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JOURNALISTIC REPORTING

&
EDITING

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UNIT 1- JOURNALISTIC WRITING
Structure

1.0 Unit Objectives


1.1 Introduction
1.2 Forms of Journalistic Writing
1.2.1 News Writing 1.2.2 Editorial Writing 1.2.3 Feature Writing 1.2.4 Article Writing
1.3 Summary
1.4 Exercises and Questions
1.5 Further Reading

1.0 UNIT OBJECTIVES

• To understand the significance of Journalistic writing


• To discuss the various forms of Journalistic writing
• To learn the basics of writing an Editorial, Article, News and Feature
• To understand the difference between various forms of journalistic
writing

1.1 INTRODUCTION

Journalistic Writing is closely associated with the practice of reporting the news.
Reporting is an art and a craft. Its skills can be taught, learned, and developed as a
form of artistic expression. The modern newspaper writing style as a lead-and-
summary form. In this form, the news item begins with a round-up of the major
facts of the story, and then summarizes subordinate facts arranged in order of
decreasing importance. The final item is often described as a throw-away item
because it is lowest in importance and is designed to be discarded if necessary to fit
the article into the news paper, magazine, or journal's physical news space.

For broadcast news, there should be a soft-lead form, that begins with a statement
designed to give the listener an instant of preparation for stronger phrases that are
about to be presented. Broadcast news writing is typically short, straightforward
and exceedingly simple in construction. Unlike most written forms, it closely

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resembles and is often exactly the same as a typical spoken dialogue: complete
with incomplete sentences and non-standard grammar.
The difference between the beginning of a lead -and-summary design and a soft
lead design is ultimately one of perception, and is demonstrated as follows:
The first example places the major attention-grabbing ideas at the beginning (the
idea of another journey to the moon), followed by a secondary attention-grabbing
idea (the cost of the project). The second example builds up to the idea of another
space journey, and the purpose of the journey, before mentioning the cost.

Example Lead-and-Summary Design:

Humans will be going to the moon again. The NASA announcement came as the
agency requested ten gazillion dollars of appropriations for the project. ...

Example Soft-Lead Design:

NASA is proposing another space project. The agency's budget request, announced
today, included a plan to send another person to the moon. This time the agency
hopes to establish a long-term facility as a jumping-off point for other space
adventures. The budget requests approximately ten gazillion dollars for the
project…

1.2 FORMS OF JOURNALISTIC WRITING

A Newspaper is a collection of news stories, features, editorials and articles. A


news story provides the typical hard news. It provides information in a
straightforward manner. A feature appeals to the emotions. It covers all kinds of
topic and provides the information in an interesting and easy-to- read manner. A
feature tries to entertain while informing. Editorial provide the newspaper’s point
of view. Articles, on the other hand, provide the point of view of individual
writers.

1.2.1 News Writing

As the word implies, news contain much that is new, informing people about
something that has just happened. But this is not happening always as some stories
run for decades and others are recycled with a gloss of newness supplied to it.

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News is, anything out of the ordinary, it is the current happenings. It is
anything that makes the reader surprised and curious. News is anything that will
make people talk. News is the issue for discussions and debates. Any event, which
affects most of the people, interest most of the audiences and involves most of the
people, is news. Thus, news can be called an account of the events written for the
people who were unable to witness it.

‘News’ is the written, audio, or visual construction of an event or happening or an


incident. The news is constantly in search of action, movements, new
developments, surprises, and sudden reversals, ups and downs of fate and facts and
follies of the mankind.
On the surface, defining news is a simple task. News is an account of what is
happening around us. It may involve current events, new initiatives or ongoing
projects or issues. But a newspaper does not only print news of the day. It also
prints background analysis, opinions, and human-interest stories.

Choosing what's news can be harder.

The reporter chooses stories from the flood of information and events happening in
the world and in their community. Stories are normally selected because of their
importance, emotion, impact, timeliness and interest. Note: all these factors do not
have to coincide in each and every story!
News report writing always starts with the most important fact. When you report
on a football game, you do not start with the kick-off; you begin with the final
score. A news report has a beginning, middle and an end. News stories in contrast
to this will blurt out something and then explain themselves. News reports are
mostly active rather than in passive voice and are written in concise language.
Paragraphs are short so as to set in newspaper columns. Shorter paragraphs are
more likely to keep the attention of readers. Attribution meaning ‘somebody
saying something’ is used in the news- reports to present a range of views over
which the reporters can appear to remain neutral.
Most news reports follow the ‘Kiss and tell’ formula- Kiss standing either for
‘keep it short and simple’ or ‘keep it simple, stupid.’ Complexity, abstract notions,
ambiguity and unanswered questions tend to be frowned upon and deleted out of
news copy.

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The news reports aim is to meet the requirements of everyday life as lived by
everyday readers. So it largely depends on elements like directness, pace, variety
and information. It aims to state the facts quickly and clearly.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. What is the meaning of ‘Attribution’ in news story writing?
Q2. What is ‘Kiss and tell’ formula in news report writing?

A news report has three parts:


1. The headline
2. The first paragraph
3. The remainder of the news story

The headline first attracts us. It stands out in bold black type. It message is abrupt
and often startling. It makes us stop and look. It tells us quickly what the story
covers. Its function is to attract our attention. Though, the headline writing belongs
to the copyreader’s province and not to the reporter’s.

The lead remains the primary concern of the news writer. As the present day
reader is the man who both runs and reads, present day newspapers seek to
facilitate his getting the information quickly. The convention has developed of
telling the main facts of a news story in its first lead paragraph. Writing this lead
also involves answering the questions, which would occur to any normal person
when confronted with the announcement of a news story.
These questions, called the five W’s are:
Where? Who? What? When? Why?

Suppose the news story concerns a fire. In writing the lead-the reporter would
answer the questions, ‘What?’ “Fire broke out,” he would write. He would answer
the question, ‘Who?’ and ‘Where?’ by telling whose premises were burnt and
giving their location. He would answer “When” by telling the time the fire broke
out and how long it lasted. ‘Why?”-In this case the cause the usual carelessly
tossed cigarette butt. The reporter can also answer the ‘How’ in this story in
several ways by describing the type of fire, or by answering ‘How much’? Here, he
would estimate the probable lost and find out if premises had been covered by
insurance and if so by what amount.

The lead forms the springboard for the reporter’s leap into the story. The journalist
should keep in mind the elements of a good lead as he may flop sadly if the lead

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turns out to be defective. The best way to gain journalistic facility is to practice the
writing of leads.

The end is the conclusion of the news reports. From the headline and the lead one
comes to the rest of the story. The reporter constructs the model news story after
this pattern. He selects the most important incident or fact for his lead. Then he
proceeds by selecting the next most important incident, fact or detail, the next most
important after that, and so on till he reaches least important phase of all. Guided
by his idea of news importance, the story assumes graphically the shape of an
inverted pyramid. The end will be at the peak of the inverted pyramid with the
facts or incidents of least value. When writing a news story for an organization you
should always retain the idea that your text is to be read and understood by others.
Thus a story is like building blocks, which should be linked logically to each other.
Therefore, there should be continuity between the intro, the lead and the end of
the news story.
Thus, the most popular format of news writing is the Inverted Pyramid

All the work of producing a news story is futile if the story does not engage the
reader immediately. Writing coaches have identified four key elements that should
be present in the first five paragraphs of any news story (not necessarily in any
particular order). They are:
News
The newest information: the basic facts of who, what, when, where, why and how
... the most relevant information.

Impact
What a situation means and who is affected. Tells readers what the news changes
about their lives and, maybe, what they should do.
Context
The general perspective that frames the background of the news. It addresses the
relationship of things around the news. Context helps readers understand whether
something is normal or surprising.
Emotion
The human dimension. Takes a story from abstract to reality. Offers personal
elements that help readers understand the story.

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Reporters usually get assignments from their editor. But the best reporters also
come up with ideas for their own stories. How? They look, think, ask lots of
questions, and talk with lots of people.
Topics for stories are everywhere. Do you see a new student in the halls, a new
teacher in the classrooms? Has your principal introduced any new programs or
schedules that will affect students directly? These are the kinds of questions to ask
yourself when looking for a news "hook" or angle. And keep in mind the
timeliness of the topic. You may have an interesting subject, but it's not a news
story unless something is going on that makes your subject of interest today.

Once you have a few ideas for stories you'd like to pursue, probe a little. If you
want to write about new students, for example, ask a school official how many new
students have enrolled this year. See if any of the students come from far away.
Then try to get their names and phone numbers from the principal's office. Learn as
much as you can before making calls. And think about what you'd like to ask. That
way, you can prepare questions for your interviews.

While conducting interviews, you may find a whole new angle for the story. Be
flexible. The idea you start out with may not make a good news story at all. And
the next idea you discover may be just the thing! Follow your information — and
instincts — to get the best story.
Always remember to ask: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? These are
your building blocks to getting a good story. Avoid asking questions that can be
answered with a simple yes or no. Such questions don't tell you much, and they
certainly don't give you any good quotes for your story. A good quote not only
conveys information, it adds life and "color" to a story.

Finally, verify your facts. You can get information from other news stories on the
Web and in the paper, encyclopedias, and interviews. If you're unsure of
something, find out whom you can call to get information verified.
Not everything you find on the Web can be trusted. While it is a useful research
tool, you still have to confirm your information from at least two or three reputable
sources: i.e. encyclopedias, government agencies, and/or national newspapers.
You made dozens of phone calls and read every article you could find on the Web.
You tracked down experts, scholars; you even interviewed your next-door
neighbor. Now it's time to sit down and write!

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Whether you're writing a news story, a book review, or a novel, getting started can
be the toughest part. You need to win over your readers instantly. Otherwise, you
may lose them after the first paragraph.
First, think about your assignment. Let's say your editor has asked you to cover a
debate between the presidential candidates. That means you need to write a news
story. A news story gives readers key information about a recent event.
Put the information in paragraph form, adding details and quotes. This is your
"nutgraph" — the reason you're telling the story. (A nutgraph can be longer than
one paragraph. It's called a nutgraph because the information in it is considered the
core, or nut, of the story.)
Writing Your Lead

Most news stories are told in the inverted pyramid form. An inverted pyramid story
begins with the most important news in the first paragraph and ends with the least
important. Before computers, newspaper copy was cut with scissors to fit a space
on the news page. Editors cut the copy from the bottom up, chopping off the least
important information that reporters put on the ends of their stories.

These days, with so much competition from TV, radio, and the Internet, reporters
tend to cover their pyramids with cake frosting. They want to hook even the most
distracted readers.

So they write a lead, or "wow" statement, before the nutgraph. A good lead gives
readers the feeling that they have a front seat for the action and provides a reason
to keep reading.
Example:

The presidential debates drew a packed audience of local farmers,


schoolteachers, and Internet billionaires.
Your readers will want to find out why so many people came to the event and what
those different groups have in common. Be sure that the rest of your story delivers!
Your Turn
Now it's time to write your own story. Before you begin, though, review the
exercises in our skills sheet to polish your writing style. Then, gather your research
materials and transcripts from your interviews. List the five W's and one H (Who?

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What? When? Where? Why? and How? ) and answer those questions based on the
information you collected. Now you can write your nutgraph.

The next few paragraphs should elaborate on the story. Be sure to include both
sides of a controversy, including quotes from as many people involved as possible.
Don't forget to talk to the people who will be affected.
Summarize the key information in your final paragraph and you're done. Now get
to it as you're on deadline!
Headlines
Now it's time to give your news story a headline. Few people have time to read all
the text of every article in a newspaper, so they often skim the headlines to see if
they might want to read more. Your headline is your chance — with a few well-
chosen words in large type — to catch their eye.

A few rules: Use the present tense. Always use short, active verbs. There's no room
to say "Faculty Members Engage in Discussions" when you can say "Teachers
Talk." Don't write exactly the same thing as in your news lead; that's wasting a
chance to draw readers in.

In a news article, your headline should summarize straightforwardly what is most


newsy about it. Don't write "Student Council Holds Meeting" when everyone knew
they were going to meet; write something specific like "Council OKs Dance
Theme."

The best writers do it and even the simplest writing needs a revision.

Tips for News Writing

• Keep your eyes and ears open; listen to what your friends are talking about.

• Read everything you can get your hands on; get story ideas from other
newspapers and magazines.
• Think of a youth angle to a current news story.

• Research a subject that interests you ask yourself what you would like to
know more about.
• Talk to people in a specific field to find out what is important to them.

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1.2.2 Editorial Writing

Editorial can be defined as:

• An article in a newspaper or magazine that expresses the opinion of its editor


or publisher
• An article, typically short, expressing an opinion or point of view. Often, but
by no means always, written by a member of the publication's staff.
• A carefully organized piece of writing in which an opinion is expressed.
The editorial expresses an opinion. The editorial page of the newspaper lets the
writer comment on issues in the news. All editorials are personal but the topics
must still be relevant to the reader. Editorials try to persuade the readers. Its
goal is to move the readers to some specific action, to get them to agree with the
writer, to support or denounce a cause, etc. It is considered to be the most difficult
writing among all the newspaper types of writing. Editorials are also important as
they interpret and analyze issues for the readers.

An editorial is one of the writing styles used to express an opinion or reaction to


timely news, event or an issue of concern. Most editorials are used to influence
readers to think or act the same way the writer does.
Not all editorials take sides on an issue but have one of the following four
purposes:
1. Inform: The writer gives careful explanations about a complicated issue.

2. Promote: Writer tries to promote a worthy activity. Get the reader involved.

3. Praise: The writer praises a person or an event.

4. Entertain: The writer encourages or entertains the reader about an


important issue.
Two types of Editorials can be recognized:

Youth beat (+/- 700 words): Youth beats are journalist’s editorial bread and
butter. It's your story, from your point of view. Tell it like it is. Youth beats usually
(but not always) combine personal experience(s) with opinion/analysis.
Essentially, you establish your credibility by speaking from experience.

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My Word! (+/-600 words): An opinion piece. Short, sweet and to the point. Not
as likely to be a personal narrative. Christmas "spirit" bugs you? Say why. Had an
encounter with a cop that left you sour? Same deal. Be strong. If you don't like
something, don't beat around the bush. This is a space for you to rant and roll with
as much emotive power as possible.
An editorial is a statement or article by a news organization, newspaper or
magazine that expresses the opinion of the editor, editorial board, or publisher. An
op-ed, abbreviated from opposite editorial due to the tradition of newspapers
placing such materials on the page opposite the editorial page, is similar in form
and content to an editorial, but represents the opinion of an individual contributor,
who is sometimes but not always affiliated with the publication. These two terms
are sometimes used interchangeably by the public, although it is important to
understand that they have different definitions and characteristics.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. Define ‘Editorial’ and what are the two types of Editorials?

Editorial Writing guidelines

Editorials are generally printed either on their own page of a newspaper or in a


clearly marked-off column, and are always labeled as editorials (to avoid confusion
with news coverage). They often address current events or public controversies.

Generally, editorials fall into four broad types: news, policy, social, and special.
When covering controversial topics such as election issues, some opinion page
editors will run "dueling" editorials, with each staking out a respective side of the
issue.

Many magazines also feature editorials, mainly by the editor or publisher of the
publication. Additionally, most print publications feature an editorial, or letter from
the editor, followed by a Letters to the Editor section. The American Society of
Magazine Editors has developed a list of editorial guidelines, to which a majority
of magazine editors commonly adhere.
Most editorial pieces take the form of an essay or thesis, using arguments to
promote a point of view. Newspapers often publish editorial pieces that are in line
with their editorial slants, though dissenting opinions are often given space to
promote balance and discussion. Requirements for article length varies according

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to each publication's guidelines, as do a number of other factors such as style and
topic. An average editorial is 750 words or less.
An editorial is an article that presents the newspaper's opinion on an issue. It
reflects the majority vote of the editorial board, the governing body of the
newspaper made up of editors and business managers. It is usually unsigned. Much
in the same manner of a lawyer, editorial writers build on an argument and try to
persuade readers to think the same way they do. Editorials are meant to influence
public opinion, promote critical thinking, and sometimes cause people to take
action on an issue. In essence, an editorial is an opinionated news story.

Editorials usually have:

1.Introduction, body and conclusion like other news stories


2.An objective explanation of the issue, especially complex issues
3.A timely news angle
4.Opinions from the opposing viewpoint that refute directly the same issue the
writer addresses
5.The opinions of the writer delivered in a professional manner. Good editorials
engage issues, not personalities and refrain from name-calling or other petty
tactics of persuasion.
6. Alternative solutions to the problem or issue being criticized. Anyone can gripe
about a problem, but a good editorial should take a pro-active approach to making
the situation better by using constructive criticism and giving solutions. 7. A solid
and concise conclusion that powerfully summarizes the writer's opinion. Give it
some punch.
Functions of Editorials will be:

1. Explain or interpret: Editors often use these editorials to explain the way the
newspaper covered a sensitive or controversial subject. School newspapers may
explain new school rules or a particular student-body effort like a food drive. 2.
Criticize: These editorials constructively criticize actions, decisions or situations
while providing solutions to the problem identified. Immediate purpose is to get
readers to see the problem, not the solution. 3. Persuade: Editorials of persuasion
aim to immediately see the solution, not the problem. From the first paragraph,
readers will be encouraged to take a specific,
positive action. Political endorsements are good examples of editorials of
persuasion.

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4. Praise: These editorials commend people and organizations for something done
well. They are not as common as the other three.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. What are the four functions of writing an Editorial?

Basics for Writing an Editorial

1. Pick a significant topic that has a current news angle and would interest readers.
2. Collect information and facts; include objective reporting; do research
3. State your opinion briefly in the fashion of a thesis statement
4. Explain the issue objectively as a reporter would and tell why this situation is
important
5. Give opposing viewpoint first with its quotations and facts 6. Refute (reject) the
other side and develop your case using facts, details, figures, and quotations. Pick
apart the other side's logic. 7. Concede a point of the opposition — they must have
some good points you can
acknowledge that would make you look rational.
8. Repeat key phrases to reinforce an idea into the reader's minds.
9. Give a realistic solution(s) to the problem that goes beyond common knowledge.
Encourage critical thinking and pro-active reaction.
10. Wrap it up in a concluding punch that restates your opening remark (thesis
statement).
11. Keep it to 500 words; make every work count; never use "I"

Things that could go into the five-paragraph editorial:

1. A personal experience, the thesis statement


2. Explanation of the other side of the issue
3. Examples to support your point of view
4. Reasons for your point of view
5. The last paragraph should restate your thesis statement and end on a
positive note
1.2.3 Feature Writing

A news feature takes one step back from the headlines. It explores an issue. News
features are less time-sensitive than hard news but no less newsworthy. They can
be an effective way to write about complex issues too large for the terse style of a

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hard news item. Street kids are a perfect example. The stories of their individual
lives are full of complexities, which can be reflected, in a longer piece.
Features are journalism's shopping center. They're full of interesting people,
ideas, color, lights, action and energy. Storytelling at its height! A good feature is
about the people in your community and their struggles, victories and defeats. A
feature takes a certain angle (i.e. Black youth returning to church) and explores it
by interviewing the people involved and drawing conclusions from that
information. The writer takes an important issue of the day and explains it to the
reader through comments from people involved in the story.

