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Media Style & Structure - Chapter 11: Writing as a Journalist

by: Allison Smith

Media Style & Structure - Chapter 11: Writing as a Journalist MC 2003

Marketplace > Oklahoma State University > Strategic Communication > MC 2003 > Media Style Structure Chapter 11 Writing as a Journalist
Allison Smith
OK State
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About this Document

Notes from Working With Words that follow the "Writing like a Journalist" guide on D2l/Brightspace.
Media Style & Structure
Joey Senat
Class Notes




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Allison Smith on Sunday August 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MC 2003 at Oklahoma State University taught by Joey Senat in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Media Style & Structure in Strategic Communication at Oklahoma State University.

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Date Created: 08/14/16
Media Style & Structure – Chapter 11: Writing as a Journalist  The purpose of journalism is the convey information clearly, correctly and concisely  Literary license to invent fictitious scenarios is forbidden in journalism  Key differences in journalism and creative writing are o Clear, simple writing o Quick, efficient writing o Emphasis on mechanics  Clarity o All sentences should flow one to another without abruptly changing topic o Points, details, and quotes should point to the main point o Write for readability  No big words  No long paragraphs o Answer all the readers’ questions  Clarify jargon used o Include specific details o Numbers are only used to make the meaning clearer o Make sure pronouns have clear antecedents o Avoid “awkward construction” o Consistent verb tenses  Journalists try to write at the eighth grade entry level  Readability Tips o Most paragraphs should be 1-2 sentences long o A quotation that forms a complete sentence should be its own paragraph o Sentences should be short and uncomplicated o Vary sentence length to avoid monotony o Avoid compound sentences  Especially ones with semicolons o Cut out words/phrases that don’t add meaning o Avoid the passive voice o Short, simple, common words o Avoid Jargon o Explain difficult terms o Adjectives/adverbs only when they are essential  As a writer, as yourself these questions about your own statements o When a writer makes an abstract statement, ask “What do you mean by that?” o When someone uses vague modifiers, ask “compared with what?” o When someone refers to a large, unspecified group, ask “Who specifically?” o When someone talks about can’t, must, ought or should, ask “How specifically does it do that?”  Numbers o Put numbers into a meaningful context – tell readers what they mean 2 o Try using analogies to help readers grasp the numbers o The formula for calculating percentage is:  P = ( A/B ) X 100  P = ( 4/5 ) X 100 -> (.80) X 100 -> 80%  Correctness o Journalism must be correct in four tenses  Writing is correct in grammar, usage, spelling and style  Appropriate for your audience and purpose  Right story formula for your news story  Facts are right. Unbiased.  Rules of Objective Writing o Stick to the facts o Be neutral o Be fair o Impersonal in a hard news story  Avoid the use of allegedly To learn more and get OneNote, visit 3


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