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Unit Objectives, Introduction, Meaning and Definition of Journalism, History of Journalism, Role of Journalism, Glossary of Terms used in Journalism, Summary, Exercises and Questions, Further Reading 3-21
Unit Objectives, Introduction, Definition of News, Leads Headlines, Types of News Writing, Newsroom structure and Role Journalist, Trends in Modern Journalism, Summary Exercises and Questions, Further Reading
1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Unit Objectives Introduction Meaning and Definition of Journalism History of Journalism Role of Journalism Glossary of Terms used in Journalism Summary Exercises and Questions Further Reading
1.0 UNIT OBJECTIVES
• • • • To understand the meaning of Journalism To discuss the terms and definitions of Journalism To study the role of Journalism To trace the history of Journalism
Journalism as a craft, a profession and even as a trade or business is over two centuries old. It was made possible by the coming together of a number of technologies as well as several social, political and economic developments. The main technologies that facilitated the development of large-scale printing and distribution of print material were the printing press.
1.2 MEANING AND DEFINITION OF JOURNALISM
Journalism is a form of communication based on asking, and answering, the questions Who? What? How? Where? When? Why? Journalism is anything that contributes in some way in gathering, selection, processing of news and current affairs for the press, radio, television, film, cable, internet, etc. Journalism is a discipline of collecting, analyzing, verifying, and presenting news regarding current events, trends, issues and people. Those who practice journalism are known as journalists. Journalism is defined by Denis Mc Quail as ‘ paid writing for public media with reference to actual and ongoing events of public relevance’. Journalism can also be defined as: 1. The collection and editing of news for presentation through the media 2. The public press 3. An academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium 4. Writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation 5. Writing designed to appeal to current popular taste or public interest The words ‘journalist’, ‘journal’ and ‘journalism’ are derived from the French ‘journal’ which in its turn comes from the Latin term ‘diurnal is’ or ‘daily’. The Acta Diurna, a handwritten bulletin put up daily in the Forum, the main public square in ancient Rome, was perhaps the world’s first newspaper. Later, pamphlets, gazettes, news books, news sheets, letters came to be termed as ‘news paper’. Those who wrote for them were first called news writers and later journalists. Thus, Journalism can be one of the most exciting jobs around. One goes into work not necessarily knowing what you are going to be doing that day. Journalists get to meet powerful people, interesting people, inspiring people, heroes, villains and celebrities. The chance to know something and to tell the world about it is exciting. One also gets chance to indulge a passion for writing and the opportunity to seek the truth and campaign for justice. And then there’s the excitement of seeing your
byline in print, watching your report on television, or hearing your words of wisdom on the radio. As a craft Journalism involves specialization in one area (editorial, design, printing) for the reporters and the sub-editors for instance, it entails writing to a deadline, following routines in a conveyor-belt like workplace, while respecting the divisions of labour in the newsroom and the printing press. In earlier times, knowledge of typewriting and shorthand were the main skills demanded. But today, computing and DTP skills are in demand for all areas of Journalism. As a profession, it is markedly different from other established professions like medicine, law, management or teaching. While the established professions require some specialized educational qualifications and training to be recruited to them, Journalism does not make any such requirement essential. There is no bar to anyone entering the profession, no matter what one’s educational background or professional experience is. From the very beginning, Journalism has been, and still, remain an ‘open’ profession. Also, journalism has no distinct body of knowledge that defines the profession and marks its relationship with its clients (readers, advertisers, advertising agencies, public relations officials, others). Journalism is a specific approach to reality. However, there is no consensus in the journalist community on this, nor is there any universally code of conduct or code of ethics, and where it does exist, is rarely enforced. Opinions vary on whether journalism is a ‘calling’ public service, an entertainment, a cultural industry motivated by profit, or a tool for propaganda, public relations and advertising. Journalism can be a combination of all these, or each of these separately. Opinions are not so varied about the other professions. As a business and trade, Journalism involves publishing on a regular basis for profit, with news considered as the primary product. Hence, there is the need to attract advertisers and readers, through marketing strategies, which focus on circulation and readership. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.Define ‘Journalism’? Q2.How is Journalism different from other professions?
1.3 HISTORY OF JOURNALISM
The history of Journalism, or the gathering and transmitting of news, spans the growth of technology and trade, marked by the advent of specialized techniques for gathering and disseminating information on a regular basis that has caused, the steady increase of "the scope of news available to us and the speed with which it is transmitted." Some relatively recent craze, stimulated by the arrival of satellites, television or even the newspaper, the good news is that the frenzied, obsessive exchange of news is one of the oldest human activities. In early times, messengers were appointed to bring word, carriers to proclaim it and busybodies to spread the word. The need to know helped attract people to crossroads, campfires and market places. It helped motivate journeyers; it helps explain the reception accorded travelers. In most parts of the pre-literate world the first question asked of a traveler was, as it was in Outer Mongolia in 1921, "What's new?" These preliterate peoples were probably better informed about events in their immediate neighborhood than are most modern, urban or suburban Americans. A similar fascination with news was evident in the Greek and later in the Roman Forum, where to the hubbub of spoken news was added information from daily handwritten newssheets, first posted by Julius Caesar. The bad news is that two of the subjects humans have most wanted to keep up with throughout the ages are –sex and violence. The Nootka of Vancouver Island, for example, would exchange plenty of important news on fishing, on the chief's activities, on plans for war. But they also pricked up their ears at word that someone was having an affair. And the tale of a suitor who tumbled into a barrel of rainwater while sneaking out the window of his lover's house "spread," according to an anthropologist, "like wildfire up and down the coast." There is more bad news. The golden age of political coverage that journalism critics pine over – the era when reporters concentrated on the "real" issues-turns out to have been as mythical as the golden age of politics. In those rare historical moments when politicians deigned to face major problems to allow journalists to
comment on them, those comments tended to be wildly subjective, as when the founders of our free press called their pro-British compatriots "diabolical Tools of Tyrants" and "men totally abandoned to wickedness." Samuel Johnson, writing in an era when thinkers like Joseph Addison, Daniel Defoe and Jonathon Swift dominated British periodicals, concluded that the press "affords sufficient information to elate vanity, and stiffen obstinacy, but too little to enlarge the mind." Yet, journalism had changed. And much doesn't change. It is foolish to pretend that sensationalism and superficiality could simply be expunged from the news. Nevertheless, we can still protest when the news gets too irrelevant, too shallow. We can better educate audiences about its limitations and encourage viewers to change the channel. The desire to keep up with the news seems basic to our species, but that does not mean that in learning about the world we have to limit ourselves to just satisfying that desire. Prehistoric, ancient and Midieval periods Early methods of transmitting news began with word of mouth, which limited its content to what people saw and relayed to others; accuracy in new depended on the scope of the event being described and its relevance to the listener. Ancient monarchial governments developed ways of relaying written reports, includinng the Roman Empire from Julius Caeser onward, which recorded and distributed a daily record of political news and acts to Roman colonies. After the empire collapsed, news dissemination depended on travelers' tales, songs and ballads, letters, and governmental dispatches. Rennaissance and the printing press The invention of the movable type printing press, attributed to Johann Gutennberg in 1456, led to the wide dissemination of the Bible and other printed books. The first newspapers appeared in Europe in the 17th Century. The first printed periodical was the Mercurius Gallobelgicus, first appearing in Cologne, now Germany, in 1592; it consisted of Latin text, was printed semi-annually and distributed in book fairs. The first regularly published newspaper was the Oxford Gazette, first appearing in 1665, which began while the British royal court was in Oxford to avoid the plague in London and was published twice a week. When the court moved back to
London, the publication moved with it. An earlier newsbook, the Continuation of Our Weekly News, had been published regularly in London since 1623. The first daily newspaper, the Daily Courant, appeared in 1702 and continued publication for more than 30 years. Its first editor was also the first woman in journalism, although she was replaced after only a couple of weeks. By this time, the British had adopted the Press Restriction Act, which required that the printer's name and place of publication be included on each printed document. Journalism in America The first printer in Britian's American colonies was Stephen Day in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who began in 1638. The British regulation of printing extended to the Colonies. The first newspaper in the colonies, Benjamnin Harris's Publick Occurences both Foreighn and Domestick, was supressed in 1690 after only one issue under a 1662 Massachusetts law that forbade printing without a license. The publication of a story suggesting that the King of France shared a bed with his son's wife probably also contributed to the suppression. The first real colonial newspaper was the New England Courant, published as a sideline by printer James Franklin, brother of Benjamin Franklin. Like many other Colonial newspapers, it waS aligned with party interests and did not publish balanced content. Ben Franklin was first published in his brother's newspaper, under the pseudonym Silence Dogood, in 1722, and even his brother did not know. After James Franklin suspended publication of the Courant, Ben Franklin moved to Philadelphia in 1728 and took over the Pennsylvania Gazette the following year. Ben Franklin expanded his business by essentially franchising other printers in other cities, who published their own newspapers. By 1750, 14 weekly newspapers were published in the six largest colonies. The largest and most successful of these could be published up to three times per week. American Independence By the 1770s, 89 newspapers were published in 35 cities. "Most papers at the time of the American Revolution were anti-royalist, chiefly because of opposition to the Stamp Act taxing newsprint." Though the tax was imposed on newsprint, not publication itself, Colonial governments could supress newspapers "by denying the stamp or refusing to sell approved paper to the offending publihser." Newspapers flourished in the new republic by 1800, there were about 234 being published.
