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UNIT 1- JOURNALISTIC WRITING
1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Unit Objectives Introduction Forms of Journalistic Writing
1.2.1 News Writing 1.2.2 Editorial Writing 1.2.3 Feature Writing 1.2.4 Article Writing
Summary Exercises and Questions Further Reading
1.0 UNIT OBJECTIVES
• To understand the significance of Journalistic writing • To discuss the various forms of Journalistic writing • To learn the basics of writing an Editorial, Article, News and Feature • To understand the difference between various forms of journalistic writing
Journalistic Writing is closely associated with the practice of reporting the news. Reporting is an art and a craft. Its skills can be taught, learned, and developed as a form of artistic expression. The modern newspaper writing style as a lead-andsummary form. In this form, the news item begins with a round-up of the major facts of the story, and then summarizes subordinate facts arranged in order of decreasing importance. The final item is often described as a throw-away item because it is lowest in importance and is designed to be discarded if necessary to fit the article into the news paper, magazine, or journal's physical news space. For broadcast news, there should be a soft-lead form, that begins with a statement designed to give the listener an instant of preparation for stronger phrases that are about to be presented. Broadcast news writing is typically short, straightforward and exceedingly simple in construction. Unlike most written forms, it closely
resembles and is often exactly the same as a typical spoken dialogue: complete with incomplete sentences and non-standard grammar. The difference between the beginning of a lead -and-summary design and a soft lead design is ultimately one of perception, and is demonstrated as follows: The first example places the major attention-grabbing ideas at the beginning (the idea of another journey to the moon), followed by a secondary attention-grabbing idea (the cost of the project). The second example builds up to the idea of another space journey, and the purpose of the journey, before mentioning the cost. Example Lead-and-Summary Design: Humans will be going to the moon again. The NASA announcement came as the agency requested ten gazillion dollars of appropriations for the project. ... Example Soft-Lead Design: NASA is proposing another space project. The agency's budget request, announced today, included a plan to send another person to the moon. This time the agency hopes to establish a long-term facility as a jumping-off point for other space adventures. The budget requests approximately ten gazillion dollars for the project…
1.2 FORMS OF JOURNALISTIC WRITING
A Newspaper is a collection of news stories, features, editorials and articles. A news story provides the typical hard news. It provides information in a straightforward manner. A feature appeals to the emotions. It covers all kinds of topic and provides the information in an interesting and easy-to- read manner. A feature tries to entertain while informing. Editorial provide the newspaper’s point of view. Articles, on the other hand, provide the point of view of individual writers. 1.2.1 News Writing As the word implies, news contain much that is new, informing people about something that has just happened. But this is not happening always as some stories run for decades and others are recycled with a gloss of newness supplied to it.
News is, anything out of the ordinary, it is the current happenings. It is anything that makes the reader surprised and curious. News is anything that will make people talk. News is the issue for discussions and debates. Any event, which affects most of the people, interest most of the audiences and involves most of the people, is news. Thus, news can be called an account of the events written for the people who were unable to witness it. ‘News’ is the written, audio, or visual construction of an event or happening or an incident. The news is constantly in search of action, movements, new developments, surprises, and sudden reversals, ups and downs of fate and facts and follies of the mankind. On the surface, defining news is a simple task. News is an account of what is happening around us. It may involve current events, new initiatives or ongoing projects or issues. But a newspaper does not only print news of the day. It also prints background analysis, opinions, and human-interest stories. Choosing what's news can be harder. The reporter chooses stories from the flood of information and events happening in the world and in their community. Stories are normally selected because of their importance, emotion, impact, timeliness and interest. Note: all these factors do not have to coincide in each and every story! News report writing always starts with the most important fact. When you report on a football game, you do not start with the kick-off; you begin with the final score. A news report has a beginning, middle and an end. News stories in contrast to this will blurt out something and then explain themselves. News reports are mostly active rather than in passive voice and are written in concise language. Paragraphs are short so as to set in newspaper columns. Shorter paragraphs are more likely to keep the attention of readers. Attribution meaning ‘somebody saying something’ is used in the news- reports to present a range of views over which the reporters can appear to remain neutral. Most news reports follow the ‘Kiss and tell’ formula- Kiss standing either for ‘keep it short and simple’ or ‘keep it simple, stupid.’ Complexity, abstract notions, ambiguity and unanswered questions tend to be frowned upon and deleted out of news copy.
The news reports aim is to meet the requirements of everyday life as lived by everyday readers. So it largely depends on elements like directness, pace, variety and information. It aims to state the facts quickly and clearly. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What is the meaning of ‘Attribution’ in news story writing? Q2. What is ‘Kiss and tell’ formula in news report writing? A news report has three parts: 1. The headline 2. The first paragraph 3. The remainder of the news story The headline first attracts us. It stands out in bold black type. It message is abrupt and often startling. It makes us stop and look. It tells us quickly what the story covers. Its function is to attract our attention. Though, the headline writing belongs to the copyreader’s province and not to the reporter’s. The lead remains the primary concern of the news writer. As the present day reader is the man who both runs and reads, present day newspapers seek to facilitate his getting the information quickly. The convention has developed of telling the main facts of a news story in its first lead paragraph. Writing this lead also involves answering the questions, which would occur to any normal person when confronted with the announcement of a news story. These questions, called the five W’s are: Where? Who? What? When? Why? Suppose the news story concerns a fire. In writing the lead-the reporter would answer the questions, ‘What?’ “Fire broke out,” he would write. He would answer the question, ‘Who?’ and ‘Where?’ by telling whose premises were burnt and giving their location. He would answer “When” by telling the time the fire broke out and how long it lasted. ‘Why?”-In this case the cause the usual carelessly tossed cigarette butt. The reporter can also answer the ‘How’ in this story in several ways by describing the type of fire, or by answering ‘How much’? Here, he would estimate the probable lost and find out if premises had been covered by insurance and if so by what amount. The lead forms the springboard for the reporter’s leap into the story. The journalist should keep in mind the elements of a good lead as he may flop sadly if the lead
turns out to be defective. The best way to gain journalistic facility is to practice the writing of leads. The end is the conclusion of the news reports. From the headline and the lead one comes to the rest of the story. The reporter constructs the model news story after this pattern. He selects the most important incident or fact for his lead. Then he proceeds by selecting the next most important incident, fact or detail, the next most important after that, and so on till he reaches least important phase of all. Guided by his idea of news importance, the story assumes graphically the shape of an inverted pyramid. The end will be at the peak of the inverted pyramid with the facts or incidents of least value. When writing a news story for an organization you should always retain the idea that your text is to be read and understood by others. Thus a story is like building blocks, which should be linked logically to each other. Therefore, there should be continuity between the intro, the lead and the end of the news story. Thus, the most popular format of news writing is the Inverted Pyramid All the work of producing a news story is futile if the story does not engage the reader immediately. Writing coaches have identified four key elements that should be present in the first five paragraphs of any news story (not necessarily in any particular order). They are: News The newest information: the basic facts of who, what, when, where, why and how ... the most relevant information. Impact What a situation means and who is affected. Tells readers what the news changes about their lives and, maybe, what they should do. Context The general perspective that frames the background of the news. It addresses the relationship of things around the news. Context helps readers understand whether something is normal or surprising. Emotion The human dimension. Takes a story from abstract to reality. Offers personal elements that help readers understand the story.
Reporters usually get assignments from their editor. But the best reporters also come up with ideas for their own stories. How? They look, think, ask lots of questions, and talk with lots of people. Topics for stories are everywhere. Do you see a new student in the halls, a new teacher in the classrooms? Has your principal introduced any new programs or schedules that will affect students directly? These are the kinds of questions to ask yourself when looking for a news "hook" or angle. And keep in mind the timeliness of the topic. You may have an interesting subject, but it's not a news story unless something is going on that makes your subject of interest today. Once you have a few ideas for stories you'd like to pursue, probe a little. If you want to write about new students, for example, ask a school official how many new students have enrolled this year. See if any of the students come from far away. Then try to get their names and phone numbers from the principal's office. Learn as much as you can before making calls. And think about what you'd like to ask. That way, you can prepare questions for your interviews. While conducting interviews, you may find a whole new angle for the story. Be flexible. The idea you start out with may not make a good news story at all. And the next idea you discover may be just the thing! Follow your information — and instincts — to get the best story. Always remember to ask: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? These are your building blocks to getting a good story. Avoid asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Such questions don't tell you much, and they certainly don't give you any good quotes for your story. A good quote not only conveys information, it adds life and "color" to a story. Finally, verify your facts. You can get information from other news stories on the Web and in the paper, encyclopedias, and interviews. If you're unsure of something, find out whom you can call to get information verified. Not everything you find on the Web can be trusted. While it is a useful research tool, you still have to confirm your information from at least two or three reputable sources: i.e. encyclopedias, government agencies, and/or national newspapers. You made dozens of phone calls and read every article you could find on the Web. You tracked down experts, scholars; you even interviewed your next-door neighbor. Now it's time to sit down and write!
Whether you're writing a news story, a book review, or a novel, getting started can be the toughest part. You need to win over your readers instantly. Otherwise, you may lose them after the first paragraph. First, think about your assignment. Let's say your editor has asked you to cover a debate between the presidential candidates. That means you need to write a news story. A news story gives readers key information about a recent event. Put the information in paragraph form, adding details and quotes. This is your "nutgraph" — the reason you're telling the story. (A nutgraph can be longer than one paragraph. It's called a nutgraph because the information in it is considered the core, or nut, of the story.) Writing Your Lead Most news stories are told in the inverted pyramid form. An inverted pyramid story begins with the most important news in the first paragraph and ends with the least important. Before computers, newspaper copy was cut with scissors to fit a space on the news page. Editors cut the copy from the bottom up, chopping off the least important information that reporters put on the ends of their stories. These days, with so much competition from TV, radio, and the Internet, reporters tend to cover their pyramids with cake frosting. They want to hook even the most distracted readers. So they write a lead, or "wow" statement, before the nutgraph. A good lead gives readers the feeling that they have a front seat for the action and provides a reason to keep reading. Example: The presidential debates drew a packed audience of local farmers, schoolteachers, and Internet billionaires. Your readers will want to find out why so many people came to the event and what those different groups have in common. Be sure that the rest of your story delivers! Your Turn Now it's time to write your own story. Before you begin, though, review the exercises in our skills sheet to polish your writing style. Then, gather your research materials and transcripts from your interviews. List the five W's and one H (Who?
What? When? Where? Why? and How? ) and answer those questions based on the information you collected. Now you can write your nutgraph. The next few paragraphs should elaborate on the story. Be sure to include both sides of a controversy, including quotes from as many people involved as possible. Don't forget to talk to the people who will be affected. Summarize the key information in your final paragraph and you're done. Now get to it as you're on deadline! Headlines Now it's time to give your news story a headline. Few people have time to read all the text of every article in a newspaper, so they often skim the headlines to see if they might want to read more. Your headline is your chance — with a few wellchosen words in large type — to catch their eye. A few rules: Use the present tense. Always use short, active verbs. There's no room to say "Faculty Members Engage in Discussions" when you can say "Teachers Talk." Don't write exactly the same thing as in your news lead; that's wasting a chance to draw readers in. In a news article, your headline should summarize straightforwardly what is most newsy about it. Don't write "Student Council Holds Meeting" when everyone knew they were going to meet; write something specific like "Council OKs Dance Theme." The best writers do it and even the simplest writing needs a revision. Tips for News Writing • Keep your eyes and ears open; listen to what your friends are talking about. • Read everything you can get your hands on; get story ideas from other newspapers and magazines. • Think of a youth angle to a current news story. • Research a subject that interests you ask yourself what you would like to know more about. • Talk to people in a specific field to find out what is important to them.
1.2.2 Editorial Writing Editorial can be defined as: • An article in a newspaper or magazine that expresses the opinion of its editor or publisher • An article, typically short, expressing an opinion or point of view. Often, but by no means always, written by a member of the publication's staff. • A carefully organized piece of writing in which an opinion is expressed. The editorial expresses an opinion. The editorial page of the newspaper lets the writer comment on issues in the news. All editorials are personal but the topics must still be relevant to the reader. Editorials try to persuade the readers. Its goal is to move the readers to some specific action, to get them to agree with the writer, to support or denounce a cause, etc. It is considered to be the most difficult writing among all the newspaper types of writing. Editorials are also important as they interpret and analyze issues for the readers. An editorial is one of the writing styles used to express an opinion or reaction to timely news, event or an issue of concern. Most editorials are used to influence readers to think or act the same way the writer does. Not all editorials take sides on an issue but have one of the following four purposes:
1. Inform: The writer gives careful explanations about a complicated issue. 2. Promote: Writer tries to promote a worthy activity. Get the reader involved. 3. Praise: The writer praises a person or an event. 4. Entertain: The writer encourages or entertains the reader about an
important issue. Two types of Editorials can be recognized: Youth beat (+/- 700 words): Youth beats are journalist’s editorial bread and butter. It's your story, from your point of view. Tell it like it is. Youth beats usually (but not always) combine personal experience(s) with opinion/analysis. Essentially, you establish your credibility by speaking from experience.
My Word! (+/-600 words): An opinion piece. Short, sweet and to the point. Not as likely to be a personal narrative. Christmas "spirit" bugs you? Say why. Had an encounter with a cop that left you sour? Same deal. Be strong. If you don't like something, don't beat around the bush. This is a space for you to rant and roll with as much emotive power as possible. An editorial is a statement or article by a news organization, newspaper or magazine that expresses the opinion of the editor, editorial board, or publisher. An op-ed, abbreviated from opposite editorial due to the tradition of newspapers placing such materials on the page opposite the editorial page, is similar in form and content to an editorial, but represents the opinion of an individual contributor, who is sometimes but not always affiliated with the publication. These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably by the public, although it is important to understand that they have different definitions and characteristics. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. Define ‘Editorial’ and what are the two types of Editorials? Editorial Writing guidelines Editorials are generally printed either on their own page of a newspaper or in a clearly marked-off column, and are always labeled as editorials (to avoid confusion with news coverage). They often address current events or public controversies. Generally, editorials fall into four broad types: news, policy, social, and special. When covering controversial topics such as election issues, some opinion page editors will run "dueling" editorials, with each staking out a respective side of the issue. Many magazines also feature editorials, mainly by the editor or publisher of the publication. Additionally, most print publications feature an editorial, or letter from the editor, followed by a Letters to the Editor section. The American Society of Magazine Editors has developed a list of editorial guidelines, to which a majority of magazine editors commonly adhere. Most editorial pieces take the form of an essay or thesis, using arguments to promote a point of view. Newspapers often publish editorial pieces that are in line with their editorial slants, though dissenting opinions are often given space to promote balance and discussion. Requirements for article length varies according
to each publication's guidelines, as do a number of other factors such as style and topic. An average editorial is 750 words or less. An editorial is an article that presents the newspaper's opinion on an issue. It reflects the majority vote of the editorial board, the governing body of the newspaper made up of editors and business managers. It is usually unsigned. Much in the same manner of a lawyer, editorial writers build on an argument and try to persuade readers to think the same way they do. Editorials are meant to influence public opinion, promote critical thinking, and sometimes cause people to take action on an issue. In essence, an editorial is an opinionated news story. Editorials usually have:
1.Introduction, body and conclusion like other news stories 2.An objective explanation of the issue, especially complex issues 3.A timely news angle 4.Opinions from the opposing viewpoint that refute directly the same issue the writer addresses 5.The opinions of the writer delivered in a professional manner. Good editorials engage issues, not personalities and refrain from name-calling or other petty tactics of persuasion. 6. Alternative solutions to the problem or issue being criticized. Anyone can gripe about a problem, but a good editorial should take a pro-active approach to making the situation better by using constructive criticism and giving solutions. 7. A solid and concise conclusion that powerfully summarizes the writer's opinion. Give it some punch. Functions of Editorials will be: 1. Explain or interpret: Editors often use these editorials to explain the way the newspaper covered a sensitive or controversial subject. School newspapers may explain new school rules or a particular student-body effort like a food drive. 2. Criticize: These editorials constructively criticize actions, decisions or situations while providing solutions to the problem identified. Immediate purpose is to get readers to see the problem, not the solution. 3. Persuade: Editorials of persuasion aim to immediately see the solution, not the problem. From the first paragraph, readers will be encouraged to take a specific, positive action. Political endorsements are good examples of editorials of persuasion.
4. Praise: These editorials commend people and organizations for something done well. They are not as common as the other three. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What are the four functions of writing an Editorial? Basics for Writing an Editorial
1. Pick a significant topic that has a current news angle and would interest readers. 2. Collect information and facts; include objective reporting; do research 3. State your opinion briefly in the fashion of a thesis statement 4. Explain the issue objectively as a reporter would and tell why this situation is important 5. Give opposing viewpoint first with its quotations and facts 6. Refute (reject) the other side and develop your case using facts, details, figures, and quotations. Pick apart the other side's logic. 7. Concede a point of the opposition — they must have some good points you can acknowledge that would make you look rational. 8. Repeat key phrases to reinforce an idea into the reader's minds. 9. Give a realistic solution(s) to the problem that goes beyond common knowledge. Encourage critical thinking and pro-active reaction. Wrap it up in a concluding punch that restates your opening remark (thesis statement). 11. Keep it to 500 words; make every work count; never use "I" Things that could go into the five-paragraph editorial: 1. A personal experience, the thesis statement 2. Explanation of the other side of the issue 3. Examples to support your point of view 4. Reasons for your point of view 5. The last paragraph should restate your thesis statement and end on a positive note 1.2.3 Feature Writing A news feature takes one step back from the headlines. It explores an issue. News features are less time-sensitive than hard news but no less newsworthy. They can be an effective way to write about complex issues too large for the terse style of a
hard news item. Street kids are a perfect example. The stories of their individual lives are full of complexities, which can be reflected, in a longer piece. Features are journalism's shopping center. They're full of interesting people, ideas, color, lights, action and energy. Storytelling at its height! A good feature is about the people in your community and their struggles, victories and defeats. A feature takes a certain angle (i.e. Black youth returning to church) and explores it by interviewing the people involved and drawing conclusions from that information. The writer takes an important issue of the day and explains it to the reader through comments from people involved in the story. Hint: Remember to "balance" your story. Present the opinions of people on both sides of an issue and let the readers make their own decision on who to believe. No personal opinions are allowed. The quotes from the people you interview make up the story. You are the narrator. A feature takes an in-depth look at what’s going on behind the news. • It gets into the lives of people. • It tries to explain why and how a trend developed. • Unlike news, a feature does not have to be tied to a current event or a breaking story. But it can grow out of something that’s reported in the news. It may be a profile of a person or a group -- an athlete, a performer, a politician, or a community worker or a team, a choir or a political organization. Or perhaps it’s an in-depth look at a social issue -- like violence in Canadian schools or eating disorders among young women. It could also be a story that gives the reader background on a topic that’s in the news -- like a story that explains how land mines work and the history of their use in war. A feature story is usually longer than a news story -- but length is not a requirement! What’s more important is the form the story takes. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What is a ‘feature’ and state its function in a newspaper? The feature is the journalistic equivalent of an essay and follows these guidelines:
• • •
Start with a premise or theme Present information and opinions that back you point, Bring the reader to a conclusion.
