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BASIC NEWS REPORTING Instructor: Ajarn Joel Gershon.

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Presentation on theme: "BASIC NEWS REPORTING Instructor: Ajarn Joel Gershon."— Presentation transcript:

1 BASIC NEWS REPORTING Instructor: Ajarn Joel Gershon

2 Agenda 1. Course Syllabus Class assignments and homework Evaluation and Exams 2. What’s News? Understanding:  News elements  News values  Ethics

3 Course Syllabus What we will study: What makes something news or a newsworthy event Basic news gathering skills: interviewing, data collecting Practicing basic news writing skills Learning to write for different media platforms

4 Evaluation 1. Class participation  Contributing in class  Paying attention/listening well 2. Assignments and Current Event Quizzes 3. Exams Midterm Exam Final Project - Feature Story/Video Final exam +/- 10 % +/- 30 % +/- 20%

5 Asssignments Your assignments will include:  News writing drills  Writing a profile  Writing a business story  Writing news for broadcast media  Making videos (optional) Late submission = After one day you lose 2 steps of a grade. (A becomes B+; B+ becomes B-, etc). After two days, it’s a full grade deduction (A+ becomes B+; A becomes B, etc). After 5 days = you lose two full grades (A becomes a C). After one week = no credit

6 Final Project News feature/investigative piece (written/video) STEPS  Start with coverage plan  First, you will need to establish:  News sources for the story and arrange interviews  Story outline  Background information research  Must communicate your progress with me throughout the process

7 Class Reading  Eng, Peter. Reporting & Writing News: A Basic Handbook, Bangkok: The Indochina Media Memorial Foundation, 2001.  Rich, Carole. Writing and Reporting News: A Coaching Method. (4th ed.), Belmont: Wadsworth, 2005.  2009 Associated Press Style Book  Following the top news stories regularly


9 What is News?

10 Basic Principles  KNOW YOUR READERS!  What do they do?  Where do they live?  What do they want to read about?  In this class, your readers are your fellow classmates and me  Determine Writing Style  What kind of story will it be? Hard news or feature?  What “tone” will the story take? For example, is a humorous lead appropriate?

11 NEWS Elements/ News Values  Immediacy  Proximity  Prominence  Consequence  Mystery  Unusual  Conflict  Romances  Emotions/ Human Interest  Progress

12 Conditions for News  Timing: Deciding what kind of story it should be based on when the events occurred and how it fits in the news.  Seriousness: How much impact of the story has.  Unexpectedness: Something out of the ordinary has a greater news value than something which occurs everyday.  Ambiguity of the outcome: Will this story continue or does it have an ending?  Competition: Commercial or professional competition between media leads journalists to trying to outdo stories by rivals and come up with “new” news.  Co-optation: A story that is only marginally newsworthy in its own right may be covered if it is related to a major running story.

13 What makes a good story?  Meaningfulness: How will the particular audience respond or react to the topic? How are people affected? How many people might be concerned. What is important and why?  Consequences: Is the outcome of an event was great interest to people and why? What were the important elements at stake that led to that point?  The draw of power: Stories about leaders, people who are rich and powerful or famous often get more coverage because these stories capture the greater public’s interest even if they’re not as important as stories with a more local angle. \

14 What makes a good story (cont.)  Conflict: A problem that is not resolved easily provides a ‘hook’ and he public wants to have information about it.  Interest: Does the topic have widespread or just marginal appeal?  New developments: Is there a change in an ongoing story that can provide continuity? Is there anything available to satisfy people’s appetite for the latest information.  Relevancy: It covers an issue that has been on the forefront of people’s minds at a particular time.

15 Impacts on the ability to do a story  Time constraints: Traditional news media such as radio, television and daily newspapers have strict deadlines so only some stories can be researched and covered quickly.  Resources: The ability to deploy staff members and/or equipment may determine whether a story is covered.  Space in the publication: Stories may need compete with one another for space in the media, so stories are sometimes cut short or made longer - to be decided by an editor.

16 4 Pillars of Good Journalism Thoroughness Don’t just rely on easy news sources. Dig deep! Be resourceful. What can enhance the story? Accuracy Get your facts straight Report on what is not already known, Fairness Listen to different viewpoints Try not to allow your personal beliefs get in the way Transparency Where did you get your information? Is it possible your source was biased? If so, indicate this.

17 What are “good stories”? Solid Writing “ABC”  Accuracy  No Distortion  Correct figures/ quotation  When In Doubt, Leave It Out!  Brevity  Clarity Responsible stories  Balance & Fairness  Present different sides of the story  Verification  Double-check your sources  Objectivity  Always get different views and make sure to attribute your sources

18 Qualities of Good Journalists The pen is mightier than the sword (so be careful)  Ask many questions (make sure you understand what you are writing about)  Be a good listener  Be balanced and fair  Get information from many sources and double- check information  Be credible and responsible to readers/audience  Be honest and do not copy your work  Be disciplined (always meet the deadline)

19 Style Guide  The Economist  BBC  Guardian 2009 Associated Press Stylebook

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