As the 19th Century progressed in America, newspapers began functioning more as private businesses with real editors rather than partisan organs, though standards for truth and responsibillity were still low. "Other than local news, much of the reporting was simply copied from other newspapers, sometimes verbatim. In addition to news stories, there might be poetry or fiction, or (especially late in the century) humorous columns." Newspapers in general remained political with strong bias toward the government; Andrew Jackson started his own newspaper, funnelled government printing work to it, and forced his Washington competition out of business. Rise of the great newspapers As American cities like New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington grew with the growth of the Industrial Revolution, so did newspapers. Larger printing presses, the telegraph and other technological innovations allowed newspapers to print thousands of copies, boost circulation and increase revenue. The first newspaper to fit the modern definition as a newspaper was the New York Herald, founded in 1835 and published by James Gordon Bennett. It was the first newspaper to have city staff covering regular beats and spot news, along with regular business and Wall Street coverage. In 1838 Bennett also organized the first foreign correspondent staff of six men in Europe and assigned domestic correspondents to key cities, including the first reporter to regularly cover Congress. Brief History of Journalism in India Newspaper industry in any country is related to the beginning of printing press and it was Johann Guttenberg who invented printing press in 1455. Thus in India too, the beginning of newspaper is related to the beginning of the press. The Portuguese introduced the printing press in Goa, in 1557. British East India Company brought about the printing press in India and first press was strolled at Bombay in 1674. Ironically, the first printing press was strolled in 1674, yet there was no newspaper being published for another 100years. William Bolts who was an officer in the company announced a hand written newspaper in 1776. He wrote the newspaper and asked the people to come to his residence to read it. The aim of this newspaper was to inform British Company in
India to the news from home and also to bring about the grievances against colonial administration. The first newspaper to be published in India was ‘Bengal Gazette’ or Calcutta general, which was a weekly newspaper. Later, it was named as ‘Hickey’s Gazette. Hickey declared that he started the newspaper to expose corruption and favoritism of the Company and thus he covered all the inner fights of the company and did not spare even the governor general. Raja Ram Mohan Roy published out free newspapers magazines in the year 1821, namely sambad kaumudi (Bengali), mirat-ul-akbar (Persian), brahamanical magazine (English) . It was the first time that through these newspapers Raja Ram Mohan Roy tried to cover all the readers in India. The first newspapers in Bombay were owned and printed by Parsis, who already owned the technological and financial basis for such ventures. Rustomji Keshaspathi printed the first English newspaper in Bombay in 1777. The first vernacular newspaper in Bombay was the Gujarati daily Mumbai samachar, published in 1822 by Fardoonjee Marzban. Although not the first newspaper in an Indian language, Mumbai Samachar is still being published and is India’s oldest newspaper. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.What developments in the history have helped in the publication of the newspapers? Q2.How could have newspapers helped in India’s Independence?
1.4 ROLE OF JOURNALISM
Disseminators of information? Watchdogs? Interpreters of events? Journalists have many roles to play.
Journalism mainly involves practices of print journalism in general, and newspaper in particular, because newspaper journalism remains a good grounding career in television, radio, magazine and online journalism. The role of press is to be a watchdog and act as a catalytic agent to hasten the process of socially and economic change in the society. Journalism is the voice of the people about corruption, the government, and the use and misuse of power. It
should be noted that Journalism too is part of the political process, craves for power, is made up of people with personal ambitions and aversions, preferences and prejudices. As perhaps the largest advertisers, the government supports and strengthens the press. Both the government and the press represent the ‘power elites’ and therefore reflect their interests. This is why the interests of the poor are rarely on the agenda of public discussions. The press is so obsessed with politics that even a silly rumor hits the front page. What the Journalism profession urgently needs is creative, investigative and development reporting chiefly on non-political themes like unemployment, malnutrition, exploitation of the poor, miscarriage of justice, police atrocities, development schemes and the like. For example, in India, the Bofors pay-offs, the Harshad Mehta securities scam, the ‘hawala’ payments to top politicians etc are all incidents where follow-up investigations are lacking. Such ‘crisis’ reporting sells newspapers but does little to bring the guilty to book or to educate the public about the context of corruption. Credibility is indeed the very life-blood of the press, no matter which government is in power. Journalism is an awesome responsibility, which rests on the shoulders of journalists because in the final analysis they are the custodians of the freedom of press. If they prefer careerism to standing up for their rights, they are letting down their profession. Unfortunately, journalists are inclined to accept many favors from government and therefore, their news stories will ultimately favor that particular government. New paradigm features • Journalism, have a role in society to link the individual to the world. The journalists need to give the audience a sense of what it is to be in the place they are reporting and connected to the world. • Our audience is diverse and complex. So There needs to be a consciousness of diversity: not just in terms of race and gender but also class, rural/urban and youth/aged. • Journalism must emphasize context; interpretation; research; investigation; complete reporting and analysis. • The journalists must foreground the storyteller (the individual and the media organization). • They should respect the audiences and engage in dialogue.
• In our use of sources the journalists should move beyond “the authorities”. Audiences are also sources. They must remember to foreground and situate who the sources are. • Ownership: symbolically the audience needs to feel they “own” the medium. • Ownership: economic -this needs to be diverse and needs participation by all stakeholders in media. • Control and structures within media organizations – there should be respect for storytellers and storytelling and these should be given status and compensation. From this we drafted the policy statement which reads: “In recognition of our role in society as storytellers; as the link between citizens and the world; we strive to promote: • Stories, told in a multiplicity of voices that are well researched; conceptualized; analytical; interpretive; in dialogue with, are considered respectful. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.Why are journalists called the ‘watchdogs’? Role of Journalism in society Journalism's role is to act as a mediator or translator between the public and policymaking elites. The journalist became the middleman. When elites spoke, journalists listened and recorded the information, distilled it, and passed it on to the public for their consumption. The reasoning behind this function is that the public is not in a position to deconstruct a growing and complex flurry of information present in modern society, and so an intermediary are needed to filter news for the masses. Lippman put it this way: The public is not smart enough to understand complicated, political issues. Furthermore, the public was too consumed with their daily lives to care about complex public policy. Therefore the public needed someone to interpret the decisions or concerns of the elite to make the information plain and simple. That was the role of journalists. Public affects the decision making of the elite with their vote. In the meantime, the elite (i.e. politicians, policy makers, bureacrats, scientists, etc.) would keep the business of power running. The journalist's role is to inform the public of what the elites were doing. It was also to act as a watchdog over the elites as the public had the final say with their votes. On the other hand, it is believed the public was not only capable of understanding the issues created or responded to by the elite, it was in the public forum that
decisions should be made after discussion and debate. When issues were throughly vetted, then the best ideas would bubble to the surface. Thus, journalists not only have to inform the public, but should report on issues differently than simply passing on information. journalists should take in the information, then weigh the consequences of the policies being enacted by the elites on the public. Over time, this function of journalism has been implemented in various degrees, and is more commonly known as "community journalism." This concept of ‘Community Journalism’ is at the center of new developments in journalism. journalists are able to engage citizens and the experts/elites in the proposition and generation of content. the shared knowledge of many is far superior to a single individual's knowledge and conversation, debate, and dialogue lie at the heart of a democracy. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.What role does Journalism play in our society?
1.5 GLOSSARY OF JOURNALISM TERMS
ABC: Audit Bureau of Circulation, which has the task of certifying, audited statistics on the circulation of a publication. This is highly respected watchdog body. 2. Add: additions of any kind to news story. If copy sent down to the printing has to be supplemented by additional material, this is done by marking the news copy with the connotation ‘add to’ 3. AP: Associated press 4. Assignment: A particular job given to reporters by editors. Sometimes reporters suggest their own assignments, but they must get an editor's approval before beginning work. 5. Advertisement: A public notice or announcement usually paid for, about things for sale. 6. Angle: To give a specific aspect, bias, or point of view to a story or report. 7. Article: A complete piece of writing on a single subject; it is nonfiction. 8. Attribute - to write the name of source of your information when using a quote, of book, or a part of any copyrighted work. 9. Banner: A headline stretching across all the columns on the top of the front page.