Hint: Remember to "balance" your story. Present the opinions of people on both
sides of an issue and let the readers make their own decision on who to believe. No
personal opinions are allowed. The quotes from the people you interview make up
the story. You are the narrator.

A feature takes an in-depth look at what’s going on behind the news.

• It gets into the lives of people.


• It tries to explain why and how a trend developed.
• Unlike news, a feature does not have to be tied to a
current event or a breaking story. But it can grow out of
something that’s reported in the news.
It may be a profile of a person or a group -- an athlete, a performer, a politician, or
a community worker or a team, a choir or a political organization. Or perhaps it’s
an in-depth look at a social issue -- like violence in Canadian schools or eating
disorders among young women. It could also be a story that gives the reader
background on a topic that’s in the news -- like a story that explains how land
mines work and the history of their use in war.

A feature story is usually longer than a news story -- but length is not a
requirement! What’s more important is the form the story takes.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. What is a ‘feature’ and state its function in a newspaper?

The feature is the journalistic equivalent of an essay and follows these


guidelines:

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• Start with a premise or theme
• Present information and opinions that back you point,
• Bring the reader to a conclusion.

The feature often explores several different points of views, even when the story is
about one particular person.
The news story tells the audience what happened. The feature will tell them why
and how it happened, how the people involved are reacting, and what impact the
decision is having on other people.
Take a look at people from the world of sports, entertainment, politics, science,
technology, business, health, international development, community activism,
education, the military, the fine arts or any other field that interests you.
You can choose a subject and find out the basic facts of the person’s life and work.
What have they learned so far? Are there any surprises? Is there an area of this
person's life or work that the student would now like to focus on?

• Write your profile by telling your readers the facts of this person's life —
while adding the color and details that make them unique.
• Talk to the person themselves whenever possible and use their own words to
help tell their story.
Many of the best stories come from reporters’ observations of the world around
them. Here’s just one example of how you can come across a great feature story in
your daily life:
YOU are hanging around with friends at lunchtime and talking about plans for the
weekend. Someone says they’ve heard that the town council is considering a
curfew for teens. Everyone under 16 has to be off the streets by 11pm on weekends.
You have your own curfew - set by your parents - but you are surprised to learn
that the mayor wants to put one in place for everyone.
You talk to some of your friends to find out what they think. You and other
concerned teens go over to the town hall and ask the mayor or one of the
councilors why they see the need for a curfew. You surf the Net and find out what
other towns and cities have been doing. You find that this is a bit of trend in North
America.

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What you now have is the basis for a really interesting feature. You have taken a
little piece of information and investigated further to find out what’s going on. The
story will focus on the issue and the thoughts and feeling of the people involved —
namely local teenagers and the people who made the decision about the curfew.

The basic guidelines for good writing apply to all types of writing. However, if you
expect to hold your readers’ attention for 1,000 words or more, your writing must
be must be lively, specific and clear.
As a student writer you have to start with a lead that captures your reader’s
attention.

• It could be an anecdote you have heard during the course of


your research.
• It could be a description of a person, place or thing that draws
the reader in and encourages them to learn more.
• It could a newsy lead that highlights the point of the story.

Move your story along with descriptions of what happened, quotes from people
involved in the issue, and details that place the reader in the midst of the action.
Make sure your ending is meaningful. Your closing words should make an impact
on your readers and tie the various strands of your story together.

When you have finished writing your news or feature article, follow these
guidelines for effective revision:
1. Take a break. Put your article aside for a few minutes and do something else:
walk the dog, play a game, and have a snack. When you return and take a
fresh look at what you've written, you'll probably see things you missed
before.
2. Read your feature out loud. Sometimes the ear can tell you things the eye
doesn't see. If there's a part of your article that your tongue repeatedly
stumbles over, that's a clue that there may be awkward writing that needs to
be reworked.
3. Is the sequence of ideas clear? If it's a news story, does it give the reader the
information needed to understand new concepts by the time they're
introduced? If the feature article, does start out with enough to snag the
reader's interest, yet save something as a payoff for reading on? When
you've completed a draft, you hate to think of changing something as basic
as the order in which your points are covered. It feels like throwing away
work. But take the chance and at least consider it. You may find that a

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different sequence works better, and that the "cutting and pasting" you need
to do — on a computer screen, or on paper — really isn't so bad.
4. Put yourself in the reader's shoes. Could your words be
misunderstood? Think of the poor guy who wrote the headline about a
planned change in Scout uniforms: "BOY SCOUTS TO DROP SHORT
PANTS." He knew what he meant. But he forgot to think about what his
words might call to mind for others.
5. Does the feature you have written seem to you to contain any words
that aren't fully necessary to your purpose? Does your article contain
unnecessary words? Look at the two questions you've just read. The first one
needed pruning; the second is the same question after the pruning has been
done. Now do a similar pruning job on your feature article. Tight writing is
usually best.
6. Check your paragraphing. In journalism, short paragraphs of one to
two sentences are common. If you find you have changed the subject in mid-
paragraph, that's probably a place for a paragraph break.
7. Use spell-checkers and other programs to check your spelling,
grammar, and punctuation — but don't rely on them alone. Remember: The
best computer for perfecting your writing is the one between your ears!
8. Are you done writing and revising? Before you publish your news
story, review all the steps — and check your work one last time.
1.2.4 Article Writing

An article will analyze and interpret and provide arguments and counter-
arguments. An article will go to the root cause of an event or happening and
provide background information. Then it describes the present situation and finally
peeps into the future prospects too. Though it is not necessary that an article will
follow the past- present-future course. An article may start with an insight into the
future and than cover the past and present. It may start with the present situation,
go to the past and then look into the future. Also, it may not be necessary that an
article should always deal with the past or predict the future.

Articles are written on all kinds of topics and many kinds of subjects are dealt with
in an article. They are also written about the past, present and the future. There is
no bar or restrictions on the nature of the topic or issue chosen to write an article.
Articles in a newspaper will mostly follow the various purposes like:

• To analyze the present


• To provide some important information

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• To predict the future prospects of an issue
• To present a point of view about a topic
• To interpret a trend
Articles are not written in newspapers as to serve only one selected purpose but
may fulfill more than one purposes mentioned above.
Articles writers’ intentions are to analyze, interpret and rationalize and thus there is
no place for humor, satire and other such emotions in an article. The contents and
treatment of an article is sober and serious. The basics of newspaper writing
like Consistency, conciseness, completeness; continuity, etc also apply to article
writing. These basics will be applicable to any piece of writing like the editorial,
feature or a news story.

An element that is absolutely necessary for articles is credibility. Thus, usually,


only the experts will write articles. In fact, such established writers regularly write
columns and are free to write only one subject or a variety of subjects. The readers
rarely doubt the creditability of such renowned writers and the articles gets a good
response.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. What is the intention of writing an ‘Article’?

Guidelines for Article Writing

The topic for an article is mostly selected on the basis of how much interest it can
generate among the readers. Highly interesting topics and issues will generate
interest and curiosity by the readers. The selected topics must be concrete and
bring in the details. These details should be dealt in an interesting manner to
provide all the relevant information in a concrete and complete manner.
An article must be believable and relevant facts should be presented. There should
be source credibility, authentic research, original quotes and accuracy in the
articles to make it believable to the newspaper readers. An article writer will try to
cover all aspects of the topic and provide more and more support material as proof
to substantiate the points they are presenting in the article.

18
Ten Steps to Writing an Article:

1. Realize that writing is a process, not a short burst of frantic activity. The
usual steps are planning, research, writing a rough draft, editing, and then
writing a final draft.
2. Planning an article involves discussing why it is important and what you
want to include. If you decide about length, scope and focus in advance, it
will save you time and effort later.
3. Good articles are descriptive. Draw on your own experience and talk to
those who have more experience or different experience than you.
4. The best articles help readers solve problems, save time, avoid mishaps and
do their jobs more effectively. You can’t assume that the reader shares your
perception of a problem; you may have to sell them the problem before you
sell them a solution.
5. Write your draft the way you would tell the story to one of your friends. It
should be informal and clear. Short words and short sentences are fine.
6. Readers want articles about things they can actually control and problems
they can solve. Writing an article about a huge problem that is too large or
too expensive merely raises the reader’s anxiety.
7. Tell real stories. Use actual examples. Readers want to hear about things that
happened. They aren’t interested in platitudes, clichés, lectures, or slogans.
Readers want reality, not theory.
8. Magazines are a clutch plate between the way things are and the way they
should be. Ideally, everyone follows all the rules all the time, and no
mishaps ever happen. In reality, people cut corners, take chances, stop
paying attention, fall asleep in class, drive drunk, ignore their supervisor,
take the easy way out, get in a hurry, resist learning, and on and on.
9. A magazine article doesn’t repeat official procedures or rules. Readers have
plenty of those things already; the problem is that they don’t follow them.
Simply repeating the procedures avoids the real problem.
10. "Why" is more interesting than "what”? Defining a problem or a hazard is
only the starting point.

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Structure of an Article

An article has a definite beginning (lead or introduction), a body, and an end


(conclusion). The basic format used for articles are:

• The chronological format, (past-present-future),


• The reverse chronological format (future-present-past),
• And the flashback format (where the article may start in the present, go back
to the past and then go to the future).
The lead or the introduction, introduces the topic to the readers, arouses and
sustains their interest. It could be a direct lead where information is given in a
straightforward manner. Articles can also start with a statement or quotation to
provide interest. A statement or a quotation also helps in telling something
about the topic of the article.
Some times statistics or numerical data are used in the lead to startle the readers.
Articles can begin with a question. Some times writers use a number of questions
also. Questions arouse curiosity in the minds of the readers and they read further to
find answer to the questions.

Thy body takes up about three quarters of the total space of an article. Here the
writer tries to answer the questions put in the lead. The claims made in the lead are
substantiated. The statements and quotations made are elaborated. So explanation,
description, elaboration, substantiation, etc are what the body of an article is all
about.

Writers provide details, statistics, claims and counterclaims in the body to present,
project and promote their point of views. The body of an article is where claims are
supposed and defended, while opposing viewpoints are attacked. The conclusion
portion simply closes the argument and is often brief stating the gist of the whole
article.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. What is the structure and basic format used in writing an Article?

1.3 SUMMARY
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

20
score. A news report has a beginning, middle and an end. The news reports aim is
to meet the requirements of everyday life as lived by everyday readers. So it
largely depends on elements like directness, pace, variety and information. It aims
to state the facts quickly and clearly.
An editorial is one of the writing styles used to express an opinion or reaction to
timely news, event or an issue of concern. Most editorials are used to influence
readers to think or act the same way the writer does. Most editorial pieces take the
form of an essay or thesis, using arguments to promote a point of view.
Newspapers often publish editorial pieces that are in line with their editorial slants,
though dissenting opinions are often given space to promote balance and
discussion. Requirements for article length varies according to each publication's
guidelines, as do a number of other factors such as style and topic. An average
editorial is 750 words or less
Features are journalism's shopping center. They're full of interesting people, ideas,
color, lights, action and energy. Storytelling at its height! A good feature is about
the people in your community and their struggles, victories and defeats. A feature
takes a certain angle (i.e. Black youth returning to church) and explores it by
interviewing the people involved and drawing conclusions from that information.
The writer takes an important issue of the day and explains it to the reader through
comments from people involved in the story.
An article will analyze and interpret and provide arguments and counter-
arguments. An article will go to the root cause of an event or happening and
provide background information. Then it describes the present situation and finally
peeps into the future prospects too. Though it is not necessary that an article will
follow the past-present-future course. An article may start with a insight into the
future and than cover the past and present. It may start with the present situation,
go to the past and then look into the future. Also, it may not be necessary that an
article should always deal with the past or predict the future.

1.4 EXERCISES AND QUESTIONS


Q1. Discuss the significance of Journalistic Writing.
Q2.What are the various piece of writing that can be found in a newspaper?
Q3.Define Editorial and write basic steps involved in writing of an
Editorial. Q4. Write a short note on news report writing.
Q5. What is the significance of Article in Journalistic Writing? Discuss the
structure of an article.

21
Q6. Enlist some guidelines for effective revision after writing news or feature
article.

1.5 FURTHER READING

1. Reporting Methods S.Kundra (Anmol Publications Pvt.Ltd)


2. Outline of Editing M.K.Joseph
3. Editing Techniques S.Kundra
4. News Reporting and Editing (Jan.R.Hakemulder, Fay AC de Jonge,
P.P. Singh)

22
UNIT 2- REPORTING

Structure

2.0 Unit Objectives


2.1 Introduction
2.2 Some Tips & Meaning of Reporting
2.3 Types of Reporting
2.3.1 Crime Reporting 2.3.2 Court Reporting 2.3.3 Health Reporting 2.3.4 Civic Reporting
2.3.5 Political Reporting 2.3.6 Business Reporting 2.3.7 Science & Technology 2.3.8 Sport
Reporting 2.3.9 Culture Reporting 2.3.10 Civil Administration Reporting 2.3.11 Education
Reporting 2.3.12 Development Reporting
2.4 Objectivity
2.5 Report Writing for all Media
2.5.1 Radio 2.5.2 Television 2.5.3 Newspaper 2.5.4 Magazine 2.5.5 Web
2.6 Summary
2.7 Exercises and Questions
2.8 Further Reading

2.0 UNIT OBJECTIVES

• To understand the significance of reporting


• To discuss the various types of reporting
• To know the significance of Objectivity in journalism
• To understand the techniques of report writing for all media

2.1 INTRODUCTION

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.

23
News reporting is a type of journalism, typically written or broadcast in news
style. Most news is investigated and presented by journalists or news Reporters,
and can be distributed to various outlets via news agencies. News is often reported
by a variety of sources, such as newspapers, television, and radio programs, wire
services, and web sites.
Reporter is a type of journalist who researches and presents information in certain
types of mass media.

Reporters gather their information in a variety of ways, including tips, press


releases, and witnessing events. They perform research through interviews, public
records, and other sources. The information-gathering part of the job is
sometimes called "reporting" as distinct from the production part of the job, such
as writing articles. Reporters generally split their time between working in a
newsroom and going out to witness events or interview people.

Most reporters working for major news media outlets are assigned an area to focus
on, called a beat or patch. They are encouraged to cultivate sources to improve
their information gathering.
News reports are classified into two broad types:
1. Straight news reports
2. Investigative or interpretative reports

Straight news reports present what has happened in a straightforward, factual and
clear manner. They draw no conclusions, nor offer any opinions. There is no
attempt to probe deeper than the surface happenings, or they provide elaborate
background information, or even to examine claims made. The main sources are:
Government officials, elite groups, news agencies, eminent people, businessmen
and others.

Both these types of news stories merely present the claims, without in any way
trying to question or rebut, or ask why. Investigative reports, on the other hand,
would make an effort to go behind the claims and see how valid they are. They
report happenings in depth, present fairly all sides of the picture in the context of
the situation, and generally, put some meaning into the news so that the reader is
better able to understand and analyze the event.

Disaster stories e.g. famines and floods get pride of place in the daily press, and
these provide many ‘human interest’ stories.

24
Developments in science, industry and agriculture are increasingly coming to be
considered as interesting news, as also the exposure of corruption in high places,
the exploitation of the lower classes and workers, and social injustice and
inequalities resulting from the social, economic and political structures. Of course,
all the news reported is not news of the highest interest to everybody. Politics
interest some, sports others, crime still others. However, it is rare that newspapers
touch in the information needs and interests of the poorer sections of the society.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. What is the duty of a News Reporter?
Q2. What are the two types of News Reports?

‘Dog bites man isn’t news. Man bites dog is’ . So goes an adage probably as old
as journalism itself. Like many such sayings, it conceals as much as it reveals.
People watch television or read the newspaper because they want to know about
the happening and events around them. They want to gather all the news from
around the world.

2.2 SOME TIPS & MEANING OF REPORTING

The press is independent of government. Governments are composed of human


beings, and human beings can and do commit wrongs. The press and government
should not become institutional partners. They are natural adversaries with
different functions, and each must respect the role of the other. Sometimes a free
press can be a distinct annoyance and an embarrassment to a particular
government, but that is one of the prices of liberty. A free press is responsible to
its readers, and to them alone.

Independence is at the very heart of any statement of ethical principles respecting


the conduct of the press. The proprietors of a newspaper may choose to ally it with
a particular political party or interest, but an increasing number of newspapers and
journals are politically independent as well as independent of government. This
means not that they refrain from endorsing a certain political party or a candidate
for public office, but rather that they owe no prior allegiance and that they make
the endorsement voluntarily, as an exercise of their independence.

25
From this it follows that an independent press must cherish that role by resisting
pressures of all kinds - from local as well as national government, from special
interest groups in the community, from powerful individuals, from advertisers.
This is a noble standard that is sometimes more difficult to follow in a small
community than in a large one. It may be relatively easy for a large, well-financed
newspaper to risk the displeasure of a particular interest group or advertiser. But on
a small paper, where the support of such an advertiser or interest has a direct
bearing on the ability of management to meet the payroll, it takes courage to resist
pressure.

From this also flows the point that the newspaper and its staff should exemplify
independence in their actions. Not only should they be independent in fact, but also
they must be seen to be independent. A newspaper that rewards its friends with
unwarranted, flattering stories or fawning editorials will not long be respected. A
newspaper whose reporters also are on the payroll of a special interest group or
who accept free trips or lavish gifts will find it hard to be convincing in its
criticisms of corruption or other unethical practices in government.

Occasionally, newspapers attempt to justify the acceptance of gifts or services. A


reliable reporter will hardly be corrupt. Admittedly, in small communities,
journalists sometimes may encounter problems in maintaining an independent role.
There are pressures to participate in volunteer services, in clubs and business
associations, and even in local government. Conflicts of interest may arise
frequently.
Journalists cannot expect to be walled apart from the community in which they
live. But neither can they serve two masters with opposing interests. A diligent
editor or reporter will at least be aware of the conflicts and keep his or her
professional responsibilities foremost in mind.

A newspaper has the right to be captious, or partisan, or untruthful, or bigoted, or


whatever else its conscience allows it to be. And although newspapers are
answerable to the laws of libel, within a very large compass they continue to set
their own responsibilities. The underlying idea is that, from the clash of opinions
and ideas presented by a free press, ultimately something resembling truth
emerges.

