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News C.R.A.F.T. Workshop

Writing is a craft -- a skill that is learned by doing. News writing is a particular craft with its own style and its own set of values.
by Dennis Jerz on 23 September 2013

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Transcript of News C.R.A.F.T. Workshop

lear
elevant
ccurate
air
imely

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
News Craft
Overview

First Amendment
Fourth Estate
t
t
"Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all."
Clergy.... Nobility... Commoners
Thomas Carlyle, 1841
British politician Edmund Burke, 17C
A PRIVATE SCHOOL IS NOT CONGRESS, SO THE FIRST AMENDMENT
DOES NOT APPLY. WHAT DOES APPLY IS ACADEMIC FREEDOM.
Watchdog
Investigative
Populist
Yellow Journalism
Objectivity
Community
Functions of Journalism
Weather
School Closings
B4 Facebook: Social Events
Accidents
Crime
Courts
Holding politicians to their campaign promises.
Empowering the vulnerable.
Fact-checking
Undercover
Reconstruction
Stakeouts
Databases
Citizen Journalism
Celebrity
& Gossip
Infotainment
Independence from Faction
Bias
Transparency
A 20C financial innovation.
Yellow Kid (cartoon, 1890s)
Popular in Tabloids
Graphics and Color
BIG BANNER
HEADLINES!
War sells more
papers than peace.
So, media titans
agitated for war.
Pulitzer vs. Hearst
Surely your eyes are drawn to
C
R
A
F
T

Clear
Concise
Correct
http://newsroom101.com/redundicide/
Relevant
Relatable
Real
Accurate
Attributed
Accountable
Fair
Fearless
Favorless
Timely
Topical
Thorough
Journalists
have the obligation to

Make the Important Interesting.
Citizens of a free society
have the obligation to

Participate.
Newsworthiness
rarity
impact (numbers)
impact (scale)
proximinity
celebrity
Le marchand de la mort est mort
(The merchant of death is dead)
1888. Inventor of dynamite reads his own obituary.

Decides the world should
remember him differently.
Alfred Nobel.

Chemistry
Physics
Medicine
Literature
Peace
1948 US Presidential Election
President-elect Truman gleefully displays the erroneous headline.

A printer's strike and the Tribune's anti-Truman bias contributed to the error.
Rosenthal Rule
A reporter wanted to march at an event he was assigned to cover...
"You can [bleep] an elephant if you want to. But if you
do, you can't cover
the circus."
Speak Truth
to Power
Quaker philosophy
From 1950s opposition
to the Cold War.
Telling the Truth
is a great defense
against libel charges
Comfort the Afflicted...
...and Afflict
the Comfortable
Nellie Bly
1880s, Pittsburgh.
Wrote an angry letter to the editor.

Hired on the spot
Faked insanity to expose inhumane
conditions in a women's asylum.
Bored by traditional
"female" reporting -- gardening, the arts, soft features....
Filed reports from around the globe
(inspired by Jules Verne book).
Left for Mexico...
Told editor she was now his
foreign correspondent.
Nearly arrested for filing stories
defending a journalist jailed in Mexico

In New York,
denounced Mexican dictator.
"Around the World with Nellie Bly" became a popular board game.
She was also a WWI correspondent.
News Cycle
Breaking News
Incremental Updates
Second-day Leads

TV: Creates illusion
of contstant freshness

Prose: Emphasizes
depth and context.
Ongoing Stories

Crime and the Courts
Weather


On-the-Spot Reporting
Investigative Reporting
Evergreen
Ongoing Need
Cultural
Commentary
Francis
Pharcellus
Church

1897
But YJ
also means
effective visual design.
Dennis G. Jerz
Seton Hill University
02 Nov 2009
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