10.Beat : The exclusive territory assigned to reporter or a series of places visited by a reporter to gather news. 11.Body: Part of a story that follows the lead. Also the name of the type in which regular newspaper reading matter is set. 12.Bleed : When an illustration of photograph runs (bleed) into the edge of the page. Instruction given to printer to follow this direction. 13.Blurb: Publicity material. 14.Broadcast - communicating near and far using radio and television. 15.Byline: A line between the headline and the article, telling who wrote the article. 16.Caption: The copy (what is written) underneath a photograph 17.Caps: Capital letters 18.Closed question - This type of question doesn't help an interviewee to open up! Closed questions usually prompt a person to answer with simple "yes" or "no". But keep in mind that they can be the right questions to ask at certain points in an interview. They help you pin down important information and get a definite answer. 19.Clip - a segment of audio or videotape that's included in a story that is broadcast on radio or television or on the Web. 20.Copy - material for a newspaper or magazine article. 21.Copy Desk: Where copy is edited, cut and headlined. 22.Correspondent: A reported who is out of town on duty, who corresponds with his head office 23.Cover: Covering an event, that is, reporting it in full 24.Credit line: To name the source of a picture, illustration, photograph, giving credit to the person responsible 25.Cartoon or Comic Strip: A drawing, as in a newspaper, caricaturing or symbolizing, often satirically, some event, situation, or person of interest. Or a humorous drawing, often with a caption. 26.Crusade: a newspaper campaign for reform and development 27.Column: An article that appears regularly. It is written by one writer or about a special subject. 28.Communications: A giving or exchanging of information, signals, or messages by talk, gestures, writing, etc. Or a system for sending and receiving messages, as by telephone, radio, etc. 29.Crop: Cutting out nonessential parts of a photograph to sharpen the visual impact 30.Cut line - sentences at the bottom of a photo that describe what happened in it, which usually relate to a story. Also called a caption. 31.Cub: An unseasoned reporter
32.Dateline: The place-names at the beginning of a story that tell the reader where the story occurred. A dateline includes the name of a city or town, and sometimes the country. Before high-speed transmission of data, it also included the date, which is why it is called a "dateline." 33.Deadline: A time given to a reporter by which he/she must turn in a story. 34.Desk: The sub editor’s desk 35.Download - to take files from another computer or server for use on your own. 36.Drop: Used to indicate that a letter should be in larger type, it is the first letter in the first paragraph of a story and is set thus for purpose of effective display 37.Draft - Most journalists will write a draft of an article before submitting it. After completing this draft, they will edit their own work for content and mistakes before submitting it to the editor. 38.Dummy: A drawing usually freehand, outlining the position of news stories on a page, along with advertisements and illustrations 39.Editor: A journalist who works closely with reporters, giving out assignments and deadlines and helping them craft their stories. 40.Edition: Remake or revision of some of the pages of a newspaper 41.Editing - the process of reviewing a news story, revising the writing and checking it for mistakes before it is published or broadcast. 42.Editorial: A column written by the editor that expresses his or her opinion about a particular subject of interest 43.Embargo: Mandatory deadline for the release of a story 44.Encoding videos - the process of changing video camera footage into digital footage, which can be read and displayed by a computer. (i.e.—Real Video material) 45.Ethics in Journalism: The code of morals that journalists are supposed to uphold. These include a commitment to revealing the truth, objectively and without being influenced by self-interest, maintaining the secrecy of sources, and attributing what is said to the appropriate source. 46.Exclusive: A story that is not carried by any other newspaper on a particular day, a scoop 47."Execution at Dawn" - These are groups of people lined up against the wall to be shot (with a camera of course)! For large groups, cut lines end up being long lists of people from ‘left to right'. 48.Feature: A carefully researched article, that explains, interprets and/or provides background or tells of interesting, unusual occurrences that interest the reader. Feature stories sometimes have emotional, personal, and/or humorous slants.
49.Filler: Small items used to fill out columns where needed 50.Flush: Set copy without para indenting 51.Feature: 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. 52.FTP - (File Transfer Protocol) this is a program used to upload files and WebPages from a personal computer to a server. After an individual creates a website, they must upload (transfer) this page to a server so that it can be viewed by others. 53.Headline: The title of the article or column. 54.Header: The graphic design at the top of each page of the paper that tells you what section of the paper you are in. 55.HTML - (Hyper Text Markup Language) HTML is the lingua franca for publishing hypertext on the World Wide Web. It is a non -proprietary format, based upon SGML and can be created and processed in a wide range of tools from simple plain text editors to sophisticated authoring tools. HTML uses tags like <h1> and </h1> to structure text into headings, paragraphs, lists, hypertext links and more. 56.Hyperlinks - The text you find on a Web site, which can be "clicked on" with a mouse, which in turn will take you to another Web page or a different area of the same Web page. Hyperlinks are created or "coded" in HTML. They are also used to load multimedia files such as AVI movies and AU sound files. 57.Hypertext -A system of writing and displaying text that enables the text to be linked in multiple ways, to be available at several levels of detail, and to contain links to related documents. It refers to a nonlinear system of information browsing and retrieval that contains associative links to other related documents. The World Wide Web uses hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) to provide links to pages and multimedia files. 58.Interview: A meeting in which a person is asked about views, activities; as by a reporter on a radio or a published account. 59.Investigative Reporting: Reporting that requires a careful search to uncover facts and determine the truth. 60.Info-bahn - the information super highway (info, as in information and bahn, as in German for highway). 61.*. Jpeg *.gif - These two file extensions are the most common types of picture files. If you were to scan a picture into a computer yourself, you would need to convert the file to one of these formats for use on a web page.
62.Journalism: The work of gathering, writing, editing, and publishing or disseminating news, as through newspapers and magazines or by radio and television. 63.Journalist: Someone who works in the news gathering business, such as a photographer, editor or reporter. 64.Layout: The way the newspaper is designed and laid out on the page. 65.Leading questions - These questions try to lead an interviewee in a certain direction. 66.Lead - the first and most important sentence of the story. It sets up what the story is going to be about. 67.Letter to the Editor: a letter written by a private citizen to convey an opinion regarding a community issue. These are printed in the paper to give the community members a voice. 68.Loaded words - words that leave people with a distinct and often negative impression. That can prompt your source to get defensive or to disagree with your question – and that won't help you get an answer to your question! 69.Mass Media: Those means of communication that reach and influence large numbers of people, especially newspapers, popular magazines, radio and television. 70.Masthead: This appears on the editorial page, and it lists the names and positions of all individuals on the newspaper, along with guidelines for letters to the editor. 71.Morgue: News library, also known as reference section 72.Newsroom: An office where journalists work. 73.Neutral questions - A neutral question is straightforward. It doesn't have your opinion in it. You aren't assuming you know the answer already. Your question is clear and gets right to the point. In return, you will probably get an informative answer. 74.News article: It presents, as objectively as possible, the facts about the latest news events. 75.News brief (or News Item): The basic structure for a newspaper article. 76.News hawk: a reporter 77.Nose for news: aptness for sensing news 78.Objectivity: The state or quality of being without bias or prejudice; detached, impersonal. The journalist's job is to report the facts, not colored by his personal opinion; except in the case of opinions or editorials. 79.Obit: Short for obituary, an announcement of a death 80.Opinion: Letters or articles that express the subjective opinion of the writer.
81.Open -ended questions - these questions encourage the person to talk and share their thoughts and feelings on a subject. It allows them to tell their own story without much prompting from the reporter. 82.Off the record - this is what people say when they want the information they tell you to be unmentioned. This means that they don't want their names or quotes to be said to anyone or printed in your story. 83.On the record - the opposite of "off the record". This means that you are allowed to use the person's name and quotes for your story. 84.Online journalism - stories that are written specifically for the Web instead of newspaper, radio, television or magazine. It can include the use of text, photos, graphics, hypertext, audio and video to tell stories. 85.Pen name: A pen name is a name other than the writer's legal name used as the byline on their written work. 86.Photographer: A journalist who takes photos. 87.Pulitzer Prize: Pulitzer Prizes are annual awards for achievements in American journalism, letters, drama and music. The prizes have been awarded by Columbia University in New York City since 1917, on the recommendation of a Pulitzer Prize Board. Fourteen prizes are given in journalism. The award is named after Joseph Pulitzer, American newspaper publisher, who endowed the journalism school and the awards. 88.Photography: Each article must be accompanied by an appropriate photograph and caption. Photographs should be colorful, interesting, clear and well composed. 89.Pix: Picture 90.Plagiarism: The act of taking ideas and writings from another and passing them off as one's own. 91.Profile: A short biography of an interesting person. It is usually based on an interview with the person. 92.Proof Reader: One who reads proofs to make corrections in setting and sends it back for revision 93.Pack journalism - this refers to large groups of reporters from different newspapers or broadcasting stations that are all after the same big story. You usually find mobs of journalists outside courthouses, city halls, or at the scene of an accident or disaster, to get comments from the important sources. Compare this to a pack of hungry wolves: they're all hunting one thing, the story, but they're all so hungry that they want to move in to get the biggest piece for themselves. 94.Photographs "Grip and Grin" - These are photos of people receiving awards or diplomas, cutting ribbons or passing out cheques. They just do the ‘handshake' pose and smile at the camera.
95.Publish - to produce or release a written work for the public to see or hear. 96.Put to bed: When all pages have been locked up and the press is ready to print it. 97.Report: An article meant to tell a story and inform. 98.Review: An article that presents a critic's opinion about an artist's work (for example: books, plays, movies, television and dance). 99.Reporter: A journalist who gathers information and writes news stories. 100. Real Video - The format of video files displayed on most Internet sites, such as SNN. 101. Running Story: A chronological story of an event topped by successive leads as the news changes 102. Scoop: An advantage gained over competitors by publishing a news item first. Often, a news item itself is a called a scoop when no one else has that news item. 103. Source: A person who gives information to a reporter or editor. 104. Survey: It collects the demographic profile of the reader and their opinions about a subject that has been chosen for study. 105. Subjectivity: The state or quality of being effected by the feelings or temperament of the subject or person thinking. (It is extremely important for us to teach our students to distinguish between subjective and objective journalism. Even though it is presented in black and white that does not mean that it is free from the writer's opinion.) 106. Scrum - The gathering of reporters around a person who is important to a particular story. When a scrum occurs, all the reporters shout questions to the person in an attempt to further their own story. This situation is much more informal then a Press Conference. 107. Source -a person, written article, book, song, video or film from which to get information 108. Search engine - a program used by an Internet browser to look for specific words and sort them for information. 109. Server - A computer in a network shared by multiple users. The term may refer to both the hardware and software or just the software that performs the service. For example, Web server may refer to the Web server software in a computer that also runs other applications, or, it may refer to a computer system dedicated only to the Web server application. There would be several dedicated Web servers in a large Web site. 110. Sleuth: reporter specializing in stories involving exclusive investigation 111. Slug: notation placed on copy to identify the story 112. Syntax - the way those words are put together to make sentences.