In practice, however, truth does not always emerge unless someone digs it out.
And there is no single patented version of what constitutes truth. In a community
where only one newspaper exists, a reader may not encounter differing opinions

26
unless the newspaper chooses to present them. Radio and television are not always
effective substitutes.
Recognition, of the importance of fair and balanced reporting, in which opinions
that differ from those of the writer, or the newspaper, or a government official are
nevertheless accurately portrayed. News stories and analysis are presented on the
news pages, with their origins and sources identified wherever possible. The
newspaper's own opinions are presented on the editorial page, which may also
carry signed columns from syndicated writers or staff members of the newspaper
itself.

News Reporting needs to guard against undue intrusions on the privacy of persons
about whom they are reporting. A photograph of a person jumping off a building or
plunging into a fire may be dramatic, but editors ought to debate long and hard
over whether they are violating someone's rights or dignity by publishing it. Does
the publication serve a defensible purpose, one that will be understood by readers?
Or is it using an indignity to pander to curiosity?

Reporters enjoy no special rights beyond those of other citizens. They must be
aggressive in pursuing facts. Indeed, one of the most important functions of a free
press is to serve as a watchdog. But its staff members have no dispensation to be
rude or discourteous. Television has many sins of its own, but one thing it purveys
very quickly to viewers is whether reporters at a news conference are behaving
arrogantly or with unnecessary brusqueness.

Apart from eccentric behavior, newspapers also may be affected by a phenomenon


that called "prizemanship" - the presentation of stories by a reporter or by a
broader division of newspaper management in a fashion calculated to win one of
the prizes now offered to newspapers and to individual journalists. A few years
ago, the Washington Post, won a Pulitzer Prize for a story about an eight-year- old
narcotics addict. Subsequent investigation by others led to an acknowledgment by
the reporter that she had made up the story in order to illustrate a situation. She
resigned, and the newspaper returned the prize in embarrassment. There is no
doubt that there are similar fictional stories not identified.

Prizes are not bad, but the best ones are those that are conferred by outsiders,
without the knowledge or the participation of the journalist or newspaper.
Conscientious journalists and newspapers must resist the temptation to display or
doctor a story in such a way as to advance a purpose not directly related to the
news.

27
Beat reporting is the craft of reporting on an issue or particular sector,
organization or institution over time. Beat reporters build up a base of knowledge
on and gain familiarity with the sector, allowing them to provide insight and
commentary in addition to reporting straight facts. This distinguishes them from
other journalists who might cover similar stories from time to time.

A news beat is an institutional or issue area that generates enough news and reader
interest to make it worthwhile for a newspaper to assign a reporter to cover it on a
regular basis. Traditional beats are government agencies, such as the police
department, courts, schools, and city hall. Certain issue areas such as health,
business, and environment are also regular beats on most newspapers. Beats could
also be imagined quite differently. For example, if they chose to do it, newspapers
could assign reporters to explore and write regularly about, say, childhood, work,
ethics, psychology, or any other area or field that might help readers understand the
world they live in.

What makes a beat a good beat for both writer and reader is variation in levels of
analysis. That is, a good beat has stories that can be told with lots of concrete detail
but also with broad themes that speak to abstract issues and ideas. Beats are places
(literally or figuratively) where ideas flourish as well as where events happen. A
good beat reporter always operates at both the micro level and the macro level of
analysis. To paraphrase the old 1960s slogan, you have to think globally, report
locally.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. What do you understand by ‘Beat Reporting’?

2.3 TYPES OF REPORTING

2.3.1 Crime Reporting

There are tremendous public interests in crime stories and no newspaper can afford
to ignore them without damage to circulation and credibility. Crime is a part of life
and it is newspaper’s duty to inform the readers of what crimes are going on in
their city, state or country. However, crime reporting should not aim at satisfying
morbid curiosity or sensation mongering.

28
Although crime reporting is usually assigned to one of the junior reporters in a
newspaper, it is a highly responsible and specialized job. The reporter should not
only have the ability to sift the grain from the chaff, and the truth from lies, he
should also have good contacts in the police and other departments of the
administration as well as working knowledge of the penal codes and law on libel
and other relevant matters.

Besides, he must observe a code of honour. He should be as objective and as


humanly as possible so as to avoid resorting to sensationalism or cheap gimmicks
to catch the attention of the readers or the viewers. He should not suppress news of
public interest. Nor should he seek to settle personal scores with police officers or
lawyers or judges. And he must be careful that in the course of his work, he does
not unnecessarily invade a citizen’s privacy.

There has been much criticism of press reporting of crime and not all of it is
baseless. Some reporters have been found guilty of unethical standards, thus
causing much pain and sorrow to their victims or their families and friends.

Crime Reporters try to glorify the activities of criminals or sometimes make heroes
of them. This practice should be discouraged as much as a resort to sensationalism.
The crime reporter much never violates standards of decency and good news taste.

There are several types of crime news-murders, fires, accidents, robberies,


burglaries, fraud, blackmail, kidnapping, rape, etc.

Fires
The reporter must get his facts correct about the essential elements of a fire story
the number of persons killed or injured, the extent of damage to property, the loss
of valuables, etc. he must also find out if the fire brigade responded in time or was
guilty of delaying the fire-operations through sheer lethargy or incompetence or
lack of water supply. He should question eyewitnesses about any acts of bravery or
cowardice. All these are essential ingredients of a fire story.

The lead in a fire story would normally suggest itself. If, for instance, lives have
been lost, it needs highlighting in the lead. If possible, the reporter must list the
names of the dead and the injured.

Homicides
In cases of a major murder, the reporter should rush to the scene as soon as
possible after receiving a tip and gather all the relevant facts. In nine cases out of

29
ten, crime reporters, say, in Delhi depend on police information about murders and
there is a time lapse before they can begin their investigations.
This often hampers their search for the truth. The reporter must, in any case,
exercise great care in how he handles the story. Otherwise, he runs the risk of
causing offence.

In reporting dowry deaths or alleged dowry deaths, the reporter must refrain from
leveling uncorroborated statements by one party or the other. He must therefore get
his facts correct by talking to the investigation police officer, the girl’s in laws and
her parents, and, if possible, with the neighbors.

Accidents
Most accidents are reported on the basis of police bulletins or information supplied
‘by police spokesmen’. However, wherever possible the crime reporter must rush
to the scene of a major accident to give authenticity to his story.

Arrests
It is a serious matter to report that a person has been placed under arrest. When
such a report is made, the exact charge against the arrested person could be given
and it should be documented by either a record or attribution to a responsible
official. If such documentation cannot be obtained, the reporter has better to check
the facts. The person in question may not have been under arrest at all. In many
states an arrest is not formally accomplished until a prisoner is booked. The news,
in any case, must be handled with care.

Accusations
It is commonly written that someone is being sought for robbery, suspected of
arson or tried for murder. This is journalistic shorthand, which has gained
acceptance through usage, but it is neither precise nor correct.

Persons are sought in connection with a robbery, unless a charge has actually been
made, in which case they are charged with robbery. Persons under suspicion are
not necessarily going to be charged with a crime and it is generally not privileged
matter to indicate that suspicion is attached to any individual by name. Where the
police suspect someone, but lack proof, that person may be held as material
witness- that is far different from being accused of as a criminal. Therefore, cases
of suspicion are not usually given too extensive and detailed news treatment if no
privileged material is available for use. The practice of reporting that a defendant is
being ‘tried for murder’, while widely used, is obviously prejudicial and could be
more accurately, if less drama stated, as ‘being tried as a charge of murder’.

30
Confessions
The use of the word ‘confession’ to describe statements made by a person to the
police or the prosecuting authorities is dangerous when it is not a matter of public
record. The fact that a police chief or a prosecutor has claimed to have a
confession, except in open court, may be used only at the risk of the news
organization. Most press-bar voluntary agreements forbid the use of confessions
until they are admitted in open court. The records are full of supposed confessions
that backfired later for a variety of reasons and of persons who admitted crimes
they could not possibly have committed. Unless and until it is established in fact
that a person has confessed, approved procedure for reporters is to use such terms
as ‘statement’, ‘admission’, ‘description’ or ‘explanation’. They convey the shade
of meaning that is warranted by circumstances and do not subject the news
organization to unnecessary risks.

There are a few fundamental precautions which a crime reporter must take
account of:

• The first is that the police and prosecutors rarely will give them information
on a silver platter. That means, a tremendous amount of interviewing and
research must be done in a very short time so that a coherent story may be
written
• There is no guarantee of police accuracy; and therefore police versions of
names, addresses and other facts must be checked
• Police and journalistic terminology are not identical. The legal term for a
slaying is a homicide, but many news organizations loosely and incorrectly
refer to such crimes automatically as murder.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. Explain crime reporting beat.


2.3.2 Court Reporting
Even the big newspapers of India do not have the resources to cover all the courts
of their main circulation area. The reason being that there are too many courts.
Newspapers neither have the time nor the space to cover everything that happens
in the courts. Paper covers only those stories in which their readers are interested.

A country governed by laws needs many courts, each with a different


jurisdiction. The emphasis of the news media is on criminal courts, High courts,

31
and the Supreme Court. The media are less interested in covering Civil Courts.
One of the reason for this lack of interest may be that the Civil Courts are
jammed with cases, the suits remain pending there for several years and it is
assumed that in the mean time, members of the public would lose whatever
interest they may have showed initially.
If we go through the old files of a newspaper, we will find that the volume of
court reporting has increased in recent years. One of the reasons for the increase
may be the courts are now getting more active in the field of social justice. Public
interest litigations are also increasing. As the number of petitions increase, one
notices a corresponding increase in the coverage of courts and the judgments
they deliver.
There are only a few big newspapers in India who have full time correspondents or
reporters exclusively for their court beat. These reporters generally have adequate
legal background. Other newspapers mostly hire stringers to cover court stories. (In
journalism, a stringer is a freelance journalist, who is paid for each piece of
published or broadcast work, rather than receiving a regular salary. They are
heavily relied upon by most television news organizations)

Many of the stringers are professional advocates. Many part-timers also cover
stories in their respective areas and come from teaching, law and other
professions. A newspaper, which does not have a full time law reporter, may send
its regular staff correspondent to cover an important court story.
The first time that one covers the court beat as a court reporter; one usually feels
amidst the technicalities and complex language. A trainee reporter aiming to be a
future court reporter must at first acquire some understanding of the court
jurisdictions, its procedures and its hierarchy. At the apex we have the Supreme
Court of India. Then there are the High Courts, Session Courts, Magistrate Courts,
etc.
If the reporter is acquainted with the jurisdiction of different courts, then one can
easily locate the specific court for a particular matter. Similarly, if one is familiar
with the hierarchy in the courts; one can easily guess where the appeal would be
filed.
Much of a reporter’s success in the coverage of the courts depends on one’s
contact and sources, and one’s ability to gain access quickly to records. For a
reporter, the key person in a court is the clerk of the court. A court clerk prepares
and keeps the records. He can make available copies of transcript for a fee. Court
reporting involves diligent checking of records. The judge who presides a trial is
seldom one’s source. But a reporter should, as soon as possible, introduce oneself

32
in person to the judge. A court reporter should also have good contacts with the
lawyers working on a case and if possible with the respective parties. Where a
case attracts much public attention, reporters may be under pressure from rival
lawyers for a more favorable description of their individual positions. The reporter
must then ensure impartial reportage in all fairness to the proceedings in court.

Court reporters must understand the judicial process from beginning to end. They
should know what happens when a suspect is arrested, charged, arraigned, tried,
and sentenced or released. Experienced reporters say the best way to learn the
process is to spend time at the courthouse. As stated before, begin with the court
clerks, who keep track — the list of cases — and the calendar. Find out how to get
copies of the court record, filings, and testimony. Read the case files — including
motions and pleadings before the trial — and keep track of what's reported about
the case if you can't be in court every day, which frequently happens.

Defense attorneys are some of the best sources of information on the justice beat.
They often are more willing than prosecutors to talk with reporters about cases on
which they are working. Do your best to understand legal jargon, but avoid using it
in your stories. If you don't know what something means, ask the person you're
interviewing to explain it.

2.3.3 Health Reporting

Health reporter usually informs the public about major epidemics, diseases and
their cures, new medical discoveries, medical irregularities, etc. they are either
specialized in their field of medical of take the assistance of doctors, medical
practitioner, etc. the common man cannot understand most of the medical terms so
it is the duty of the health reporter to explain these terms and present the report
which is easily understood by the common man.
Every change of season witness some major breakouts of epidemics and thus the
people must be informed about these diseases and the necessary measures to be
taken to avoid the occurrence of these diseases. The health reporter in no way
should frighten the common man but present remedies and cures for the diseases.
Crosschecking is extremely necessary if the reporter is not specialized in the
medical field. Therefore, most of the newspaper relies of medical practitioner,
doctors, scientist, and others to present the articles or features for the newspaper.
The health reporter is supposed to cover researches, developments in the field of
medicine and pharmaceuticals and new experiments in medicine and medical

33
surgery. He collects this information from different departments of medical
fraternity.
Many well- known health and medical science reporters writing in a few major
newspapers have become the primary source for secondary pick- ups by many
radio, newspaper, and television reporters. Thus, a small handful of powerful,
skilled writers wield an enormous amount of influence in this field. These days,
most of the health reporting also covers fitness tips given out by experts in the field
of yoga, acupuncture, meditation, and others.
The public is poorly served by the coverage of medical science in the general
press. Scientists and physicians blame the press, claiming that journalists are
careless in their reporting, subject to competitive pressures, and ignorant of the
scientific process. Journalists accuse the medical community of limiting access to
information and erecting barriers to the public dissemination of medical research.
In many areas of health news reporting, the underlying problem is an interactive
dynamic that involves scientists and journalists. Both parties share the
responsibility for accurate communication to the public.

Health Reporters usually deliver medical news as if they are reporting on a hostage
crisis. Information is delivered rapidly, but little time is taken to provide a context
for the story. Instead, the reporting is sensationalized: The journalist overstates a
scientific finding and, as a result, the public is misled about the implications of that
finding. This sort of reporting has its roots in newsroom pressures to dramatize
stories by sounding alarms.
To avoid inaccurate stories, health reporters need to examine the credibility and
biases of scientific sources. Such examination is often not done, however, possibly
because reporters are misled when the public relations efforts of scientists,
institutions. The major sources for a health reporter are the doctors or medical
officers.

A journalist's audience should be told explicitly whether the journalist's source of


information could benefit financially from the media attention or whether the
source is funded or employed by an institution that will benefit. However, such
conflicts of interest are often not apparent to reporters or their audiences.

The public is generally unaware of the scientific process and is therefore likely to
give more importance to awareness and full details of diseases and remedies by a
renowned medical practitioner. This follow-up should be done, because journalists
themselves may not completely know the complete medical process works. Certain

34
medical terms are likely to be misinterpreted and thus it is the duty of the health
reporter to clarify such doubts. The health science community should promote
contact with the media when confirmatory or no confirmatory studies emerge in an
area that has already received attention from the press. General assignment
reporters typically wrote medical news stories and Reporters who specifically
cover medicines are now commonly found at many major news organizations.
Thus, Those who understand the complexities of newsworthy issues in medicine
and public health should

Examining the media's coverage of medicine seems to show that medical news
reporting is less than ideal. Medical scientists and journalists share the
responsibility for this problem. Thus, the medical science community can
encourage accurate medical reporting and reporters will also have to take active
measures to improve the situation.

Health Reporters should be able to assume that press releases are accurate, findings
are not overstated, and conflicts of interest are acknowledged. The health reporter
should deal with failures to be accurate, to identify vested interests, to follow up on
stories, and to cover important health issues as the patients are the ones who stand
to suffer the most. The health reporter must remember that it is the public that
ultimately benefits from medical scientists' contributions to improved media
coverage.

2.3.4 Civic Reporting

Newspapers have traditionally been the most community oriented of mass media.
Newspapers have been given a good deal of credit for building the democratic
community life cities and towns. These days, however, the media and their
audiences have been so thoroughly fragmented that the newspaper seems on the
verge of becoming just another specialized commercial product for a niche market.

Together, the people and the journalists work on efforts to fight attempts to weaken
the civil justice system, to protect the rights of all to the right to trial by jury, and to
force government and businesses to make human health and safety the top priority.

Public Citizen is very interested to report the news reporters for information in a
variety of cases: products liability, medical malpractice, cases involving children,
cases involving drugs or medical devices for women, cases where punitive
damages were awarded, cases where defendants withheld documents or engaged in
other types of abuse or misconduct, and cases where discovery documents or

35
testimony revealed a company decision to risk foreseeable injuries or deaths in
order to save money or increase profits.
Reporters around the country are increasingly turning to civic journalism to find
better stories and report them in ways that re-establish a bond with readers, viewers
and listeners. They do so to:

• Tackle tough issues.


• Discover new local stories.
• Interact with readers and viewers in new ways.
• Use the web to improve reporting.

Mostly two or three junior reporters, supervised by a senior one is appointed to


cover local news, administration problems and important judgments of the district
courts. A senior reporter assigns the coverage among the junior reporters who
actually go into the field and bring news of local interest. There may be a fire or
theft or important crime to report like a murder or dacoity. Then there may be court
proceedings of a sensational nature wherein important crime cases are heard and
adjudged upon. These reporters are called district reporters. Each reporter has an
area assigned to him, which may include one or more large towns with the addition
of smaller towns and larger villages. In some cases, a district office is established
in prominent towns to enable the reporters to cover the ground with a senior
reporter in charge. The senior man also acts as the manager of the office, who
keeps the accounts and is responsible for the advertisement and other revenue,
which is received.

The Civic reporters have considerable responsibility as an important link in the


chain of news collection of interest to the newspaper. The senior as well as the
junior reporters keep their respective diary of engagements and see that nothing is
missed which may give the lead to other newspapers. If the locality or the town is
large one, the reporter may find himself, with a full diary of routine engagements
every day.

The civic reporter needs to be active men who have the opportunity of making a
wide circle of friends. They develop influence in the local administration and can
dig their news ahead of other contemporaries representing other newspapers. One
important qualification of a local or civic reporter is knowledge of law so that he
does not commit any errors leading to libel. He must be above board and not have
extreme likes and dislikes of individuals, businessmen or influential personalities
in the area.

36
The telephone is a very important means of receiving and collecting information
about any event-taking place in the area. A civic reporter has his link with police
officers and corporation administrators who inform him of anything important
taking place around. However, it is not advisable to simply depend on one or the
other individual source for making the story.