The feature often explores several different points of views, even when the story is about one particular person. The news story tells the audience what happened. The feature will tell them why and how it happened, how the people involved are reacting, and what impact the decision is having on other people. Take a look at people from the world of sports, entertainment, politics, science, technology, business, health, international development, community activism, education, the military, the fine arts or any other field that interests you. You can choose a subject and find out the basic facts of the person’s life and work. What have they learned so far? Are there any surprises? Is there an area of this person's life or work that the student would now like to focus on? • Write your profile by telling your readers the facts of this person's life — while adding the color and details that make them unique. • Talk to the person themselves whenever possible and use their own words to help tell their story. Many of the best stories come from reporters’ observations of the world around them. Here’s just one example of how you can come across a great feature story in your daily life: YOU are hanging around with friends at lunchtime and talking about plans for the weekend. Someone says they’ve heard that the town council is considering a curfew for teens. Everyone under 16 has to be off the streets by 11pm on weekends. You have your own curfew - set by your parents - but you are surprised to learn that the mayor wants to put one in place for everyone. You talk to some of your friends to find out what they think. You and other concerned teens go over to the town hall and ask the mayor or one of the councilors why they see the need for a curfew. You surf the Net and find out what other towns and cities have been doing. You find that this is a bit of trend in North America.
What you now have is the basis for a really interesting feature. You have taken a little piece of information and investigated further to find out what’s going on. The story will focus on the issue and the thoughts and feeling of the people involved — namely local teenagers and the people who made the decision about the curfew. The basic guidelines for good writing apply to all types of writing. However, if you expect to hold your readers’ attention for 1,000 words or more, your writing must be must be lively, specific and clear. As a student writer you have to start with a lead that captures your reader’s attention. • It could be an anecdote you have heard during the course of your research. • It could be a description of a person, place or thing that draws the reader in and encourages them to learn more. • It could a newsy lead that highlights the point of the story. Move your story along with descriptions of what happened, quotes from people involved in the issue, and details that place the reader in the midst of the action. Make sure your ending is meaningful. Your closing words should make an impact on your readers and tie the various strands of your story together. When you have finished writing your news or feature article, follow these guidelines for effective revision: 1. Take a break. Put your article aside for a few minutes and do something else: walk the dog, play a game, and have a snack. When you return and take a fresh look at what you've written, you'll probably see things you missed before. 2. Read your feature out loud. Sometimes the ear can tell you things the eye doesn't see. If there's a part of your article that your tongue repeatedly stumbles over, that's a clue that there may be awkward writing that needs to be reworked. 3. Is the sequence of ideas clear? If it's a news story, does it give the reader the information needed to understand new concepts by the time they're introduced? If the feature article, does start out with enough to snag the reader's interest, yet save something as a payoff for reading on? When you've completed a draft, you hate to think of changing something as basic as the order in which your points are covered. It feels like throwing away work. But take the chance and at least consider it. You may find that a
different sequence works better, and that the "cutting and pasting" you need to do — on a computer screen, or on paper — really isn't so bad. 4. Put yourself in the reader's shoes. Could your words be misunderstood? Think of the poor guy who wrote the headline about a planned change in Scout uniforms: "BOY SCOUTS TO DROP SHORT PANTS." He knew what he meant. But he forgot to think about what his words might call to mind for others. 5. Does the feature you have written seem to you to contain any words that aren't fully necessary to your purpose? Does your article contain unnecessary words? Look at the two questions you've just read. The first one needed pruning; the second is the same question after the pruning has been done. Now do a similar pruning job on your feature article. Tight writing is usually best. 6. Check your paragraphing. In journalism, short paragraphs of one to two sentences are common. If you find you have changed the subject in midparagraph, that's probably a place for a paragraph break. 7. Use spell-checkers and other programs to check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation — but don't rely on them alone. Remember: The best computer for perfecting your writing is the one between your ears! 8. Are you done writing and revising? Before you publish your news story, review all the steps — and check your work one last time. 1.2.4 Article Writing An article will analyze and interpret and provide arguments and counterarguments. An article will go to the root cause of an event or happening and provide background information. Then it describes the present situation and finally peeps into the future prospects too. Though it is not necessary that an article will follow the past- present-future course. An article may start with an insight into the future and than cover the past and present. It may start with the present situation, go to the past and then look into the future. Also, it may not be necessary that an article should always deal with the past or predict the future. Articles are written on all kinds of topics and many kinds of subjects are dealt with in an article. They are also written about the past, present and the future. There is no bar or restrictions on the nature of the topic or issue chosen to write an article. Articles in a newspaper will mostly follow the various purposes like: • To analyze the present • To provide some important information
• To predict the future prospects of an issue • To present a point of view about a topic • To interpret a trend Articles are not written in newspapers as to serve only one selected purpose but may fulfill more than one purposes mentioned above. Articles writers’ intentions are to analyze, interpret and rationalize and thus there is no place for humor, satire and other such emotions in an article. The contents and treatment of an article is sober and serious. The basics of newspaper writing like Consistency, conciseness, completeness; continuity, etc also apply to article writing. These basics will be applicable to any piece of writing like the editorial, feature or a news story. An element that is absolutely necessary for articles is credibility. Thus, usually, only the experts will write articles. In fact, such established writers regularly write columns and are free to write only one subject or a variety of subjects. The readers rarely doubt the creditability of such renowned writers and the articles gets a good response. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What is the intention of writing an ‘Article’? Guidelines for Article Writing The topic for an article is mostly selected on the basis of how much interest it can generate among the readers. Highly interesting topics and issues will generate interest and curiosity by the readers. The selected topics must be concrete and bring in the details. These details should be dealt in an interesting manner to provide all the relevant information in a concrete and complete manner. An article must be believable and relevant facts should be presented. There should be source credibility, authentic research, original quotes and accuracy in the articles to make it believable to the newspaper readers. An article writer will try to cover all aspects of the topic and provide more and more support material as proof to substantiate the points they are presenting in the article.
Ten Steps to Writing an Article:
1. Realize that writing is a process, not a short burst of frantic activity. The
usual steps are planning, research, writing a rough draft, editing, and then writing a final draft.
2. Planning an article involves discussing why it is important and what you
want to include. If you decide about length, scope and focus in advance, it will save you time and effort later.
3. Good articles are descriptive. Draw on your own experience and talk to
those who have more experience or different experience than you.
4. The best articles help readers solve problems, save time, avoid mishaps and
do their jobs more effectively. You can’t assume that the reader shares your perception of a problem; you may have to sell them the problem before you sell them a solution.
5. Write your draft the way you would tell the story to one of your friends. It
should be informal and clear. Short words and short sentences are fine. 6. Readers want articles about things they can actually control and problems they can solve. Writing an article about a huge problem that is too large or too expensive merely raises the reader’s anxiety.
7. Tell real stories. Use actual examples. Readers want to hear about things that
happened. They aren’t interested in platitudes, clichés, lectures, or slogans. Readers want reality, not theory.
8. Magazines are a clutch plate between the way things are and the way they
should be. Ideally, everyone follows all the rules all the time, and no mishaps ever happen. In reality, people cut corners, take chances, stop paying attention, fall asleep in class, drive drunk, ignore their supervisor, take the easy way out, get in a hurry, resist learning, and on and on. 9. A magazine article doesn’t repeat official procedures or rules. Readers have plenty of those things already; the problem is that they don’t follow them. Simply repeating the procedures avoids the real problem.
10. "Why" is more interesting than "what”? Defining a problem or a hazard is
only the starting point.
Structure of an Article An article has a definite beginning (lead or introduction), a body, and an end (conclusion). The basic format used for articles are: • The chronological format, (past-present-future), • The reverse chronological format (future-present-past), • And the flashback format (where the article may start in the present, go back to the past and then go to the future). The lead or the introduction, introduces the topic to the readers, arouses and sustains their interest. It could be a direct lead where information is given in a straightforward manner. Articles can also start with a statement or quotation to provide interest. A statement or a quotation also helps in telling something about the topic of the article. Some times statistics or numerical data are used in the lead to startle the readers. Articles can begin with a question. Some times writers use a number of questions also. Questions arouse curiosity in the minds of the readers and they read further to find answer to the questions. Thy body takes up about three quarters of the total space of an article. Here the writer tries to answer the questions put in the lead. The claims made in the lead are substantiated. The statements and quotations made are elaborated. So explanation, description, elaboration, substantiation, etc are what the body of an article is all about. Writers provide details, statistics, claims and counterclaims in the body to present, project and promote their point of views. The body of an article is where claims are supposed and defended, while opposing viewpoints are attacked. The conclusion portion simply closes the argument and is often brief stating the gist of the whole article. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What is the structure and basic format used in writing an Article?
News report writing always starts with the most important fact. When you report on a football game, you do not start with the kick-off; you begin with the final
score. A news report has a beginning, middle and an end. The news reports aim is to meet the requirements of everyday life as lived by everyday readers. So it largely depends on elements like directness, pace, variety and information. It aims to state the facts quickly and clearly. An editorial is one of the writing styles used to express an opinion or reaction to timely news, event or an issue of concern. Most editorials are used to influence readers to think or act the same way the writer does. Most editorial pieces take the form of an essay or thesis, using arguments to promote a point of view. Newspapers often publish editorial pieces that are in line with their editorial slants, though dissenting opinions are often given space to promote balance and discussion. Requirements for article length varies according to each publication's guidelines, as do a number of other factors such as style and topic. An average editorial is 750 words or less Features are journalism's shopping center. They're full of interesting people, ideas, color, lights, action and energy. Storytelling at its height! A good feature is about the people in your community and their struggles, victories and defeats. A feature takes a certain angle (i.e. Black youth returning to church) and explores it by interviewing the people involved and drawing conclusions from that information. The writer takes an important issue of the day and explains it to the reader through comments from people involved in the story. An article will analyze and interpret and provide arguments and counterarguments. An article will go to the root cause of an event or happening and provide background information. Then it describes the present situation and finally peeps into the future prospects too. Though it is not necessary that an article will follow the past-present-future course. An article may start with a insight into the future and than cover the past and present. It may start with the present situation, go to the past and then look into the future. Also, it may not be necessary that an article should always deal with the past or predict the future.
1.4 EXERCISES AND QUESTIONS
Q1. Discuss the significance of Journalistic Writing. Q2.What are the various piece of writing that can be found in a newspaper? Q3.Define Editorial and write basic steps involved in writing of an Editorial. Q4. Write a short note on news report writing. Q5. What is the significance of Article in Journalistic Writing? Discuss the structure of an article.
Q6. Enlist some guidelines for effective revision after writing news or feature article.
1.5 FURTHER READING
1. Reporting Methods S.Kundra (Anmol Publications Pvt.Ltd) 2. Outline of Editing M.K.Joseph 3. Editing Techniques S.Kundra 4. News Reporting and Editing (Jan.R.Hakemulder, Fay AC de Jonge, P.P. Singh)
UNIT 2- REPORTING
2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Unit Objectives Introduction Some Tips & Meaning of Reporting Types of Reporting
2.3.1 Crime Reporting 2.3.2 Court Reporting 2.3.3 Health Reporting 2.3.4 Civic Reporting 2.3.5 Political Reporting 2.3.6 Business Reporting 2.3.7 Science & Technology 2.3.8 Sport Reporting 2.3.9 Culture Reporting 2.3.10 Civil Administration Reporting 2.3.11 Education Reporting 2.3.12 Development Reporting
2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8
Objectivity Report Writing for all Media
2.5.1 Radio 2.5.2 Television 2.5.3 Newspaper 2.5.4 Magazine 2.5.5 Web
Summary Exercises and Questions Further Reading
2.0 UNIT OBJECTIVES
• • • • To understand the significance of reporting To discuss the various types of reporting To know the significance of Objectivity in journalism To understand the techniques of report writing for all media
Journalism has as its main activity the reporting of events — stating who, what, when, where, why and how, and explaining the significance and effect of events or trends. Journalism exists in a number of media: newspapers, television, radio, magazines and, most recently, the World Wide Web through the Internet.
News reporting is a type of journalism, typically written or broadcast in news style. Most news is investigated and presented by journalists or news Reporters, and can be distributed to various outlets via news agencies. News is often reported by a variety of sources, such as newspapers, television, and radio programs, wire services, and web sites. Reporter is a type of journalist who researches and presents information in certain types of mass media. Reporters gather their information in a variety of ways, including tips, press releases, and witnessing events. They perform research through interviews, public records, and other sources. The information-gathering part of the job is sometimes called "reporting" as distinct from the production part of the job, such as writing articles. Reporters generally split their time between working in a newsroom and going out to witness events or interview people. Most reporters working for major news media outlets are assigned an area to focus on, called a beat or patch. They are encouraged to cultivate sources to improve their information gathering. News reports are classified into two broad types: 1. Straight news reports 2. Investigative or interpretative reports Straight news reports present what has happened in a straightforward, factual and clear manner. They draw no conclusions, nor offer any opinions. There is no attempt to probe deeper than the surface happenings, or they provide elaborate background information, or even to examine claims made. The main sources are: Government officials, elite groups, news agencies, eminent people, businessmen and others. Both these types of news stories merely present the claims, without in any way trying to question or rebut, or ask why. Investigative reports, on the other hand, would make an effort to go behind the claims and see how valid they are. They report happenings in depth, present fairly all sides of the picture in the context of the situation, and generally, put some meaning into the news so that the reader is better able to understand and analyze the event. Disaster stories e.g. famines and floods get pride of place in the daily press, and these provide many ‘human interest’ stories.
Developments in science, industry and agriculture are increasingly coming to be considered as interesting news, as also the exposure of corruption in high places, the exploitation of the lower classes and workers, and social injustice and inequalities resulting from the social, economic and political structures. Of course, all the news reported is not news of the highest interest to everybody. Politics interest some, sports others, crime still others. However, it is rare that newspapers touch in the information needs and interests of the poorer sections of the society. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What is the duty of a News Reporter? Q2. What are the two types of News Reports? ‘Dog bites man isn’t news. Man bites dog is’ . So goes an adage probably as old as journalism itself. Like many such sayings, it conceals as much as it reveals. People watch television or read the newspaper because they want to know about the happening and events around them. They want to gather all the news from around the world.
2.2 SOME TIPS & MEANING OF REPORTING
The press is independent of government. Governments are composed of human beings, and human beings can and do commit wrongs. The press and government should not become institutional partners. They are natural adversaries with different functions, and each must respect the role of the other. Sometimes a free press can be a distinct annoyance and an embarrassment to a particular government, but that is one of the prices of liberty. A free press is responsible to its readers, and to them alone. Independence is at the very heart of any statement of ethical principles respecting the conduct of the press. The proprietors of a newspaper may choose to ally it with a particular political party or interest, but an increasing number of newspapers and journals are politically independent as well as independent of government. This means not that they refrain from endorsing a certain political party or a candidate for public office, but rather that they owe no prior allegiance and that they make the endorsement voluntarily, as an exercise of their independence.
From this it follows that an independent press must cherish that role by resisting pressures of all kinds - from local as well as national government, from special interest groups in the community, from powerful individuals, from advertisers. This is a noble standard that is sometimes more difficult to follow in a small community than in a large one. It may be relatively easy for a large, well-financed newspaper to risk the displeasure of a particular interest group or advertiser. But on a small paper, where the support of such an advertiser or interest has a direct bearing on the ability of management to meet the payroll, it takes courage to resist pressure. From this also flows the point that the newspaper and its staff should exemplify independence in their actions. Not only should they be independent in fact, but also they must be seen to be independent. A newspaper that rewards its friends with unwarranted, flattering stories or fawning editorials will not long be respected. A newspaper whose reporters also are on the payroll of a special interest group or who accept free trips or lavish gifts will find it hard to be convincing in its criticisms of corruption or other unethical practices in government. Occasionally, newspapers attempt to justify the acceptance of gifts or services. A reliable reporter will hardly be corrupt. Admittedly, in small communities, journalists sometimes may encounter problems in maintaining an independent role. There are pressures to participate in volunteer services, in clubs and business associations, and even in local government. Conflicts of interest may arise frequently. Journalists cannot expect to be walled apart from the community in which they live. But neither can they serve two masters with opposing interests. A diligent editor or reporter will at least be aware of the conflicts and keep his or her professional responsibilities foremost in mind. A newspaper has the right to be captious, or partisan, or untruthful, or bigoted, or whatever else its conscience allows it to be. And although newspapers are answerable to the laws of libel, within a very large compass they continue to set their own responsibilities. The underlying idea is that, from the clash of opinions and ideas presented by a free press, ultimately something resembling truth emerges. In practice, however, truth does not always emerge unless someone digs it out. And there is no single patented version of what constitutes truth. In a community where only one newspaper exists, a reader may not encounter differing opinions
unless the newspaper chooses to present them. Radio and television are not always effective substitutes. Recognition, of the importance of fair and balanced reporting, in which opinions that differ from those of the writer, or the newspaper, or a government official are nevertheless accurately portrayed. News stories and analysis are presented on the news pages, with their origins and sources identified wherever possible. The newspaper's own opinions are presented on the editorial page, which may also carry signed columns from syndicated writers or staff members of the newspaper itself. News Reporting needs to guard against undue intrusions on the privacy of persons about whom they are reporting. A photograph of a person jumping off a building or plunging into a fire may be dramatic, but editors ought to debate long and hard over whether they are violating someone's rights or dignity by publishing it. Does the publication serve a defensible purpose, one that will be understood by readers? Or is it using an indignity to pander to curiosity? Reporters enjoy no special rights beyond those of other citizens. They must be aggressive in pursuing facts. Indeed, one of the most important functions of a free press is to serve as a watchdog. But its staff members have no dispensation to be rude or discourteous. Television has many sins of its own, but one thing it purveys very quickly to viewers is whether reporters at a news conference are behaving arrogantly or with unnecessary brusqueness. Apart from eccentric behavior, newspapers also may be affected by a phenomenon that called "prizemanship" - the presentation of stories by a reporter or by a broader division of newspaper management in a fashion calculated to win one of the prizes now offered to newspapers and to individual journalists. A few years ago, the Washington Post, won a Pulitzer Prize for a story about an eight-year- old narcotics addict. Subsequent investigation by others led to an acknowledgment by the reporter that she had made up the story in order to illustrate a situation. She resigned, and the newspaper returned the prize in embarrassment. There is no doubt that there are similar fictional stories not identified. Prizes are not bad, but the best ones are those that are conferred by outsiders, without the knowledge or the participation of the journalist or newspaper. Conscientious journalists and newspapers must resist the temptation to display or doctor a story in such a way as to advance a purpose not directly related to the news.
Beat reporting is the craft of reporting on an issue or particular sector, organization or institution over time. Beat reporters build up a base of knowledge on and gain familiarity with the sector, allowing them to provide insight and commentary in addition to reporting straight facts. This distinguishes them from other journalists who might cover similar stories from time to time. A news beat is an institutional or issue area that generates enough news and reader interest to make it worthwhile for a newspaper to assign a reporter to cover it on a regular basis. Traditional beats are government agencies, such as the police department, courts, schools, and city hall. Certain issue areas such as health, business, and environment are also regular beats on most newspapers. Beats could also be imagined quite differently. For example, if they chose to do it, newspapers could assign reporters to explore and write regularly about, say, childhood, work, ethics, psychology, or any other area or field that might help readers understand the world they live in. What makes a beat a good beat for both writer and reader is variation in levels of analysis. That is, a good beat has stories that can be told with lots of concrete detail but also with broad themes that speak to abstract issues and ideas. Beats are places (literally or figuratively) where ideas flourish as well as where events happen. A good beat reporter always operates at both the micro level and the macro level of analysis. To paraphrase the old 1960s slogan, you have to think globally, report locally. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What do you understand by ‘Beat Reporting’?