Target Audience: Who are the readers of the newspaper? The editors and journalists must gear themselves towards writing what will interest this population, in order for the newspaper to be successful. 114. Tail piece: Usually paragraph with finishing touches, a joke at the end, something added on to enliven a column 115. Upload: to transfer files from your computer to another computer or server. 116. Wire: A source of information for Journalists. You may have heard a reporter say that they got their information "off the wire". The wire itself is an up-to-the-minute source of information for other reporters. 117. Wrap-up questions - help you make sure you have all the information you need. You can ask your source questions like this to end the interview and clarify information he has given you during the course of your conversation. 118. Web cast - a video or audio broadcast that's transmitted over the World Wide Web. Wire Service: News Agency 120. Yellow Journalism: The use of cheaply sensational or unscrupulous methods in newspapers to attract and influence the readers. (The New York World of 1895 would print the "Yellow Kid" comic strip in yellow ink to attract readers.)
Journalism is anything that contributes in some way in gathering, selection, processing of news and current affairs for the press, radio, television, film, cable, internet, etc. The history of Journalism, or the gathering and transmitting of news, spans the growth of technology and trade, marked by the advent of specialized techniques for gathering and disseminating information on a regular basis that has caused, the steady increase of "the scope of news available to us and the speed with which it is transmitted." In early times, messengers were appointed to bring word, carriers to proclaim it and busybodies to spread the word. The need to know helped attract people to crossroads, campfires and market places. It helped motivate journeyers; it helps explain the reception accorded travelers.
1.7 EXERCISES AND QUESTIONS
Q1.Define ‘Journalism’? What role does it plays in our society? Q2.Give a brief account of the history of Journalism in the world. Q3.Write down the names of some journalism terms and explain their meaning?
1.8 FURTHER READING
1.News Writing - George Hough 2.The Professional Journalism - M. V. Kamath 3.The Journalist 's Handbook - M.V. Kamath
2.0 2.1 2.2 Unit Objectives Introduction Definition of News
2.2.1 What is News? 2.2.2 Writing news story 2.2.3 Types of News 2.2.4 News structure 2.2.5 Elements of News 2.2.6 Functions of News 2.2.7 News Sources 2.2.8 Structure and Scope of News 2.2.9
2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11
2.3.1 What is a ‘lead’? 2.3.2 Ideas to write leads 2.3.3 Types of leads 2.3.4
2.4.1 Definition of Headline 2.4.2 Types of Headlines
Types of News Writing Newsroom structure and Role
2.6.1 Desk Management 2.6.2 Editor 2.6.3 Sub-Editor
2.7.1 Role of Journalist 2.7.2 Qualities of a Journalist
Trends in Modern Journalism Summary Exercises and Questions Further Reading
2.0 UNIT OBJECTIVES
• • • • • To define ‘news’ To discuss the importance and types of news To know the elements of a news story To discuss the functions of news and trace various news sources To know the meaning of a ‘lead’ and ‘headline’
• To learn the role and ethics of journalists in our society
‘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 DEFINITION OF NEWS
2.2.1 What is News? ‘News is anything that makes a reader say “Gee whiz”! Arthur Mac Ewen 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, sudden reversals, ups and downs of fate and facts and follies of the mankind.
2.2.2 Writing a News Story
1. What can I write about? What is news?
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.
2.2.3 Types of News
Hard news (+/- 600 words): This is how journalists refer to news of the day. It is a chronicle of current events/incidents and is the most common news style on the front page of your typical newspaper. It starts with a summary lead. What happened? Where? When? To/by whom? Why? (The journalist's 5 W's). It must be kept brief and simple, because the purpose of the rest of the story will be to elaborate on this lead. Keep the writing clean and uncluttered. Most important, give the readers the information they need. If the federal government announced a new major youth initiative yesterday, that's today's hard news. Hard news stories make up the bulk of news reporting. Hard news consists of basic facts. It is news of important public events, international happenings, social conditions, economy, crime, etc. thus, most of the material found in daily papers, especially from page items or news casts, deal in the hard news category. The main aim of the hard news is to inform. Soft news (+/-600 words): This is a term for all the news that isn't time-sensitive. Soft news includes profiles of people, programs or organizations. Most of news content is soft news. Soft news, if cleverly written and carefully targeted can offer an alternative. Soft news can cover business or social trends. Typically, soft stories have a human interest, entertainment focus or a statistical and survey approach. This gives a journalist a chance to be creative and have fun with the news.
One major advantage of softer news is that many of the stories have a longer shelf life. They can be used at any time the practitioner or reporter deems appropriate. Feature (+/-1500 words): 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. While writing a feature, 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 whom to believe. No personal opinions are allowed. The quotes from the people you interview make up the story. You are the narrator. Editorial: 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. Two types of editorials can be recognized: Youth beat (+/- 700 words): Youth beats are journalist’s editorial bread and butter. It's the 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. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.What are the different types of News?
2.2.4 News Structure
The structure of a news story (hard & soft news & features) is simple: a lead and the body. The Lead One of the most important elements of news writing is the opening paragraph or two of the story. Journalists refer to this as the "lead," and its function is to summarize the story and/or to draw the reader in (depending on whether it is a "hard" or "soft" news story. Below is the difference between these two genres of news stories. In a hard news story, the lead should be a full summary of what is to follow. It should incorporate as many of the 5 "W's" of journalism (who, what, where, when and why) as possible. (e.g. "Homeless youth marched down Yonge St. in downtown Toronto Wednesday afternoon demanding the municipal government provide emergency shelter during the winter months." - Can you identify the 5 W's in this lead?) In a Soft news story , the lead should present the subject of the story by allusion. This type of opening is somewhat literary. Like a novelist, the role of the writer is to grab the attention of the reader. (e.g. "Until four years ago, Jason W. slept in alleyways... ") Once the reader is drawn in, the 5 "W's" should be incorporated into the body of the story, but not necessarily at the very top. The Body The body of the story involves combining the opinions of the people you interview, some factual data, and a narrative, which helps the story flow. A word of caution! In this style of writing, you are not allowed to "editorialize" (state your own opinion) in any way.
Remember: The role of a reporter is to find out what people are thinking of an issue and to report the opinions of different stakeholders of an issue. These comments make up the bulk of the story. The narrative helps to weave the comments into a coherent whole. Thus, stick to one particular theme throughout the story. You can put in different details but they all have to relate to the original idea of the piece. (e.g. If your story is about black youth and their relationship with the police you do not want to go into details about the life of any one particular youth). As a reporter, you are the eyes and ears for the readers. You should try to provide some visual details to bring the story to life (this is difficult if you have conducted only phone interviews, which is why face-to-face is best). You should also try to get a feel for the story. Having a feel means getting some understanding of the emotional background of the piece and the people involved in it. Try to get a sense of the characters involved and why they feel the way they do. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.An artist is having her first show. Why? What is it that she believes about her art? Is her artistic process rational or from the soul? What does the work look like? Write a news story about it. Q2.Note a lead from any news story in a newspaper. Try to identify the 5Ws in the lead. Further tips for news writing Finding story ideas • 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. Newsgathering Begin collecting articles on your subject.
• Talk to friends and associates about the subject. • Contact any agencies or associations with interest or professional knowledge in the area. • Create a list of people you want to interview; cover both sides of the story by interviewing people on both sides of the issue. • Collect government statistics and reports on the subject get old press releases or reports to use as background. Interviewing do's and don'ts • Be polite. • Explain the ground rules of the interview to people unfamiliar with how the media works - this means that you tell them the information they give you can and will be published. If they do not want any part of what they say published, they need to tell you it is "off the record." • Tape the interview (so if anyone comes back at you, you have the proof of what was said). • Build a relationship with the person being interviewed. • Start with easy questions; end with difficult questions. • Read the body language of the person you're interviewing and if they get defensive, back away from the question you are asking and return later. • Don't attack the source. • Keep control of the interview; don't let the subject ramble or stray from the subject. • On the other hand, don't let your "opinion" of what the story should be color the interview. Always remember that the person you are talking with knows more about the subject than you do. Organizing the information • • • • • • Gather your notes, interviews and research into a file. Review your notes. Look for a common theme. Search your notes for good quotes or interesting facts. Develop a focus. Write the focus of the article down in two or three sentences.
Writing and editing • Remember you are the narrator, the storyteller.
• Don't be afraid to rewrite.
• • • • • • •
Be as clear and concise in the writing as possible. Avoid run-on sentences. Be direct. Tell a good story. Tell the reader what you think they want to know. Always ask yourself what the story is about. Read the story out loud; listen carefully.
2.2.5 Elements of News
The main elements of news are: Elements of news are what determine a story’s “newsworthiness”. There are 10 elements of news; however, a story only needs to have a few of these elements. Oddity-Strange incidents are news. News stories with an element of surprise will create curiosity and will be in news. This is where the ‘man bites dog’ stories come in along with other surprising, shocking or unusual events. Emotion-How do people feel about it? These news stories will be both bad news and good news. Death, tragedy, is example of bad news. Positive news stories are far more prevalent than is suggested by the cynical claim that only good news is bad news. Consequence -What is the effect on the reader? News stories about issues, groups and nations are perceived to be of relevance to the audience. Proximity- Where is the story from? What happens in and around your city interests you more than what happened in a far-flung region. Therefore, newspapers allocate greater space for local news coverage because of the proximity factor. Drama-Dramatic Events of any kind would be an ideal subject for an interesting news story. Human Interest-People doing interesting things or incidents having an emotional element. These kind of stories covers all the feelings that human beings have including sympathy, happiness, sadness, anger, ambition, love, hate, etc. News stories concerning entertainment, showbiz, drama, humorous treatment, witty headlines, entertaining photographs will be of interest to most of the people.