Immediately on receiving the hint of an important event, the civic reporter is


supposed to either rush himself or send his juniors, depending on the importance of
the news, to cover it. If necessary, a photographer may also be taken along
although many newspapers prefer junior reporters to know as to how to handle the
camera and have working knowledge of photography. In the case of important
news, even movie cameras are sometimes maintained by newspapers to obtain TV
films for supply to the TV Organizations on specific charges.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. Why are Reporters around the country are increasingly turning to civic
journalis?
2.3.5 Political Reporting

Political reporters in a democracy have one central mission: to provide citizens


with the information they need to make an informed choice between the candidates
for elective office. To do that, journalists need to examine the candidates'
backgrounds and qualifications, their positions on the key issues, and what the
candidates are saying in campaign appearances and advertising. Reporters who
cover politics look at the candidates' supporters, too, since their interests can often
shed light on what a politician will do if elected.

A political reporter should have intelligence, instinctive perception of ground


realities, good judgment of people and a strong historic sense. Since politics is the
main focus of newspapers, too many new entrances would like to be political
reporters hoping that it would be a ladder to the coveted office of the editor.
But the fact remains that there is a dearth of good political reporting in India who
have the skills to report insight, and do reporting that captures in flesh and blood
of the players in the political field. A skilled political reporter is able to expose the
naked ambitions of political leaders and the hypocrisy of political parties.
Politics is the game for power, a game for supremacy and ironically this game is
played in the name of the people for evoking national greatness. The majority of
politicians in India have acquired office because they were misfits everywhere
else and are driven by a desire to make up for their past failures and frustrations.

37
Thus, the sad thing about Indian democracy is that it is these politicians who
guide the destiny of some 900 million people. Bereft of ideas, intelligence and
character, they exploit caste, religion and language to stay in power and the
country slip from crisis to crisis.
Therefore, it is the duty of the political reporter to never glorify a minister or a
politician but truthfully present their achievements and failures. Programmes of
political parties should be critically evaluated and the flaws commented upon, so
that the people are not carried away by their patriotic portrayal. The performance
of government needs constant review and herein is the wisdom and maturity of
the political reporter set on a national spectacle.
A lot of things are happening behind the scene in politics. Diplomacy, lobbying,
image- building and hatching conspiracies are only few of them. Nothing much is
visible to the outside world but the tip of an iceberg. The real challenge of
political reporting is in unmasking these happenings in the political world.
Connections and inside sources are the strengths of a politics reporter.
Party conferences, campaigns and rallies and press conferences are normal
reporting events. But to add news value to these the reporter should have ‘inside’
information or exclusive stories. The best selling newspapers in any country are
those with a strong political bureau satisfying the political curiosity of the readers.
Inadequate political coverage usually judged by the quality of reporting, brings
down the circulation of a newspaper. The honest and well-meaning politician
deserves the support of the reporter and the people’s support. One of the basic
duties of political reporting is to bring to national focus such deserving leaders
and to warn the nation against criminals in political garment.
The political reporter must have a sound knowledge of history and the ability to
see the chain of events before it happened and the wisdom to translate the
thoughts into memorable words.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. How is reporting for Politics done?

2.3.6 Business Reporting

The focus of business reporting is the state of business, depending on the country’s
economic climate. The stock market, capital market, the wholesale and consumer
price, metals and gold prices, industries and agricultural production, consumer

38
behavior, inflation, money supply foreign and Indian investments, unemployment,
wages and labor, all are areas of interest to the business reporter.

The economy operates in a cycle of expansion and contraction known as boom and
bust. The markets hit a low during bust, characterized by low demand, piling up of
goods product and at worst people are thrown out of employment.

At boom, the demand picks up, entrepreneurs invest, employment is generated,


there is more cash flow and happier times return as the economy operates at its
peak. After a few years, the economy goes back to bust to repeat its business cycle.
Low employment speaks of the ill health of the economy and the need for optimum
level of investment. The developing nations, called the Third World, need massive
investments to generate employment and they also need the latest technology to
catch up with the developed world.

Business, industry and agriculture, year after year, look to the finance minister’s
presentation of the union Budget that could change the business climate. Tax
incentives to industry and agriculture can boost production, and surplus production
can lead to export and prosperity. Exporting nations like Japan, Taiwan, and
Singapore in Asia enjoy a higher standard of living than many economic laggards
of the continent, some of whom face miserable living conditions. The budget is a
powerful instrument of transformation in the hands of an able finance minister.

A business reporter should have a masterly understanding of economic at the


macro and micro levels to interpret economic data and tell how they are going to
affect business. He should sound an alarm when the economy is heading for a
slump or recession.

Also, when the economic outlook is bright, he should bring cheer to industry. But
he should desist from creating a panic in the stock market where people have
invested their life savings. To command respect in financial and business circles,
you must be knowledgeable, credible and insightful.

To do so, the business reporter must be in contact with some of the best economic
brains of the country that may be in the finance ministry, universities, research
organizations and even corporate houses. The reporter should watch out for
corporate newsmakers. Entrepreneurs are of two kinds, those with a broad vision
and those with a tunnel vision. The former think laterally and are a creative lot,
bringing new products, new designs, new models and new ideas that can transform
the way people live, work and spend their leisure.

39
Another breed of newsmakers is the corporate raider who buys the shares of
companies in bulk and try to dislodge the existing families out of their business.
Majority of the shareholders are innocent of their rights, and easily manipulated by
holding meetings at sites most of them cannot reach or by deliberately delaying the
intimation letters for such meetings.

Market-linked technology watch may signal the arrival of new products,


impending competition and phasing out of old models. Computer and car markets
are changing dramatically and will keep changing in the years ahead. Exposing
business frauds and manipulators is the high calling of business journalism, but
favoring them for a pittance could tarnish the image of the profession.

Keep a tab on major stock market players, chairman of blue chip companies and
CEOs who could always spring a surprise. PROs of business houses and private
secretaries of market players could be of help in getting the lead for a story, but
these stories must be properly filtered for news.

Like the politician who generates political news, the corporate houses generate
most of the business news. And the finance and commerce ministries, the RBI,
SEBI, FICCI, Assocham and Indo-American, Indo- British, Indo-German, Indo-
French, and Indo-Japanese joint trade organizations keep the business reporters
very busy.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. What are the qualities required to be a business reporter?

2.3.7 Science & Technology Reporting

The age of science is the age of reason, and it is by reasoning that human beings
have unlocked the secrets of nature. Science reporters are driven by a curiosity and
governed by scientific temper. The first step to becoming a science reporter is to
develop well-grounded awareness of science by reading good popular science
books and journals. Keep watching popular science programmes on foreign and
Indian television channels.

Half-truths, bluffs and blisters are not part of science reporting, which is based on
verifiable technological facts. Verify your facts from other sources, reference
books and journals before you report. Credibility and clarity are the catchwords in
science reporting.

40
Specialists speak in technical language popularly called jargons. Befriend the
leading scientist and engineers of your town and ask them about the latest
development in their fields-inventions, applications and research. Attend seminars
and conferences regularly and write interpretative reports for the knowledge –
hungry readers. Publishing interviews of eminent scientists not only enhances the
prestige of the newspaper/magazine but also promotes science awareness in
society.

Age of computers is rapidly changing the way we live computers are installed in
banks, railway stations, airports, operation theatres of hospitals, public health, and
water supply and electricity departments and real estate agencies. Creating
environmental awareness is one of the duties of the science reporter. Crusading for
a better environment is the hallmark of dedicated science reporter.

Science reporting calls for greater precision and logical progression of ideas. The
popular science writers have amazing clarity of thought and expression and an
irresistibly fascinating manner of presentation. Exaggeration and sensationalism do
not belong to science reporting which is basically an exercise in precision writing.

2.3.8 Sport Reporting

Sport reporting demands for an exceptional interest in the field of sports and a
good writing style. Sports reporters are conversant with the rules of the game and
have good relations with players and coaches. They are also knowledgeable about
the lives of top players to dish out interesting anecdotes in sports features.

Sport reporters write to appeal to a class of readers who eat, drink and sleep sports.
Sports writing are as competitive as the game itself. Like all reporters, the sport
reporter too works under pressure, but there is too much action in succession for
him to recapitulate that it makes his job uniquely challenging. So, to become a
successful sports reporter, one should keep a sports diary. Renowned sports
journalists have the habit of jotting down every idea or scrap of information, which
they later skillfully weave into their reports and columns.

Keep a clipping library of reports and articles of special interest to you, which you
have come across in newspapers and magazines. This could be a ready reference
library for facts and figures and back grounders. Classify under different names of
games like ‘cricket’, ‘hockey’, ‘athletics’, etc to make it handy.

41
The reporter must make his report descriptive enough for those who have not seen
the match and analytical enough for those who have seen it on television but are
seeking something more to it. Develop a racy style that befits the game,
recapturing the players in their best action, which is the difference between a good
report and a bad report.

Sports reporting differ from general reporting in that sports reporters enjoy greater
freedom for self-expression, which includes the use of superlatives. The famous
among them do enjoy special privileges in keeping with their professional status.
Sport reporting provides details on the fitness of players, points of play, individual
performances, tactics and strategies adopted in the contest and crowd reaction.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. What things should a sports reporter always keep with him?

2.3.9 Culture Reporting

The term “The Culture Beat” refers to the way a newspaper will assign reporters to
cover various sites where news originates-city hall, the police reports, sports,
entertainment, local, etc.

Culture reporting is characterized by its punchy style, rough language, and


ostensible disregard for conventional journalistic writing forms and customs. The
reporter attempts to present a multi-disciplinary perspective on a particular story,
drawing from popular culture, sports, political, philosophical and literary sources.
It is styled eclectic or untraditional. Culture reporting remains a feature of popular
magazines. It has a good deal of entertainment value.
Culture reporting also focuses on the personal lives of people, primarily celebrities,
including movie and stage actors, musical artists, models and photographers, other
notable people in the entertainment industry, as well as people who seek attention,
such as politicians, and people thrust into the attention of the public, such as people
who do something newsworthy.
Culture reporting today is the province of newspaper gossip columnists and gossip
magazines and has become the focus of national tabloid newspapers like the
National Enquirer, magazines like People and Us Weekly, syndicated television
shows like Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, The Insider, Access Hollywood,
and Extra, cable networks like E!, and numerous other television productions.

42
It differs from feature writing in that it focuses on people who are either already
famous or are especially attractive, and in that it often covers celebrities
obsessively, to the point of these journalists behaving unethically in order to
provide coverage. Paparazzi, photographers who would follow celebrities
incessantly to obtain potentially embarrassing photographs, have come to
characterize celebrity journalism.

It is the most common kind of reporting where reporters are placed at the most
strategic news-breaking points like hospitals, courtrooms, police headquaters,
airports, railway stations, universities, government and corporate offices and health
and recration centers. Unlike editorial writing, the culture reporting is impersonal.

A culture reporter is should essentially be an honest storyteller, who should rise


above his prejudices and subjectivity. He should be fair and impartial and present
in all aspects of the story. Complete objectivity may be required as the primary job
of a reporter in any beat is to tell the truth.

2.3.10 Civil Administration Reporting


The government establishes the civil administration and the area concerned are
the local, municipal, social and national levels of the society. Civil administration
reporting will thus carry news stories relating to all these sections of a country.
Civil administration of a country exercise certain authority normally in the
function of the local government; or hostile territory. It exercises executive,
legislative, and judicial authority.
Civil administration reporters thus have to work with civil authorities and civilian
populations in the area of operations.
Civil administration reporters are the specialists who can quickly and
systematically identify critical requirements needed by local citizens in bad
situations. They can also locate civil resources to support help operations, help
support national assistance activities. The reporters report on the plan to establish
and maintain liaison or dialogue with civilians and private organizations. The civil
administration reporters provide a prime source of nation-building skills. Their
prime focus of reporting is in the fields of public administration, public safety,
public health, legal systems, labor management, public welfare, public finance,
public education, civil defense, public works and utilities, public communications,
public transportation, logistics, food and agricultural services, economics, property
control, cultural affairs, civil information, and managing dislocated persons.

43
One of the main components of civil administration is the police who are appointed
with the duties to keep a check on the society. Reporting police news is difficult
and potentially dangerous. But if reporters and editors are properly prepared and
sufficiently cautious, mistakes will be held to a minimum. Police news tells us
about ourselves, and how we handle police news tells us something about our
journalistic ability. Ideally, police news is used to inform the public, not to aid
directly in conviction. Keeping this perspective is important in handling police
news effectively.

Police reporters need to know exactly how crimes are defined in the community
they cover. In the United States, for example, a "burglary" and a "robbery" are not
the same thing. Burglary involves breaking into a building to commit a crime.
Robbery is stealing money or property by force. Developing a glossary of essential
terms can prevent embarrassing mistakes. A police press release may provide the
basic facts about a crime, but good reporters dig deeper. They go to the scene to
look for details and to talk with neighbors or eyewitnesses, whenever possible.

The coverage of civil disorder imposed major responsibilities on the reporters. On


the one hand, they must expose themselves to danger if necessary to determine the
magnitude of any street incident. But whatever they do, they must always be
conscious that careless reporting or the provocative appearance of still or
television cameras can cause untold harm in a tense situation, particularly in the
crowded inner cores of many cities and towns.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS
Q1. What are the duties of a Police Reporter?

2.3.11 Education Reporting

As Education, is the organized teaching and training of students, the reporter’s job
will revolve around these areas. Education is a body of theoretical and applied
research relating to teaching and learning. Thus, the reporter has to focus on these
both areas of education. The education reporter works in different areas or
disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, computer science, linguistics,
neuroscience, sociology and anthropology

The education reporter focus on the education systems as these can be used to
promote doctrines or ideals as well as knowledge, and this can lead to abuse of the
system. these days, the education reporters focus on adult education as they have
become widespread in many countries. However, education is still seen by many as

48
44
something aimed at children, and adult education is often branded as adult
learning or lifelong learning.

Adult education takes on many forms, from formal class-based learning to self-
directed learning. Lending libraries provide inexpensive informal access to books
and other self-instructional materials. Many adults have also taken advantage of
the rise in computer ownership and internet access to further their informal
education.
The reporter has to report about the Education reforms. Educational reforms are
plans, programs, or movements which attempts to bring about a systematic change
in educational theory or practice across a community or society. As the public
attention focuses on standards based education reform in response to the high
expense and poor outcomes of education, it is the duty of the reporter to bring forth
such informations.

The teaching method must be teachable! Many educators now believe that
anything that more precisely meets the needs of the child will work better.
Programs that test individual learning, and teach to mastery of a subject have been
proven to be far more effective than group instruction with compromise schedules.
Philosophers identify independent, logical reasoning as a precondition to most
western science, engineering, economic and political theory. Therefore, every
educational program that desires to improve students' outcomes in political, health
and economic behavior should include a Socratically-taught set of classes to teach
logic and critical thinking. Substantial resources and time can be saved by
permitting students to test out of classes. This also increases motivation, directs
individual study, and reduces boredom and disciplinary problems.

To support inexpensive continuing education a community needs a free public


library. It can start modestly as shelves in an attended shop or government
building, with donated books. New programs based on modern learning theories
should be quantitatively investigated for effectiveness.

The education reporter has to report education plans, durations, costs, and
scholarships of various educational programs started by national and international
universities. Thus much research with educationists, institutions and expertise is
required to prepare the report. As always, crosschecking of facts is important.
Also, the education reporter has to present counseling help to the students as they
often get confused because today we have so many options available in the
education and vocational fields.

45
Thus, the education reporter must be aware with different departments of
education, have good contacts with colleges and universities and get an insight into
the psyche of the students’ about their preferences and choices. These reporters
have to regularly attend functions like convocations, academic events of colleges
and universities to know the progress and the launch of new educational programs.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. What does a reporter of Education Beat do?

2.3.12 Development Reporting

Development reporting creates an awareness of the rapid transformation of the


society from a poor economy to a highly developed economy by informing the
people of the various programmes of development charted out by the government
and development agencies and to bring to the notices of the government the
problems some of these poorly implemented schemes create so that it can be
considered for remedial measures.

It is through people’s participation that food production is raised, new roads,


railways and houses are constructed, amenities of safe drinking water, electricity
and communication are provided. Sometimes, development has disastrous
consequences too: air and water pollution, soil degradation and deforestation. This
led to rethinking on what constitutes development and after much deliberation;
ecology too came under its preview. The most important quality to be inculcated is
to have development perspective based on ground realities and sharpened by a
global vision.

A telling tale that is apt to awaken a slumbering government to action and a style
that also spreads awakening among the masses are expected of a development
communicator.

Reporting success stories do motivate people and even the failures teach precious
lessons on how to avoid the mistakes made by others. Development reporters
should not be biased like a section of western media, which sees only the negative
side of India’s achievements. There a hundreds of development stories lying buried
to be discovered by a good development reporter. Government departments and
ministries dole out press releases, newsletters and annual reports, which could give
the lead for a story.

46
Sustainable development, therefore, represents an opportunity for humanity to
correct a historical error and develop a gentler, more balanced, and stable
relationship with the natural world.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. How can a Development Reporter motivate the society?

2.4 OBJECTIVITY

News is a factual report of an event, not a report as seen by a biased person, or


seen as a reporter might wish it to be seen. The reporter should be as impartial and
honest as possible. In fact, if a reporter does have a bias, sometimes he or she
declines to do the story, or, more often, bends over backwards to make sure both
sides are covered equally. Is total objectivity humanly possible? We all have
backgrounds, biases, and emotions that help make up who we are as people, and
turning them off completely is pretty impossible. Sometimes biased reporting can
happen inadvertently because the reporter tries to be clever or make a story more
interesting.
Objectivity is a significant principle of journalistic professionalism. According
to scholars, objectivity may refer to fairness, disinterestedness, factuality, and
nonpartisanship . The term therefore lacks a single meaning as journalists and the
public use it in these varied ways. In many countries, advocacy journalism is
considered as a legitimate sort of professional journalism.
According to scholars of journalism, journalists and publics often tend to identify
objectivity in its absence. Few journalists would make a claim to total neutrality or
impartiality. However, most strive toward a certain modicum of detachment from
their own personal biases in their news work. In Discovering the News (1978),
sociologist Michael Schudson argues that "the belief in objectivity is a faith in
'facts,' a distrust in 'values,' and a commitment to their segregation." In the
United States, an objective story is typically considered to be one that steers a
middle path between two poles of political rhetoric. The tenets of objectivity are
violated to the degree to which the story appears to favor one pole over the other.
According to some, it refers to the prevailing ideology of newsgathering and
reporting that emphasizes eyewitness accounts of events, corroboration of facts
with multiple sources and "balance." It also implies an institutional role for

47
journalists as a fourth estate, a body that exists apart from government and large
interest groups.
Others hold it should mean reporting things without bias, as if one just came to
Earth from another planet and had no preconceived opinions about our behavior or
ways. This form of journalism is rarely practiced, although some argue it would
lead to radical changes in reporting.

