by almost half to 14 billionquot One number with two digits 0 Images of numbers can help if those numbers are huge and incomprehensible 0 But although the justright comparison can work well the lessthen perfect comparison often falls at and adds yet more confusion to an already dif cult story If you choose to try it anyway 0 Make sure the image ts the story Make sure your readers can picture the references Avoid clich images like dollar bills placed end to end Don39t insert even more numbers with the image Narrative Lead Formats 0 Can be up to ve paragraphs long 0 Paragraphs should be one to two sentences long three if the sentences are short 0 Take one to three paragraphs to tell a story or recreate a scene 0 The fourth paragraph should be a transition 0 Tell the reader how this narrative relates to the larger issue 0 The fth paragraph should be the nut graph COO o This is the quothard newsquot lead Narrative Lead Tips 0 Put someone s name in the lead so the reader gets to know that person 0 You can have more than one person in a narrative lead but don t add too many or it might be confusing Pick ONE story to focus on o If you have more than one story choose one for the lead then incorporate the others into the story 0 You can use direct quotes in a narrative lead 0 This is your chance to have fun with news writing 0 Be dramatic use descriptive language and appeal to emotion Narrative Lead Types Anecdotal o A lead that tells one person s or one group s story Scenerecreation o A lead that captures a moment in time 0 You are bringing the reader into a particular scene 0 Descriptive o Describing what you see 0 Don t use rst or second person in this just report what you observe Narrative Stories 0 Start with a narrative lead 0 Explore the larger story start with the nut graph 0 Come back to the focus at some point quote the person again or nish the story you started 0 End with a quote or interesting anecdote Midterm Review 0 Hard news leads 0 Inverted pyramid style Transitions Choosing and attributing quotes 0 Goals of service journalismexamples Seven news valuesexamples Numbers percentagepercentage change 0 Focus leads 0 Four layers of writing online 0 Examples of how journalists can use social media Guidelines for Writing Online 0 Think immediacy 0 Writing online is like writing for the wire services keep readers updated 0 Save readers time 0 Best way it to be clear short simple sentences and paragraphs 0 Provide information that39s quick and easy to get 0 Think verbally and visually 0 You may not have to do it yourself but photos graphics video grab readers39 attention 0 Cut copy in half 0 Most online readers simply will not read long stories Like in broadcast there39s little time online to be cute 0 Use lists and bullets 0 They are easier to read and scan 0 Write in chunks 0 Use sidebars boxes and subheads readers will read more if you break the information into small bites Use hyperlinks 0 Link readers to other information on the story
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