Prominence-Famous people make news! Virtually every action of famous people is considered to be newsworthy. Stories concerning the elite, powerful individuals, organizations or institutions are enough to create a news story. Celebrities are always a subject for news and their every action is under the observation of the media. Progress-Technological advance and new discoveries will always be the subject for discussion and a readable news story. Conflicts-Man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. machine, man vs. himself. Conflict has an element of drama that gets attention and hence serves as a criterion for news selection. Timeliness-Its new so will be in news! Timeliness is the essence of news and is understandably a criterion for news selection. An event that has just happened makes a good news story, while events happened a few days ago are history. News values Your lead should emphasize the most " newsworthy" information in the story you are trying to tell. But how do you figure out what information is most newsworthy? The information you consider most newsworthy depends in part on your own values, experiences and knowledge. But some general guidelines exist. Below are several characteristics that can make information newsworthy. The more of these characteristics a piece of information has, the more newsworthy the information is. Impact: Information has impact if it affects a lot of people. A proposed income tax increase, for instance, has impact, because an income tax increase would affect a lot of people. The accidental killing of a little girl during a shootout between rival drug gangs has impact, too. Even though only one-person -the little girl-was directly affected, many people will feel a strong emotional response to the story. Timeliness: Information has timeliness if it happened recently. "Recently" is defined by the publication cycle of the news medium in which the information will appear. o For "Newsweek," events that happened during the previous week are timely.
For a daily newspaper, however, events that happened during the 24 hours since the last edition of the paper are timely. For CNN Headline News, events that happened during the past half hour are timely.
Prominence: Information has prominence if it involves a well-known person or organization. • If you or I trip and fall, no one will be all that interested, because you and I aren't well known. • But if the president of the United States trips and falls, everyone will be interested because the president is well known. Proximity: Information has proximity if it involves something happened somewhere nearby. • If a bus wreck in India kills 25 people, the Nashville Tennessean will devote maybe three or four paragraphs to the story. • But if a bus wreck in downtown Nashville kills 25 people, the Tennessean will devote a sizable chunk of its front page to the story. Conflict: Information has conflict if it involves some kind of disagreement between two or more people. • Remember how, when you were a kid, everyone would run to watch a fight if one erupted on the playground? • Fights have drama-who will win? - And invite those watching to choose sides and root for one or more of the combatants. • Good democracy involves more civil -we hope -conflicts over the nature of public policy. That's why the media carry so much political news. Journalists see themselves as playing an important role in the public debate that forms the basis for democracy. Weirdness: Information has weirdness if it involves something unusual or strange. • Charles A. Dana, a famous editor, once said, "If a dog bites a man, that's not news. But if a man bites a dog, that's news!" • Dana was saying that people are interested in out-of-the-ordinary things, like a man biting a dog.
Currency: Information has currency if it is related to some general topic a lot of people are already talking about. A mugging in downtown Murfreesboro generally won't attract much attention from reporters at the Daily News Journal. • But if the mugging occurred a day after a report by the FBI had named Murfreesboro the city with the state's fastest-growing crime rate, the mugging would be big news. • People would respond to news of the mugging by saying, "See, here's an example of just the kind of thing that FBI report was talking about. We've got to do something about the crime rate!" CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.Enlist the various elements of a News story.
2.2.6 Functions of News
News contains much that is new. ‘News is anything out of the ordinary.’ ‘News is anything published in a newspaper which interests a large number of people’. The main functions of news are: News informs people about anything unusual that take place in the society. Mysteries, small or big, interest people and so mysteries are news. Events that affect people’s lives are news, the more people affected the bigger the news. 2. People learn something new everyday through news they get from newspaper or television. They read about things they have heard about and also would like to read about. 3. News affect people and is capable of stirring widespread awareness. News touches the deepest emotion of the people and appeals somehow to everyone. Thus news affects the government as well as the common people. 4. Important messages and decisions of the government are conveyed to the people through the medium of news. News broadcast carry important statements by persons in authority to the people. 5. Conflicts between man to man and also between man and environment are carried out as news. These affect us in one-way or other. Natural phenomena like violence, calamities and disasters make us aware of the present situations and keep a check on growing violence in our society.
6. New trends, events and ideas are the focus of soft news and thus grasp the
imagination of people in the society. This further brings about change and progress for the country. 7. News focus on the economic, political and cultural aspects of a nation and people throughout the world learn about other nation through news only. News forms an image of a nation to the outside world. 8. Journalist may predict that something will happen thus forming a mental image of an event and thus increase the curiosity of the audience making the news more and more relevant. 9. Reference to persons in news makes them more popular and famous. Elite personalities crave to remain in news to keep up with their image though negative publicity too these days is seen as a medium of becoming famous. 10.Stories and pictures with the capacity to entertain or amuse an audience is always the main function of news. Entertainment through news is done by carrying stories relating to showbiz, drama, sex, and humorous treatment by use of photographs or witty headlines. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.What are the functions of News in our society?
2.2.7 News Sources
‘One study after another comes up with essentially the same observation….the story of journalism, on a day-to-day basis, is the story of the interaction of reporters and officials.’- Michael Schudson ‘Sources of news are everywhere’. A journalist is surrounded by sources of potential news stories ore features. A conversation with a friend, a poster on a wall, an unexpected juxtaposition-all might result in a story if you keep your eyes, ears and mind open. Some sources will be routine points of contact for journalists while others may be one-offs, some will be proactive, approaching journalists because they want news access for their views or events, while other sources may not even be aware that they are sources. A journalist should maintain a contact book having list of people categorized and carrying vital information. Sources of news can be listless, some sources are:
1. Academic journals- Research by academics, published in journals is a
frequent source of news stories. Here the journalist job is to spot a potential story among qualifications and to render the story intelligibly to the readers.
2. Armed forces- in peacetime the armed forces can generate stories
through mysterious deaths or cases of bullying that comes to light. During times of conflict military briefings become events in their own right. 3. Art groups- apart from providing information about forthcoming events, art groups can generate rows about funding or controversial subject matter. 4. Campaigns- campaigners who want to influence public opinion on subjects ranging from animal rights to environment are likely to come up with opinions or events that might generate news stories. 5. Commerce & Trade- business organizations can be useful source of news stories or comments about anything from interest rates, shares to shopping. Also, consumer stories are a valuable source of information for evaluating the image of an organization. 6. Council press offices- local authorities employ teams of press officers. They react to journalists’ queries, coming up with information, quotes and contacts while acting as buffer between decision makers and journalists. Council press officers with an eye for a good story should be able to get daily page leads in local evening newspaper because they know what turns on the common people. 7. Court hearings- court reporters dip in and out of several courtrooms looking for cases that fit the news values. Hence, the importance of good contacts with court staff, police, solicitors and others should be realized. Some reporters will also go after background material like quotes from victims and their relatives. 8. Entertainment industry- it is an increasingly important source for today’s media and celebrities gain immensely because of popularity through media coverage. Films, serials and various other programmes gain only if media has been highlighting them. 9. Government News Network- the government news network produces vast numbers of news release on behalf of the government departments and agencies on a regional and national basis. It also handles ministerial and royal visits. 10.Health authorities & hospitals- outbreak of serious disease, funding crisis, hospital closures and health promotion are all examples of news stories that arise from health authorities. Hospitals are source of good news stories carrying news about cures, new treatments and general triumph-overtragedy. 11.Libraries- though it is hard to believe but the truth is that not everything is available on the Internet. Libraries retain a useful role in providing access to reference books, company reports, local history achieves, indexes of local societies, community notice boards and so on.
12.News Agencies- they are the foot soldiers of journalism at a national and international level, allowing media organizations to cover stories in areas where they have few or no staff. Agencies keep a check on offices and local bodies and look out for news stories here. Newspapers, radio, television, big news media houses, depend largely on the news agencies for general news coverage. Some famous news agencies are AP (Associated press of America print), Reuters (UK), PTI (Press Trust of India), etc. 13.News Releases- news or press releases are point of reference for the journalists while covering an event. Badly written press releases can be waste of time both for the journalist as well as for the organization. 14.Notice boards- Notices in shops, offices, libraries, colleges and elsewhere may also become a source of news. 15.Other media- newspaper monitor other papers plus TV, radio, news sites on the web. And, in turn, each medium monitors other media. 16.People- potential stories can be suggested by people you meet while at work, rest and play. This can range from somebody mentioning that they have just seen a police car parked in their street to other substantial information provided by the common people. 17.Political parties- contacts within parties can be a fruitful source of stories about rows and splits, while party spokespeople will be more keen to let you know about the selection of candidates or launch of policy initiatives. 18.PR companies- this industry provides the journalists and us a peek into the media world everyday. So it is a major source for the journalists. 19.Press conferences- press conferences are likely to be held to announce the results of official inquiries or to unveil new appointments. Fewer press conferences take place these days, as most journalists are too busy to go and collect information that could be faxed or emailed. 20.Universities- universities are a source of a huge range of stories, whether it is ground breaking research, an unusual degree scheme or an ethical argument. They are also where you will find experts in everything from aeronautics to the zodiac. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.What can be possible sources to gather news from?
2.2.8 Structure and Scope of News
‘Always grab the reader by the throat in the first paragraph, sink your thumbs into his windpipe in the second and hold him against the wall until the tag line.’Paul O’Neill.