2.3 TYPES OF REPORTING
2.3.1 Crime Reporting There are tremendous public interests in crime stories and no newspaper can afford to ignore them without damage to circulation and credibility. Crime is a part of life and it is newspaper’s duty to inform the readers of what crimes are going on in their city, state or country. However, crime reporting should not aim at satisfying morbid curiosity or sensation mongering.
Although crime reporting is usually assigned to one of the junior reporters in a newspaper, it is a highly responsible and specialized job. The reporter should not only have the ability to sift the grain from the chaff, and the truth from lies, he should also have good contacts in the police and other departments of the administration as well as working knowledge of the penal codes and law on libel and other relevant matters. Besides, he must observe a code of honour. He should be as objective and as humanly as possible so as to avoid resorting to sensationalism or cheap gimmicks to catch the attention of the readers or the viewers. He should not suppress news of public interest. Nor should he seek to settle personal scores with police officers or lawyers or judges. And he must be careful that in the course of his work, he does not unnecessarily invade a citizen’s privacy. There has been much criticism of press reporting of crime and not all of it is baseless. Some reporters have been found guilty of unethical standards, thus causing much pain and sorrow to their victims or their families and friends. Crime Reporters try to glorify the activities of criminals or sometimes make heroes of them. This practice should be discouraged as much as a resort to sensationalism. The crime reporter much never violates standards of decency and good news taste. There are several types of crime news-murders, fires, accidents, robberies, burglaries, fraud, blackmail, kidnapping, rape, etc. Fires The reporter must get his facts correct about the essential elements of a fire story the number of persons killed or injured, the extent of damage to property, the loss of valuables, etc. he must also find out if the fire brigade responded in time or was guilty of delaying the fire-operations through sheer lethargy or incompetence or lack of water supply. He should question eyewitnesses about any acts of bravery or cowardice. All these are essential ingredients of a fire story. The lead in a fire story would normally suggest itself. If, for instance, lives have been lost, it needs highlighting in the lead. If possible, the reporter must list the names of the dead and the injured. Homicides In cases of a major murder, the reporter should rush to the scene as soon as possible after receiving a tip and gather all the relevant facts. In nine cases out of
ten, crime reporters, say, in Delhi depend on police information about murders and there is a time lapse before they can begin their investigations. This often hampers their search for the truth. The reporter must, in any case, exercise great care in how he handles the story. Otherwise, he runs the risk of causing offence. In reporting dowry deaths or alleged dowry deaths, the reporter must refrain from leveling uncorroborated statements by one party or the other. He must therefore get his facts correct by talking to the investigation police officer, the girl’s in laws and her parents, and, if possible, with the neighbors. Accidents Most accidents are reported on the basis of police bulletins or information supplied ‘by police spokesmen’. However, wherever possible the crime reporter must rush to the scene of a major accident to give authenticity to his story. Arrests It is a serious matter to report that a person has been placed under arrest. When such a report is made, the exact charge against the arrested person could be given and it should be documented by either a record or attribution to a responsible official. If such documentation cannot be obtained, the reporter has better to check the facts. The person in question may not have been under arrest at all. In many states an arrest is not formally accomplished until a prisoner is booked. The news, in any case, must be handled with care. Accusations It is commonly written that someone is being sought for robbery, suspected of arson or tried for murder. This is journalistic shorthand, which has gained acceptance through usage, but it is neither precise nor correct. Persons are sought in connection with a robbery, unless a charge has actually been made, in which case they are charged with robbery. Persons under suspicion are not necessarily going to be charged with a crime and it is generally not privileged matter to indicate that suspicion is attached to any individual by name. Where the police suspect someone, but lack proof, that person may be held as material witness- that is far different from being accused of as a criminal. Therefore, cases of suspicion are not usually given too extensive and detailed news treatment if no privileged material is available for use. The practice of reporting that a defendant is being ‘tried for murder’, while widely used, is obviously prejudicial and could be more accurately, if less drama stated, as ‘being tried as a charge of murder’.
Confessions The use of the word ‘confession’ to describe statements made by a person to the police or the prosecuting authorities is dangerous when it is not a matter of public record. The fact that a police chief or a prosecutor has claimed to have a confession, except in open court, may be used only at the risk of the news organization. Most press-bar voluntary agreements forbid the use of confessions until they are admitted in open court. The records are full of supposed confessions that backfired later for a variety of reasons and of persons who admitted crimes they could not possibly have committed. Unless and until it is established in fact that a person has confessed, approved procedure for reporters is to use such terms as ‘statement’, ‘admission’, ‘description’ or ‘explanation’. They convey the shade of meaning that is warranted by circumstances and do not subject the news organization to unnecessary risks. There are a few fundamental precautions which a crime reporter must take account of: • The first is that the police and prosecutors rarely will give them information on a silver platter. That means, a tremendous amount of interviewing and research must be done in a very short time so that a coherent story may be written • There is no guarantee of police accuracy; and therefore police versions of names, addresses and other facts must be checked • Police and journalistic terminology are not identical. The legal term for a slaying is a homicide, but many news organizations loosely and incorrectly refer to such crimes automatically as murder. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. Explain crime reporting beat. 2.3.2 Court Reporting Even the big newspapers of India do not have the resources to cover all the courts of their main circulation area. The reason being that there are too many courts. Newspapers neither have the time nor the space to cover everything that happens in the courts. Paper covers only those stories in which their readers are interested. A country governed by laws needs many courts, each with a different jurisdiction. The emphasis of the news media is on criminal courts, High courts,
and the Supreme Court. The media are less interested in covering Civil Courts. One of the reason for this lack of interest may be that the Civil Courts are jammed with cases, the suits remain pending there for several years and it is assumed that in the mean time, members of the public would lose whatever interest they may have showed initially. If we go through the old files of a newspaper, we will find that the volume of court reporting has increased in recent years. One of the reasons for the increase may be the courts are now getting more active in the field of social justice. Public interest litigations are also increasing. As the number of petitions increase, one notices a corresponding increase in the coverage of courts and the judgments they deliver. There are only a few big newspapers in India who have full time correspondents or reporters exclusively for their court beat. These reporters generally have adequate legal background. Other newspapers mostly hire stringers to cover court stories. (In journalism, a stringer is a freelance journalist, who is paid for each piece of published or broadcast work, rather than receiving a regular salary. They are heavily relied upon by most television news organizations) Many of the stringers are professional advocates. Many part-timers also cover stories in their respective areas and come from teaching, law and other professions. A newspaper, which does not have a full time law reporter, may send its regular staff correspondent to cover an important court story. The first time that one covers the court beat as a court reporter; one usually feels amidst the technicalities and complex language. A trainee reporter aiming to be a future court reporter must at first acquire some understanding of the court jurisdictions, its procedures and its hierarchy. At the apex we have the Supreme Court of India. Then there are the High Courts, Session Courts, Magistrate Courts, etc. If the reporter is acquainted with the jurisdiction of different courts, then one can easily locate the specific court for a particular matter. Similarly, if one is familiar with the hierarchy in the courts; one can easily guess where the appeal would be filed. Much of a reporter’s success in the coverage of the courts depends on one’s contact and sources, and one’s ability to gain access quickly to records. For a reporter, the key person in a court is the clerk of the court. A court clerk prepares and keeps the records. He can make available copies of transcript for a fee. Court reporting involves diligent checking of records. The judge who presides a trial is seldom one’s source. But a reporter should, as soon as possible, introduce oneself
in person to the judge. A court reporter should also have good contacts with the lawyers working on a case and if possible with the respective parties. Where a case attracts much public attention, reporters may be under pressure from rival lawyers for a more favorable description of their individual positions. The reporter must then ensure impartial reportage in all fairness to the proceedings in court. Court reporters must understand the judicial process from beginning to end. They should know what happens when a suspect is arrested, charged, arraigned, tried, and sentenced or released. Experienced reporters say the best way to learn the process is to spend time at the courthouse. As stated before, begin with the court clerks, who keep track — the list of cases — and the calendar. Find out how to get copies of the court record, filings, and testimony. Read the case files — including motions and pleadings before the trial — and keep track of what's reported about the case if you can't be in court every day, which frequently happens. Defense attorneys are some of the best sources of information on the justice beat. They often are more willing than prosecutors to talk with reporters about cases on which they are working. Do your best to understand legal jargon, but avoid using it in your stories. If you don't know what something means, ask the person you're interviewing to explain it. 2.3.3 Health Reporting Health reporter usually informs the public about major epidemics, diseases and their cures, new medical discoveries, medical irregularities, etc. they are either specialized in their field of medical of take the assistance of doctors, medical practitioner, etc. the common man cannot understand most of the medical terms so it is the duty of the health reporter to explain these terms and present the report which is easily understood by the common man. Every change of season witness some major breakouts of epidemics and thus the people must be informed about these diseases and the necessary measures to be taken to avoid the occurrence of these diseases. The health reporter in no way should frighten the common man but present remedies and cures for the diseases. Crosschecking is extremely necessary if the reporter is not specialized in the medical field. Therefore, most of the newspaper relies of medical practitioner, doctors, scientist, and others to present the articles or features for the newspaper. The health reporter is supposed to cover researches, developments in the field of medicine and pharmaceuticals and new experiments in medicine and medical
surgery. He collects this information from different departments of medical fraternity. Many well- known health and medical science reporters writing in a few major newspapers have become the primary source for secondary pick- ups by many radio, newspaper, and television reporters. Thus, a small handful of powerful, skilled writers wield an enormous amount of influence in this field. These days, most of the health reporting also covers fitness tips given out by experts in the field of yoga, acupuncture, meditation, and others. The public is poorly served by the coverage of medical science in the general press. Scientists and physicians blame the press, claiming that journalists are careless in their reporting, subject to competitive pressures, and ignorant of the scientific process. Journalists accuse the medical community of limiting access to information and erecting barriers to the public dissemination of medical research. In many areas of health news reporting, the underlying problem is an interactive dynamic that involves scientists and journalists. Both parties share the responsibility for accurate communication to the public. Health Reporters usually deliver medical news as if they are reporting on a hostage crisis. Information is delivered rapidly, but little time is taken to provide a context for the story. Instead, the reporting is sensationalized: The journalist overstates a scientific finding and, as a result, the public is misled about the implications of that finding. This sort of reporting has its roots in newsroom pressures to dramatize stories by sounding alarms. To avoid inaccurate stories, health reporters need to examine the credibility and biases of scientific sources. Such examination is often not done, however, possibly because reporters are misled when the public relations efforts of scientists, institutions. The major sources for a health reporter are the doctors or medical officers. A journalist's audience should be told explicitly whether the journalist's source of information could benefit financially from the media attention or whether the source is funded or employed by an institution that will benefit. However, such conflicts of interest are often not apparent to reporters or their audiences. The public is generally unaware of the scientific process and is therefore likely to give more importance to awareness and full details of diseases and remedies by a renowned medical practitioner. This follow-up should be done, because journalists themselves may not completely know the complete medical process works. Certain
medical terms are likely to be misinterpreted and thus it is the duty of the health reporter to clarify such doubts. The health science community should promote contact with the media when confirmatory or no confirmatory studies emerge in an area that has already received attention from the press. General assignment reporters typically wrote medical news stories and Reporters who specifically cover medicines are now commonly found at many major news organizations. Thus, Those who understand the complexities of newsworthy issues in medicine and public health should Examining the media's coverage of medicine seems to show that medical news reporting is less than ideal. Medical scientists and journalists share the responsibility for this problem. Thus, the medical science community can encourage accurate medical reporting and reporters will also have to take active measures to improve the situation. Health Reporters should be able to assume that press releases are accurate, findings are not overstated, and conflicts of interest are acknowledged. The health reporter should deal with failures to be accurate, to identify vested interests, to follow up on stories, and to cover important health issues as the patients are the ones who stand to suffer the most. The health reporter must remember that it is the public that ultimately benefits from medical scientists' contributions to improved media coverage. 2.3.4 Civic Reporting Newspapers have traditionally been the most community oriented of mass media. Newspapers have been given a good deal of credit for building the democratic community life cities and towns. These days, however, the media and their audiences have been so thoroughly fragmented that the newspaper seems on the verge of becoming just another specialized commercial product for a niche market. Together, the people and the journalists work on efforts to fight attempts to weaken the civil justice system, to protect the rights of all to the right to trial by jury, and to force government and businesses to make human health and safety the top priority. Public Citizen is very interested to report the news reporters for information in a variety of cases: products liability, medical malpractice, cases involving children, cases involving drugs or medical devices for women, cases where punitive damages were awarded, cases where defendants withheld documents or engaged in other types of abuse or misconduct, and cases where discovery documents or
testimony revealed a company decision to risk foreseeable injuries or deaths in order to save money or increase profits. Reporters around the country are increasingly turning to civic journalism to find better stories and report them in ways that re-establish a bond with readers, viewers and listeners. They do so to: • • • • Tackle tough issues. Discover new local stories. Interact with readers and viewers in new ways. Use the web to improve reporting.
Mostly two or three junior reporters, supervised by a senior one is appointed to cover local news, administration problems and important judgments of the district courts. A senior reporter assigns the coverage among the junior reporters who actually go into the field and bring news of local interest. There may be a fire or theft or important crime to report like a murder or dacoity. Then there may be court proceedings of a sensational nature wherein important crime cases are heard and adjudged upon. These reporters are called district reporters. Each reporter has an area assigned to him, which may include one or more large towns with the addition of smaller towns and larger villages. In some cases, a district office is established in prominent towns to enable the reporters to cover the ground with a senior reporter in charge. The senior man also acts as the manager of the office, who keeps the accounts and is responsible for the advertisement and other revenue, which is received. The Civic reporters have considerable responsibility as an important link in the chain of news collection of interest to the newspaper. The senior as well as the junior reporters keep their respective diary of engagements and see that nothing is missed which may give the lead to other newspapers. If the locality or the town is large one, the reporter may find himself, with a full diary of routine engagements every day. The civic reporter needs to be active men who have the opportunity of making a wide circle of friends. They develop influence in the local administration and can dig their news ahead of other contemporaries representing other newspapers. One important qualification of a local or civic reporter is knowledge of law so that he does not commit any errors leading to libel. He must be above board and not have extreme likes and dislikes of individuals, businessmen or influential personalities in the area.
The telephone is a very important means of receiving and collecting information about any event-taking place in the area. A civic reporter has his link with police officers and corporation administrators who inform him of anything important taking place around. However, it is not advisable to simply depend on one or the other individual source for making the story. Immediately on receiving the hint of an important event, the civic reporter is supposed to either rush himself or send his juniors, depending on the importance of the news, to cover it. If necessary, a photographer may also be taken along although many newspapers prefer junior reporters to know as to how to handle the camera and have working knowledge of photography. In the case of important news, even movie cameras are sometimes maintained by newspapers to obtain TV films for supply to the TV Organizations on specific charges. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. Why are Reporters around the country are increasingly turning to civic journalis? 2.3.5 Political Reporting Political reporters in a democracy have one central mission: to provide citizens with the information they need to make an informed choice between the candidates for elective office. To do that, journalists need to examine the candidates' backgrounds and qualifications, their positions on the key issues, and what the candidates are saying in campaign appearances and advertising. Reporters who cover politics look at the candidates' supporters, too, since their interests can often shed light on what a politician will do if elected. A political reporter should have intelligence, instinctive perception of ground realities, good judgment of people and a strong historic sense. Since politics is the main focus of newspapers, too many new entrances would like to be political reporters hoping that it would be a ladder to the coveted office of the editor. But the fact remains that there is a dearth of good political reporting in India who have the skills to report insight, and do reporting that captures in flesh and blood of the players in the political field. A skilled political reporter is able to expose the naked ambitions of political leaders and the hypocrisy of political parties. Politics is the game for power, a game for supremacy and ironically this game is played in the name of the people for evoking national greatness. The majority of politicians in India have acquired office because they were misfits everywhere else and are driven by a desire to make up for their past failures and frustrations.
Thus, the sad thing about Indian democracy is that it is these politicians who guide the destiny of some 900 million people. Bereft of ideas, intelligence and character, they exploit caste, religion and language to stay in power and the country slip from crisis to crisis. Therefore, it is the duty of the political reporter to never glorify a minister or a politician but truthfully present their achievements and failures. Programmes of political parties should be critically evaluated and the flaws commented upon, so that the people are not carried away by their patriotic portrayal. The performance of government needs constant review and herein is the wisdom and maturity of the political reporter set on a national spectacle. A lot of things are happening behind the scene in politics. Diplomacy, lobbying, image- building and hatching conspiracies are only few of them. Nothing much is visible to the outside world but the tip of an iceberg. The real challenge of political reporting is in unmasking these happenings in the political world. Connections and inside sources are the strengths of a politics reporter. Party conferences, campaigns and rallies and press conferences are normal reporting events. But to add news value to these the reporter should have ‘inside’ information or exclusive stories. The best selling newspapers in any country are those with a strong political bureau satisfying the political curiosity of the readers. Inadequate political coverage usually judged by the quality of reporting, brings down the circulation of a newspaper. The honest and well-meaning politician deserves the support of the reporter and the people’s support. One of the basic duties of political reporting is to bring to national focus such deserving leaders and to warn the nation against criminals in political garment. The political reporter must have a sound knowledge of history and the ability to see the chain of events before it happened and the wisdom to translate the thoughts into memorable words. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. How is reporting for Politics done? 2.3.6 Business Reporting The focus of business reporting is the state of business, depending on the country’s economic climate. The stock market, capital market, the wholesale and consumer price, metals and gold prices, industries and agricultural production, consumer
behavior, inflation, money supply foreign and Indian investments, unemployment, wages and labor, all are areas of interest to the business reporter. The economy operates in a cycle of expansion and contraction known as boom and bust. The markets hit a low during bust, characterized by low demand, piling up of goods product and at worst people are thrown out of employment. At boom, the demand picks up, entrepreneurs invest, employment is generated, there is more cash flow and happier times return as the economy operates at its peak. After a few years, the economy goes back to bust to repeat its business cycle. Low employment speaks of the ill health of the economy and the need for optimum level of investment. The developing nations, called the Third World, need massive investments to generate employment and they also need the latest technology to catch up with the developed world. Business, industry and agriculture, year after year, look to the finance minister’s presentation of the union Budget that could change the business climate. Tax incentives to industry and agriculture can boost production, and surplus production can lead to export and prosperity. Exporting nations like Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore in Asia enjoy a higher standard of living than many economic laggards of the continent, some of whom face miserable living conditions. The budget is a powerful instrument of transformation in the hands of an able finance minister. A business reporter should have a masterly understanding of economic at the macro and micro levels to interpret economic data and tell how they are going to affect business. He should sound an alarm when the economy is heading for a slump or recession. Also, when the economic outlook is bright, he should bring cheer to industry. But he should desist from creating a panic in the stock market where people have invested their life savings. To command respect in financial and business circles, you must be knowledgeable, credible and insightful. To do so, the business reporter must be in contact with some of the best economic brains of the country that may be in the finance ministry, universities, research organizations and even corporate houses. The reporter should watch out for corporate newsmakers. Entrepreneurs are of two kinds, those with a broad vision and those with a tunnel vision. The former think laterally and are a creative lot, bringing new products, new designs, new models and new ideas that can transform the way people live, work and spend their leisure.
