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FA16(IA)_Stovall, Ch. 5

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Nicole Cox

on 8 August 2016

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Transcript of FA16(IA)_Stovall, Ch. 5

Stovall, Ch. 5
Basic Newswriting
There are four tools for journalism and newswriting:

Text-- this is the focus of this chapter

inverted pyramid

* Non-chronological
* Most important information first
* Short sentences, short paragraphs
* Lead paragraph – most important

Lead Paragraph

* One sentence
* 30-35 words maximum
* Try to put the most important thing first
* Use an active, descriptive verb
* Avoid passive verb constructions

Information contained herein provided (in whole or in part) by © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Direct Quotation

* Avoid them in the lead paragraph . . .but use them in the rest of the story
* Ensure accuracy
* Follow quotation, speaker, verb sequence
* Shorter is better
* Use them to support what has already been stated rather than to introduce new information

are considered the most important in journalism.

Rules for writing

* Headlines should be based on the main idea of the story. That idea should be found in the lead or introduction of the story.

* If facts are not in the story, do not use them in a headline.

* Avoid repetition. Don’t repeat key words in the same headline; don’t repeat the exact wording of the story in the headline.

* Avoid ambiguity, insinuations and double meanings.

* If a story qualifies a statement, the headline should also.
Rules for writing
* Use present tense verbs for headlines that refer to past or present events.

* For the future tense, use the infinitive form of the verb (such as “to go,” “to run,” etc.) rather than the verb “will.”

* Alliteration, if used, should be deliberate and should not go against the general tone of the story.

* Do not use articles — “a,” “an” and “the.”

* Do not use the conjunction “and.”

Rules for writing

* Avoid using unclear or little-known names, phrases and abbreviations in headlines.

* Use punctuation sparingly.

* No headline may start with a verb.

* Headlines should be complete sentences or should imply complete sentences.

* When a linking verb is used, it can be implied rather than spelled out.

Rules for writing

* Avoid headlinese — that is, words such as hit, flay, rap, hike, nix, nab, slate, etc. Use words for their precise meaning.

* Do not use pronouns alone and unidentified.

* Be specific. Try to give the reader some piece of information that will generate interest in the story.

* Maintain accuracy.


* Not the same as the lead paragraph

* On websites, used to support the headline on home and section front pages

* Should give the reader an idea the entire story

* Three types or approaches


* Use lists whenever possible and appropriate.
* Limit the number of items in the list.
* Use boldface to highlight the most important
word or phrase in the list.
* Use parallelism.

Links and Linking

* Finding good links is a part of the reporter’s job
* In-line links and link lists
* Explain links – tell the reader what he or she will find when the link is clicked
* Test links – make sure they actually work and are not dead links
Full transcript