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, a 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: 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:
This is the most widely used approach in news writing. The information is given in the descending order of importance. Thus, it has three parts: • Lead –introduction paragraph • Support and supplement to the lead • Details on descending order of importance CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.Select a news story and find its lead, body and end.
2.3 LEADS 2.3.1 What is a ‘Lead’?
The opening paragraph of the introduction paragraph of the news story is called the ‘lead’. Though in journalistic practice we also use this word for biggest headline on the front page of newspaper, calling it the ‘lead story’.
The main purpose of the intro or the lead is to make the reader want to read on, motivate them to move further into the news story and state the important facts first. Lead to a story "grabs the reader, informs the reader, and teaches the reader how to read the rest of the story." John Mc Phee says the lead is the "flashlight that shines into a story.” A newspaper reader is likely to spend only a few seconds deciding whether to read a story. If the lead does not grab the reader, the writer's work is in vain. The lead establishes the direction your writing will take. A good lead grabs your reader's attention and refuses to let go. In other words, it hooks the reader. Not every type of lead will work for every writer or for every piece of writing and one has to experiment with them. For writing a good news story, be sure to have at least three sentences in your lead, whatever type it may be.
2.3.2 Ideas on how to write an interesting lead:
Question Open with an interesting question that relates to the main idea. Example: Have you ever wondered how you would survive if you found yourself alone in the wilderness? How would you defend yourself against predators? What would you eat? Where would you find water? Riddle Open with a riddle that the reader can solve by reading further. You may want to give the answer right away or save it for the conclusion. Example: What textbook has no pages, is miles wide, and smells like a creek? It's been around for millions of years. That's right-Outdoor School Announcement Open with an announcement about what is to come. However, do not insult the reader by saying something like, "I am going to tell you about..." The reader should be able to figure out what you are writing about. If not, there is something wrong with what you have written, not with the reader.
Example: The trait of voice is very important in writing. However, it is difficult to teach and even more difficult to learn. It is similar to athletic ability because it is more like a talent than a skill. Bold and Challenging Statement A bold and challenging statement is similar to an announcement, but is meant to cause some people to disagree with what you say. It's like one side of an argument. It can be an opinion, but don't immediately state that it is your opinion. Example: Using horses and cattle in the sport of rodeo is animal abuse. What makes it more aggravating is that it is legal. According to the law, there is nothing wrong with chasing an animal down, tightening a rope around its neck, knocking it to the ground, and tying its legs together so it cannot move. Definition Open with a definition of the term you are discussing. It can be your own or come from a dictionary or textbook. If you take it from a dictionary or textbook, be sure to use quotation marks and give credit to the source. Example: According to Webster's Dictionary, a government is the authority that serves the people and acts on their behalf. How can the government know what the people want if the people do not vote? If we do not vote, the government may act on its own behalf instead of on the behalf of the people. Opinion Open with your opinion about the topic. This is similar to a bold and challenging statement, but you let the reader know that it is your opinion right away. Example: In my opinion, the driving age should be lowered to fourteen. Most teenagers are more responsible than adults give us credit for being. Just because we are teenagers does not mean we are irresponsible and dangerous Well Known Quotation or Quotation from a Famous Person Open with a quotation that is well known or from a famous person. Be sure to put quotations around the quotation and give credit to the person who said it. Of course, the quotation must be directly related to your topic. A good source is a book of quotations. Look in the library or ask your teacher. Example: President John F. Kennedy once said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, and ask what you can do for your country." I think today's Americans have
forgotten Kennedy's message. We expect our country to take care of us, but we are not taking care of our country. Quotation Not from a Famous Person Open with a quotation from a person that is not famous. It could be a character from the story or someone you know personally. You still must put it in quotation marks and give credit to the person who said it. Example: When I was a child, I was given the "mother's curse" by my mom. Oh, it is not anything mean or evil. She just said, "When you have children, they will act just like you." I laughed. Well, now that I have children of my own, I am not laughing anymore. The "mother's curse" really works! Personal Experience Open with something that has happened to you, or a personal experience. It could be a part of the story, or it could be something that is not a part of what you are writing about but still relates to the topic. Example: Although I did later in my room, I never cried at my grandfather's funeral. I guess that is why I felt so sad for the little girl standing next to her grandma's coffin. She looked so lost and afraid. Figurative Language Begin with a simile (comparison using like or as), metaphor (comparison saying one thing is another thing), personification (giving something nonhuman human qualities), or hyperbole (exaggeration.) The figurative language must relate directly to your topic. Example: The pencil sharpener was always hungry. It ate my pencil every time I went to sharpen it. It never seemed to do this to anyone's pencil but mine. What was so special about my pencils? Enumerated General Statement Begin with a general statement containing three or so ideas about your topic. The information given in the lead is general, not specific. The specific details that support the general statement will appear later in the paper. Example: There are many characteristics that a good teacher possesses. However, the three most important characteristics include being a good listener, being
knowledgeable about the subject, and having a kind heart. All of the teachers who positively influenced me had all three of those characteristics in common.
2.3.3 Types of Leads
1.Hard/Direct/Summary Leads: This kind of lead is mostly used in news stories because of the fact that news stories need to be concise, to the point and put the most information into the least amount of words. That's why with summary leads you summarize the entire article in the lead, or in other words, put the most important piece of information into the first sentence and go from there. Here's an example of a summary lead: President Bush was aiming to rally U.S. forces encountering tougher resistance in Iraq and warn Americans anew of a potentially long conflict when he was to visit the headquarters of Central Command on Wednesday. The president was getting a pair of briefings from Central Command brass and having lunch with troops. At the Tampa, Fla., facility, he also was to give a speech in which he was reminding military personnel that the United States leads a large coalition in the war to unseat Saddam Hussein, White House spokesman Fleischer said. 2.Blind Leads: This is a lead where you start off the article by summarizing but leaving out one essential detail; this is done to catch the interest of the reader. As journalists you want people to read and be interested in your work, and in feature writing especially confusing the reader in the beginning is sometimes a very good way to catch their interest. Right after a blind lead you have to clarify the missing piece of info though. Here's an example: It was like the scene from the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," only for a wireless generation. Elena Brooks was incredulous when a pizza deliveryman arrived at Bethel High School one day last spring with an order for a student who was in class. Finding the culprit was simple enough. "Go into the room, tell everyone to turn their cellphones on and find out which phone has the number stored for the pizza place," said Ms. Brooks, the principal of Bethel High, in Hampton. When identified, the student said he had ordered the pizza because he had missed lunch. "He didn't see anything wrong with it at all, which was amazing," she said.
3.Narrative Leads: These leads are another feature type that actually takes you into the mind of the main person in an article. Narrative leads tell a story from a person's specific perspective; it's the most classic and in some instances most effective way to start out a feature. Pick a person and start your article out with their story and tie it into the main point. Here's an example: Joe Darnaby had his heart set on going to college out East next year. But since Sept. 11, his parents have laid down a new rule: no school more than five hours' drive from home in Deerfield, Ill. "Part of me says that he has to follow his dreams," says his mother, Maureen, who wants her son to be able to get home in an emergency. "But there must be another place closer to home where he can do that." 4.Quote Leads: This is a lead where you start off the article with a quote that expresses the idea you want to get across well. In some newsrooms quote leads are banned because finding the perfect quote for an article is a very challenging task that most newspapers don't have the time for. Articles are written fast and frequently, and finding a good lead is essential and needs to sometimes be done very quickly. But if you have the time quote leads are very effective if done right. 5.Question Leads: These are leads use the first sentence of an article to answer one of the "w" questions in journalism, who, what, when, where and why. Another question is how, and question leads can use this too. Basically you use the lead to answer one question to make the reader wonder the answers to the rest. 6.Direct Appeal Lead: This type of lead addresses the reader directly or by implication as ‘you’. It has the effect of making the reader, a collaborator, and partner, in what follows. 7.Circumstantial Lead: Here the beginning stresses on the circumstance of the news. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.Define ‘lead’? What are the different types of leads? Q2.Write the lead of a happening or incident that took place recently in your locality.
2.4 HEADLINES 2.4.1 Definition
A headline grabs the reader's attention, targets him or her by saying something meaningful, and creates some curiosity in the reader. It can make a promise for some big benefit, it can make an offer, it can challenge the reader in some way, it can introduce some really compelling concept or idea, or it can be something newsworthy. A headline is a ‘window’ to the news story. Thus, a heading must fit, must tell the story, must confirm to newspaper’s standard, must not just be a label, must be safe and must not commit the paper to an opinion. A good headline is one that in less than a dozen words summarizes what a reporter has said. The earliest newspapers had no headlines on the front page, which was devoted entirely to advertisements, and the headlines inside did no more than announce the subject of the report. Today, every newspaper has its own style of headlining a story. Some newspaper give straight hard headings, while some other prefer to give exciting and sensational headings. It normally depends on the policy of the newspaper. It has been found that all daily newspapers in standard size generally prefer to give straight headlines and tabloid newspaper throughout the world give sensational headlines.
2.4.2 Types of Headlines
Banner Headline: A newspaper headline written in large letters across the width of the page. When the heading is given below the nameplate of the newspaper and covers all columns from left to right, it is called banner headline. Some may call it streamer, which also covers the entire column but is normally given on the inside page. Sometimes the streamer may leave one column. Skyline: for very exceptional and exclusive events, the headline of the story is some times given over the nameplate of the newspaper. It means that the event is even more important than the authority of the newspaper.