Another breed of newsmakers is the corporate raider who buys the shares of companies in bulk and try to dislodge the existing families out of their business. Majority of the shareholders are innocent of their rights, and easily manipulated by holding meetings at sites most of them cannot reach or by deliberately delaying the intimation letters for such meetings. Market-linked technology watch may signal the arrival of new products, impending competition and phasing out of old models. Computer and car markets are changing dramatically and will keep changing in the years ahead. Exposing business frauds and manipulators is the high calling of business journalism, but favoring them for a pittance could tarnish the image of the profession. Keep a tab on major stock market players, chairman of blue chip companies and CEOs who could always spring a surprise. PROs of business houses and private secretaries of market players could be of help in getting the lead for a story, but these stories must be properly filtered for news. Like the politician who generates political news, the corporate houses generate most of the business news. And the finance and commerce ministries, the RBI, SEBI, FICCI, Assocham and Indo-American, Indo- British, Indo-German, IndoFrench, and Indo-Japanese joint trade organizations keep the business reporters very busy. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What are the qualities required to be a business reporter? 2.3.7 Science & Technology Reporting The age of science is the age of reason, and it is by reasoning that human beings have unlocked the secrets of nature. Science reporters are driven by a curiosity and governed by scientific temper. The first step to becoming a science reporter is to develop well-grounded awareness of science by reading good popular science books and journals. Keep watching popular science programmes on foreign and Indian television channels. Half-truths, bluffs and blisters are not part of science reporting, which is based on verifiable technological facts. Verify your facts from other sources, reference books and journals before you report. Credibility and clarity are the catchwords in science reporting.
Specialists speak in technical language popularly called jargons. Befriend the leading scientist and engineers of your town and ask them about the latest development in their fields-inventions, applications and research. Attend seminars and conferences regularly and write interpretative reports for the knowledge – hungry readers. Publishing interviews of eminent scientists not only enhances the prestige of the newspaper/magazine but also promotes science awareness in society. Age of computers is rapidly changing the way we live computers are installed in banks, railway stations, airports, operation theatres of hospitals, public health, and water supply and electricity departments and real estate agencies. Creating environmental awareness is one of the duties of the science reporter. Crusading for a better environment is the hallmark of dedicated science reporter. Science reporting calls for greater precision and logical progression of ideas. The popular science writers have amazing clarity of thought and expression and an irresistibly fascinating manner of presentation. Exaggeration and sensationalism do not belong to science reporting which is basically an exercise in precision writing. 2.3.8 Sport Reporting Sport reporting demands for an exceptional interest in the field of sports and a good writing style. Sports reporters are conversant with the rules of the game and have good relations with players and coaches. They are also knowledgeable about the lives of top players to dish out interesting anecdotes in sports features. Sport reporters write to appeal to a class of readers who eat, drink and sleep sports. Sports writing are as competitive as the game itself. Like all reporters, the sport reporter too works under pressure, but there is too much action in succession for him to recapitulate that it makes his job uniquely challenging. So, to become a successful sports reporter, one should keep a sports diary. Renowned sports journalists have the habit of jotting down every idea or scrap of information, which they later skillfully weave into their reports and columns. Keep a clipping library of reports and articles of special interest to you, which you have come across in newspapers and magazines. This could be a ready reference library for facts and figures and back grounders. Classify under different names of games like ‘cricket’, ‘hockey’, ‘athletics’, etc to make it handy.
The reporter must make his report descriptive enough for those who have not seen the match and analytical enough for those who have seen it on television but are seeking something more to it. Develop a racy style that befits the game, recapturing the players in their best action, which is the difference between a good report and a bad report. Sports reporting differ from general reporting in that sports reporters enjoy greater freedom for self-expression, which includes the use of superlatives. The famous among them do enjoy special privileges in keeping with their professional status. Sport reporting provides details on the fitness of players, points of play, individual performances, tactics and strategies adopted in the contest and crowd reaction. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What things should a sports reporter always keep with him? 2.3.9 Culture Reporting The term “The Culture Beat” refers to the way a newspaper will assign reporters to cover various sites where news originates-city hall, the police reports, sports, entertainment, local, etc. Culture reporting is characterized by its punchy style, rough language, and ostensible disregard for conventional journalistic writing forms and customs. The reporter attempts to present a multi-disciplinary perspective on a particular story, drawing from popular culture, sports, political, philosophical and literary sources. It is styled eclectic or untraditional. Culture reporting remains a feature of popular magazines. It has a good deal of entertainment value. Culture reporting also focuses on the personal lives of people, primarily celebrities, including movie and stage actors, musical artists, models and photographers, other notable people in the entertainment industry, as well as people who seek attention, such as politicians, and people thrust into the attention of the public, such as people who do something newsworthy. Culture reporting today is the province of newspaper gossip columnists and gossip magazines and has become the focus of national tabloid newspapers like the National Enquirer, magazines like People and Us Weekly, syndicated television shows like Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, The Insider, Access Hollywood, and Extra, cable networks like E!, and numerous other television productions.
It differs from feature writing in that it focuses on people who are either already famous or are especially attractive, and in that it often covers celebrities obsessively, to the point of these journalists behaving unethically in order to provide coverage. Paparazzi, photographers who would follow celebrities incessantly to obtain potentially embarrassing photographs, have come to characterize celebrity journalism. It is the most common kind of reporting where reporters are placed at the most strategic news-breaking points like hospitals, courtrooms, police headquaters, airports, railway stations, universities, government and corporate offices and health and recration centers. Unlike editorial writing, the culture reporting is impersonal. A culture reporter is should essentially be an honest storyteller, who should rise above his prejudices and subjectivity. He should be fair and impartial and present in all aspects of the story. Complete objectivity may be required as the primary job of a reporter in any beat is to tell the truth. 2.3.10 Civil Administration Reporting The government establishes the civil administration and the area concerned are the local, municipal, social and national levels of the society. Civil administration reporting will thus carry news stories relating to all these sections of a country. Civil administration of a country exercise certain authority normally in the function of the local government; or hostile territory. It exercises executive, legislative, and judicial authority. Civil administration reporters thus have to work with civil authorities and civilian populations in the area of operations. Civil administration reporters are the specialists who can quickly and systematically identify critical requirements needed by local citizens in bad situations. They can also locate civil resources to support help operations, help support national assistance activities. The reporters report on the plan to establish and maintain liaison or dialogue with civilians and private organizations. The civil administration reporters provide a prime source of nation-building skills. Their prime focus of reporting is in the fields of public administration, public safety, public health, legal systems, labor management, public welfare, public finance, public education, civil defense, public works and utilities, public communications, public transportation, logistics, food and agricultural services, economics, property control, cultural affairs, civil information, and managing dislocated persons.
One of the main components of civil administration is the police who are appointed with the duties to keep a check on the society. Reporting police news is difficult and potentially dangerous. But if reporters and editors are properly prepared and sufficiently cautious, mistakes will be held to a minimum. Police news tells us about ourselves, and how we handle police news tells us something about our journalistic ability. Ideally, police news is used to inform the public, not to aid directly in conviction. Keeping this perspective is important in handling police news effectively. Police reporters need to know exactly how crimes are defined in the community they cover. In the United States, for example, a "burglary" and a "robbery" are not the same thing. Burglary involves breaking into a building to commit a crime. Robbery is stealing money or property by force. Developing a glossary of essential terms can prevent embarrassing mistakes. A police press release may provide the basic facts about a crime, but good reporters dig deeper. They go to the scene to look for details and to talk with neighbors or eyewitnesses, whenever possible. The coverage of civil disorder imposed major responsibilities on the reporters. On the one hand, they must expose themselves to danger if necessary to determine the magnitude of any street incident. But whatever they do, they must always be conscious that careless reporting or the provocative appearance of still or television cameras can cause untold harm in a tense situation, particularly in the crowded inner cores of many cities and towns. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What are the duties of a Police Reporter? 2.3.11 Education Reporting As Education, is the organized teaching and training of students, the reporter’s job will revolve around these areas. Education is a body of theoretical and applied research relating to teaching and learning. Thus, the reporter has to focus on these both areas of education. The education reporter works in different areas or disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, sociology and anthropology The education reporter focus on the education systems as these can be used to promote doctrines or ideals as well as knowledge, and this can lead to abuse of the system. these days, the education reporters focus on adult education as they have become widespread in many countries. However, education is still seen by many as
something aimed at children, and adult education is often branded as adult learning or lifelong learning. Adult education takes on many forms, from formal class-based learning to selfdirected learning. Lending libraries provide inexpensive informal access to books and other self-instructional materials. Many adults have also taken advantage of the rise in computer ownership and internet access to further their informal education. The reporter has to report about the Education reforms. Educational reforms are plans, programs, or movements which attempts to bring about a systematic change in educational theory or practice across a community or society. As the public attention focuses on standards based education reform in response to the high expense and poor outcomes of education, it is the duty of the reporter to bring forth such informations. The teaching method must be teachable! Many educators now believe that anything that more precisely meets the needs of the child will work better. Programs that test individual learning, and teach to mastery of a subject have been proven to be far more effective than group instruction with compromise schedules. Philosophers identify independent, logical reasoning as a precondition to most western science, engineering, economic and political theory. Therefore, every educational program that desires to improve students' outcomes in political, health and economic behavior should include a Socratically-taught set of classes to teach logic and critical thinking. Substantial resources and time can be saved by permitting students to test out of classes. This also increases motivation, directs individual study, and reduces boredom and disciplinary problems. To support inexpensive continuing education a community needs a free public library. It can start modestly as shelves in an attended shop or government building, with donated books. New programs based on modern learning theories should be quantitatively investigated for effectiveness. The education reporter has to report education plans, durations, costs, and scholarships of various educational programs started by national and international universities. Thus much research with educationists, institutions and expertise is required to prepare the report. As always, crosschecking of facts is important. Also, the education reporter has to present counseling help to the students as they often get confused because today we have so many options available in the education and vocational fields.
Thus, the education reporter must be aware with different departments of education, have good contacts with colleges and universities and get an insight into the psyche of the students’ about their preferences and choices. These reporters have to regularly attend functions like convocations, academic events of colleges and universities to know the progress and the launch of new educational programs. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What does a reporter of Education Beat do? 2.3.12 Development Reporting Development reporting creates an awareness of the rapid transformation of the society from a poor economy to a highly developed economy by informing the people of the various programmes of development charted out by the government and development agencies and to bring to the notices of the government the problems some of these poorly implemented schemes create so that it can be considered for remedial measures. It is through people’s participation that food production is raised, new roads, railways and houses are constructed, amenities of safe drinking water, electricity and communication are provided. Sometimes, development has disastrous consequences too: air and water pollution, soil degradation and deforestation. This led to rethinking on what constitutes development and after much deliberation; ecology too came under its preview. The most important quality to be inculcated is to have development perspective based on ground realities and sharpened by a global vision. A telling tale that is apt to awaken a slumbering government to action and a style that also spreads awakening among the masses are expected of a development communicator. Reporting success stories do motivate people and even the failures teach precious lessons on how to avoid the mistakes made by others. Development reporters should not be biased like a section of western media, which sees only the negative side of India’s achievements. There a hundreds of development stories lying buried to be discovered by a good development reporter. Government departments and ministries dole out press releases, newsletters and annual reports, which could give the lead for a story.
Sustainable development, therefore, represents an opportunity for humanity to correct a historical error and develop a gentler, more balanced, and stable relationship with the natural world. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. How can a Development Reporter motivate the society?
News is a factual report of an event, not a report as seen by a biased person, or seen as a reporter might wish it to be seen. The reporter should be as impartial and honest as possible. In fact, if a reporter does have a bias, sometimes he or she declines to do the story, or, more often, bends over backwards to make sure both sides are covered equally. Is total objectivity humanly possible? We all have backgrounds, biases, and emotions that help make up who we are as people, and turning them off completely is pretty impossible. Sometimes biased reporting can happen inadvertently because the reporter tries to be clever or make a story more interesting. Objectivity is a significant principle of journalistic professionalism. According to scholars, objectivity may refer to fairness, disinterestedness, factuality, and nonpartisanship . The term therefore lacks a single meaning as journalists and the public use it in these varied ways. In many countries, advocacy journalism is considered as a legitimate sort of professional journalism. According to scholars of journalism, journalists and publics often tend to identify objectivity in its absence. Few journalists would make a claim to total neutrality or impartiality. However, most strive toward a certain modicum of detachment from their own personal biases in their news work. In Discovering the News (1978), sociologist Michael Schudson argues that "the belief in objectivity is a faith in 'facts,' a distrust in 'values,' and a commitment to their segregation." In the United States, an objective story is typically considered to be one that steers a middle path between two poles of political rhetoric. The tenets of objectivity are violated to the degree to which the story appears to favor one pole over the other. According to some, it refers to the prevailing ideology of newsgathering and reporting that emphasizes eyewitness accounts of events, corroboration of facts with multiple sources and "balance." It also implies an institutional role for
journalists as a fourth estate, a body that exists apart from government and large interest groups. Others hold it should mean reporting things without bias, as if one just came to Earth from another planet and had no preconceived opinions about our behavior or ways. This form of journalism is rarely practiced, although some argue it would lead to radical changes in reporting. Still others hold it to mean that journalists should have something like a neutral point of view, not taking a stand on any issues on which there is some disagreement. Instead, journalists are simply to report what "both sides" of an issue tell them. Some even extend this standard to the journalist's personal life, prohibiting them from getting involved in political activities, which necessarily requires taking a stand.[ There is some dispute about whether objectivity can really exist. How do we know the truth? Well, objectivity is like virtue; it's the thing you always fall short of, but the thing you always strive toward. Opinion journalists have to be objective just as much as straight reporters. Opinion journalists, too, have to be able to see reality wholly and truly. As George Orwell said, they have to face unpleasant facts just as much as anybody else. What are the stages of getting to objectivity? The first stage is what somebody called negative capacity — the ability to suspend judgment while you're looking at the facts. Sometimes when we look at a set of facts we like to choose the facts that make us feel good because it confirms our worldview. But if you're going to be objective — and this is for journalists or anybody else — surely the first stage is the ability to look at all the facts, whether they make you feel good or not. The second stage is modesty. And here one of the great models of journalism is someone we just saw at a Senate confirmation hearing — Chief Justice John Roberts. He was asked by the Senators to emote. Senator Dianne Feinstein, for instance, asked him how he would react as a father to a certain case. It was as if she and other Senators wanted him to weep on camera. They wanted him to do the sentimental thing, in order to make them feel that he was one of them. But he absolutely refused, because his ethos as a lawyer and as a judge is not about selfexposure. It's about self- control. It's about playing a role in society — a socially useful role. Roberts kept explaining that judges wear black robes because it's not about them; it's not about self-importance. It's about doing a job for society. Judges
have to suppress some of themselves in order to read the law fairly and not prejudge cases. The same thing has to happen for journalists. They live in an age of self-exposure. But journalists have to suppress their egos so that they can see the whole truth, whether they like it or not. The third stage of objectivity is the ability to process data — to take all the facts that you've accumulated and honestly process them into a pattern. This is a mysterious activity called judgment. How do you take all the facts that are in front of you and fit them into one pattern? If you pick up a cup of coffee, one part of your brain senses how heavy it is. Another part of your brain senses how hot it is. Another part of your brain senses the shape of the cup. Another part of your brain knows that you're shaking, which creates ripples across the surface of the coffee. All these parts are disconnected and we have no idea how the human brain processes that information. But some people are really good at connecting the dots and seeing the patterns and other people are not. And surely that's the third stage of objectivity — the ability to take all the data, not just the data you like, and form it into, a generalize whole. The fourth stage of objectivity is the ability to betray friends. In Washington, there's loyalty to the truth and loyalty to your team. And in government, loyalty to your team is sometimes more important than loyalty to the truth. If you're a U.S. Senator, you can't tell the truth all the time. If you work for an administration, you can't tell the truth all the time, because government is a team sport. The only way you can get something done is collectively — as a group. It takes a majority to pass a piece of legislation. It takes an administration working together to promulgate a policy. And that’s fine. Politicians betray the truth all the time in favor of loyalty to a higher good for them. But for journalists and for most citizens, loyalty to the truth should succeed loyalty to the team. And frankly, that no longer happens enough. The fifth stage of objectivity is the ability to ignore stereotypes. This is the oldest rule of journalism. Walter Lipmann once noted that most journalism is about the confirmation of stereotypes — preexisting generalizations we all have in our heads. The ability to ignore these stereotypes is crucial to objectivity. And the last bit, the sixth stage is a willingness to be a little dull. It's easy to write a lambasting, hurtful attack on someone. But usually — unless that person is Adolf Hitler — that's not fair.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What do you understand by ‘Objectivity’ in Journalism?
2.5 REPORT WRITING FOR ALL MEDIA
News report writing always starts with the most important fact. When you report on a football game, you do not start with the kick-off; you begin with the final score. A news report has a beginning, middle and an end. News stories in contrast to this will blurt out something and then explain themselves. News reports are mostly active rather than in passive voice and are written in concise language. Paragraphs are short so as to set in newspaper columns. Shorter paragraphs are more likely to keep the attention of readers. Attribution meaning ‘somebody saying something’ is used in the news- reports to present a range of views over which the reporters can appear to remain neutral. Most news reports follow the ‘Kiss and tell’ formula- Kiss standing either for ‘keep it short and simple’ or ‘keep it simple, stupid.’ Complexity, abstract notions, ambiguity and unanswered questions tend to be frowned upon and deleted out of news copy. News reports structure should have• Stories should have the main idea given to the journalist for covering of an incident. • Content of the news report should be comprehensive and balanced. • The intro should contain the main point of the story and should be clearly developed with the most important information coming early in the story, followed by a coherent, logical and readable structure. • Personal comments should be avoided. • Facts should be presented logically. • The style, context and facts should be accurate. The news reports aim is to meet the requirements of everyday life as lived by everyday readers. So it largely depends on elements like directness, pace, variety and information. It aims to state the facts quickly and clearly. A news report has three parts: • The headline • The first paragraph
The remainder of the news story CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What are the basics of news report writing? 2.5.1 Radio A. GENERAL 1. Write accurately, impartially. 2. Confine the whole story to one page if possible, but not at the expense of well-spaced presentation. If you need a second page, start it with a new paragraph. Don't overrun a paragraph from one page to the next. 3. Make each sentence a new paragraph. FOR BOTH EASE OF HEARING AND EASE OF READING 1. Write simply. (Avoid parenthetical clauses, no awkward sentence constructions; don't clutter with details; avoid pedantic construction). 2. Write with clarity of meaning, so that the newsreader and listeners will be left in no doubt. 3. Write language as it's spoken, not as it's normally written for silent reading. 4. Avoid strings of adjectives. They're often hard to read aloud in one breath, and they take the listener's mind away from the main point. 5. Avoid lists of figures. They're hard to read aloud and even harder on the listener. FOR EASE OF READING ALOUD 1. Make sure your copy is cleanly typed. Retype after making alterations. 2. Triple space between lines. 3. Use conversational (not slangy) language. Contractions of verbs help make it conversational (e.g. It's been established - not It has been established. You're going there - not You are going there). 4. Don't use quotation marks, and don't use ‘I’ or ‘we’ unless it means the person reading the item or the radio station. 5. Don't type capitals, except where capitals are normally used. 6. Avoid words that are hard to sight-read. 7. Spell names as they sound, if they're unusual. 8. Use first names instead of initials. 9. Avoid alliteration.
