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Transcript of Media Writing
Everything you need to know to be
successful in the world of journalism
You know, if
you pay attention.
Writing is central to all media, and important
to careers requiring a college education
Media writing emphasizes information
and facts, not the writer's opinion
Readers want Completeness, accuracy,
precision, and efficiency (CAPE) in stories
The format for news stories.
Stories don't start at the beginning,
but with the most important info
First graf is called the lead
The lead contains the most important info - who, what, when, where, why/how - and should be about 20-30 words
The why and how can be touched on in the lead, but usually can't be fully explained there
The lead should give the reader
a summary of the whole story
Second graf - nut graf - is
almost as import as the lead
It should begin to provide
more details about some
or all of the W's in the lead
The first part tells what happened.
The middle shows how we know it happened,
how it affects people, and how they feel about it
Nut graf doesn't drop into narrative -
most important info still first
The rest of the grafs continue to provide
details about the 5 W's, while transitioning
smoothly from one bit of info to the next
Used in stories to provide voice
and back up the writer's words
transitions and conclusions
Use said, not says.
Are their own graf
"I have a fever," Mauer said.
Mauer said, "I have a fever."
"I have a fever," Mauer said. "I
think I got the flu in Chicago."
Impact shows how someone - or a group of
someones will be affected by the info in the lead
and nut graf
Impact could have to do with money - how much
was made or lost.
Or maybe how an injury will affect a person's life. Or the live of the person's family members.
Don't forget that it can be positive. Not all our
stories are about people getting arrested or hurt.
The impact is the most important thing
you can show and should usually go higher in the story
than the Background or Future info.
Background info can show what a person
was doing before the events of the lead. It can
also provide relevant details about that person
to help the reader answer all questions.
Or how an event was planned.
Or compare/contrast a similar
Future info shows what
It could be new laws or rules, possible
prison sentences, a team's next game, etc.