Still others hold it to mean that journalists should have something like a neutral
point of view, not taking a stand on any issues on which there is some
disagreement. Instead, journalists are simply to report what "both sides" of an issue
tell them. Some even extend this standard to the journalist's personal life,
prohibiting them from getting involved in political activities, which necessarily
requires taking a stand.[
There is some dispute about whether objectivity can really exist. How do we know
the truth? Well, objectivity is like virtue; it's the thing you always fall short of,
but the thing you always strive toward. Opinion journalists have to be objective
just as much as straight reporters. Opinion journalists, too, have to be able to see
reality wholly and truly. As George Orwell said, they have to face unpleasant facts
just as much as anybody else.
What are the stages of getting to objectivity? The first stage is what somebody
called negative capacity — the ability to suspend judgment while you're
looking at the facts. Sometimes when we look at a set of facts we like to choose
the facts that make us feel good because it confirms our worldview. But if you're
going to be objective — and this is for journalists or anybody else — surely the
first stage is the ability to look at all the facts, whether they make you feel good or
not.

The second stage is modesty. And here one of the great models of journalism is
someone we just saw at a Senate confirmation hearing — Chief Justice John
Roberts. He was asked by the Senators to emote. Senator Dianne Feinstein, for
instance, asked him how he would react as a father to a certain case. It was as if
she and other Senators wanted him to weep on camera. They wanted him to do the
sentimental thing, in order to make them feel that he was one of them. But he
absolutely refused, because his ethos as a lawyer and as a judge is not about self-
exposure. It's about self- control. It's about playing a role in society — a socially
useful role. Roberts kept explaining that judges wear black robes because it's not
about them; it's not about self-importance. It's about doing a job for society. Judges

48
have to suppress some of themselves in order to read the law fairly and not
prejudge cases.
The same thing has to happen for journalists. They live in an age of self-exposure.
But journalists have to suppress their egos so that they can see the whole truth,
whether they like it or not.
The third stage of objectivity is the ability to process data — to take all the
facts that you've accumulated and honestly process them into a pattern. This
is a mysterious activity called judgment. How do you take all the facts that are in
front of you and fit them into one pattern? If you pick up a cup of coffee, one part
of your brain senses how heavy it is. Another part of your brain senses how hot it
is. Another part of your brain senses the shape of the cup. Another part of your
brain knows that you're shaking, which creates ripples across the surface of the
coffee. All these parts are disconnected and we have no idea how the human brain
processes that information. But some people are really good at connecting the dots
and seeing the patterns and other people are not. And surely that's the third stage of
objectivity — the ability to take all the data, not just the data you like, and form it
into, a generalize whole.

The fourth stage of objectivity is the ability to betray friends. In Washington,


there's loyalty to the truth and loyalty to your team. And in government, loyalty to
your team is sometimes more important than loyalty to the truth. If you're a U.S.
Senator, you can't tell the truth all the time. If you work for an administration, you
can't tell the truth all the time, because government is a team sport. The only way
you can get something done is collectively — as a group. It takes a majority to pass
a piece of legislation. It takes an administration working together to promulgate a
policy. And that’s fine. Politicians betray the truth all the time in favor of loyalty to
a higher good for them. But for journalists and for most citizens, loyalty to the
truth should succeed loyalty to the team. And frankly, that no longer happens
enough.

The fifth stage of objectivity is the ability to ignore stereotypes. This is the
oldest rule of journalism. Walter Lipmann once noted that most journalism is about
the confirmation of stereotypes — preexisting generalizations we all have in our
heads. The ability to ignore these stereotypes is crucial to objectivity.
And the last bit, the sixth stage is a willingness to be a little dull. It's easy to
write a lambasting, hurtful attack on someone. But usually — unless that person
is Adolf Hitler — that's not fair.

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CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. What do you understand by ‘Objectivity’ in Journalism?

2.5 REPORT WRITING FOR ALL MEDIA

News report writing always starts with the most important fact. When you report
on a football game, you do not start with the kick-off; you begin with the final
score. A news report has a beginning, middle and an end. News stories in contrast
to this will blurt out something and then explain themselves. News reports are
mostly active rather than in passive voice and are written in concise language.
Paragraphs are short so as to set in newspaper columns. Shorter paragraphs are
more likely to keep the attention of readers. Attribution meaning ‘somebody
saying something’ is used in the news- reports to present a range of views over
which the reporters can appear to remain neutral.

Most news reports follow the ‘Kiss and tell’ formula- Kiss standing either for
‘keep it short and simple’ or ‘keep it simple, stupid.’ Complexity, abstract notions,
ambiguity and unanswered questions tend to be frowned upon and deleted out of
news copy. News reports structure should have-

• Stories should have the main idea given to the journalist for covering of an
incident.
• Content of the news report should be comprehensive and balanced.
• The intro should contain the main point of the story and should be clearly
developed with the most important information coming early in the story,
followed by a coherent, logical and readable structure.
• Personal comments should be avoided.
• Facts should be presented logically.
• The style, context and facts should be accurate.

The news reports aim is to meet the requirements of everyday life as lived by
everyday readers. So it largely depends on elements like directness, pace, variety
and information. It aims to state the facts quickly and clearly.
A news report has three parts:
• The headline
• The first paragraph

50
The remainder of the news story

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. What are the basics of news report writing?

2.5.1 Radio

A. GENERAL
1. Write accurately, impartially.
2. Confine the whole story to one page if possible, but not at the
expense of well-spaced presentation. If you need a second page, start
it with a new paragraph. Don't overrun a paragraph from one page to
the next.
3. Make each sentence a new paragraph.
B. FOR BOTH EASE OF HEARING AND EASE OF READING
1. Write simply. (Avoid parenthetical clauses, no awkward
sentence constructions; don't clutter with details; avoid pedantic
construction).
2. Write with clarity of meaning, so that the newsreader and
listeners will be left in no doubt.
3. Write language as it's spoken, not as it's normally written for
silent reading.
4. Avoid strings of adjectives. They're often hard to read aloud in
one breath, and they take the listener's mind away from the main
point.
5. Avoid lists of figures. They're hard to read aloud and even
harder on the listener.
C. FOR EASE OF READING ALOUD
1. Make sure your copy is cleanly typed. Retype after making
alterations.
2. Triple space between lines.
3. Use conversational (not slangy) language. Contractions of verbs
help make it conversational (e.g. It's been established - not It has been
established. You're going there - not You are going there).
4. Don't use quotation marks, and don't use ‘I’ or ‘we’ unless it
means the person reading the item or the radio station.
5. Don't type capitals, except where capitals are normally used.
6. Avoid words that are hard to sight-read.
7. Spell names as they sound, if they're unusual.
8. Use first names instead of initials.
9. Avoid alliteration.

51
10.Don't use the word that unnecessarily.

52
11.Don't use abbreviated form of nay word that has to be read in full New
Zealand instead of N.Z..
12.September the 28th not September 28.
13.Spell out numbers if more than two figures - e.g. 1048 = one thousand
and 48. 148 = one hundred and 48.
14.Read your copy back to yourself aloud (as if you're the newsreader).
Simplify it as necessary, and then retype.
D. FOR EASE OF LISTENING
1. Write briefly, concisely - (avoid flamboyance, verbosity and
unnecessary adjectives).
2. Generally speaking, first sentences of not more than 18 words. Other
sentences not much longer - vary length.
3. Set the scene quickly.
4. Avoid presenting more than one main idea in one sentence.
5. Use active verbs wherever possible - not passive.
6. Don't use press-style reported speech unnecessarily. Where possible,
put verbs of saying into present tense. If you have good reason to put
them in the past tense, put the other verbs in the present tense where it
doesn't alter the meaning.
7. Don't use the most important word right at the beginning of the first
sentence (Police in Milan, not Milan Police) unless you're repeating it
later. It's not too easy for listeners to miss the first word, unless it
happens to be one that's pronounced strongly.
8. Use slight repetition as a memory jogger (After the first mention of,
say, the Auckland University Students' Association write the Students'
Association on one occasion later in the story, instead of merely the
association).
Writing for Radio

Keep it short and fast!

Every second counts. Write short sentences with one basic idea in each. We are
trying to cram information into peoples' ears, one short line at a time. Long,
complicated sentences full of big words don't make you sound smart. Say what you
mean, throw away all unnecessary words, and try to maintain a conversational
style.

Put the subject at the front of each sentence of your news report:

53
(subject) + (verb) + (object) + (...all other stuff)

e.g. "The White House + denies + the charge."

Long, newspaper-style sentences should be broken up into smaller sentences:

"For the fifth night in a row, denizens of the tunnels underneath Penn Station, the
"Mole People", are worrying that the police might barge in and evict them for
trespassing on City property."
The above is not a bad sentence, but it's a mouthful to read and understand. It
should be broken up into smaller ones:
Sentences should be written in the positive, as opposed to the negative sense, as
often as possible. Avoid using "not", "no", "don't", "doesn't", "won't", etc.
"The union leadership doesn't accept that version of the story."

...can be rewritten in the positive:

"The union leadership says the story is a lie."

"Union leaders refuse to accept that version of the story."

Write in the present tense, whenever possible:

"The White House denies the charge," is easier for the listener to understand and
faster to read than these common alternatives:
"The White House is denying the charge."

Write around your sound. The actualities are the most important part of your story;
so after you've chosen them, (see Choosing Actualities, below) transcribe them
word-for-word onto the page. The rest of your writing task amounts simply
bridging the gaps between your bites.

Start and end your story with a person, a personal story, and an illustrative
anecdote...something that the listener can understand and relate to immediately.
Remind your listeners of the subject of your story as you go along, and again near
the end. If you are having a hard time coming up with a definitive general

54
statement for the conclusion of your story, conclude by telling the listener what
they can expect to happen next.
When you are done with your Report script, make sure you have answered the
"Five W's": Who, What, Where, Why, When. It's easy to forget one of these, and
leave the listener wondering, "Who are they talking about?", "What country is this
story taking place in?"
Words to avoid in radio writing, whenever possible:

All forms of the verb TO BE (is, am, are, were, will be, have been, being, will
have been, etc.)
"Raines is asking the officer for his one phone call."

...can be written with more color, without "is

"Raines pleads with the officer for his one phone call."

Use an action verb!

Adverbs, those words that usually end in -LY. (easily, happily, angrily, etc.)
Adverbs are usually unnecessary, they often convey information you cannot
confirm, and they tend to betray the reporter's allegiances to one side of the story.
(Note the last sentence contained two adverbs, sorry!)
"The White House hastily issued a denial."

...would be better written,

"The White House issued a denial 15 minutes later."

Note that "hastily" makes a value judgment for the listener--one that you cannot
prove-- while "15 minutes later" allows the listener to make up her own mind.
Avoid common cliches in your writing, overused phrases and sentence
constructions:
"...in the wake of September 11..."

"This, as police announced..."

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"…against the backdrop of clan violence..."

These are often referred to as "groaners", because they make many radio listeners
groan to hear them. A groaner can't be easily defined, and some cannot always be
avoided. Many lists of these terms can be found on the web.

Let the sources give the examples, and (if possible) draw the conclusions. The
reporter should state the general fact/trend/phenomenon, then the source should
illustrate: No matter how important a source's point, if it's not well articulated,
don't use it. Explain it yourself, and next time get better tape! Successful reporters
today have to adjust to the emphasis on shorter, harder pieces and breaking news.
News staffers must be "part of the solution" and understand that they are not
working in some perfect world where every assignment is great and they have all
the time in the world to execute it.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. What things must be kept in mind while writing a news report for the radio?

2.5.2 Report writing for TV

Few techniques that can be applied successfully more often to hard news report
writing are:
Find a person to tell a story.

Telling the story through a person establishes an emotional connection with the
viewer. Weave the hard facts of the bigger story through the person. Make the
piece bigger by adding small details, for instance, a line that humanizes the
person.
Learn to ask the right questions to produce the best sound bites.
Encouraging a person to talk openly in a compelling manner on camera is the most
important prerequisite for developing characters in television news stories. They
must be comfortable and speaking their minds.
There are many techniques the reporter should be ready to use.
For instance, challenge your subjects. If a subject sounds flat, boring, or too
rehearsed, the interviewer shouldn't be afraid to challenge the person, no matter
what the circumstances.
Organize your elements in various ways to see which is most
effective. Stories have beginnings, middles, endings and timelines.

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"There are all kinds of different structures. If you want to be creative in journalism,
and you want to tell a story well, look at the timeline," he says.
Stories may have three timelines:
1. The order of the events as they unfold.
2. The order in which you record them.
3. The order in which you present them in the story.

The beginning of the event isn't necessarily the beginning of the story.
"You should find the most compelling way to adjust the timeline. You can begin
a story at the ending, you can begin it at the middle, or you can split it," he says.
Endings leave impressions. No matter how strong the rest of your material may
be, a weak ending guarantees a weak piece.
Look for spontaneous "moments."
If you're lucky, you'll find a spontaneous moment, and work off of that. It may be
something as simple as a woman looking at the wreckage of her burned house. You
take that moment and elaborate on it.
The pictures and sound don't have to be perfect. Viewers like to be
witnesses, seeing an event happen.
Look for something to peg the story on --- it could be a person, or a moment, a mood
or an emotion. It can be a lot of things that are outside the conventional box.

Look for the simple truth.


Bring it home and make the story relevant to viewers.
It's not enough to report the facts. You must make people feel something, and
that's the challenge.
Don't over-stuff the story with too many facts, figures, twists and turns. You
risk obscuring the message.
Don't over-produce a story. It's easy to do too much simply because you have
the technical capacity to do so.
You want to produce memorable pieces, but not contrived.
You want to do something a little different, but not to do something that calls
attention to itself for the sake of calling attention to itself.
Also, photographers who over-cut a piece and the result is the
craftsmanship getting in the way of the story.
A story should be seamless. You shouldn't notice the process that went into it.
You should notice the story.
Over-producing or over-writing the story is a mistake reporters make all the time.

57
Report what you find, not what was imagined beforehand.
Too often in the morning meetings producers decide what they want, and they
send the reporters out to get it.
Then the reporter struggles to make that concept happen. When, in fact, if you are
a reporter, you are entrusted to go out and come back with reality --- whatever that
might be. Don't make the facts fit the story; make the story fit the facts.
It's a reporter's job to make it into something that will be a good story, and then
to go back to the newsroom and fight for it.
Working effectively in the real world

Reporters can still do creative work on the tight schedule given them by the
assignment desk. It’s only a question of approaching the job in the right way.
Don't over-shoot.
It is suggests not shooting more than 60 seconds of raw video from any one
place. Being conservative in the amount of tape you shoot saves time previewing
and editing. Discipline yourself to know what you want, get it, and move on.

Vary the look by varying the backgrounds during interviews.


Change the scene. You don't need to overshoot. You can shoot one shot at a
location and an interview, and move on, and it looks like you spent all day there.
The story should be moving forward and to give it different looks. A story has
scenes, just like a movie.
Shooting stories that can't be shot

The pressure of daily newsgathering --- with finite resources (only so many
photographers) --- routinely produces situations where the people in the field
will be lucky to get anything on tape, never mind something strong. With a
positive attitude sometimes the seemingly impossible can be turned into a
compelling piece.
1. Never give up.
2. Recognize opportunities.
3. Be willing to change plans at a moment's notice.

Avoid cliches spoken only on TV

Television people should speak like real people. Speak normally!


If you want to come across as an approachable, believable person on television,
write the way you speak.

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CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. Write the basic guidelines for Television writing.

2.5.3 Newspaper report writing

A story is much like a conversation. It begins with the most interesting piece of
information or a summary of the highlights and works its way down to the least
interesting facts. There are words or phrases that take you from one topic of
conversation to another. Before you know it, you're finished.

You should be very familiar with the inverted pyramid style of writing while
writing your news report. You'll likely use it every day. For example, when you
call a friend to tell him or her about a big date, you begin by telling the most
interesting and important things first. The least important information is saved for
the end of the conversation, and depending on how much time you have to talk,
that information may not get into the conversation.
That concept also applies to news stories. The lead is the first paragraph of a news
story. Usually, the lead is one sentence long and summarizes the facts of the news
story in order of most newsworthy to least newsworthy. The reader should know at
first glance what the story is about and what its emphasis is.

Who, What, Where, When, Why and How ... The five Ws and an H

Depending on the elements of news value, the summary news lead emphasizes and
includes some or all of the five Ws and H.
Who names the subject(s) of the story. The who, a noun, can refer to a person, a
group, a building, an institution, a concept -- anything about which a story can be
written.
The ‘what’ is the action taking place. It is a verb that tells ‘what’ the ‘who’ is
doing. Reporters should always use active voice and action verbs for the ‘what’
because they make the wording direct and lively.
The lead sets the structure for the rest of the story. If the lead is good, the rest of
the story comes together easily. Many reporters spend half their writing time on the
lead alone. One guiding principle behind story organization is: The structure of the
story can help the reader understand what you are writing about. The structure

59
should lead the reader from idea to idea simply and clearly. The object is to give
readers information, and wow them with convoluted style.
With one-sentence paragraphs consisting of only one idea -- block paragraphs -- it
would be easy for a story to appear as a series of statements without any smooth
flow from one idea to the next. Block paragraphing makes the use of effective
transitions important. Transitions are words or phrases that link two ideas,
making the movement from one to the other clear and easy. Obvious
transitional phrases are: thus, therefore, on the other hand, next, then, and so on.
Transitions in news stories are generally done by repeating a word or phrase or
using a synonym for a key word in the preceding paragraph. Think of block graphs
as islands tied together with transition bridges of repeated words or phrases.
You should use direct quotes:

if a source's language is particularly colorful or picturesque

when it is important for written information -- especially official information --


to come from an obviously authoritative voice
to answer the questions ``why, how, who, or what?''

Use a direct quote after a summary statement that needs amplification, verification
or example.
Remember, a direct quote repeats exactly what the interviewee said. If you don't
have a person's exact words, you can paraphrase, but you cannot change the
meaning of a person's words. And when you paraphrase, you must never use
quotation marks.

Writing is a process, a logical sequence of steps. You follow a pattern in getting


dressed each day, in baking a cake or in changing a flat tyre. In the same way,
your writing should be the product of a logical process. The successful writer
gathers, focuses, orders, drafts and revises.
1. The first step in the process is gathering. Good writing begins with good
reporting. The writer must find the details that reveal meaning. You can't
write writing; you have to have facts.

2. Once you have the facts, decide on a focus or theme. Each news story should
have one dominant idea. That is the focus or reason for writing the story. Without a
focus, stories wander and confuse the reader. To find the focus, ask yourself,

60
what's the point? Imagine that you had to write a six-word headline for the
story. What one sentence tells the meaning of the story?

3. Next, decide which of your facts are most important and place them in a logical
order. Discard all facts that don't flow from your focus statement. Like a blueprint,
each story needs a plan. Each point should grow from the previous point and lead
to the next one. Poor organization loses more readers than anything else. For the
reader, the easiest thing is to stop reading.