10.Don't use the word that unnecessarily.
11.Don't use abbreviated form of nay word that has to be read in full New Zealand instead of N.Z.. 12.September the 28th not September 28. 13.Spell out numbers if more than two figures - e.g. 1048 = one thousand and 48. 148 = one hundred and 48. 14.Read your copy back to yourself aloud (as if you're the newsreader). Simplify it as necessary, and then retype. D. FOR EASE OF LISTENING 1. Write briefly, concisely - (avoid flamboyance, verbosity and unnecessary adjectives). 2. Generally speaking, first sentences of not more than 18 words. Other sentences not much longer - vary length. 3. Set the scene quickly. 4. Avoid presenting more than one main idea in one sentence. 5. Use active verbs wherever possible - not passive. 6. Don't use press-style reported speech unnecessarily. Where possible, put verbs of saying into present tense. If you have good reason to put them in the past tense, put the other verbs in the present tense where it doesn't alter the meaning. 7. Don't use the most important word right at the beginning of the first sentence (Police in Milan, not Milan Police) unless you're repeating it later. It's not too easy for listeners to miss the first word, unless it happens to be one that's pronounced strongly. 8. Use slight repetition as a memory jogger (After the first mention of, say, the Auckland University Students' Association write the Students' Association on one occasion later in the story, instead of merely the association). Writing for Radio Keep it short and fast! Every second counts. Write short sentences with one basic idea in each. We are trying to cram information into peoples' ears, one short line at a time. Long, complicated sentences full of big words don't make you sound smart. Say what you mean, throw away all unnecessary words, and try to maintain a conversational style. Put the subject at the front of each sentence of your news report:
(subject) + (verb) + (object) + (...all other stuff) e.g. "The White House + denies + the charge." Long, newspaper-style sentences should be broken up into smaller sentences: "For the fifth night in a row, denizens of the tunnels underneath Penn Station, the "Mole People", are worrying that the police might barge in and evict them for trespassing on City property." The above is not a bad sentence, but it's a mouthful to read and understand. It should be broken up into smaller ones: Sentences should be written in the positive, as opposed to the negative sense, as often as possible. Avoid using "not", "no", "don't", "doesn't", "won't", etc. "The union leadership doesn't accept that version of the story." ...can be rewritten in the positive: "The union leadership says the story is a lie." "Union leaders refuse to accept that version of the story." Write in the present tense, whenever possible: "The White House denies the charge," is easier for the listener to understand and faster to read than these common alternatives: "The White House is denying the charge." Write around your sound. The actualities are the most important part of your story; so after you've chosen them, (see Choosing Actualities, below) transcribe them word-for-word onto the page. The rest of your writing task amounts simply bridging the gaps between your bites. Start and end your story with a person, a personal story, and an illustrative anecdote...something that the listener can understand and relate to immediately. Remind your listeners of the subject of your story as you go along, and again near the end. If you are having a hard time coming up with a definitive general
statement for the conclusion of your story, conclude by telling the listener what they can expect to happen next. When you are done with your Report script, make sure you have answered the "Five W's": Who, What, Where, Why, When. It's easy to forget one of these, and leave the listener wondering, "Who are they talking about?", "What country is this story taking place in?" Words to avoid in radio writing, whenever possible: All forms of the verb TO BE (is, am, are, were, will be, have been, being, will have been, etc.) "Raines is asking the officer for his one phone call." ...can be written with more color, without "is "Raines pleads with the officer for his one phone call." Use an action verb! Adverbs, those words that usually end in -LY. (easily, happily, angrily, etc.) Adverbs are usually unnecessary, they often convey information you cannot confirm, and they tend to betray the reporter's allegiances to one side of the story. (Note the last sentence contained two adverbs, sorry!) "The White House hastily issued a denial." ...would be better written, "The White House issued a denial 15 minutes later." Note that "hastily" makes a value judgment for the listener--one that you cannot prove-- while "15 minutes later" allows the listener to make up her own mind. Avoid common cliches in your writing, overused phrases and sentence constructions:
"...in the wake of September 11..." "This, as police announced..."
"…against the backdrop of clan violence..." These are often referred to as "groaners", because they make many radio listeners groan to hear them. A groaner can't be easily defined, and some cannot always be avoided. Many lists of these terms can be found on the web. Let the sources give the examples, and (if possible) draw the conclusions. The reporter should state the general fact/trend/phenomenon, then the source should illustrate: No matter how important a source's point, if it's not well articulated, don't use it. Explain it yourself, and next time get better tape! Successful reporters today have to adjust to the emphasis on shorter, harder pieces and breaking news. News staffers must be "part of the solution" and understand that they are not working in some perfect world where every assignment is great and they have all the time in the world to execute it. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What things must be kept in mind while writing a news report for the radio? 2.5.2 Report writing for TV Few techniques that can be applied successfully more often to hard news report writing are: Find a person to tell a story. Telling the story through a person establishes an emotional connection with the viewer. Weave the hard facts of the bigger story through the person. Make the piece bigger by adding small details, for instance, a line that humanizes the person. Learn to ask the right questions to produce the best sound bites. Encouraging a person to talk openly in a compelling manner on camera is the most important prerequisite for developing characters in television news stories. They must be comfortable and speaking their minds. There are many techniques the reporter should be ready to use. For instance, challenge your subjects. If a subject sounds flat, boring, or too rehearsed, the interviewer shouldn't be afraid to challenge the person, no matter what the circumstances. Organize your elements in various ways to see which is most effective. Stories have beginnings, middles, endings and timelines.
"There are all kinds of different structures. If you want to be creative in journalism, and you want to tell a story well, look at the timeline," he says. Stories may have three timelines: 1. The order of the events as they unfold. 2. The order in which you record them. 3. The order in which you present them in the story. The beginning of the event isn't necessarily the beginning of the story. "You should find the most compelling way to adjust the timeline. You can begin a story at the ending, you can begin it at the middle, or you can split it," he says. Endings leave impressions. No matter how strong the rest of your material may be, a weak ending guarantees a weak piece. Look for spontaneous "moments." If you're lucky, you'll find a spontaneous moment, and work off of that. It may be something as simple as a woman looking at the wreckage of her burned house. You take that moment and elaborate on it. The pictures and sound don't have to be perfect. Viewers like to be witnesses, seeing an event happen. Look for something to peg the story on --- it could be a person, or a moment, a mood or an emotion. It can be a lot of things that are outside the conventional box. Look for the simple truth. Bring it home and make the story relevant to viewers. It's not enough to report the facts. You must make people feel something, and that's the challenge. Don't over-stuff the story with too many facts, figures, twists and turns. You risk obscuring the message. Don't over-produce a story. It's easy to do too much simply because you have the technical capacity to do so. You want to produce memorable pieces, but not contrived. You want to do something a little different, but not to do something that calls attention to itself for the sake of calling attention to itself. Also, photographers who over-cut a piece and the result is the craftsmanship getting in the way of the story. A story should be seamless. You shouldn't notice the process that went into it. You should notice the story. Over-producing or over-writing the story is a mistake reporters make all the time.
Report what you find, not what was imagined beforehand. Too often in the morning meetings producers decide what they want, and they send the reporters out to get it. Then the reporter struggles to make that concept happen. When, in fact, if you are a reporter, you are entrusted to go out and come back with reality --- whatever that might be. Don't make the facts fit the story; make the story fit the facts. It's a reporter's job to make it into something that will be a good story, and then to go back to the newsroom and fight for it. Working effectively in the real world Reporters can still do creative work on the tight schedule given them by the assignment desk. It’s only a question of approaching the job in the right way. Don't over-shoot. It is suggests not shooting more than 60 seconds of raw video from any one place. Being conservative in the amount of tape you shoot saves time previewing and editing. Discipline yourself to know what you want, get it, and move on. Vary the look by varying the backgrounds during interviews. Change the scene. You don't need to overshoot. You can shoot one shot at a location and an interview, and move on, and it looks like you spent all day there. The story should be moving forward and to give it different looks. A story has scenes, just like a movie. Shooting stories that can't be shot The pressure of daily newsgathering --- with finite resources (only so many photographers) --- routinely produces situations where the people in the field will be lucky to get anything on tape, never mind something strong. With a positive attitude sometimes the seemingly impossible can be turned into a compelling piece. 1. Never give up. 2. Recognize opportunities. 3. Be willing to change plans at a moment's notice. Avoid cliches spoken only on TV Television people should speak like real people. Speak normally! If you want to come across as an approachable, believable person on television, write the way you speak.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. Write the basic guidelines for Television writing. 2.5.3 Newspaper report writing A story is much like a conversation. It begins with the most interesting piece of information or a summary of the highlights and works its way down to the least interesting facts. There are words or phrases that take you from one topic of conversation to another. Before you know it, you're finished. You should be very familiar with the inverted pyramid style of writing while writing your news report. You'll likely use it every day. For example, when you call a friend to tell him or her about a big date, you begin by telling the most interesting and important things first. The least important information is saved for the end of the conversation, and depending on how much time you have to talk, that information may not get into the conversation. That concept also applies to news stories. The lead is the first paragraph of a news story. Usually, the lead is one sentence long and summarizes the facts of the news story in order of most newsworthy to least newsworthy. The reader should know at first glance what the story is about and what its emphasis is. Who, What, Where, When, Why and How ... The five Ws and an H Depending on the elements of news value, the summary news lead emphasizes and includes some or all of the five Ws and H. Who names the subject(s) of the story. The who, a noun, can refer to a person, a group, a building, an institution, a concept -- anything about which a story can be written. The ‘what’ is the action taking place. It is a verb that tells ‘what’ the ‘who’ is doing. Reporters should always use active voice and action verbs for the ‘what’ because they make the wording direct and lively. The lead sets the structure for the rest of the story. If the lead is good, the rest of the story comes together easily. Many reporters spend half their writing time on the lead alone. One guiding principle behind story organization is: The structure of the story can help the reader understand what you are writing about. The structure
should lead the reader from idea to idea simply and clearly. The object is to give readers information, and wow them with convoluted style. With one-sentence paragraphs consisting of only one idea -- block paragraphs -- it would be easy for a story to appear as a series of statements without any smooth flow from one idea to the next. Block paragraphing makes the use of effective transitions important. Transitions are words or phrases that link two ideas, making the movement from one to the other clear and easy. Obvious transitional phrases are: thus, therefore, on the other hand, next, then, and so on. Transitions in news stories are generally done by repeating a word or phrase or using a synonym for a key word in the preceding paragraph. Think of block graphs as islands tied together with transition bridges of repeated words or phrases. You should use direct quotes: if a source's language is particularly colorful or picturesque when it is important for written information -- especially official information -to come from an obviously authoritative voice to answer the questions ``why, how, who, or what?'' Use a direct quote after a summary statement that needs amplification, verification or example. Remember, a direct quote repeats exactly what the interviewee said. If you don't have a person's exact words, you can paraphrase, but you cannot change the meaning of a person's words. And when you paraphrase, you must never use quotation marks. Writing is a process, a logical sequence of steps. You follow a pattern in getting dressed each day, in baking a cake or in changing a flat tyre. In the same way, your writing should be the product of a logical process. The successful writer gathers, focuses, orders, drafts and revises. 1. The first step in the process is gathering. Good writing begins with good reporting. The writer must find the details that reveal meaning. You can't write writing; you have to have facts. 2. Once you have the facts, decide on a focus or theme. Each news story should have one dominant idea. That is the focus or reason for writing the story. Without a focus, stories wander and confuse the reader. To find the focus, ask yourself,
what's the point? Imagine that you had to write a six-word headline for the story. What one sentence tells the meaning of the story? 3. Next, decide which of your facts are most important and place them in a logical order. Discard all facts that don't flow from your focus statement. Like a blueprint, each story needs a plan. Each point should grow from the previous point and lead to the next one. Poor organization loses more readers than anything else. For the reader, the easiest thing is to stop reading. 4. Write quickly from beginning to end so that you can spend time with the middle of your story and with the ending. 5. After you have written, edit your story to make it more powerful. Make sure that you have written what you intended to write. Read it aloud to someone. Take a break, then come back to it and revise. Be merciless in removing anything that doesn't belong. 6. This process is not necessarily a straight line from gathering to revising. The writer will go back and forth, including other facts as she is revising, or changing the order as she gathers. A key point to remember is that much of the work in writing a news story is done before the first words are put to paper. 2.5.4 Magazine Writing Most magazines you see on newsstands every day rely on freelance writers for their content. From fillers to features, most parts of a publication are fair game for writers hoping to break in. No, you don't have to have a cousin in the publishing world to see your name in print. You just have to follow the rules like every other journalist until, one day, the editors start calling you. As you write for magazines, it will give you increased confidence that you can write for publication, meet word limits and deadlines. There are many benefits from writing for magazines. Some basics to get started while writing for magazines:
Decide on your genre If all matters foodie particularly drives you, consider being a recipe writer and food journalist. Or perhaps a reporter on traditional dishes from the four corners of the earth. Maybe even a critique for restaurants and hotels in your area. There are too
many avenues to begin to list them all, but bear in mind there are very few magazines and journals that don’t have a recipe in there somewhere and everybody has to eat… Choose a subject that rings your bell. One that you have good background knowledge of already will be second nature to start writing about. Once you have made a start, you will find it is easy to expand to other topics. Find your angle Where are you coming from? Are you going to report on the subject or be innovative and tell others about your ideas? Would you prefer something along a fictional line? Maybe Q and A and FAQ’s is your bag. Don’t rule anything out, but get acquainted with a comfortable angle by trying lots of different types of writing on your chosen subject. The more relaxed you are, the better your quality of work will be, because it will flow more naturally. Research your subject Once you have a focus, look into that field in great depth. See what is available and topical at the moment, on paper and on the Internet. It will help to know what people are reading and interested in, before you put pen to paper. Do you feel your line of thought has not been covered yet? Perhaps that could be a door of opportunity opening for you. Websites are not difficult to get up and running these days – consider setting one up for your chosen subject, with the possibility of an accompanying newsletter. Research Research is, without a doubt, one of the biggest bugbears, but if you are committed to a career in writing, you might as well make it your best friend, because you are going to be doing an awful lot of it! Writer’s guidelines Your piece might be amazing, with bells on, but if you don’t comply with the subject line or the addressee, it will more than likely end up in the recycle bin! It is a laborious task going through them and doing as you are told, especially when your piece is clearly the hottest thing on the market. Remember, if it were that easy, everybody would be doing it and besides, there has to be some fun in the chase. Keep track of your work Keep a log of your submissions, query letters and published pieces. Create an address book of all the editors, fellow writers and useful contacts you make. Don’t
be put off by the response times either. Make up files that allow you to review what you have sent to whom and keep on top of it. Remember, a writer must write something every single day, without fail! It keeps your hand in and makes you look at new angles and ways of self- expression. You have to be topical, expressive, interesting and informative. It is a big old reading world out there, don’t be daunted, be focused, be clever and most of all, have fun! CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. How is Magazine report writing done? 2.5.5 Web writing Among the Web's many peculiarities is its writing genre. Most Web documents follow a style that you may not normally use in your writing. One of an author's tasks, however, is to write in the language and style of the reader. You cannot afford to bury your message so deep that the typical Web reader scanning your pages will either skip over it or not even bother to find it. The following approach will help ensure that Web readers will find your information: • Summarize first. Put the main points of your document in the paragraph, so that readers scanning your pages will not miss your first points. • Be concise. Use lists rather than paragraphs, but only when your prose lends itself to such treatment. Readers can pick out information more easily from a list than from within a paragraph. • Write for scanning. Most web readers scan pages for relevant materials rather than reading through a document word by word. • Guide the reader by highlighting the salient points in your document using headings, lists, and typographical emphasis. • Page length. Chunking provides a way to limit the length of your Web • Access. Your content list should already be composed of information chunks, because the definition of a content item is any piece of information that needs to be accessed individually. Consider how users will interact with your materials: What items will they want to access directly? • Define your information chunks to accommodate the expected usage patterns of your users pages: Web readers generally prefer shorter pages. Don't arbitrarily divide a document, however, and don't divide a document that is likely to be printed anyway.
Printing. Don't break your narrative into small segments if you expect Printing. Don't break your narrative into small segments if you expect that most users will want to print the information. Documents are easier to print from a single Web page. Or, if usage is difficult to predict, offer both a Web version and a link to an easy-to-print page or printing alternative, such as a downloadable PDF file.
News reporting is a type of journalism, typically written or broadcast in news style. Most news is investigated and presented by journalists or news Reporters, and can be distributed to various outlets via news agencies. News is often reported by a variety of sources, such as newspapers, television, and radio programs, wire services, and web sites. There are tremendous public interests in crime stories and no newspaper can afford to ignore them without damage to circulation and credibility. Crime is a part of life and it is newspaper’s duty to inform the readers of what crimes are going on in their city, state or country. However, crime reporting should not aim at satisfying morbid curiosity or sensation mongering. A country governed by laws needs many courts, each with a different jurisdiction. The emphasis of the news media is on criminal courts, High courts, and the Supreme Court. The media are less interested in covering Civil Courts. One of the reason for this lack of interest may be that the Civil Courts are jammed with cases, the suits remain pending there for several years and it is assumed that in the mean time, members of the public would lose whatever interest they may have showed initially. Health reporter usually informs the public about major epidemics, diseases and their cures, new medical discoveries, medical irregularities, etc. they are either specialized in their field of medical of take the assistance of doctors, medical practitioner, etc. the common man cannot understand most of the medical terms so it is the duty of the health reporter to explain these terms and present the report which is easily understood by the common man. Reporters around the country are increasingly turning to civic journalism to find better stories and report them in ways that re-establish a bond with readers, viewers and listeners.