Rectangle: in such headings, all the lines are equal from left to right. Normally, it is of three lines but sometimes it can be of 2 to 4 lines too. Hanging indentation: (right justification) the heading with more than two or more lines which are justified on the right side and unjustified on the left are called hanging indentation. Waist: this is of three lines where the first and the third line cover the column but the centerline is smaller and placed centrally. Full one/one line: the headline is normally single line heading covering all the columns of the story Crosser/highlighter: crosser are normally one line headline which is given in the middle of the story. Sometimes in the story, a few important points are highlighted in the middle of the story. They are also included in this category. Flash: a recent development in the newspaper is to highlight the stories of inside pages on the first page, just below the flag. Flag (The Times of India). Over line: this is also called the eyebrow or strap line. This is normally given over the main heading. Oval: in such headlines, middle line is longer than the above and below lines. This is normally of three lines. Multi deck headings: the descending lines get smaller in size, after the main heading
Sub-heading: these are the small subsidiary headings in the body of the story Symbolic headline: this headline will show the special effects of the story
Left step: here the lines of the headline are justified on the left and unjustified on the right. Step line: the headline with two or more lines, displayed so as to give an effect of a stair. (Ladder)
Inverted pyramid: in this heading, there are three or more than three lines which are centrally set from large to small. In some cases, there could be two lines only, set in such a fashion. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.Enlist various types of Headlines. Q2.Look for different types of Headlines in your daily newspaper. Some Guidelines for Headlines
Four functions of a headline: 1.It gets the reader's attention. 2.It summarizes or tells about the article. 3.It helps organize the news on 4.It indicates the relative importance of a story.
A good headline should be accurate, clear, grammatically correct, strong, active, fresh and immediate. It should catch the reader's attention.
• The two most basic rules for headlines: 1.They must be accurate. 2.They must fit the available space. 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 Headlinese: 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.
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
Don't get into the habit of relying on squeezing or stretching the headline type to fit the space. To trained eyes, it can look sloppy, especially when the "doctored" headline appears near other headlines. In general, commas are used to replace 'and'; semicolons are used to split multi sentence headlines. Many desks do not allow colons to indicate attribution, except in rare cases, so it might be best to avoid that usage altogether. Some "headlines" words to avoid: slate, solon, nix, eyes, acronyms, names of people who are not well known. Don't convict someone in a headline (unless the story is about a conviction) -use "in" instead of "for." Avoid repeating bugs or page titles in headlines. For example, in a regular column that runs with the bug "Insider Trading," avoid using the word "Insiders" in the headline. Avoid using the same word in several headlines that appear on the same page. This can easily bore the reader.
Tips for writing Headline 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 cliché a new twist; readers are familiar with the cliché, but something different about it will reel them in. The more conversational the headline, the more the readers will like it.
1. 2. 3.
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. Four-part test for each headline: Is it accurate? Is it clear? Is it proper in tone? 4. Does it have a twist?
2.5 TYPES OF NEWS WRITING
Every news story has to have a focus, which could be a person or an event. The story emerges sharper when the focus is clear and blurred when the focus is unclear. A news story is built on a central idea (theme), sometimes on two or three central ideas. So it is called as single element story or two-element story or threeelement story depending on the number of themes it has. Journalists use many different kinds of frameworks for organizing stories. Journalists may tell some stories chronologically. Other stories may read like a good suspense novel that culminates with the revelation of some dramatic piece of information at the end. Still other stories will start in the present, then flashback to the past to fill in details important to a fuller understanding of the story. All are good approaches under particular circumstances.
1. Inverted pyramid: By far the simplest and most common story structure is
one called the "inverted pyramid." To understand what the "inverted pyramid" name means, picture an upside-down triangle -one with the narrow tip pointing downward and the broad base pointing upward. The broad base represents the most newsworthy information in the news story, and the narrow tip represents the least newsworthy information in the news story. When you write a story in inverted pyramid format, you put the most newsworthy information at the beginning of the story and the least newsworthy information at the end.
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, statement, before the main news story. A good lead gives readers the feeling that they have a front seat for the action and provides a reason to keep reading. 2. Story telling style: this approach to news writing is used mostly in magazines. It is a style that is very familiar to all of us. News stories are told in the order in which they happened, i.e., what happened first, what happened second, etc. This is known as telling a story in chronological order. This style is used to hold the reader’s interest and stimulate some imagination to see, feel, and understand the news. This is also called narrative approach.
3. Personalized approach: This style is rarely used in the newspaper stories.
This is the first person approach and the reporter gives a personal account of the incident, which took place on the spot where he/she was present personally. The reporter on the television and radio will mostly use this approach to news reporting and not the newspaper news reports.
4. Chronological news writing: In this type of writing, the information is
given in a chronological order instead of information given in descending order of importance as in inverted pyramid. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1. What does Inverted Pyramid style of news writing indicate?
2.6 NEWS ROOM STRUCTURE AND ROLE
The newsroom is the hub of the entire activity in a newspaper, news agency or a news channel. Called by different names, the editorial desk, editorial department or copy desk or news desk, it is the nerve center of the newsroom. Here the whole planning is done. However, in a news agency, the news desk edits and transmits
stories to the newspapers or news channels, which further tailors these agency news stories. 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. Following diagram will help in understanding the structure of a newsroom:
A Daily Newspaper
ADM CHM Off.M (Manager) (Circular) (Personal)
2.6.1 Desk Management
Atop the editorial hierarchy ranks the editor or an editor-in-chief who plans and directs the day-to- day operations, supported by a team of news editors, chief sub editors, senior sub editors and sub editors. The news desk usually operates in shifts and each shift is headed by a chief sub, also called as ‘slot man’. Ideally, in a newspaper, it is the news editor who plans and directs page making while the chief sub helps implement his decisions. In a news agency, news editors chief sub editor look after the smooth functioning of the news desk. They plan and write ‘leads’ (updated version of developing stories).
Residence Editor Local Editor City Editor Managing Editor
Joint Editor Associated Deputy
Feature Supplement Editor
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.
REPORTING Sport Desk Film Desk Business Dak Post
EDITING News Desk Chief-sub-Editor Desk Sr.Sub-Editor Part time Sub Editor
2.6.3 Sub-Editor or Copy Editor
Polishes up the language by removing rough edges from the copy and making it readable Fine-tunes the copy to the style of the newspaper Simplifies the language to make it reader-friendly Tailors story length to space requirements Correct factual errors Detects fraud or plant –a plant is falsehood in journalistic garment it promote somebody’s interest or discredit somebody Ensure balance and fairness and objectivity in the stories. In case of controversy, both sides get equal space
• • •
• Guard against legal trappings like defamation and copyright violation. The report stories should not defame a person by use of pejorative language. • Rewrites and restructures stories if necessary. Normally sub editing (subbing) involves looking for errors in spellings and grammar • Implement the editorial policy of the newspaper like to maintain good taste, shun sensationalism, etc • Thus, a sub editor is responsible for every word that gets printed. In a newspaper, newsroom plays the part of brain and soul of newspaper. Right from collection of news, to headlining and placing, happens in the newsroom. Newsroom is the pivot around which the newspaper revolves. All the reporters, correspondents, report to news editor, who is considered the head of newsroom would be found in the newsroom of any newspaper or news channel. Today the scene in newsroom is a bit modernized as everything is done through computers instead of the desk. Whatever the shape of the newsroom, it is indispensable in the production of the news stories. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.Describe the Newsroom and discuss the functions of the persons working in a newsroom?
‘The truth, as all honest journalists know, is that newspapers are full of errors.’Ian Mayes 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. The subject matter of journalism can be anything and everything, and journalists report and write on a wide variety of subjects: politics on the international, national, provincial and local levels, economics and business on the same four
levels, health and medicine, education, sports, hobbies and recreation, lifestyles, clothing, food, pets, sex and relationships. Journalists report for general interest news outlets like newspapers, news magazines and broadcast sources; general circulation specialty publications like trade and hobby magazines, or for news publications and outlets with a select group of subscribers. Journalism is a job done by people called ‘journalists’. Journalists have a social role to inform society about things that would other wise be private. Journalists are usually expected and required to go out to the scene of a story to gather information for their reports, and often may compose their reports in the field. They also use the telephone, the computer and the internet to gather information. However, more often those reports are written, and are almost always edited, in the newsroom, the office space where journalists and editors work together to prepare news content. Journalists, cover a specific subject or area (beat) and are expected to cultivate sources, people in the subject or area, that they can communicate with, either to explain the details of a story, or to provide leads to other subjects of stories yet to be reported. They are also expected to develop their investigative skills to better research and report stories.