4. Write quickly from beginning to end so that you can spend time with the
middle of your story and with the ending.

5. After you have written, edit your story to make it more powerful. Make sure that
you have written what you intended to write. Read it aloud to someone. Take a
break, then come back to it and revise. Be merciless in removing anything that
doesn't belong.

6. This process is not necessarily a straight line from gathering to revising. The
writer will go back and forth, including other facts as she is revising, or changing
the order as she gathers. A key point to remember is that much of the work in
writing a news story is done before the first words are put to paper.
2.5.4 Magazine Writing

Most magazines you see on newsstands every day rely on freelance writers for
their content. From fillers to features, most parts of a publication are fair game for
writers hoping to break in. No, you don't have to have a cousin in the publishing
world to see your name in print. You just have to follow the rules like every other
journalist until, one day, the editors start calling you.
As you write for magazines, it will give you increased confidence that you can
write for publication, meet word limits and deadlines. There are many benefits
from writing for magazines.
Some basics to get started while writing for magazines:

Decide on your genre


If all matters foodie particularly drives you, consider being a recipe writer and food
journalist. Or perhaps a reporter on traditional dishes from the four corners of the
earth. Maybe even a critique for restaurants and hotels in your area. There are too

61
many avenues to begin to list them all, but bear in mind there are very few
magazines and journals that don’t have a recipe in there somewhere and everybody
has to eat… Choose a subject that rings your bell. One that you have good
background knowledge of already will be second nature to start writing about.
Once you have made a start, you will find it is easy to expand to other topics.

Find your angle


Where are you coming from? Are you going to report on the subject or be
innovative and tell others about your ideas? Would you prefer something along a
fictional line? Maybe Q and A and FAQ’s is your bag. Don’t rule anything out, but
get acquainted with a comfortable angle by trying lots of different types of writing
on your chosen subject. The more relaxed you are, the better your quality of work
will be, because it will flow more naturally.

Research your subject


Once you have a focus, look into that field in great depth. See what is available and
topical at the moment, on paper and on the Internet. It will help to know what
people are reading and interested in, before you put pen to paper. Do you feel your
line of thought has not been covered yet? Perhaps that could be a door of
opportunity opening for you. Websites are not difficult to get up and running these
days – consider setting one up for your chosen subject, with the possibility of an
accompanying newsletter.

Research
Research is, without a doubt, one of the biggest bugbears, but if you are committed
to a career in writing, you might as well make it your best friend, because you are
going to be doing an awful lot of it!

Writer’s guidelines
Your piece might be amazing, with bells on, but if you don’t comply with the
subject line or the addressee, it will more than likely end up in the recycle bin! It is
a laborious task going through them and doing as you are told, especially when
your piece is clearly the hottest thing on the market. Remember, if it were that
easy, everybody would be doing it and besides, there has to be some fun in the
chase.

Keep track of your work


Keep a log of your submissions, query letters and published pieces. Create an
address book of all the editors, fellow writers and useful contacts you make. Don’t

62
be put off by the response times either. Make up files that allow you to review
what you have sent to whom and keep on top of it.
Remember, a writer must write something every single day, without fail! It keeps
your hand in and makes you look at new angles and ways of self- expression. You
have to be topical, expressive, interesting and informative. It is a big old reading
world out there, don’t be daunted, be focused, be clever and most of all, have fun!

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. How is Magazine report writing done?

2.5.5 Web writing

Among the Web's many peculiarities is its writing genre. Most Web documents
follow a style that you may not normally use in your writing. One of an author's
tasks, however, is to write in the language and style of the reader. You cannot
afford to bury your message so deep that the typical Web reader scanning your
pages will either skip over it or not even bother to find it. The following approach
will help ensure that Web readers will find your information:

• Summarize first. Put the main points of your document in the paragraph, so
that readers scanning your pages will not miss your first points.
• Be concise. Use lists rather than paragraphs, but only when your prose lends
itself to such treatment. Readers can pick out information more easily from a
list than from within a paragraph.
• Write for scanning. Most web readers scan pages for relevant materials
rather than reading through a document word by word.
• Guide the reader by highlighting the salient points in your document using
headings, lists, and typographical emphasis.
• Page length. Chunking provides a way to limit the length of your Web
• Access. Your content list should already be composed of information
chunks, because the definition of a content item is any piece of information
that needs to be accessed individually. Consider how users will interact with
your materials: What items will they want to access directly?
• Define your information chunks to accommodate the expected usage
patterns of your users pages: Web readers generally prefer shorter pages.
Don't arbitrarily divide a document, however, and don't divide a document
that is likely to be printed anyway.

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Printing. Don't break your narrative into small segments if you expect
Printing. Don't break your narrative into small segments if you expect that
most users will want to print the information.
Documents are easier to print from a single Web page. Or, if usage is
difficult to predict, offer both a Web version and a link to an easy-to-print
page or printing alternative, such as a downloadable PDF file.

2.6 SUMMARY

News reporting is a type of journalism, typically written or broadcast in news


style. Most news is investigated and presented by journalists or news Reporters,
and can be distributed to various outlets via news agencies. News is often reported
by a variety of sources, such as newspapers, television, and radio programs, wire
services, and web sites.

There are tremendous public interests in crime stories and no newspaper can afford
to ignore them without damage to circulation and credibility. Crime is a part of life
and it is newspaper’s duty to inform the readers of what crimes are going on in
their city, state or country. However, crime reporting should not aim at satisfying
morbid curiosity or sensation mongering.
A country governed by laws needs many courts, each with a different
jurisdiction. The emphasis of the news media is on criminal courts, High courts,
and the Supreme Court. The media are less interested in covering Civil Courts.
One of the reason for this lack of interest may be that the Civil Courts are
jammed with cases, the suits remain pending there for several years and it is
assumed that in the mean time, members of the public would lose whatever
interest they may have showed initially.

Health reporter usually informs the public about major epidemics, diseases and
their cures, new medical discoveries, medical irregularities, etc. they are either
specialized in their field of medical of take the assistance of doctors, medical
practitioner, etc. the common man cannot understand most of the medical terms so
it is the duty of the health reporter to explain these terms and present the report
which is easily understood by the common man.
Reporters around the country are increasingly turning to civic journalism to find
better stories and report them in ways that re-establish a bond with readers,
viewers and listeners.

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Political reporters in a democracy have one central mission: to provide citizens
with the information they need to make an informed choice between the candidates
for elective office. To do that, journalists need to examine the candidates'
backgrounds and qualifications, their positions on the key issues, and what the
candidates are saying in campaign appearances and advertising. Reporters who
cover politics look at the candidates' supporters, too, since their interests can often
shed light on what a politician will do if elected.

The focus of business reporting is the state of business, depending on the


country’s economic climate. The stock market, capital market, the wholesale and
consumer price, metals and gold prices, industries and agricultural production,
consumer behavior, inflation, money supply foreign and Indian investments,
unemployment, wages and labor, all are areas of interest to the business reporter.

Half-truths, bluffs and blisters are not part of science reporting, which is based on
verifiable technological facts. Verify your facts from other sources, reference
books and journals before you report. Credibility and clarity are the catchwords in
science reporting.

Sport reporting demands for an exceptional interest in the field of sports and a
good writing style. Sports reporters are conversant with the rules of the game and
have good relations with players and coaches. They are also knowledgeable about
the lives of top players to dish out interesting anecdotes in sports features.

Culture reporting is characterized by its punchy style, rough language, and


ostensible disregard for conventional journalistic writing forms and customs. The
reporter attempts to present a multi-disciplinary perspective on a particular story,
drawing from popular culture, sports, political, philosophical and literary sources.
It is styled eclectic or untraditional. Culture reporting remains a feature of popular
magazines. It has a good deal of entertainment value.

Civil administration reporters are the specialists who can quickly and
systematically identify critical requirements needed by local citizens in bad
situations. They can also locate civil resources to support help operations, help
support national assistance activities. The reporters report on the plan to establish
and maintain liaison or dialogue with civilians and private organizations.
The education reporter focus on the education systems as these can be used to
promote doctrines or ideals as well as knowledge, and this can lead to abuse of the

65
system. these days, the education reporters focus on adult education as they have
become widespread in many countries.
Reporting success stories do motivate people and even the failures teach precious
lessons on how to avoid the mistakes made by others. Development reporters
should not be biased like a section of western media, which sees only the negative
side of India’s achievements. There a hundreds of development stories lying buried
to be discovered by a good development reporter.
Objectivity is a significant principle of journalistic professionalism. According to
scholars, objectivity may refer to fairness, disinterestedness, factuality, and
nonpartisanship. The term therefore lacks a single meaning as journalists and the
public use it in these varied ways.
Most news reports follow the ‘Kiss and tell’ formula- Kiss standing either for
‘keep it short and simple’ or ‘keep it simple, stupid.’ Complexity, abstract notions,
ambiguity and unanswered questions tend to be frowned upon and deleted out of
news copy. News reports structure should have-

• Stories should have the main idea given to the journalist for covering
of an incident.
• Content of the news report should be comprehensive and balanced.
• The intro should contain the main point of the story and should be
clearly developed with the most important information coming early in the
story, followed by a coherent, logical and readable structure.
• Personal comments should be avoided.
• Facts should be presented logically.
• The style, context and facts should be accurate.

2.8 EXERCISES AND QUESTIONS

Q1. Discuss the significance of news reporting.


Q2.Write short notes on:
i) Crime Reporting
ii) Political Reporting
iii) Sports Reporting
iv) Culture Reporting
v) Business Reporting

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Q3. How far can the journalist be Objective in reporting an incident? Does
Objectivity exist in today’s journalism profession?
Q4. Write a short note on report writing for:
i) Television
ii) Radio
iii) Newspaper
iv) Magazine
v) Web

2.8 FURTHER READING

1. Reporting Methods S.Kundra (Anmol Publications Pvt.Ltd)


2. Outline of Editing M.K.Joseph
3. Editing Techniques S.Kundra
4. News Reporting and Editing (Jan.R.Hakemulder, Fay AC de Jonge,
P.P. Singh)

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UNIT 3- EDITING
Structure

3.0 Unit Objectives


3.1 Introduction
3.2 Principles of Editing
3.3 Editing & Proofreading
3.4 Need & Principles of Editorial Desk
3.5 Newspaper Meaning & Production
3.6 Newspaper & Magazine
3.7 Newspaper Pages
3.8 Summary
3.9 Exercises and Questions
3.10 Further Reading

3.0 UNIT OBJECTIVES

• To understand the significance of Editing in print media


• To discuss the principles of Editing
• To know the Editing & Proofreading Symbols
• To learn the usage of these symbols
• To know the Production steps of the newspaper
• To understand the difference in the production of Newspaper and
Magazine

3.1 INTRODUCTION

Meaning of Editing

Editing is the process of preparing language, images, or sound for presentation


through correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications. A person
who edits, especially professionally or as a hobby, is called an editor.

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There are various levels of editorial positions in publishing. Typically one finds
junior editorial assistants reporting to the senior level editorial managers and
directors, who themselves report to senior executive editors responsible for project
development to final releases. Human editors in the print publishing industry
include people who are responsible for:

• Newspapers and wire services.


• Organizing anthologies and other compilations.
• Organizing and publishing a magazine. The top editor may be called editor-
in-chief. Those who get the magazine into the hands of readers and
subscribers, even, have editorial titles and are called circulation editors.
Frequent and esteemed contributors to a magazine may acquire the title
editor at-large.
• Producing a definitive edition of a classic author's works—a scholarly
editor.
• Organizing and managing contributions to a multi-author book —
symposium editor or volume editor.
• Finding marketable ideas and presenting them to appropriate authors — a
sponsoring editor.
• Obtaining copy or recruiting authors — such as the acquisitions editor or
commissioning editor for a publishing house.
• Improving an author's writing so that they indeed say what they want to say,
in an effective manner — a substantive editor. Depending on the writer's
skill, this editing can sometimes turn into ghost writing. Substantive editing
is seldom a title. Many types of editors do this type of work, either in-house
at a publisher or on an independent basis.
• Correcting spelling, grammar, and matters of house style—a copyeditor. But
copy editors at newspapers usually also have greater and higher
responsibilities, which may include the design of pages and the selection of
news stories for inclusion. At UK newspapers, the term is "sub-editor."
• Choosing the layout of the publication and communicating with the printer
— a production editor. This and similar jobs are also called "layout editor,"
"design editor," "news designer," or—more so in the past—"makeup editor."
The smaller the publication, the more these roles run together. In particular, the
substantive editor and copy editor often overlap: Fact-checking and rewriting can
be the responsibility of either.

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CHECK YOUR PROGRESS
Q1. Define ‘Editing’?
Q2. Enlist the different Editors working for the print publishing industry.

3.2 PRINCIPLES OF EDITING

The main consideration in editing is to tell the story in the fewest words possible.
Condensation is essential because there is more material than can be used. The
second consideration is clarity, which is obtained by avoiding intricate sentence
structure and by using familiar words. The third consideration is forceful
expression. The sub-editor must constantly seek the most effective way to express
the ideas of the story. The forth consideration is respect for accuracy. It means
looking out for small factual errors, which disfigure an otherwise good story.

Editing involves more than making sure words are spelled correctly, language is
used properly, punctuation is in the right places and spelling is accurate. These,
however, are important details that separate a polished publication from a sloppy
one. As gatekeepers of a publication, editors must have a clear idea about what the
mission is. So part of editing involves being missionaries and a part also involves
being ambassadors of ideas.

It is with experience that the best ideas most often come from the bottom up, not
from the top down. So editors should be encouraging writers to pursue their own
story ideas. This is done with prompting, nudging, cajoling, pushing--whatever
works.
Editing requires good listening. The writer should be heard first, then the editor
responds. The conversation process enriches stories, because two heads are better
than one. Conversation should be taking place when the idea is first being
formulated; it should take place during and after the reporting phase; it should take
place before the story is written and it should take place after the editor has fully
processed the story. At each stage the editor should bear in mind that it is the
reporter's story on the one hand, but it also is the reader's story. It is not the
editor's story.
Story ideas are similar to loaves of bread. All of the elements need to be brought
together and kneaded. Then the dough is popped into the oven until it rises and is
ready to eat. The punctuation has an important function in a story. Its function is to
help guide the reader through the sentence or paragraph in a way that will make the
wording more understandable.
Revision
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Editorial changes, normally made in ink for the printer, are better made clearly in
pencil on the typescript if the writer is going to see the changes. A reasonably
legible photocopy can then be sent to the author for checking and revision process.
The editor can draw attention to doubtful points with a marginal note.

Structural Reorganization

Reorganizing a whole write up, argument or section ought to be the writer’s


responsibility, but the editor must have good reasons for asking for major
reorganization, and they should suggest how it should be done.
Expansion

If a step in the argument is missing, or if further experimental evidence is needed,


only the writer can supply the missing material.
Shortening

Shortening an article to a given length may be done by the author but is often
better done in the editorial office. If the writer is asked to do the work the editor
must indicate how it might be done, which sections, paragraphs, tables or
illustrations could be deleted, which part could be condensed, and which
marginally relevant theme might be cut out.
The Title

A title that conveys the main subject or the message in a few words as possible is
easy retrieval. Since editors know more about the use of titles in information
retrieval than most writers, editors should have a major say in re-titling stories
where necessary.
Spellings

The difference between American and British spelling produce problems in these
days of international journals largely in English. If the editor, publisher or printer
cannot accept inconsistency between articles, the editor or copy-editor should
change the spelling, where necessary, to whichever version is more common in the
country of publication.

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CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. What are the basic principles of Editing?

Guidelines for Rewriting, Revising and some Basic Principles of Editing:

1. Give the main points of the news in the first paragraph


2. Tell the story in headline and use a verb to give it vigor
3. Check names, titles, facts, figures, dates, and address where ever slightest
doubt exists. The sub-editor know the reference book which will clear the
doubt
4. Both sides of the story in a dispute must be given
5. Use short sentences and short paragraphs
6. Repeat names in court cases rather than refer to them as accused, witness,
etc
7. Indicate correctness of doubtful spelling by saying ‘correct’ within brackets
8. Beware of foreign names
9. Define long, unfamiliar words, especially scientific and medical
terms 10.Do not begin sentences with words like ‘despite’ or ‘because’
11.Do not use vague phrases like a ‘ serous charge’ or a ‘certain offence’
12.Reporters to give a rather artificial flow to the story ‘meanwhile’ often use
the word. Cut it out
13.Use concrete words, words that make the reader see, hear, smell or taste.
Test the story for concrete images and visual word pictures
14.Be careful about pronouns. The misuse of the relative pronoun and
punctuation are the most common grammatical errors in the news stories.
15.Editorializing any trace of personal opinion or a value judgment should be
eliminated from the copy unless it is a feature or news analysis

3.3 EDITING & PROOF READING SYMBOLS

Proof reading is a final proofing of the manuscript, usually focused on cleaning up


any typographical errors before the manuscript is typeset. It is the process of
reading composed copy in order to identify and correct errors. It also involves
verifying that text has been entered correctly, as well as looking for spelling and
punctuation errors. Proofreading is not an innate ability; it is an acquired skill.

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Tips for successful proofreading:

• Cultivate a healthy sense of doubt. If there are types of errors you know you
tend to make, double check for those.
• Read very slowly. If possible, read out loud. Read one word at a time.
• Read what is actually on the page, not what you think is there. (This is the
most difficult sub-skill to acquire, particularly if you wrote what you are
reading).
• Proofread more than once. If possible, work with someone else.

There are two sources of unconscious error:

1. Faulty information from the kinesthetic memory. If you have always


misspelled a word like "accommodate", you will unthinkingly misspell it
again.
2. A split second of inattention. The mind works far faster than the pen or
typewriter.
It is the unconscious nature of the worst that makes proofreading so difficult. The
student who turned in a paper saying, "I like girdle cakes for breakfast" did not
have a perverted digestion. He thought he had written, "griddle cakes" and because
that's what he was sure he had written, that's what he "saw" when he proofread. If
he had slowed down and read word by word, out loud, he might have caught the
error. You have to doubt every word in order to catch every mistake.

Another reason for deliberately slowing down is that when you read normally, you
often see only the shells of words -- the first and last few letters, perhaps. You "fix
your eyes" on the print only three or four times per line, or less. You take in the
words between your fixation points with your peripheral vision, which gets less
accurate the farther it is from the point. The average reader can only take in six
letters accurately with one fixation. This means you have to fix your eyes on
almost every word you have written and do it twice in longer words, in order to
proofread accurately. You have to look at the word, not slide over it.