Political reporters in a democracy have one central mission: to provide citizens with the information they need to make an informed choice between the candidates for elective office. To do that, journalists need to examine the candidates' backgrounds and qualifications, their positions on the key issues, and what the candidates are saying in campaign appearances and advertising. Reporters who cover politics look at the candidates' supporters, too, since their interests can often shed light on what a politician will do if elected. The focus of business reporting is the state of business, depending on the country’s economic climate. The stock market, capital market, the wholesale and consumer price, metals and gold prices, industries and agricultural production, consumer behavior, inflation, money supply foreign and Indian investments, unemployment, wages and labor, all are areas of interest to the business reporter. Half-truths, bluffs and blisters are not part of science reporting, which is based on verifiable technological facts. Verify your facts from other sources, reference books and journals before you report. Credibility and clarity are the catchwords in science reporting. Sport reporting demands for an exceptional interest in the field of sports and a good writing style. Sports reporters are conversant with the rules of the game and have good relations with players and coaches. They are also knowledgeable about the lives of top players to dish out interesting anecdotes in sports features. Culture reporting is characterized by its punchy style, rough language, and ostensible disregard for conventional journalistic writing forms and customs. The reporter attempts to present a multi-disciplinary perspective on a particular story, drawing from popular culture, sports, political, philosophical and literary sources. It is styled eclectic or untraditional. Culture reporting remains a feature of popular magazines. It has a good deal of entertainment value. Civil administration reporters are the specialists who can quickly and systematically identify critical requirements needed by local citizens in bad situations. They can also locate civil resources to support help operations, help support national assistance activities. The reporters report on the plan to establish and maintain liaison or dialogue with civilians and private organizations. The education reporter focus on the education systems as these can be used to promote doctrines or ideals as well as knowledge, and this can lead to abuse of the
system. these days, the education reporters focus on adult education as they have become widespread in many countries. Reporting success stories do motivate people and even the failures teach precious lessons on how to avoid the mistakes made by others. Development reporters should not be biased like a section of western media, which sees only the negative side of India’s achievements. There a hundreds of development stories lying buried to be discovered by a good development reporter. Objectivity is a significant principle of journalistic professionalism. According to scholars, objectivity may refer to fairness, disinterestedness, factuality, and nonpartisanship. The term therefore lacks a single meaning as journalists and the public use it in these varied ways. Most news reports follow the ‘Kiss and tell’ formula- Kiss standing either for ‘keep it short and simple’ or ‘keep it simple, stupid.’ Complexity, abstract notions, ambiguity and unanswered questions tend to be frowned upon and deleted out of news copy. News reports structure should have• Stories should have the main idea given to the journalist for covering of an incident. • Content of the news report should be comprehensive and balanced. • The intro should contain the main point of the story and should be clearly developed with the most important information coming early in the story, followed by a coherent, logical and readable structure. • Personal comments should be avoided. • Facts should be presented logically. • The style, context and facts should be accurate.
2.8 EXERCISES AND QUESTIONS
Q1. Discuss the significance of news reporting. Q2.Write short notes on: i) Crime Reporting ii) Political Reporting iii) Sports Reporting iv) Culture Reporting v) Business Reporting
Q3. How far can the journalist be Objective in reporting an incident? Does Objectivity exist in today’s journalism profession? Q4. Write a short note on report writing for: i) Television ii) Radio iii) Newspaper iv) Magazine v) Web
2.8 FURTHER READING
1. Reporting Methods S.Kundra (Anmol Publications Pvt.Ltd) 2. Outline of Editing M.K.Joseph 3. Editing Techniques S.Kundra 4. News Reporting and Editing (Jan.R.Hakemulder, Fay AC de Jonge, P.P. Singh)
UNIT 3- EDITING
3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 Unit Objectives Introduction Principles of Editing Editing & Proofreading Need & Principles of Editorial Desk Newspaper Meaning & Production Newspaper & Magazine Newspaper Pages Summary Exercises and Questions Further Reading
3.0 UNIT OBJECTIVES
• To understand the significance of Editing in print media • To discuss the principles of Editing • To know the Editing & Proofreading Symbols • To learn the usage of these symbols • To know the Production steps of the newspaper • To understand the difference in the production of Newspaper and Magazine
Meaning of Editing Editing is the process of preparing language, images, or sound for presentation through correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications. A person who edits, especially professionally or as a hobby, is called an editor.
There are various levels of editorial positions in publishing. Typically one finds junior editorial assistants reporting to the senior level editorial managers and directors, who themselves report to senior executive editors responsible for project development to final releases. Human editors in the print publishing industry include people who are responsible for: • Newspapers and wire services. • Organizing anthologies and other compilations. • Organizing and publishing a magazine. The top editor may be called editorin-chief. Those who get the magazine into the hands of readers and subscribers, even, have editorial titles and are called circulation editors. Frequent and esteemed contributors to a magazine may acquire the title editor at-large. • Producing a definitive edition of a classic author's works—a scholarly editor. • Organizing and managing contributions to a multi-author book — symposium editor or volume editor. • Finding marketable ideas and presenting them to appropriate authors — a sponsoring editor. • Obtaining copy or recruiting authors — such as the acquisitions editor or commissioning editor for a publishing house. • Improving an author's writing so that they indeed say what they want to say, in an effective manner — a substantive editor. Depending on the writer's skill, this editing can sometimes turn into ghost writing. Substantive editing is seldom a title. Many types of editors do this type of work, either in-house at a publisher or on an independent basis. • Correcting spelling, grammar, and matters of house style—a copyeditor. But copy editors at newspapers usually also have greater and higher responsibilities, which may include the design of pages and the selection of news stories for inclusion. At UK newspapers, the term is "sub-editor." • Choosing the layout of the publication and communicating with the printer — a production editor. This and similar jobs are also called "layout editor," "design editor," "news designer," or—more so in the past—"makeup editor." The smaller the publication, the more these roles run together. In particular, the substantive editor and copy editor often overlap: Fact-checking and rewriting can be the responsibility of either.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. Define ‘Editing’? Q2. Enlist the different Editors working for the print publishing industry.
3.2 PRINCIPLES OF EDITING
The main consideration in editing is to tell the story in the fewest words possible. Condensation is essential because there is more material than can be used. The second consideration is clarity, which is obtained by avoiding intricate sentence structure and by using familiar words. The third consideration is forceful expression. The sub-editor must constantly seek the most effective way to express the ideas of the story. The forth consideration is respect for accuracy. It means looking out for small factual errors, which disfigure an otherwise good story. Editing involves more than making sure words are spelled correctly, language is used properly, punctuation is in the right places and spelling is accurate. These, however, are important details that separate a polished publication from a sloppy one. As gatekeepers of a publication, editors must have a clear idea about what the mission is. So part of editing involves being missionaries and a part also involves being ambassadors of ideas. It is with experience that the best ideas most often come from the bottom up, not from the top down. So editors should be encouraging writers to pursue their own story ideas. This is done with prompting, nudging, cajoling, pushing--whatever works. Editing requires good listening. The writer should be heard first, then the editor responds. The conversation process enriches stories, because two heads are better than one. Conversation should be taking place when the idea is first being formulated; it should take place during and after the reporting phase; it should take place before the story is written and it should take place after the editor has fully processed the story. At each stage the editor should bear in mind that it is the reporter's story on the one hand, but it also is the reader's story. It is not the editor's story. Story ideas are similar to loaves of bread. All of the elements need to be brought together and kneaded. Then the dough is popped into the oven until it rises and is ready to eat. The punctuation has an important function in a story. Its function is to help guide the reader through the sentence or paragraph in a way that will make the wording more understandable. Revision
Editorial changes, normally made in ink for the printer, are better made clearly in pencil on the typescript if the writer is going to see the changes. A reasonably legible photocopy can then be sent to the author for checking and revision process. The editor can draw attention to doubtful points with a marginal note. Structural Reorganization Reorganizing a whole write up, argument or section ought to be the writer’s responsibility, but the editor must have good reasons for asking for major reorganization, and they should suggest how it should be done. Expansion If a step in the argument is missing, or if further experimental evidence is needed, only the writer can supply the missing material. Shortening Shortening an article to a given length may be done by the author but is often better done in the editorial office. If the writer is asked to do the work the editor must indicate how it might be done, which sections, paragraphs, tables or illustrations could be deleted, which part could be condensed, and which marginally relevant theme might be cut out. The Title A title that conveys the main subject or the message in a few words as possible is easy retrieval. Since editors know more about the use of titles in information retrieval than most writers, editors should have a major say in re-titling stories where necessary. Spellings The difference between American and British spelling produce problems in these days of international journals largely in English. If the editor, publisher or printer cannot accept inconsistency between articles, the editor or copy-editor should change the spelling, where necessary, to whichever version is more common in the country of publication.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What are the basic principles of Editing? Guidelines for Rewriting, Revising and some Basic Principles of Editing: 1. Give the main points of the news in the first paragraph 2. Tell the story in headline and use a verb to give it vigor 3. Check names, titles, facts, figures, dates, and address where ever slightest doubt exists. The sub-editor know the reference book which will clear the doubt 4. Both sides of the story in a dispute must be given 5. Use short sentences and short paragraphs 6. Repeat names in court cases rather than refer to them as accused, witness, etc 7. Indicate correctness of doubtful spelling by saying ‘correct’ within brackets 8. Beware of foreign names 9. Define long, unfamiliar words, especially scientific and medical terms 10.Do not begin sentences with words like ‘despite’ or ‘because’ 11.Do not use vague phrases like a ‘ serous charge’ or a ‘certain offence’ 12.Reporters to give a rather artificial flow to the story ‘meanwhile’ often use the word. Cut it out 13.Use concrete words, words that make the reader see, hear, smell or taste. Test the story for concrete images and visual word pictures 14.Be careful about pronouns. The misuse of the relative pronoun and punctuation are the most common grammatical errors in the news stories. 15.Editorializing any trace of personal opinion or a value judgment should be eliminated from the copy unless it is a feature or news analysis
3.3 EDITING & PROOF READING SYMBOLS
Proof reading is a final proofing of the manuscript, usually focused on cleaning up any typographical errors before the manuscript is typeset. It is the process of reading composed copy in order to identify and correct errors. It also involves verifying that text has been entered correctly, as well as looking for spelling and punctuation errors. Proofreading is not an innate ability; it is an acquired skill.
Tips for successful proofreading: • Cultivate a healthy sense of doubt. If there are types of errors you know you tend to make, double check for those. • Read very slowly. If possible, read out loud. Read one word at a time. • Read what is actually on the page, not what you think is there. (This is the most difficult sub-skill to acquire, particularly if you wrote what you are reading). • Proofread more than once. If possible, work with someone else. There are two sources of unconscious error: 1. Faulty information from the kinesthetic memory. If you have always misspelled a word like "accommodate", you will unthinkingly misspell it again. 2. A split second of inattention. The mind works far faster than the pen or typewriter. It is the unconscious nature of the worst that makes proofreading so difficult. The student who turned in a paper saying, "I like girdle cakes for breakfast" did not have a perverted digestion. He thought he had written, "griddle cakes" and because that's what he was sure he had written, that's what he "saw" when he proofread. If he had slowed down and read word by word, out loud, he might have caught the error. You have to doubt every word in order to catch every mistake. Another reason for deliberately slowing down is that when you read normally, you often see only the shells of words -- the first and last few letters, perhaps. You "fix your eyes" on the print only three or four times per line, or less. You take in the words between your fixation points with your peripheral vision, which gets less accurate the farther it is from the point. The average reader can only take in six letters accurately with one fixation. This means you have to fix your eyes on almost every word you have written and do it twice in longer words, in order to proofread accurately. You have to look at the word, not slide over it. In proofreading, you can take nothing for granted, because unconscious mistakes are so easy to make. It helps to read out loud, because 1) you are forced to slow down and 2) you hear what you are reading as well as seeing it, so you are using two senses. It is often possible to hear a mistake, such as an omitted or repeated word that you have not seen.
Professional editors proofread as many as ten times. Publishing houses hire teams of readers to work in pairs, out loud. And still errors occur. Remember that it is twice as hard to detect mistakes in your own work as in someone else's! General tips for Proofing and Editing • Read it out loud and also silently. • Read it backwards to focus on the spelling of words. • Read it upside down to focus on typology. • Use a spell checker and grammar checker as a first screening, but don't depend on them. • Have others read it. • Read it slowly. • Use a screen (a blank sheet of paper to cover the material not yet proofed). • Point with your finger to read one word at a time. • Don't proof for every type of mistake at once—do one proof for spelling, another for missing/additional spaces, consistency of word usage, font sizes, etc. • Print it out and read it. • Read down columns in a table, even if you're supposed to read across the table to use the information. Columns may be easier to deal with than rows. • Use editor's flags. Put #s in the document where reviewers need to pay special attention, or next to items that need to be double-checked before the final proof print. Do a final search for all # flags and remove them. • Give a copy of the document to another person and keep a copy yourself. Take turns reading it out loud to each other. While one of you reads, the other one follows along to catch any errors and awkward-sounding phrases. This method also works well when proofing numbers and codes. • First, proof the body of the text. Then go back and proof the headings. Headings are prone to error because copy editors often don't focus on them. • Double check fonts that are unusual (italic, bold, or otherwise different). • Carefully read type in very tiny font. • Be careful that your eyes don't skip from one error to the next obvious error, missing subtle errors in between. • Double check proper names. • Double-check little words: "or," "of," "it," and "is" are often interchanged.
• Double check boilerplate text, like the company letterhead. Just because it's frequently used doesn't mean it's been carefully checked. • Double check whenever you're sure something is right-certainty is dangerous. • Closely review page numbers and other footer/header material for accuracy and correct order. Editing for content • Ask yourself who, what, when, where, why, and how when reading for content. Does the text answer all the questions you think it should? • Highlight the sentences that best answer these questions, just so you can see if the facts flow in logical order. • Do the math, do the math, and then do the math again. Somewhere between the screen and the printer 2+2 often becomes 3. • Actually do every step in procedures to make sure they are complete, accurate, and in correct order. • Count the number of steps a list promises to make sure they are all there. • Check that figure numbers match their references in the text and are sequential. • Check that illustrations, pictographs, and models are right-side up. Preparation to Proof or Edit • Write at the end of the day; edit first thing in the morning. • Listen to music or chew gum. Proofing can be boring business and it doesn't require much critical thinking, though it does require extreme focus and concentration. Anything that can relieve your mind of some of the pressure, while allowing you to still keep focused, is a benefit. • Don't use fluorescent lighting when proofing. The flicker rate is actually slower than standard lighting. Your eyes can't pick up inconsistencies as easily under fluorescent lighting. • Spend a half-hour a month reviewing grammar rules. • Read something else between edits. This helps clear your head of what you expect to read and allows you to read what really is on the page. • Make a list of things to watch for—a kind of "to do" list—as you edit.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. Define ‘Proofreading’? The following marks are standard proofreading and editing marks. A professional proofreader puts a mark (usually a line or caret) in the line and writes the correction in the margin. An editor makes corrections within the line rather than in the margin (in part because an editor's changes are typically more extensive), which is why editors prefer to work with double-spaced copy.
3.4 NEED & PRINCIPLES OF EDITORIAL DESK
Editors at newspapers supervise journalists and improve their work. Newspaper editing encompasses a variety of titles and functions. These include: • Copyeditors • Department editors • Managing editors and assistant or deputy managing editors (the managing editor is often second in line after the top editor) • News editors, who oversee the news desks • Photo or picture editors • Section editors and their assistants, such as for business, features, and sports
• Editorial Page Editor who oversees the coverage on the editorial page. This includes chairing the Editorial Board and assigning editorial writing responsibilities. The editorial page editor may also oversee the op-ed page or those duties are assigned to a separate op-ed editor. • Top editors, who may be called editor in chief or executive editor • Readers' editors, sometimes known as the ombudsman, who arbitrate complaints • Wire editors, who choose and edit articles from various international wire services, and are usually part of the copy desk • Administrative editors (who actually don't edit but perform duties such as recruiting and directing training) Copy editing is the process by which an editor makes formatting changes and other improvements to text. Copy, in this case a noun, refers to material (such as handwritten or typewritten pages) to be set (as in typesetting) for printing. A person who performs the task of copy editing is called a copy editor. The editorial department actually has two sides, and usually these are separately responsible to the publisher. They are ‘news’ and ‘editorial’. The news side is usually under the supervision of a managing or executive editor. The editorial page crew consists of editorial writers and is directed by a ‘chief editorial writer’ and ‘editor’ or ‘editor in chief’, or sometimes an ‘editorial page editor’. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What is ‘Copy Editing’? Chief Sub-Editor Chief Sub- Editor is the person who directs and supervises the editorial side of the newspaper. The primary role of the editor is: • To manage the newspaper. • Determines whether a submitted manuscript is appropriate for publishing. • Selects expert reviewers and an area editor to evaluate the submitted manuscript. • Renders a final editorial decision on each manuscript based on the recommendation, journal priorities, other similar manuscripts in process and related considerations. • Communicates directly with the author and the review team. • Schedule accepted manuscripts for publication.
• Balance workloads for the area editors and reviewers. • Resolve any conflicts. Chief Sub Editors or Editors review, rewrite, and edit the work of writers. They may also do original writing. An editor’s responsibilities vary with the employer and type and level of editorial position held. Editorial duties may include planning the content of books, technical journals, trade magazines, and other general-interest publications. Editors also decide what material will appeal to readers, review and edit drafts of books and articles, offer comments to improve the work, and suggest possible titles. In addition, they may oversee the production of the publications. In the book-publishing industry, an editor’s primary responsibility is to review proposals for books and decide whether to buy the publication rights from the author. The duties of an editor range from deciding what will be published to ensuring that writing is free of grammar, usage and punctuation errors. Written material for a mass audience, even on the Web, should meet the conventions of standard American English. An editor works with a writer to ensure that the story or article achieves what the writer and publication intend. The story must be accurate, the writing to the point and well organized. The editor ensures that the article fits the style and tone of the publication. An editor tries to maintain a reader's trust or confidence in a publication. A newspaper must be accurate and timely, and a magazine must stay abreast of the trends in a particular field. Editors must know what is worth publishing, what is timely, what is important to readers. A newspaper editor can sense when a tepid story is going to heat up. Editors on top of their game sent correspondents to those countries when small changes hinted at big changes ahead. The skill is to know the difference between significant events and minor wrinkles. Editing for grammar and usage on a copy desk and deciding whether to send two or three correspondents to a foreign country at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars are both within the province of editing. The job is always interesting and, at times, can be exciting. Major newspapers and newsmagazines usually employ several types of editors. The executive editor oversees assistant editors, who have responsibility for particular subjects, such as local news, international news, feature stories, or sports. Executive editors generally have the final say about what stories are published and how they are covered. The managing editor usually is responsible
for the daily operation of the news department. Assignment editors determine which reporters will cover a given story. Copy editors mostly review and edit a reporter’s copy for accuracy, content, grammar, and style. In smaller organizations, such as small daily or weekly newspapers or the membership or publications departments of nonprofit or similar organizations, a single editor may do everything or share responsibility with only a few other people. Executive and managing editors typically hire writers, reporters, and other employees. They also plan budgets and negotiate contracts with freelance writers, sometimes called “stringers” in the news industry. In broadcasting companies, program directors have similar responsibilities. Editors and program directors often have assistants, many of whom hold entrylevel jobs. These assistants, such as copy editors and production assistants, review copy for errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling and check the copy for readability, style, and agreement with editorial policy. They suggest revisions, such as changing words and rearranging sentences, to improve clarity or accuracy. They also carry out research for writers and verify facts, dates, and statistics. Production assistants arrange page layouts of articles, photographs, and advertising; compose headlines; and prepare copy for printing. Publication assistants who work for publishing houses may read and evaluate manuscripts submitted by freelance writers, proofread printers’, and answer letters about published material. Production assistants on small newspapers or in radio stations compile articles available from wire services or the Internet, answer phones, and make photocopies. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. Who is the Chief-sub-Editor and what role does he plays? Sub-Editor Press sub-editors are journalists who work for: • National daily or weekly newspapers; • Local and regional newspapers; • Magazines. They are responsible for ensuring that the tone, style and layout of final copy match the publication's house style and target market.