2.7.1 Role of a Journalist
The main duty of a journalist is to act as an interpreter of the world around. The journalist observers the events, transmits facts about the event and acts as an interpreter of these events and happenings. A journalist should therefore stick to four ideals: 1. He should imbibe a never-ending search for the truth 2. He should be able to meet needs of the changing times, instead of waiting to be overtaken by them 3. He should be able to perform services of some consequence and significance to mankind 4. He should maintain a steadfast independence A journalist is an important unit of the democratic system in our country. He is supposed to gather facts, organize them and disseminate them to the masses. He also explains the significance of the facts and offers opinions on contemporary
issues. He is expected to comment on matters of public interest in a fair, accurate, unbiased, sober, decent and responsible manner. A journalist must be cool, detached, and even skeptical as he approaches his material. The right ‘attitude’ is an important trait in a successful journalist. He should have a high degree of skill in organizing material and in using the language. He should not be lacking in confidence but should not be overconfident or over enthusiastic. He should avoid distortion in the news story in an effort to attain striking effect. ‘Attribution’ or the ‘name of the source’ is another thing, which should not be overlooked. The best attribution is the name of the precise source. The next best is the name of the organization, office or group, represented by the source as a spokesman. The least satisfactory, but sometimes the most necessary, is some variation of the phrase, ‘informed source’, if the origin of the news must be held in confidence. ‘Write like you talk’ is a phrase gaining much currency in modern journalism. The stiff, formidable phrasing of the thirties is no longer considered a good form. Instead, easy-flowing, lively and palatable language is becoming popular. A great deal of importance is also attached to the ‘vitality’ factor in journalists. Every journalist has to religiously observe the newspaper edition deadlines. Journalism ethics and standards It include principles of ethics and of good practice to address the specific challenges faced by professional journalists. Historically and currently these principles are most widely known to journalists as their professional "code of ethics" or the "canons of journalism." The basic codes and canons commonly appear in statements drafted by both professional journalism associations and individual print, broadcast, and online news organizations. While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of- truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability-as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent reportage to the public. Like many broader ethical systems, journalism ethics include the principle of "limitation of harm." This often involves the withholding of certain details from
reports such as the names of minor children, crime victims' names or information not materially related to particular news reports release of which might, for example, harm someone's reputation.
2.7.2 Qualities of a Journalist
There is no prescribed qualification for a journalist but not everyone can be a good journalist. A good journalist is sometimes born but more often he is fashioned out of the hard school of a rigorous test and training.
1. Curiosity- A journalist needs to know more and more, at least five times
4. 5. 6.
more than the ordinary person. The best journalists go into situations with open and absorbing minds. Thus, curiosity is the greatest virtue of a journalist-a constant interest in what makes people tick, why has this happened, what is going on? So naturally ‘nosy’ people makes the best of reporters. A good journalist would want to know more than anybody else and will always be enthusiastic in finding out whatever he can. Creativity- There is moments when nothing news worthily happens and this is when creativity comes into picture. Commitments- some people who become a journalist are committed to attend to assigned duties even in adverse situations. Commitment is one of the most important qualities for a journalist. Dependability- a journalist should be able to create among the people trust for him. The news sources must trust the journalist completely. Skepticism- a journalist should have the habit and quality to double-check everything before the final presentation. Courage- to face the reality for all excitements and dedication to the value of a free and open press is some basic restraint in journalism. Journalists have to deal with all kinds of people all the time. Someone maybe shy or fearful, rude or kind but a good journalist should know how to deal with them and how to squeeze news out of them. Thus, a journalist should be able to read minds and deal in all kinds of people in every situation.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS Q1.What are the qualities that one should possess to be a successful journalist?
Professional and Ethical standards for Journalists Journalists are expected to follow a stringent code of journalistic conduct that requires them to, among other things: Use original sources of information, including interviews with people directly involved in a story, original documents and other direct sources of information, whenever possible, and cite the sources of this information in reports. • Fully attribute information gathered from other published sources, should original sources not be available (to not do so is considered plagiarism; some newspapers also note when an article uses information from previous reports) • Use multiple original sources of information, especially if the subject of the report is controversial • Check every fact reported • Find and report every side of a story possible • Report without bias, illustrating many aspects of a conflict rather than siding with one • Approach researching and reporting a story with a balance between objectivity and skepticism. • Use careful judgment when organizing and reporting information. • Be careful about granting confidentiality to sources (news organizations usually have specific rules that journalists must follow concerning grants of confidentiality) • Decline gifts or favors from any subject of a report, and avoid even the appearance of being influenced • Abstain from reporting or otherwise participating in the research and writing about a subject in which the journalist has a personal stake or bias that cannot be set aside.
2.9 TRENDS IN MODERN JOURNALISM
With a change in times, the concept of journalism too is undergoing many changes. It is no more a social service but a service or a job now. Today, it is considered a big profit making industry. Therefore, energy medium of journalism, print as well as visual is trying to increase its audience to earn more revenue, sometimes even
forgetting the basic ethics of journalism. These trends are clearly visible in modern journalism and these three major elements are: Editorial: Now-a-days, the editors are manager and the readers have become consumers. Hence, journalism i.e. to inform and educate have now extended to entertainment also to attract more and more audience because more audience means more advertisements i.e. more revenue. Page 3 Culture is exactly the result of this change. Another major trend in modern journalism is the investigative part. Investigative journalism is one in which journalists investigate and expose unethical, immoral and illegal behavior by individuals, businesses and government agencies Although every story needs some research and investigation but the ‘Watergate Disclosure’ in the1970 led to a new era, in which the mass media became more aggressive in reporting the activities of politicians. ‘Watergates’ was an American political scandal that eventually led to the resignation of Richard Nixon, the first US President to be brought down by investigative journalism. After that, in India too, the newspapers like the Indian Express have exposed many political scandals. In broadcast journalism these days, news channels too are carrying out ‘sting operation’ to expose corruption, crime and violation of rights in our society, which is the modern trend in investigative journalism. Many such aggressive attacks have already been made on famous politicians and well-known celebrities. Tehelka.com have carried out many such sting operations in recent past. But somehow, these sting operations could not be called investigative journalism because there is no investigation as such. Maximum participation from the audience is achieved today by letters, SMSs, E-mail, etc. This trend vigorously started, particularly in broadcast journalism at the time of London Bomb Blast on 7.7.05 when video clippings were shown on BBC television. Now-a-days there is also an absolutely new trend in journalism i.e. ‘Citizen journalism’. Here, every citizen can become a journalist by participating in newsgathering. Citizen journalism, also known as "participatory journalism," is the act of citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information". The intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires. Earlier, the sole aim was information, but today it is information, entertainment, public interest at a large.
Marketing: An aggressive marketing drive has overtaken the media of today, making it more commercialised than ever. The media of mass communication and journalism i.e.television, radio, newspaper, are considered as commodities and vigorous marketing is done. Also much advertising is done these days to increase the circulation of the mass media. This has also led to state of the art designing and production of newspapers and programmers because a better and more advanced presentation is the requirement of the day. Technology: the news information technology has resulted in revolutionary changes in every sphere of life including journalism. With over expanding of satellite network, the world has become a ‘tiny global village’ . Computers, WWW, cellular phones,internet, etc the world of communication has changed immensely. As a result, a new branch of journalism i.e. ‘Cyber Journalism’ or ‘On-line-Journalism’ has emerged. Today, almost eveery important newspaper and magazine is available on the internet. The fast and vast growth of the Internet and World Wide Web has spawned the newest medium for journalism, on-line journalism. The speed at which news can be disseminated on the web, and the profound penetration to anyone with a computer and web browser, have greatly increased the quantity and variety of news reports available to the average web user. The bulk of on -line journalism has been the extension of existing print and broadcast media into the web via web versions of their primary products. New reports that were set to be released at expected times now can be published as soon as they are written and edited, increasing the deadline pressure and fear of being scooped many journalists must deal with. Most news websites are free to their users -one notable exception being the Wall Street Journal website, for which a subscripton is required to view its content- but some outlets, such as the New York Times website, offer current news for free but archived reports and access to opinion columnists and other non-news sections for a periodic fee. However, the growth of blogs as a source of news and especially opinion on the news has forever changed journalism. Blogs now can create news as well as report it, and blur the dividing line between news and opinion.
Thus, technological development is also reflected in the daily working style of the journalists. They have computers and laptops intead of paper and pen. Also, news writing and news presentation is done with the help of the computers. Instead of proof reading mistakes and errors, they can be easily corrected on the computer screens itself. Picture arrangements, headings, columns, color arrangements, eveerything is done on the screen. The full dummy can also be seen on the screen of thecomputer. Even the print orders is done through electronic E-publishing i.e. you can make a page on the computer screen, link those pages, make a dummy, final it and OK it for printing. This has given a new concept of ‘convergence’ in communication.
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. One of the most important elements of news writing is the opening paragraph or two of the story. Journalists refer to this as the "lead," and its function is to summarize the story 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 opening paragraph of the introduction paragraph of the news story is called the ‘lead’. A headline is a ‘window’ to the news story. Thus, a heading must fit, must tell the story, must confirm to newspaper’s standard, must not just be a label, must be safe and must not commit the paper to an opinion. A good headline is one that in less than a dozen words summarizes what a reporter has said.
Journalists report for general interest news outlets like newspapers, news magazines and broadcast sources; general circulation specialty publications like trade and hobby magazines, or for news publications and outlets with a select group of subscribers. With a change in times, the concept of journalism too is undergoing many changes. It is no more a social service but a service or a job now. Today, it is considered a big profit making industry.
2.10 EXERCISES AND QUESTIONS
Q1.Define ‘News’? What role does news play in our society? What are the various kinds of news? Q2.What are the element of a news story? Describe the structure of a news story? Q3. Who is the ‘Journalist’? What qualities should he possess in order to be an ideal journalist? Q4. Describe in detail the structure of the newsroom and discuss the roles of various people working in Desk Management? Q5. Discuss the modern trends in today’s Journalism? Q6. What is a ‘Headline’? What are the different kinds of Headlines? Q7. What is a ‘lead’? Discuss the various ways to write interesting leads? Q8. From What all sources can we gather news? Q9. Discuss the ‘Inverted Pyramid’ style of news writing. Q10.What elements can be included in a news story to make it more readable and worthy?
2.11 FURTHER READING
1.News Writing - George Hough 2.The Professional Journalism - M. V. Kamath 3.The Journalist 's Handbook - M.V. Kamath