In proofreading, you can take nothing for granted, because unconscious


mistakes are so easy to make. It helps to read out loud, because 1) you are forced
to slow down and 2) you hear what you are reading as well as seeing it, so you are
using two senses. It is often possible to hear a mistake, such as an omitted or
repeated word that you have not seen.

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Professional editors proofread as many as ten times. Publishing houses hire
teams of readers to work in pairs, out loud. And still errors occur.
Remember that it is twice as hard to detect mistakes in your own work as in
someone else's!
General tips for Proofing and Editing

• Read it out loud and also silently.


• Read it backwards to focus on the spelling of words.
• Read it upside down to focus on typology.
• Use a spell checker and grammar checker as a first screening, but don't
depend on them.
• Have others read it.
• Read it slowly.
• Use a screen (a blank sheet of paper to cover the material not yet proofed).
• Point with your finger to read one word at a time.
• Don't proof for every type of mistake at once—do one proof for spelling,
another for missing/additional spaces, consistency of word usage, font sizes,
etc.
• Print it out and read it.
• Read down columns in a table, even if you're supposed to read across the
table to use the information. Columns may be easier to deal with than rows.
• Use editor's flags. Put #s in the document where reviewers need to pay
special attention, or next to items that need to be double-checked before the
final proof print. Do a final search for all # flags and remove them.
• Give a copy of the document to another person and keep a copy yourself.
Take turns reading it out loud to each other. While one of you reads, the other
one follows along to catch any errors and awkward-sounding phrases. This
method also works well when proofing numbers and codes.
• First, proof the body of the text. Then go back and proof the headings.
Headings are prone to error because copy editors often don't focus on them.
• Double check fonts that are unusual (italic, bold, or otherwise different).
• Carefully read type in very tiny font.
• Be careful that your eyes don't skip from one error to the next obvious error,
missing subtle errors in between.
• Double check proper names.
• Double-check little words: "or," "of," "it," and "is" are often interchanged.

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• Double check boilerplate text, like the company letterhead. Just because
it's frequently used doesn't mean it's been carefully checked.
• Double check whenever you're sure something is right-certainty is
dangerous.
• Closely review page numbers and other footer/header material for accuracy
and correct order.
Editing for content

• Ask yourself who, what, when, where, why, and how when reading
for content. Does the text answer all the questions you think it should?
• Highlight the sentences that best answer these questions, just so you
can see if the facts flow in logical order.
• Do the math, do the math, and then do the math again. Somewhere
between the screen and the printer 2+2 often becomes 3.
• Actually do every step in procedures to make sure they are complete,
accurate, and in correct order.
• Count the number of steps a list promises to make sure they are all
there.
• Check that figure numbers match their references in the text and are
sequential.
• Check that illustrations, pictographs, and models are right-side up.
Preparation to Proof or Edit

• Write at the end of the day; edit first thing in the morning.
• Listen to music or chew gum. Proofing can be boring business and it
doesn't require much critical thinking, though it does require extreme focus
and concentration. Anything that can relieve your mind of some of the
pressure, while allowing you to still keep focused, is a benefit.

• Don't use fluorescent lighting when proofing. The flicker rate is


actually slower than standard lighting. Your eyes can't pick up
inconsistencies as easily under fluorescent lighting.
• Spend a half-hour a month reviewing grammar rules.
• Read something else between edits. This helps clear your head of
what you expect to read and allows you to read what really is on the page.
• Make a list of things to watch for—a kind of "to do" list—as you edit.

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CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. Define ‘Proofreading’?

The following marks are standard proofreading and editing marks. A professional
proofreader puts a mark (usually a line or caret) in the line and writes the
correction in the margin. An editor makes corrections within the line rather than in
the margin (in part because an editor's changes are typically more extensive),
which is why editors prefer to work with double-spaced copy.

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3.4 NEED & PRINCIPLES OF EDITORIAL DESK

Editors at newspapers supervise journalists and improve their work. Newspaper


editing encompasses a variety of titles and functions. These include:

• Copyeditors
• Department editors
• Managing editors and assistant or deputy managing editors (the managing
editor is often second in line after the top editor)
• News editors, who oversee the news desks
• Photo or picture editors
• Section editors and their assistants, such as for business, features, and sports

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• Editorial Page Editor who oversees the coverage on the editorial page. This
includes chairing the Editorial Board and assigning editorial writing
responsibilities. The editorial page editor may also oversee the op-ed page or
those duties are assigned to a separate op-ed editor.
• Top editors, who may be called editor in chief or executive editor
• Readers' editors, sometimes known as the ombudsman, who arbitrate
complaints
• Wire editors, who choose and edit articles from various international wire
services, and are usually part of the copy desk
• Administrative editors (who actually don't edit but perform duties such as
recruiting and directing training)
Copy editing is the process by which an editor makes formatting changes and
other improvements to text. Copy, in this case a noun, refers to material (such as
handwritten or typewritten pages) to be set (as in typesetting) for printing. A
person who performs the task of copy editing is called a copy editor.
The editorial department actually has two sides, and usually these are separately
responsible to the publisher. They are ‘news’ and ‘editorial’. The news side is
usually under the supervision of a managing or executive editor. The editorial page
crew consists of editorial writers and is directed by a ‘chief editorial writer’ and
‘editor’ or ‘editor in chief’, or sometimes an ‘editorial page editor’.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. What is ‘Copy Editing’?

Chief Sub-Editor

Chief Sub- Editor is the person who directs and supervises the editorial side of the
newspaper. The primary role of the editor is:

• To manage the newspaper.


• Determines whether a submitted manuscript is appropriate for publishing.
• Selects expert reviewers and an area editor to evaluate the submitted
manuscript.
• Renders a final editorial decision on each manuscript based on the
recommendation, journal priorities, other similar manuscripts in process and
related considerations.
• Communicates directly with the author and the review team.
• Schedule accepted manuscripts for publication.

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• Balance workloads for the area editors and reviewers.
• Resolve any conflicts.
Chief Sub Editors or Editors review, rewrite, and edit the work of writers. They
may also do original writing. An editor’s responsibilities vary with the employer
and type and level of editorial position held. Editorial duties may include planning
the content of books, technical journals, trade magazines, and other general-interest
publications. Editors also decide what material will appeal to readers, review and
edit drafts of books and articles, offer comments to improve the work, and suggest
possible titles. In addition, they may oversee the production of the publications. In
the book-publishing industry, an editor’s primary responsibility is to review
proposals for books and decide whether to buy the publication rights from the
author.

The duties of an editor range from deciding what will be published to ensuring that
writing is free of grammar, usage and punctuation errors. Written material for a
mass audience, even on the Web, should meet the conventions of standard
American English. An editor works with a writer to ensure that the story or article
achieves what the writer and publication intend. The story must be accurate, the
writing to the point and well organized. The editor ensures that the article fits the
style and tone of the publication. An editor tries to maintain a reader's trust or
confidence in a publication. A newspaper must be accurate and timely, and a
magazine must stay abreast of the trends in a particular field.

Editors must know what is worth publishing, what is timely, what is important to
readers. A newspaper editor can sense when a tepid story is going to heat up.
Editors on top of their game sent correspondents to those countries when small
changes hinted at big changes ahead. The skill is to know the difference between
significant events and minor wrinkles.

Editing for grammar and usage on a copy desk and deciding whether to send two
or three correspondents to a foreign country at a cost of hundreds of thousands of
dollars are both within the province of editing. The job is always interesting and, at
times, can be exciting.

Major newspapers and newsmagazines usually employ several types of editors.


The executive editor oversees assistant editors, who have responsibility for
particular subjects, such as local news, international news, feature stories, or
sports. Executive editors generally have the final say about what stories are
published and how they are covered. The managing editor usually is responsible

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for the daily operation of the news department. Assignment editors determine
which reporters will cover a given story. Copy editors mostly review and edit a
reporter’s copy for accuracy, content, grammar, and style.

In smaller organizations, such as small daily or weekly newspapers or the


membership or publications departments of nonprofit or similar organizations, a
single editor may do everything or share responsibility with only a few other
people. Executive and managing editors typically hire writers, reporters, and other
employees. They also plan budgets and negotiate contracts with freelance writers,
sometimes called “stringers” in the news industry. In broadcasting companies,
program directors have similar responsibilities.

Editors and program directors often have assistants, many of whom hold entry-
level jobs. These assistants, such as copy editors and production assistants, review
copy for errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling and check the copy for
readability, style, and agreement with editorial policy. They suggest revisions, such
as changing words and rearranging sentences, to improve clarity or accuracy. They
also carry out research for writers and verify facts, dates, and statistics. Production
assistants arrange page layouts of articles, photographs, and advertising; compose
headlines; and prepare copy for printing. Publication assistants who work for
publishing houses may read and evaluate manuscripts submitted by freelance
writers, proofread printers’, and answer letters about published material.
Production assistants on small newspapers or in radio stations compile articles
available from wire services or the Internet, answer phones, and make photocopies.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. Who is the Chief-sub-Editor and what role does he plays?

Sub-Editor

Press sub-editors are journalists who work for:

• National daily or weekly newspapers;


• Local and regional newspapers;
• Magazines.

They are responsible for ensuring that the tone, style and layout of final copy
match the publication's house style and target market.

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The role involves processing all the copy before it is published to ensure that it is
accurate, makes sense and reads well. They also lay out the story on the page and
may also be involved with overall page design.
As with many roles in journalism, sub-editing is a demanding role that requires
constant attention to detail within a fast-paced working environment.
Work activities vary and can depend on the extent to which production and layout
work falls within a sub-editor's remit. Only senior sub-editors would be expected to
have much legal knowledge.
Common activities that form much of the work of most Sub-Editors include:

• Editing copy to remove spelling mistakes and grammatical errors;


• Rewriting material so that it flows or reads better and adheres to the house
style of a particular publication;
• Ensuring that a story fits a particular word count by cutting or expanding
material as necessary;
• Writing headlines that capture the essence of the story or are clever or
amusing;
• Writing stand-firsts (brief introductions which sum up the story);
• Liaising with reporters or journalists to clarify facts and details about a
story;
• Editing press releases or reports;
• Compiling routine information, such as tables of sports results or financial
data;
• Checking stories to ensure they are accurate, do not break the law or go
against the publication's policy;
• Cropping photos and deciding where to use them for best effect;
• Writing the captions for pictures;
• Discussing concerns with editors;
• Proofreading complete pages produced by other sub-editors;
• Working to a page plan to ensure that the right stories appear in the correct
place on each page;
• Laying out pages and, depending on the nature of the role, playing a part in
page design;
• Adding last minute news stories;
• Keeping up to date with sector issues, e.g. by reading related publications.

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Sub-Editor at work

The sub is a versatile man in the newspaper. He knows something of everything


and everything of something. He can be depended upon to handle any kind of
copy-home, foreign, financial, and commercial, sports, etc. His sound general
education and training will help him edit easily and efficiently all kinds of copy
full of technical terms and complicated issues.

The sub is saddled with his weapons-pencil, paste, and a pair of scissors. With a set
of symbols he marks his copy for the printer. These symbols signify the alterations
to be made in the news story. He gives a hurried look at the story and grasps the
contents. He checks up whether an adequate lead was given by the reporter,
answering the reader’s questions, Who? When? What? Why? Where? He also
finds out whether the most important feature or talking point has been given the
first place in the lead, and the body of the story has been developed fully giving
unimportant details at the end.

Assistant Editor

Assistant Editor may also be called as assistant editor; associate editor.

Prepares written material for publication, performing any combination of following


duties: Reads copy to detect errors in spelling, punctuation, and syntax. Verifies
facts, dates, and statistics, using standard reference sources. Rewrites or modifies
copy to conform to publication's style and editorial policy and marks copy for
typesetter, using standard symbols to indicate how type should be set. Reads galley
and page proofs to detect errors and indicates corrections, using standard
proofreading symbols. May confer with authors regarding changes made to
manuscript, select and crop photographs and illustrative materials to conform to
space and subject matter requirements and may also prepare page layouts to
position and space articles and illustrations. He may write or rewrite headlines,
captions, columns, articles, and stories according to publication requirements.
The Editor (ED)
The primary role of the Editor is to manage the journal.

• Determines whether a submitted manuscript is appropriate for Marketing


Science.
• Selects expert reviewers and an area editor to evaluate the submitted
manuscript.

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Renders a final editorial decision on each manuscript based on the AE
recommendation, journal priorities, other similar manuscripts in process and
related considerations.
• Communicates directly with the author and the review team.
• Schedules accepted manuscripts for publication.
• Balances workloads for the area editors and reviewers.
• Resolves any conflicts.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. Enlist the duties and responsibilities of the Editor.

3.5 NEWSPAPER MEANING & PRODUCTION STEPS

A newsroom is the place where journalists, either reporters, editors, producers and
other staffers work to gather news to be published in a newspaper or magazine or
broadcast on television, cable or radio. Some journalism organizations refer to the
newsroom as the city room.

After all news stories have been edited and headlined and finally composed, the
process of making-up starts. It is done according to plan. The dummy is the guide.
The sub-editor gives directions to finalize the make-up. He tries to display the most
important news stories of the day above the fold, and almost all-important stories
on the front page. His acquaintance with the art of printing, newspaper make-up
and of writing; work in help of both to produce an attractive and readable
newspaper.

Indian newspapers usually have a set style of make-up, and as such things go
smoothly unless big news of some magnitude breaks at the eleventh hour
necessitating hurried conferences among the executive heads and quick decision to
alter the plan.

Before the chief sub-editor gives the print order he goes through the ‘blanket
proofs’ quickly. He discovers that a story has been repeated, a headline has been
placed on wrong side of story, a dateline has been misplaced, and he marks the
blemishes with his blue pencil. The printer makes the necessary correction.

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CHECK YOUR PROGRESS
Q1. What are the activities of the ‘Newsroom’?

Newspaper Production Steps

Co-ordination Process:
Bruce Westley divides newspaper work into three basic categories. Each of these
departments is distinctly different yet each is wholly dependent on the smooth
functioning of the others. These areas of responsibility are usually referred to as
‘business’, ‘mechanical’ and ‘editorial’. Working newsmen are more likely to
call them in order, ‘the front office’, ‘the back office’ and the ‘newsroom’.

Newspaper editing is actually only one operation among several in the ‘the
newsroom’ but the editors, particularly, must know how other branches of the total
newspaper operate in order to do their job with maximum efficiency. The copy
desk is essentially the ‘crossroads’ between the editorial and mechanical branches
of the business. The copy editor must know the mechanical phase pretty
thoroughly in order to perform his editorial function.

Business Administration

The business office is the ‘counting house’ of the newspaper profession. It has an
obvious duty to keep the organization afloat financially.
The newspaper business office operates pretty much like any other business office.
Ordinarily, it has major divisions: an advertising department (which might be
broken down into two autonomous departments, classified and display
advertising), a circulation department, a promotion department, and an accounting
or auditing department. A major officer of the business staff typically heads each
of these branches. Usually a ‘business manager’, to whom each of these
department heads is responsible, directs the entire, operation. The publisher
himself often handles the business manager function, especially in the case of
smaller dailies.

Advertising Department: the advertising department, headed by an advertising


manager, ordinarily has four divisions:
1. The local or retail division consists of a staff of specialist who solicit, lay
out, correct, and sometimes ‘merchandise’ local advertising accounts. This
can be expected to be the largest of the advertising department sub divisions

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and offers the most creative employment in newspaper, advertising for
journalism graduates with advertising training.
2. Another group of specialists concerns itself with obtaining and handling
‘foreign’ or ‘national’ advertising accounts. The division deals, directly with
advertising agencies, which handle the accounts of the big advertisers,
usually with the help of an advertising representative in metropolitan cities,
a service, which intercedes for the newspaper directly with the agencies.
3. Another concern of the advertising manager is ‘classified’ although this may
be a separate department. Classified ads have gained steadily in recent years
as a source of newspaper revenue and hence are receiving increasing
attention by newspaper executives.
4. A fourth division of an advertising department is the ‘merchandising’ or
‘service’ division. Its purpose is to assist the advertiser in getting maximum
return on his advertising budget. This is the most recent and rapidly growing
phase of newspaper advertising and ranges from a part-time trouble-shooter
to a complex research organization ready to provide a potential advertiser
with detailed information on the buying habits of the newspaper’s readers
with reference to his particular product.
The advertising manager coordinates all these activities and is the person ordinarily
responsible to the business manager, and sometimes directly to the publisher, for
their successful operation.

Circulation Department: Circulation is another major division of the business


office and is usually headed by a major executive, the circulation manager, since
the newspaper ultimately stands or falls on the basis of the number of steady
readers that can be enrolled.
The circulation manager may have any or all of the following subdivisions under
his supervision:
• City Circulation- it involves the maintenance of circulation records for the
city of publication, the recruitment, supervisor and reimbursement, the
supervision of district men who oversee circulation by subdivision of the
city, taking responsibility for moving papers the news stands, relations with
news-stand operators, etc.
• Area Circulation- responsibilities here include getting papers destined for
the surrounding area into the mail and operation of a fleet of tempo/taxis to
carry the papers into surrounding area as where mail service is not rapid
enough. The circulation manager is also in charge of moving the papers into
the appropriate distribution channels as they move into the mailing room
from the pressroom.

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• Sales Promotion- it involves the direction of an office staff to keep records,
notifying subscribers when their subscription need renewing, the handling of
complaints, new subscriptions and renewals over the counter, by mail, etc.
promotion is essentially the ‘public relations’ department of the newspaper.
Where a separate promotion department exists, it usually is responsible for
initiating promotion policies, subject to the approval of the publisher, and
usually coordinates the promotional activities of other departments.

Mechanical Department
The entire mechanical operation is usually under the supervision of plant
superintendent who is directly responsible to the publisher. In a typical situation,
he will have five departments under his control, the composing room, the
stereotype department, the pressroom, the engraving department, and the proof
desk.
The basic function of each are:
1. Composing Room- this is the point of chief contact between the editorial
side and the mechanical side. It is in this department that ‘copy’ is set into
type and the type is assembled into newspaper pages. The type is ‘set’ by
automatic typesetting machines such as the linotype ‘straight matter’ or body
type is set according to instructions on news copy sent from the newsroom,
headlines are set from similar directions, ads are first set into type and then
assembles on the basis of instructions on advertising copy from the
advertising department. All of these materials are then assembled into
newspaper pages, following the instructions on page ‘dummies’, which
show where each element is to go.
The composing room is often subdivided, especially in the larger plants, to
permit the greater efficiency that specialization makes possible. Hence, there
may be an ‘ad alley’ where ads are made up before they are put into
newspaper pages.
2. Stereotype Department- here newspaper pages are run through a series of
steps which prepare them to be clamped as curved plates of metal onto
today’s high speed rotary presses.
Some small dailies papers still use ‘flatbed’ or ‘cylinder’ presses and others
use ‘duplex’ presses. In both cases the papers are printed directly from type
and hence there is no need for a full-scale stereotype department. Vast
majority of dailies use rotary, web-perfecting presses, which means that the
newspaper is printed on paper that feeds from huge rolls and the impression
is applied from curved plates which rotate at high speed.
The stereotype department has two major operations, first, to roll out a
reverse impression of the newspaper page onto a papier-mâché ‘mat’ then to

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‘cast’ into a curve by pouring molten metal against the curved surface of the
mat. After the cast has cooled and been trimmed, it is ready to be clamped
onto the press.
3. Engraving Department- many smaller newspapers have insufficient need
for ‘art’ to operate an engraving department, having the work done
commercially instead. However, most large newspapers find it economical
to do their own work. Photoengraving reduces news pictures and other
newspaper art to a form in which they can be printed. In the case of a
photograph, the job is to ‘screen’ the picture in such a way that an etched
metal plate is produced with a surface of dots. The dots vary in size to
produce shadings of black and white that can be impressed on paper.
4. Pressroom- rotary presses can turn out newspapers at phenomenal speeds.
They not only print but also cut, fold and trim the papers and deliver them
directly to the mailing room.