The role involves processing all the copy before it is published to ensure that it is accurate, makes sense and reads well. They also lay out the story on the page and may also be involved with overall page design. As with many roles in journalism, sub-editing is a demanding role that requires constant attention to detail within a fast-paced working environment. Work activities vary and can depend on the extent to which production and layout work falls within a sub-editor's remit. Only senior sub-editors would be expected to have much legal knowledge. Common activities that form much of the work of most Sub-Editors include: • Editing copy to remove spelling mistakes and grammatical errors; • Rewriting material so that it flows or reads better and adheres to the house style of a particular publication; • Ensuring that a story fits a particular word count by cutting or expanding material as necessary; • Writing headlines that capture the essence of the story or are clever or amusing; • Writing stand-firsts (brief introductions which sum up the story); • Liaising with reporters or journalists to clarify facts and details about a story; • Editing press releases or reports; • Compiling routine information, such as tables of sports results or financial data; • Checking stories to ensure they are accurate, do not break the law or go against the publication's policy; • Cropping photos and deciding where to use them for best effect; • Writing the captions for pictures; • Discussing concerns with editors; • Proofreading complete pages produced by other sub-editors; • Working to a page plan to ensure that the right stories appear in the correct place on each page; • Laying out pages and, depending on the nature of the role, playing a part in page design; • Adding last minute news stories; • Keeping up to date with sector issues, e.g. by reading related publications.
Sub-Editor at work The sub is a versatile man in the newspaper. He knows something of everything and everything of something. He can be depended upon to handle any kind of copy-home, foreign, financial, and commercial, sports, etc. His sound general education and training will help him edit easily and efficiently all kinds of copy full of technical terms and complicated issues. The sub is saddled with his weapons-pencil, paste, and a pair of scissors. With a set of symbols he marks his copy for the printer. These symbols signify the alterations to be made in the news story. He gives a hurried look at the story and grasps the contents. He checks up whether an adequate lead was given by the reporter, answering the reader’s questions, Who? When? What? Why? Where? He also finds out whether the most important feature or talking point has been given the first place in the lead, and the body of the story has been developed fully giving unimportant details at the end. Assistant Editor Assistant Editor may also be called as assistant editor; associate editor. Prepares written material for publication, performing any combination of following duties: Reads copy to detect errors in spelling, punctuation, and syntax. Verifies facts, dates, and statistics, using standard reference sources. Rewrites or modifies copy to conform to publication's style and editorial policy and marks copy for typesetter, using standard symbols to indicate how type should be set. Reads galley and page proofs to detect errors and indicates corrections, using standard proofreading symbols. May confer with authors regarding changes made to manuscript, select and crop photographs and illustrative materials to conform to space and subject matter requirements and may also prepare page layouts to position and space articles and illustrations. He may write or rewrite headlines, captions, columns, articles, and stories according to publication requirements. The Editor (ED) The primary role of the Editor is to manage the journal. Determines whether a submitted manuscript is appropriate for Marketing Science. • Selects expert reviewers and an area editor to evaluate the submitted manuscript.
• • • •
Renders a final editorial decision on each manuscript based on the AE recommendation, journal priorities, other similar manuscripts in process and related considerations. Communicates directly with the author and the review team. Schedules accepted manuscripts for publication. Balances workloads for the area editors and reviewers. Resolves any conflicts.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. Enlist the duties and responsibilities of the Editor.
3.5 NEWSPAPER MEANING & PRODUCTION STEPS
A newsroom is the place where journalists, either reporters, editors, producers and other staffers work to gather news to be published in a newspaper or magazine or broadcast on television, cable or radio. Some journalism organizations refer to the newsroom as the city room. After all news stories have been edited and headlined and finally composed, the process of making-up starts. It is done according to plan. The dummy is the guide. The sub-editor gives directions to finalize the make-up. He tries to display the most important news stories of the day above the fold, and almost all-important stories on the front page. His acquaintance with the art of printing, newspaper make-up and of writing; work in help of both to produce an attractive and readable newspaper. Indian newspapers usually have a set style of make-up, and as such things go smoothly unless big news of some magnitude breaks at the eleventh hour necessitating hurried conferences among the executive heads and quick decision to alter the plan. Before the chief sub-editor gives the print order he goes through the ‘blanket proofs’ quickly. He discovers that a story has been repeated, a headline has been placed on wrong side of story, a dateline has been misplaced, and he marks the blemishes with his blue pencil. The printer makes the necessary correction.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What are the activities of the ‘Newsroom’? Newspaper Production Steps Co-ordination Process: Bruce Westley divides newspaper work into three basic categories. Each of these departments is distinctly different yet each is wholly dependent on the smooth functioning of the others. These areas of responsibility are usually referred to as ‘business’, ‘mechanical’ and ‘editorial’. Working newsmen are more likely to call them in order, ‘the front office’, ‘the back office’ and the ‘newsroom’. Newspaper editing is actually only one operation among several in the ‘the newsroom’ but the editors, particularly, must know how other branches of the total newspaper operate in order to do their job with maximum efficiency. The copy desk is essentially the ‘crossroads’ between the editorial and mechanical branches of the business. The copy editor must know the mechanical phase pretty thoroughly in order to perform his editorial function. Business Administration The business office is the ‘counting house’ of the newspaper profession. It has an obvious duty to keep the organization afloat financially. The newspaper business office operates pretty much like any other business office. Ordinarily, it has major divisions: an advertising department (which might be broken down into two autonomous departments, classified and display advertising), a circulation department, a promotion department, and an accounting or auditing department. A major officer of the business staff typically heads each of these branches. Usually a ‘business manager’, to whom each of these department heads is responsible, directs the entire, operation. The publisher himself often handles the business manager function, especially in the case of smaller dailies. Advertising Department: the advertising department, headed by an advertising manager, ordinarily has four divisions: 1. The local or retail division consists of a staff of specialist who solicit, lay out, correct, and sometimes ‘merchandise’ local advertising accounts. This can be expected to be the largest of the advertising department sub divisions
and offers the most creative employment in newspaper, advertising for journalism graduates with advertising training. 2. Another group of specialists concerns itself with obtaining and handling ‘foreign’ or ‘national’ advertising accounts. The division deals, directly with advertising agencies, which handle the accounts of the big advertisers, usually with the help of an advertising representative in metropolitan cities, a service, which intercedes for the newspaper directly with the agencies. 3. Another concern of the advertising manager is ‘classified’ although this may be a separate department. Classified ads have gained steadily in recent years as a source of newspaper revenue and hence are receiving increasing attention by newspaper executives. 4. A fourth division of an advertising department is the ‘merchandising’ or ‘service’ division. Its purpose is to assist the advertiser in getting maximum return on his advertising budget. This is the most recent and rapidly growing phase of newspaper advertising and ranges from a part-time trouble-shooter to a complex research organization ready to provide a potential advertiser with detailed information on the buying habits of the newspaper’s readers with reference to his particular product. The advertising manager coordinates all these activities and is the person ordinarily responsible to the business manager, and sometimes directly to the publisher, for their successful operation. Circulation Department: Circulation is another major division of the business office and is usually headed by a major executive, the circulation manager, since the newspaper ultimately stands or falls on the basis of the number of steady readers that can be enrolled. The circulation manager may have any or all of the following subdivisions under his supervision: • City Circulation- it involves the maintenance of circulation records for the city of publication, the recruitment, supervisor and reimbursement, the supervision of district men who oversee circulation by subdivision of the city, taking responsibility for moving papers the news stands, relations with news-stand operators, etc. • Area Circulation- responsibilities here include getting papers destined for the surrounding area into the mail and operation of a fleet of tempo/taxis to carry the papers into surrounding area as where mail service is not rapid enough. The circulation manager is also in charge of moving the papers into the appropriate distribution channels as they move into the mailing room from the pressroom.
Sales Promotion- it involves the direction of an office staff to keep records, notifying subscribers when their subscription need renewing, the handling of complaints, new subscriptions and renewals over the counter, by mail, etc. promotion is essentially the ‘public relations’ department of the newspaper. Where a separate promotion department exists, it usually is responsible for initiating promotion policies, subject to the approval of the publisher, and usually coordinates the promotional activities of other departments.
Mechanical Department The entire mechanical operation is usually under the supervision of plant superintendent who is directly responsible to the publisher. In a typical situation, he will have five departments under his control, the composing room, the stereotype department, the pressroom, the engraving department, and the proof desk. The basic function of each are: 1. Composing Room- this is the point of chief contact between the editorial side and the mechanical side. It is in this department that ‘copy’ is set into type and the type is assembled into newspaper pages. The type is ‘set’ by automatic typesetting machines such as the linotype ‘straight matter’ or body type is set according to instructions on news copy sent from the newsroom, headlines are set from similar directions, ads are first set into type and then assembles on the basis of instructions on advertising copy from the advertising department. All of these materials are then assembled into newspaper pages, following the instructions on page ‘dummies’, which show where each element is to go. The composing room is often subdivided, especially in the larger plants, to permit the greater efficiency that specialization makes possible. Hence, there may be an ‘ad alley’ where ads are made up before they are put into newspaper pages. 2. Stereotype Department- here newspaper pages are run through a series of steps which prepare them to be clamped as curved plates of metal onto today’s high speed rotary presses. Some small dailies papers still use ‘flatbed’ or ‘cylinder’ presses and others use ‘duplex’ presses. In both cases the papers are printed directly from type and hence there is no need for a full-scale stereotype department. Vast majority of dailies use rotary, web-perfecting presses, which means that the newspaper is printed on paper that feeds from huge rolls and the impression is applied from curved plates which rotate at high speed. The stereotype department has two major operations, first, to roll out a reverse impression of the newspaper page onto a papier-mâché ‘mat’ then to
‘cast’ into a curve by pouring molten metal against the curved surface of the mat. After the cast has cooled and been trimmed, it is ready to be clamped onto the press. 3. Engraving Department- many smaller newspapers have insufficient need for ‘art’ to operate an engraving department, having the work done commercially instead. However, most large newspapers find it economical to do their own work. Photoengraving reduces news pictures and other newspaper art to a form in which they can be printed. In the case of a photograph, the job is to ‘screen’ the picture in such a way that an etched metal plate is produced with a surface of dots. The dots vary in size to produce shadings of black and white that can be impressed on paper. 4. Pressroom- rotary presses can turn out newspapers at phenomenal speeds. They not only print but also cut, fold and trim the papers and deliver them directly to the mailing room.
5. Proof Desk- in a sense, proof desk lies by the side of the mechanical,
editorial and advertising departments but is usually responsible to the mechanical superintendent. Its object is to correct all typographical errors. A ‘proof’ is taken of all material set in the composing room, including ads and editorial matter, by inking the type and taking an impression of it on a rather simple ‘proof press’. These proofs are then compared with the ‘copy’ to make sure that the two conform. Proof reading is hence a more or less mechanical operation, unlike copy reading. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What is the ‘dummy of the newspaper’? Editorial Department The primary concern of the copy editor in the organizational chart of the newspaper is, of course, the editorial department. Here the description is not so easy, since very marked differences are discernible from the one newspaper to another. However, a typical organizational scheme would go something like this: The editorial department actually has two sides, and usually these are separately responsible to the publisher. They are ‘news’ and ‘editorial’. The news side is usually under the supervision of a managing or executive editor. The editorial page crew consists of editorial writers and is directed by a ‘chief editorial writer’ and ‘editor’ or ‘editor- in- chief’ or sometimes an ‘editorial page editor’. 1. The News Desk- all stories destined for the newspaper, whether they come from the typewriters of reporters and rewrite men or from the several wire
services, teleprinters and other sources, requires editing. This duty falls chiefly on the copyreader who sits on the horseshoe shape table called the desk. The city editor and other editors read all the copy. The editors with a crew of men edit the news designated as cable, teleprinter, city beats, society, business, finance, sports, and reserve news. In larger newspapers there is a separate desk for international news. This copyreader, ‘also called the deskman, rim man or ‘mechanic’ of the editorial room, is the anonymous and frequently unappreciated collaborator of the writer. Copyreaders are generally paid higher than reporters. The work holds out attractions for men with editorial ability. The work is mainly two-fold: the editing of the story and the construction of a suitable headline for it. The amount of this work varies with each paper and even at different timings on each day. On a big desk the copyreader may edit from 10 to 15 columns. The copy reader usually faces three problems: • To tighten up the story and thereby speed up the action • To cut out the excess matter • To reduce the story so that a telegraphic editor could splash it in a page one box if he chose to handle it that way. The art of the Headline- although the copyreader works anonymously, when he constructs a good headline, he feels the pleasure of a creative artist. With short words and in short compass, he can tell a whole story. He knows that the headline must fulfill two requirement-it must attract attention to the story; it must announce the story’s main facts. He sees to it that each headline he gives, does both. You could write a short book on this subject. But here's a very simple headline-writing tip that has helped me a great deal over the years. Spend less time stressing over how to write the headline, and invest 90% of your time in figuring out what to say. Saying the wrong thing beautifully will do you no good at all. Saying the right thing, even imperfectly, will serve you much better. There is a temptation for copywriters to give in to their own ego and vanity. Too many copywriters want to write a clever headline. A headline that shows what a wonderful, talented copywriter they are.
This is not good. This means you are spending too much time thinking about HOW to write the headline. Clever words, clever puns, being funny etc. Copywriting Tips for Designers and Non-Writers The job of the headline is to get attention. A good headline makes the reader want to find out more by reading the article, brochure, or ad. To help your headline do this, try one of these techniques: • Create curiosity • Promise answers to a question or solutions to a problem • Include a key benefit Have fun with it You can create curiosity by asking a provocative question or making a seemingly outrageous statement. Word play, alliteration, or take-offs on familiar phrases or cliches can create some eye-catching and often amusing headlines. However, avoid ambiguity or at least use eyebrows, subheads, or decks (smaller headlines above or below the main headline) to clarify or explain. If your reader has to guess at what you mean or at what the article or ad is all about, they'll be saying, "I guess you don't want me to read this article." Some examples of word play, alliteration, and take-offs: For headlines to be accurate, the headline writer must understand the article thoroughly before writing the headline; the copy editor who doesn't have a good view of what the article says isn't likely to write a headline that communicates clearly and accurately. Accuracy tips: 1.Spell check after writing the display type. 2.In particular, double-check any proper names or any numbers. The headline should sell the article to the reader. Tell readers why they should be interested. Every news story headline should have an active Verb; headlines on feature stories can be more creative. But aim for complete thoughts. Tell the story, but avoid the "clears hurdle" or "man dies" phenomena. Get the most important element first, the least important head element last.
Attribute heads that convey opinion. If the lead needs attribution, chances are the headline will, too. Most times, attribution will go at the end of the headline. Headlines should be accurate in Tone: don't put a light headline on a serious story. Be careful not to put a first-day head on a second-day story. Match the tone of the story. Be original and creative, but not trite and cliché. If you do employ word play on an idiom or common phrase, be sure the meter is exactly the same. The headline will ring falsely otherwise. If you use a pun, be honest with yourself. Will it make the reader smile, or groan? Don't repeat the lead in a headline. Write a better headline than the lead. And don't give away the punch line of a feature story that has a surprise ending. Be aware of any unintended double meanings: Real-life examples of some headlines that were published: Old man winter sticks icy finger into Virginia. Teens indicted for drowning in lake; FBI ordered to assist Atlanta in child slayings. Avoid Bad Breaks at the end of lines, such as dangling prepositions or conjunctions. Avoid Headinese: Words such as mull, eye, rap, hit, slam, vie, assail, and seen and bid are headline weaklings. Alter your approach to get away from them. Look for a fresh approach. Don't go for the obvious. On fire-related stories, for example, stay away from verbs such as spark and snuff; on storm stories, stay away from verbs such as spawn, dump, blow, churn. In articles, hurricanes always seem to churn, and tornadoes are always spawned.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What are the main departments of a Newspaper Organization? In page layout • The layout editor should make the headlines work with the graphics and the art on the page. Most reader surveys show that newspaper readers look first at photos on a page, then headlines.
• The page designer should leave AMPLE ROOM so writers can create good headlines. Also, the layout editor should vary the SIZE and SHAPE of headlines to accurately grade the news elements for the reader. • Some basic TYPES of headlines: banner (streamer), hammer, kicker or eyebrow (above the main headline), sidesaddle, deck (usually half the point size of the main headline), drop, read-in, read-out, jump heads. Some Headline Technicalities Best headline writers are spontaneous and creative; the best headlines instantly come to you. Headline writers have to be the best writers at the newspaper. Many times, the best headlines you come up with cannot be printed! Continuity leads to better headlines; one must write them day after day to get good at it. Read others' headlines to get ideas, but doing so isn't necessarily going to make you a better headline writer. The most-effective headlines are those that give an old cliche a new twist; readers are familiar with the cliche, but something different about it will reel them in. The more conversational the headline, the more the readers will like it. Don't be so quick to abandon using articles such as "a," "and" and "the"; sometimes these words are needed for clarity. Also, headline styles change over time.
Guidelines for Rewriting, Revising and some Basic Principles of Editing: • Give the main points of the news in the first paragraph • Tell the story in headline and use a verb to give it vigor • Check names, titles, facts, figures, dates, and address where ever slightest doubt exists. The sub-editor know the reference book which will clear the doubt • Both sides of the story in a dispute must be given • Use short sentences and short paragraphs • Repeat names in court cases rather than refer to them as accused, witness, etc • Indicate correctness of doubtful spelling by saying ‘correct’ within brackets • Beware of foreign names • Define long, unfamiliar words, especially scientific and medical terms • Do not begin sentences with words like ‘despite’ or ‘because’ • Do not use vague phrases like a ‘ serous charge’ or a ‘certain offence’ • Reporters to give a rather artificial flow to the story ‘meanwhile’ often use the word. Cut it out • Use concrete words, words that make the reader see, hear, smell or taste. Test the story for concrete images and visual word pictures • Be careful about pronouns. The misuse of the relative pronoun and punctuation are the most common grammatical errors in the news stories. • Editorializing any trace of personal opinion or a value judgment should be eliminated from the copy unless it is a feature or news analysis
3.7 NEWSPAPER & MAGAZINE
Difference between Newspapers and Magazines Newspaper Make – Up The front page of a newspaper is like a beautiful face. If it is attractive, it will hold the attention. It is indeed true that the front paper of the newspaper make the newspaper successful. For a newspaper, to report news is a normal function, but there is something special about the fact that the news is printed on its front page. The front page is the ‘face’ of the newspaper.
