Criteria to judge news Relevance Interest Usefulness You can determine those by knowing your audience. Who are you writing for?
More elements to judge news Impact Conflict Novelty Prominence Proximity Timeliness (previews)
Gatekeepers vs. navigators Gatekeepers: traditional approach Navigator: for now and the future
What are readers looking for? Visual Densely layered information Interaction Relevance Diversity Give the readers a package. News you can use.
How involved in the story should the media be? Civic journalism or public journalism: Offers more than reporting. Offers a solution.
Journalism keys A free, independent press is necessary to democracy. Fourth estate Professional journalists must be accurate and fair. Objectivity? Framing stories?
How is news writing different? From an English composition paper? From a letter? From a narrative story?
News format Inverted pyramid: Arrange news from the most important to the least important. Save the readers time and editors space.
Inverted pyramid Puts the most important information first Arranges the paragraphs in descending order of importance. Requires the writer to rank the importance of information. If master inverted pyramid, then youve mastered making news judgments.
What is a lead? A simple, clear statement consisting of the first paragraph or two of a story. The lead advertises what is coming in story and conveys the most important information.
Leads The so what? or who cares? Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? All news is local.
Inverted pyramid examples??? The Streator/St. Bede game opened with a kickoff. A fire broke out in downtown Tonica at 5 a.m. yesterday. The Ottville National Bank was robbed early this morning. The Ottawa City Council met yesterday. IVCC President Jean Goodnow spoke to the Peru Rotary yesterday.
Other factors Slug One idea per paragraph Objective Attribution Checking and rechecking information -30-
Tips from textbook Always check names Keep the lead short Attribute opinion Answer the six questions Write a sentence or paragraph telling readers what the news means to them. Report basic information even if its routine.
One idea per paragraph Keep your paragraphs short. Paragraphs are usually no more than one or two sentences long. Short paragraphs are hallmarks of newspaper, broadcast and online news writing.
Avoid editorializing Dont allow your opinion to creep into your news stories. Attribute opinionated information to a source.
Facts Something that has occurred Something that actually exists Something acknowledged as true or real Something verifiable
Opinion A conclusion A judgment A thought A view An estimate falling short of positive knowledge.
Avoiding editorializing Statements of fact, if undisputed, can be printed without attribution to a source. The score of the game was 98-87.
Avoiding editorializing Statements of opinion must be attributed: The season looks promising. This is an opinion, not a fact, and must be attributed to a source. The coach said the season looks promising. This sentence should be followed by a direct quote from the coach about the season looking promising.
Editorializing examples Everywhere on campus things are changing. Switching to the Arrowhead Conference should be beneficial to the IVCC teams. The musical includes a talented crew of singers. The new phone system will save money and be more convenient for students and staff.
Fact or opinion? A storm that dropped as much as five inches of snow in the Illinois Valley forced the college to cancel classes on Oct. 27. Parking lot No. 5 will be resurfaced in March. The work in parking lot No. 5 will not cause any parking problems. Attendance at the Students in Free Enterprise Program was low.
Fact or opinion? More than 200 people attended the Honors Colloquium program on Jan. 25. The Student Senate has had a busy year. Nearly $120,000 has been allotted to student organizations from student fee money. The Senate makes the allocations based on how active student groups are.
Provide attribution Make sure the reader knows what sources you have consulted for your stories. The best attribution is simple – someone said.
Checking and rechecking Use all means at your disposal to verify a story is accurate. Always check names. Most stories should have more than one source. If your mother says she loves you, check it out.
Format Use common copy editing symbols from first page of workbook. Rather than giving your stories a title or headline, give them a slug. A brief two or three word description of what the story is. -30- indicates a story has ended. Use this at the end of stories you turn in for class.
The Truth About Reporting? News organizations have to be fair. If someone complains that you have to print (or carry) my side of this story, the newspaper/station has to. Editorials shouldnt be biased. News organizations must publish responses to editorials/columns when requested to.
The Truth About Reporting? Newspapers can edit letters to the editor before publishing them. If a story source demands to see a story before it appears in print, the reporter must allow the source to see it. If a source demands changes to a story before it appears, the reporter must make those changes.
The Truth About Reporting? Members of the public can legally prevent their names or pictures from appearing in a news story. Members of the public can sue a news organization if their names/photos appear against their will. Reporters have First Amendment protection. Reporters make a lot of money on newspapers, radio or TV stations.
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