The newspaper has a name and the uniqueness lies in different styles the different newspapers will write their names. The Masthead On observing the front page of a newspaper closely, we can see that the masthead of a newspaper is much more than just the name of the newspaper. Some of its characteristics are: • It is in distinctive bold print • It is in a big type-size • It has a fixed place on the front page and • It remains in the same form for years Headlines Newspapers sell news and headlines are a means to attract the readers towards the news items. For a page designer, each headline is a new and unique challenge. The headline of the news items are much more then just a set of words. It is the responsibility of the page-designer to make each headline as distinctive as possible within the given newspaper format. The sub-editor/ copy editors give headlines generally. The page make-up person cannot change them, but can increase or decrease the display value, readability or importance of the news item by using different techniques such as typeface or size, placement, making it run horizontally across more columns. Most newspapers everyday give, a four or five column bottom- spread on their front page; it is done to give a solid base to the whole page. Placement of Photo graphs and Cartoons It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. On the same basis, it can be said that a good cartoon is worth at least two thousand words. From a page designer’s point of view, it is important to realize that photographs, cartoons and graphic have a special significance. Placing a picture or cartoon at wrong place may not only reduce its utility, but also reduce the design appeal of the total page. Pictures, cartoon and graphics are, usually, evaluated on the basis of: • Subject matter • Topicality
• Clarity • News value, significance A page designer has to examine whether the pictures, cartoon, graphic, chart, has an independent value or it has to be juxtaposed with a particular news story. The size may have to be adjusted due to placement or space consideration. Over all pages design Having closely examined some of the major components of the front page of your newspaper, individually, let us now take a look at the architecture of the page or the overall page design. For this, we have to look at the page from some distance. One-way is to do a comparatively study of two or more papers. Hang two or more papers of the same date on the wall, and stand at a distance to take a critical look at these. As you look at these pages, study the structural outline of the news stories, bold headlines, pictures, cartoons, placement of box item, etc. take a look at the whole page from the masthead to the bottom line. Look at the page, as if you were trying to study a painting or sculpture. You will notice that there is a design in the page, a form and a structure. Each page designer has own concept of beauty and page structure. To bring it out, he/she uses different type size, white spaces, placement of pictures, graphs, charts, cartoons, etc. Planning Of Pages Inside pages of a daily newspaper differ from the front page in their format, structure, and presentation of contents. If you open a daily newspaper, you will see that on top of the page, there may be indications about the topics covered on that page-international news, national news, state news, sports news, business and economy, etc. Even if there is no indication on the top, one can notice the news items on that page have a common link. It helps the readers in their search for a news item. Also by grouping news items on specific pages we are able to give the newspaper a structure. The inside pages under one group often tend to cover as many news items as possible. Hence, often these pages may seem cluttered.
The Editorial Page One common feature in all daily newspapers is the editorial page. The format of this page looks similar in many newspapers in India and aboard. On this page, you will notice that there is a section where the editor writes their analysis of the major national and international news items. These are often referred to as the ‘newspaper’ point of view. Each newspaper has a fixed spot for general information items such as the weather forecast, entertainment, cinema, radio, television, etc. the design of the inside pages of a newspaper is relatively much more structured than the front page, which is dependent on the major happenings during the past few hours. Readability and overall Appeal Newspapers are meant to be read. Anything that obstructs or reduce the convenience of the reader must be avoided. As far as possible, the news items should be contained in a neatly defined area. Look at the page of a newspaper as a reader, and ask yourself: are the news items displayed in a nice, readable manner? Could you suggest any improvements? Each letter, each word and each story has special significance. Headlines, photographs, cartoons, box items, charts and graphics-are all these important ingredients of the newspaper page designs. Cropping of Pictures The intelligent photo editors adopt different creative cropping techniques to bring out the exact point of emphasis a ‘pix’ (term used for pictures). They try to enlarge the main image, which will have a better visual impact. For instance, a surviving child in an accident was picked up by the policemen and the photographer took a pix, which almost looked like a group, involved in the rescue operations, holding the baby, this pix should not be published as it is. The subject of the main interest is the child, and the readers would like to see its condition and how it looked like after the accident. Here comes the job of a photo editor to do the cropping in such a way that the child stands out prominently in the pix. Many a times, the photographers do their job mechanically, giving, relevance only to technical qualities, and having no instinct for news. A photo editor, who keeps track of the news, also highlights the portions in the photograph, which has news value.
A photo editor studies the picture carefully, and decided about the cropping. First, he crops the pictures mentally (visualizing how it would look like), and then decides on the final edited photograph. Badly cropped pix cannot be repaired and the person who does such a job for the cropping sake gets the nickname of a ‘butcher’ from the photographers. A good photo editor is one who can visualize how the pix will look like when it is cropped and printed in different sizes and shapes. Generally, as a rule, a bad quality picture should be enlarged to the maximum size to enable the readers to see the details in the photograph, whereas a good quality print will show up clearly even in a smaller space. Emerging Trends In Newspaper Presentation Generally, the main focus with newspaper design is not on quickly changing trends, but on the improvement of readability and reader guidance within the paper. For this reason, the front page is used as display for the entire product. New sections are given larger section heads and some papers have even introduced color guide systems to introduce the readers effectively into topics of interest. In the whole of Europe a trend to use color photos is discernible. And it is not the quantity that counts nowadays, but the quality: few large and well-cut photos per page will do. Surveys among readers and tests - like those that were carried out with an eye-track camera - are meant to help newspapers to take the readers’ needs into account when redesigning their publication. It has been proved, for example, that framed-in articles do not attract the readers’ attention, so that some newspapers do without frames now. Other tests have shown that readers avoid lengthy articles, which has led to the European trend of topical pages. Such a page is devoted to a single topic, which is then presented by means of different articles, photos and info graphics. Every newspaper tries to create their own distinctive appearance by means of typography. In the area of headlines, therefore, there is great typographical versatility. It is not a certain typeface that is trendy, but a highly individual and unused one. The front page serves as the newspaper’s display. Important topics appear in teasers and color guide systems help the readers find their way through the paper. Extreme cuts guide the readers’ view and create curiosity. When used consequently, extreme cuts contribute to a paper’s unmistakable look.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What is the ‘Masthead’ of the Newspaper? Q2. How is cropping of a picture done in newspaper production? A Style sheet is a form of separation of presentation and content in desktop publishing programs that store and apply formatting to text. Style sheets are a common feature in most popular desktop publishing and word processing programs, including Adobe InDesign, PageMaker, QuarkXPress and Microsoft Word, though they may be referred to using slightly different terminology. To apply a style to a portion of text, most programs allow users to select the text with their mouse and then click on the desired style in the style sheet window. The program than applies the stored formatting instantly. Style sheets help publications maintain consistency, so common elements such as story text, headlines and bylines always appear the same. Style sheets also help save time allowing a design to click once rather than having to apply each element one at a time and risking using an incorrect value. Finally, style sheets are also useful if a publication decides to make changes to a design - say, make the story text slightly smaller. A user with proper administrative access can make the change to the master style sheet and then "send" the revised style sheets to all users and the change is automatically reflected. Each newspaper has its set of rules that generally are strictly enforced. These are contained in something called a stylebook. At some smaller newspapers, this may be no more than a sheet of paper. At larger newspapers, the stylebook may consist of up to two hundred pages and resemble a dictionary. The chief keepers of the stylebook rules are the newspaper’s copy editors. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.What is Style Sheet? Magazines Editing and Makeup Techniques Magazines are considered more than a storehouse of a variety of articles, stories and features. There is a personal relationship built between the magazines and its readers. Both magazines editing and makeup is done towards encouraging and
maintaining this relationship, which is hard earned and takes a long time to be established. Modern magazines exist in a visual age they compete with the highly visual and entertaining medium of television. Emergence of the Internet has added to this competition. Readers today have been converted into more of ‘viewers’ who rely on images for their information and entertainment. With everything becoming so much image-oriented, we can safely modify Marshal McLuhan’s ‘Medium is the message’ into ‘Image is the message’. With readership and understanding dependent on the visual aspects of presentation, magazines editors and designers must be experts in the art of communicating by means of pictures, layouts and other such means. While photographs are the most important illustrations for a magazine, there are many other visual elements too. We use black and white, colour, and duotone photographs with different types of treatments or special effects. Pencil sketches, line drawings, watercolours, oil paintings, etc. are also used. Using the illustration can have five functions. These are: attracting attention, illustrating a point, telling a story by itself, telling a story along with other illustration, and give visual relief to a design. Any illustration usually accomplishes one or more of these purposes. Use of colour in magazines Almost everything on a magazine page, from text, visuals, borders, etc can be in colour. But colour for colour’s sake is not a good practice. For example, body text in colour does not have as much of contrast as black body text. Certain practices in the use of colour adopted by designers are: • • • • • • Use of colour for display types (headlines, sub headlines, etc) Use of colour for lines and borders to separate and dramatize the stories Use of colour for typographical dingbats like initial letters, etc Use of duotone photos instead of black and white photos Colour enhancements of graphs and charts Use of coloured screens
Visual personality of Magazines A magazine to be successful needs to find out its target audience and provide the content needed by the audience in the way they want it. As different magazines are directed at different audiences, they should have different personalities. According to the audience it is directed at, a magazine could be conservative or traditional, modern, action-oriented, classical, fashionable, etc. Here designers look for what is called the ‘intensity of interest’ on part of the audience members. For technical magazines or other serious magazines, the readers want more information and less entertainment. So ‘flashy’ designs are avoided in such magazines. In case of film magazines or fashion magazines where the readers want more entertainment and less information, then the magazine should be ‘dynamic’ in physical appearance to be able to get attention, keep them interested, and the create a long-lasting impression. The visual personality of a magazine depends on many factors. One is the use of colour, how much colour and in what manner colour is used. The second consideration is the number and variety of illustrations. Another factor is the type of paper used. Although it is a technical aspect, but type of paper plays an important role in creating the personality of the magazine. Redesign In today’s fast and evolving world, the magazines also need to change to adapt to changing times and changing audiences. Such changes could be cosmetic or superficial which keep old readers while attracting new readers. Sometimes bold changes are also brought about. Many magazines have undergone change or redesigning in the past two decades. These include the Time, Ms, Esquire, Fortune, etc. in India, the India Today has been making subtle changes while The Week recently underwent a drastic and complete design overhauling. This redesign trend was in full force in the 1990s and will continue in the times to come. One of the most important redesign practices is the increased emphasis on providing more graphic power for the pages. But this is not done at the cost of editorial content. In fact, improving editorial quality also has got equal (maybe more) emphasis and more of efforts.
Format This is one thing that remains constant over a long period of time. Format includes the size and shape of the magazine. The different magazine formats are: • Miniature: 4%” X 6” • Books: 6” X 9” • Basic: 8 ½ X 11” • Pictorials: 10 ½” X 13” • Sunday Supplement: 11” X 13” The most common among these is the basic format. This size can cut without any wastage and is easy to handle. It allows dramatization of pictures sizes and other elements. Magazine cover A magazine front cover is the most important page. It is like the magazine’s face, it creates the all-important first impression and is the primary indicator of the magazines personally. Magazine covers are not changed for long periods of time unless of course there is a complete editorial personality reshaping. A magazine cover could be a self-cover printed on the same paper as the inside pages and printed along with the other pages. But mostly magazines have separate covers (printed on usually glossy papers and separately form the other pages). Magazine covers set the tone for its personality. It has to draw the attention of the readers, tell something about the contents of the issue by showcasing the major articles or features published. It should help the magazine stand out from the clutter in magazine stands. The front cover also contains continuing characteristics that identify it from issue to issue. At the same time, it has to be flexible enough to accommodate subtle changes in every issue. A magazine cover could be ‘type only’ with no illustration or it could be a combination of type and illustration. Whatever the practice, a magazine cover should not be cluttered with a lot of elements. It should not also have a ‘light’ or ‘loose’ look. By blending type elements, visuals and white or colour-space the page should look inviting.
Page Structure A magazine may have fixed or flexible page structures. The page structure refers to the ‘type page’ (space inside the margins), the number of columns, the columns widths, etc. magazines usually have two, three or four columns. Many magazines today do not use a fixed number of columns for all pages. For different pages they use different number of columns. Also a lot of bleeding (illustrations intruding into space of text matter and vice versa) is done. Typographical policy of Magazines The most important consideration for selecting typefaces for magazines is ease of reading (legibility and readability). Traditional magazines used fixed typefaces and this policy provided continuity. But contemporary magazines use a wide variety of typefaces, sizes, and variations to give different looks for different stories or articles. Other practices include use of dingbats (decorative type devices like stars, bullets, and raised or drop letters). Basic steps in magazine layout are: • • • • • • Determining the exact amount of space available for a story or article Deciding how many columns to be used Determining the space to be used for the text and the visuals respectively Designing and positioning display types for headlines, etc Positioning body text and illustrations Deciding what typographical devices to be used
Earlier makeup personnel designed through the various stages of layout. They drew thumbnail sketches, made roughs, created comprehensive layouts, and finally made the artwork, which was ready for printing. But now computer have made the layout job much easier. Any kind of effect in layout can be created by pressing a few keys or at the click of the mouse. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What are the basic functions of using illustrations in a magazine? Q2. What is the importance of Magazine Cover?
3.7 PAGES OF NEWSPAPER
Newspapers contain many different types of content. There are many different types of news. Then there are editorials, features, articles, etc. in addition to the text material, there are sizeable amount of visuals also. Newspapers are usually divided into several segments for accommodating the wide variety of material. First there is the front page. It is the window to a newspaper. So a lot of importance is given to designing this page. The other important pages are the editorial page and the sports pages. The other pages are business pages, pages for local news, pages for regional news, pages for national news, pages for international news. With increased emphasis on entertainment, there are leisure and entertainment pages. Finally, there are the special pages that come daily, weekly or fortnightly. Front page of the newspaper In the past, front-page makeup practice was very traditional. It was old-fashioned and looked artificial and unattractive. Unfortunately, front-page makeup in the earlier days was highly inflexible. The reasons behind this were unplanned and haphazard placement of stories and photos, and non-adherence of any design principle. Modern front-page make up is highly functional, well-designed, attractive and very flexible. The front page is the showcase of a newspaper. Thus it should be easy to read, attractive and inviting. It should be orderly, and have a distinctive personality of its own. One way of getting a well-designed front page is to use the principle of artistic dominance. Front page, being showcases; carry a lot of important stories, which compete with each other for attention. This kind of a situation is confusing for the readers. So the front page has to have a point of dominance. It could be a story, with accompanying picture, or a group of similar stories clubbed together. Dominance can be achieved by way of size, shape, and placement, etc. Some basic guidelines for more readable front page include: • Creation of an open page with lot of white space between columns, between stories, pictures, etc.
• Using a news summary rather than having many small stories on the front page • Making the bottom half as interesting as the top half by using larger pictures, boxed stories, etc • Avoiding too many boxes, lines and other attention getting devices (like asterix marks, screens, etc) that pull the reader’s away from the stories • Using clearer, easy-to-read typefaces • Incorporating a sense of freshness and vitality to the page by making small changes to the basic format on different days • Creating an elegant but different look by having columns of different widths • Use of simpler nameplate Inside page of the Newspaper Inside pages almost always have advertisements. As ads bring revenue, they are given priority above the news here. In fact, it is the ads that are first placed on the pages. The remaining space or the ‘news hole’ is left for the editorial matter. As the number and total space taken by advertisements each day are different, makeup personnel have to deal with different amounts of space everyday. This makes the job of a page makeup artist very difficult. Inside pages cover a variety of content. And the editorial content decides the design pattern within the available space. The structural position of advertisements also needs to be considered for bringing about a harmonious blend between the advertising and editorial content. Often makeup personnel have no or little control over the placement of advertisements. But it is wise to consult with the advertising department and suggest about advertising placement on the pages in such a way that allows proper designing of editorial content on these pages. Page makeup for Editorial Page of a Newspaper The editorial page is often shabbily made-up. But life can be injected into editorial pages. This is despite the content-wise sober and serious nature of the editorial pages. The techniques of brightening the editorial pages are: • Setting the editorials in larger types than ordinary body type used for news • Setting editorials in wider columns • Boxing editorials and other stories or articles • Use of more white space
Placing the masthead at a lower position (removing it from the top left corner where it doesn’t compete for attention with the editorials) • Using photographs on the editorial pages though this is not a traditional practice but it would enhance the ‘look’ of the page • Use of flush-left and right-ragged style of setting to make it distinct from other pages Makeup of Sports page of a Newspaper With a wide variety of editorial content and photographs, one expects the makeup of sports pages to be exciting. But this is not always the case. This is because the large number of sports stories often create problem for the makeup people. The best solution here is the grid concept. Use of photographs in large sizes and with careful cropping can enhance the look of the sports pages. But smaller photos cluttered together make a page look unattractive and repulsive. Also sports photos can be cropped to exciting shapes and enlarged to emphatic sizes. Lifestyle and feature pages The lifestyle pages and the feature pages strike a balance between serious and sober topics, the hard news and soft news, and always try to involve the readers. Such pages also serve those readers who only scan newspaper by having a lot of quotes, subheads, and boxes and also by breaking stories in to small segments. The key to successful feature page designing include the following steps: 1. Stop the reader 2. Sustain his/her interest, and 3. Surprise them All three things everyday of the week is difficult. But still designers try to achieve this by using certain techniques. The first such technique is the center of visual impact. This could be text matter at a dominant position or a large or prominent photograph or an illustration. This center of visual impact attracts the attention of the reader and sustains it. Other techniques include use of modules, use of wider columns, use of informational graphics, use of colour, etc. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. Enlist some basic guidelines for brightening the Editorial page. Q2. How can the front page of the newspaper be made more readable?
Editing is the process of preparing language, images, or sound for presentation through correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications. A person who edits, especially professionally or as a hobby, is called an editor. The main consideration in editing is to tell the story in the fewest words possible. Condensation is essential because there is more material than can be used. The second consideration is clarity, which is obtained by avoiding intricate sentence structure and by using familiar words. The third consideration is forceful expression. The sub-editor must constantly seek the most effective way to express the ideas of the story. The forth consideration is respect for accuracy. It means looking out for small factual errors, which disfigure an otherwise good story. A newsroom is the place where journalists, either reporters, editors, producers and other staffers work to gather news to be published in a newspaper or magazine or broadcast on television, cable or radio. Some journalism organizations refer to the newsroom as the city room. Newspaper editing is actually only one operation among several in the ‘the newsroom’ but the editors, particularly, must know how other branches of the total newspaper operate in order to do their job with maximum efficiency. The copy desk is essentially the ‘crossroads;’ between the editorial and mechanical branches of the business. The copy editor must know the mechanical phase pretty thoroughly in order to perform his editorial function. The editorial department actually has two sides, and usually these are separate responsible to the publisher. They are ‘news’ and ‘editorial’. The news side is usually under the supervision of a managing or executive editor. The editorial page crew consists of editorial writers and is directed by a ‘chief editorial writer’ and ‘editor’ or ‘editor- in- chief’ or sometimes an ‘editorial page editor’. The front page of a newspaper is like a beautiful face. If it is attractive, it will hold the attention. It is indeed true that the front paper of the newspaper make the newspaper successful. For a newspaper, to report news is a normal function, but there is something special about the fact that the news is printed on its front page. The front page is the ‘face’ of the newspaper.
3.9 EXERCISES AND QUESTIONS
Q1. Discuss the significance of Editing in Print media. Q2.What are the main considerations while editing a news story? Q3. Explain the layout style of the Newspaper. Q4. How is the layout of Magazine different from the layout of a Newspaper? Q5. Enlist the responsibilities and duties of various persons working in the Editorial Department of a Newspaper. Q6. What are the different categories of Editors in the Print Publishing Industry?
3.10 FURTHER READING
1. Reporting Methods S.Kundra (Anmol Publications Pvt.Ltd) 2. Outline of Editing M.K.Joseph 3. Editing Techniques S.Kundra 4. News Reporting and Editing (Jan.R.Hakemulder, Fay AC de Jonge, P.P. Singh)
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