5. Proof Desk- in a sense, proof desk lies by the side of the mechanical,
editorial and advertising departments but is usually responsible to the
mechanical superintendent. Its object is to correct all typographical errors. A
‘proof’ is taken of all material set in the composing room, including ads and
editorial matter, by inking the type and taking an impression of it on a rather
simple ‘proof press’. These proofs are then compared with the ‘copy’ to
make sure that the two conform. Proof reading is hence a more or less
mechanical operation, unlike copy reading.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. What is the ‘dummy of the newspaper’?

Editorial Department

The primary concern of the copy editor in the organizational chart of the
newspaper is, of course, the editorial department. Here the description is not so
easy, since very marked differences are discernible from the one newspaper to
another. However, a typical organizational scheme would go something like this:
The editorial department actually has two sides, and usually these are separately
responsible to the publisher. They are ‘news’ and ‘editorial’. The news side is
usually under the supervision of a managing or executive editor. The editorial page
crew consists of editorial writers and is directed by a ‘chief editorial writer’ and
‘editor’ or ‘editor- in- chief’ or sometimes an ‘editorial page editor’.
1. The News Desk- all stories destined for the newspaper, whether they come
from the typewriters of reporters and rewrite men or from the several wire

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services, teleprinters and other sources, requires editing. This duty falls
chiefly on the copyreader who sits on the horseshoe shape table called the
desk. The city editor and other editors read all the copy. The editors with a
crew of men edit the news designated as cable, teleprinter, city beats,
society, business, finance, sports, and reserve news. In larger newspapers
there is a separate desk for international news. This copyreader, ‘also called
the deskman, rim man or ‘mechanic’ of the editorial room, is the
anonymous and frequently unappreciated collaborator of the writer.

Copyreaders are generally paid higher than reporters. The work holds out
attractions for men with editorial ability. The work is mainly two-fold: the
editing of the story and the construction of a suitable headline for it. The
amount of this work varies with each paper and even at different timings on
each day. On a big desk the copyreader may edit from 10 to 15 columns. The
copy reader usually faces three problems:
• To tighten up the story and thereby speed up the action
• To cut out the excess matter
• To reduce the story so that a telegraphic editor could splash it in
a page one box if he chose to handle it that way.
The art of the Headline- although the copyreader works anonymously, when he
constructs a good headline, he feels the pleasure of a creative artist. With short
words and in short compass, he can tell a whole story. He knows that the headline
must fulfill two requirement-it must attract attention to the story; it must announce
the story’s main facts. He sees to it that each headline he gives, does both.
You could write a short book on this subject.

But here's a very simple headline-writing tip that has helped me a great deal over
the years.
Spend less time stressing over how to write the headline, and invest 90% of
your time in figuring out what to say.
Saying the wrong thing beautifully will do you no good at all.

Saying the right thing, even imperfectly, will serve you much better.

There is a temptation for copywriters to give in to their own ego and vanity. Too
many copywriters want to write a clever headline. A headline that shows what a
wonderful, talented copywriter they are.

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This is not good. This means you are spending too much time thinking about HOW
to write the headline. Clever words, clever puns, being funny etc.
Copywriting Tips for Designers and Non-Writers

The job of the headline is to get attention. A good headline makes the reader want
to find out more by reading the article, brochure, or ad. To help your headline do
this, try one of these techniques:

• Create curiosity
• Promise answers to a question or solutions to a problem
• Include a key benefit

Have fun with it


You can create curiosity by asking a provocative question or making a seemingly
outrageous statement. Word play, alliteration, or take-offs on familiar phrases or
cliches can create some eye-catching and often amusing headlines. However, avoid
ambiguity or at least use eyebrows, subheads, or decks (smaller headlines above or
below the main headline) to clarify or explain. If your reader has to guess at what
you mean or at what the article or ad is all about, they'll be saying, "I guess you
don't want me to read this article." Some examples of word play, alliteration, and
take-offs:
For headlines to be accurate, the headline writer must understand the article
thoroughly before writing the headline; the copy editor who doesn't have a good
view of what the article says isn't likely to write a headline that communicates
clearly and accurately.

Accuracy tips:
1.Spell check after writing the display type.
2.In particular, double-check any proper names or any numbers.
The headline should sell the article to the reader. Tell readers why they
should be interested.
Every news story headline should have an active Verb; headlines on feature
stories can be more creative. But aim for complete thoughts. Tell the story,
but avoid the "clears hurdle" or "man dies" phenomena. Get the most
important element first, the least important head element last.

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• Attribute heads that convey opinion. If the lead needs attribution, chances
are the headline will, too. Most times, attribution will go at the end of the
headline.
• Headlines should be accurate in Tone: don't put a light headline on a
serious story. Be careful not to put a first-day head on a second-day story.
Match the tone of the story. Be original and creative, but not trite and cliché.
If you do employ word play on an idiom or common phrase, be sure the
meter is exactly the same. The headline will ring falsely otherwise. If you
use a pun, be honest with yourself. Will it make the reader smile, or groan?
• Don't repeat the lead in a headline. Write a better headline than the lead.
And don't give away the punch line of a feature story that has a surprise
ending.
Be aware of any unintended double meanings: Real-life examples of some
headlines that were published: Old man winter sticks icy finger into
Virginia. Teens indicted for drowning in lake; FBI ordered to assist Atlanta
in child slayings.
• Avoid Bad Breaks at the end of lines, such as dangling prepositions or
conjunctions.
• Avoid Headinese: Words such as mull, eye, rap, hit, slam, vie, assail, and
seen and bid are headline weaklings. Alter your approach to get away from
them. Look for a fresh approach.
• Don't go for the obvious. On fire-related stories, for example, stay away
from verbs such as spark and snuff; on storm stories, stay away from verbs
such as spawn, dump, blow, churn. In articles, hurricanes always seem to
churn, and tornadoes are always spawned.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1. What are the main departments of a Newspaper Organization?

In page layout

• The layout editor should make the headlines work with the graphics and the
art on the page. Most reader surveys show that newspaper readers look first
at photos on a page, then headlines.

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• The page designer should leave AMPLE ROOM so writers can create good
headlines. Also, the layout editor should vary the SIZE and SHAPE of
headlines to accurately grade the news elements for the reader.
• Some basic TYPES of headlines: banner (streamer), hammer, kicker or
eyebrow (above the main headline), sidesaddle, deck (usually half the point
size of the main headline), drop, read-in, read-out, jump heads.
Some Headline Technicalities

Best headline writers are spontaneous and creative; the best headlines
instantly come to you.
• Headline writers have to be the best writers at the newspaper.
• Many times, the best headlines you come up with cannot be printed!
• Continuity leads to better headlines; one must write them day after day to
get good at it.
• Read others' headlines to get ideas, but doing so isn't necessarily going to
make you a better headline writer.
• The most-effective headlines are those that give an old cliche a new twist;
readers are familiar with the cliche, but something different about it will reel
them in.
• The more conversational the headline, the more the readers will like it.
• Don't be so quick to abandon using articles such as "a," "and" and "the";
sometimes these words are needed for clarity. Also, headline styles change
over time.

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Guidelines for Rewriting, Revising and some Basic Principles of Editing:

• Give the main points of the news in the first paragraph


• Tell the story in headline and use a verb to give it vigor
• Check names, titles, facts, figures, dates, and address where ever
slightest doubt exists. The sub-editor know the reference book which will
clear the doubt
• Both sides of the story in a dispute must be given
• Use short sentences and short paragraphs
• Repeat names in court cases rather than refer to them as accused,
witness, etc
• Indicate correctness of doubtful spelling by saying ‘correct’ within
brackets
• Beware of foreign names
• Define long, unfamiliar words, especially scientific and medical terms
• Do not begin sentences with words like ‘despite’ or ‘because’
• Do not use vague phrases like a ‘ serous charge’ or a ‘certain offence’
• Reporters to give a rather artificial flow to the story ‘meanwhile’ often
use the word. Cut it out
• Use concrete words, words that make the reader see, hear, smell or
taste. Test the story for concrete images and visual word pictures
• Be careful about pronouns. The misuse of the relative pronoun and
punctuation are the most common grammatical errors in the news stories.
• Editorializing any trace of personal opinion or a value judgment
should be eliminated from the copy unless it is a feature or news analysis

3.7 NEWSPAPER & MAGAZINE

Difference between Newspapers and Magazines

Newspaper Make – Up

The front page of a newspaper is like a beautiful face. If it is attractive, it will hold
the attention. It is indeed true that the front paper of the newspaper make the
newspaper successful. For a newspaper, to report news is a normal function, but
there is something special about the fact that the news is printed on its front page.
The front page is the ‘face’ of the newspaper.
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The newspaper has a name and the uniqueness lies in different styles the different
newspapers will write their names.
The Masthead

On observing the front page of a newspaper closely, we can see that the masthead of
a newspaper is much more than just the name of the newspaper. Some of its
characteristics are:
• It is in distinctive bold print
• It is in a big type-size
• It has a fixed place on the front page and
• It remains in the same form for years
Headlines

Newspapers sell news and headlines are a means to attract the readers towards the
news items. For a page designer, each headline is a new and unique challenge. The
headline of the news items are much more then just a set of words. It is the
responsibility of the page-designer to make each headline as distinctive as possible
within the given newspaper format.

The sub-editor/ copy editors give headlines generally. The page make-up person
cannot change them, but can increase or decrease the display value, readability or
importance of the news item by using different techniques such as typeface or size,
placement, making it run horizontally across more columns. Most newspapers
everyday give, a four or five column bottom- spread on their front page; it is done
to give a solid base to the whole page.
Placement of Photo graphs and Cartoons

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. On the same basis, it can be
said that a good cartoon is worth at least two thousand words.
From a page designer’s point of view, it is important to realize that photographs,
cartoons and graphic have a special significance. Placing a picture or cartoon at
wrong place may not only reduce its utility, but also reduce the design appeal of
the total page.

Pictures, cartoon and graphics are, usually, evaluated on the basis of:
• Subject matter
• Topicality

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• Clarity
• News value, significance

A page designer has to examine whether the pictures, cartoon, graphic, chart, has
an independent value or it has to be juxtaposed with a particular news story. The
size may have to be adjusted due to placement or space consideration.

Over all pages design

Having closely examined some of the major components of the front page of your
newspaper, individually, let us now take a look at the architecture of the page or
the overall page design. For this, we have to look at the page from some distance.
One-way is to do a comparatively study of two or more papers.

Hang two or more papers of the same date on the wall, and stand at a distance to
take a critical look at these. As you look at these pages, study the structural outline
of the news stories, bold headlines, pictures, cartoons, placement of box item, etc.
take a look at the whole page from the masthead to the bottom line. Look at the
page, as if you were trying to study a painting or sculpture. You will notice that
there is a design in the page, a form and a structure. Each page designer has own
concept of beauty and page structure. To bring it out, he/she uses different type
size, white spaces, placement of pictures, graphs, charts, cartoons, etc.

Planning Of Pages

Inside pages of a daily newspaper differ from the front page in their format,
structure, and presentation of contents. If you open a daily newspaper, you will
see that on top of the page, there may be indications about the topics covered on
that page-international news, national news, state news, sports news, business and
economy, etc.

Even if there is no indication on the top, one can notice the news items on that
page have a common link. It helps the readers in their search for a news item. Also
by grouping news items on specific pages we are able to give the newspaper a
structure. The inside pages under one group often tend to cover as many news
items as possible. Hence, often these pages may seem cluttered.

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The Editorial Page

One common feature in all daily newspapers is the editorial page. The format of this
page looks similar in many newspapers in India and aboard. On this page, you will
notice that there is a section where the editor writes their analysis of the major
national and international news items. These are often referred to as the ‘newspaper’
point of view.

Each newspaper has a fixed spot for general information items such as the weather
forecast, entertainment, cinema, radio, television, etc. the design of the inside
pages of a newspaper is relatively much more structured than the front page, which
is dependent on the major happenings during the past few hours.

Readability and overall Appeal

Newspapers are meant to be read. Anything that obstructs or reduce the convenience
of the reader must be avoided. As far as possible, the news items should be
contained in a neatly defined area. Look at the page of a newspaper as a reader, and
ask yourself: are the news items displayed in a nice, readable manner? Could you
suggest any improvements?

Each letter, each word and each story has special significance. Headlines,
photographs, cartoons, box items, charts and graphics-are all these important
ingredients of the newspaper page designs.

Cropping of Pictures

The intelligent photo editors adopt different creative cropping techniques to bring
out the exact point of emphasis a ‘pix’ (term used for pictures). They try to enlarge
the main image, which will have a better visual impact. For instance, a surviving
child in an accident was picked up by the policemen and the photographer took a
pix, which almost looked like a group, involved in the rescue operations, holding the
baby, this pix should not be published as it is. The subject of the main interest is the
child, and the readers would like to see its condition and how it looked like after the
accident. Here comes the job of a photo editor to do the cropping in such a way that
the child stands out prominently in the pix. Many a times, the photographers do their
job mechanically, giving, relevance only to technical qualities, and having no
instinct for news. A photo editor, who keeps track of the news, also highlights the
portions in the photograph, which has news value.

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A photo editor studies the picture carefully, and decided about the cropping. First,
he crops the pictures mentally (visualizing how it would look like), and then
decides on the final edited photograph. Badly cropped pix cannot be repaired and
the person who does such a job for the cropping sake gets the nickname of a
‘butcher’ from the photographers.

A good photo editor is one who can visualize how the pix will look like when it is
cropped and printed in different sizes and shapes. Generally, as a rule, a bad
quality picture should be enlarged to the maximum size to enable the readers to see
the details in the photograph, whereas a good quality print will show up clearly
even in a smaller space.

Emerging Trends In Newspaper Presentation

Generally, the main focus with newspaper design is not on quickly changing
trends, but on the improvement of readability and reader guidance within the
paper. For this reason, the front page is used as display for the entire product. New
sections are given larger section heads and some papers have even introduced color
guide systems to introduce the readers effectively into topics of interest.

In the whole of Europe a trend to use color photos is discernible. And it is not the
quantity that counts nowadays, but the quality: few large and well-cut photos per
page will do. Surveys among readers and tests - like those that were carried out
with an eye-track camera - are meant to help newspapers to take the readers’ needs
into account when redesigning their publication. It has been proved, for example,
that framed-in articles do not attract the readers’ attention, so that some
newspapers do without frames now. Other tests have shown that readers avoid
lengthy articles, which has led to the European trend of topical pages. Such a page
is devoted to a single topic, which is then presented by means of different articles,
photos and info graphics.

Every newspaper tries to create their own distinctive appearance by means of


typography. In the area of headlines, therefore, there is great typographical
versatility. It is not a certain typeface that is trendy, but a highly individual and
unused one.

The front page serves as the newspaper’s display. Important topics appear in
teasers and color guide systems help the readers find their way through the paper.
Extreme cuts guide the readers’ view and create curiosity. When used
consequently, extreme cuts contribute to a paper’s unmistakable look.

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CHECK YOUR PROGRESS
Q1. What is the ‘Masthead’ of the Newspaper?
Q2. How is cropping of a picture done in newspaper production?

A Style sheet is a form of separation of presentation and content in desktop


publishing programs that store and apply formatting to text. Style sheets are a
common feature in most popular desktop publishing and word processing
programs, including Adobe InDesign, PageMaker, QuarkXPress and Microsoft
Word, though they may be referred to using slightly different terminology.

To apply a style to a portion of text, most programs allow users to select the text
with their mouse and then click on the desired style in the style sheet window. The
program than applies the stored formatting instantly.
Style sheets help publications maintain consistency, so common elements such as
story text, headlines and bylines always appear the same. Style sheets also help
save time allowing a design to click once rather than having to apply each element
one at a time and risking using an incorrect value.

Finally, style sheets are also useful if a publication decides to make changes to a
design - say, make the story text slightly smaller. A user with proper administrative
access can make the change to the master style sheet and then "send" the revised
style sheets to all users and the change is automatically reflected.

Each newspaper has its set of rules that generally are strictly enforced. These are
contained in something called a stylebook. At some smaller newspapers, this may
be no more than a sheet of paper. At larger newspapers, the stylebook may consist
of up to two hundred pages and resemble a dictionary. The chief keepers of the
stylebook rules are the newspaper’s copy editors.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS

Q1.What is Style Sheet?

Magazines Editing and Makeup Techniques

Magazines are considered more than a storehouse of a variety of articles, stories


and features. There is a personal relationship built between the magazines and its
readers. Both magazines editing and makeup is done towards encouraging and

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maintaining this relationship, which is hard earned and takes a long time to be
established.

Modern magazines exist in a visual age they compete with the highly visual and
entertaining medium of television. Emergence of the Internet has added to this
competition. Readers today have been converted into more of ‘viewers’ who rely
on images for their information and entertainment.

With everything becoming so much image-oriented, we can safely modify Marshal


McLuhan’s ‘Medium is the message’ into ‘Image is the message’. With
readership and understanding dependent on the visual aspects of presentation,
magazines editors and designers must be experts in the art of communicating by
means of pictures, layouts and other such means.

While photographs are the most important illustrations for a magazine, there are
many other visual elements too. We use black and white, colour, and duotone
photographs with different types of treatments or special effects. Pencil sketches,
line drawings, watercolours, oil paintings, etc. are also used.
Using the illustration can have five functions. These are: attracting attention,
illustrating a point, telling a story by itself, telling a story along with other
illustration, and give visual relief to a design. Any illustration usually
accomplishes one or more of these purposes.

Use of colour in magazines

Almost everything on a magazine page, from text, visuals, borders, etc can be in
colour. But colour for colour’s sake is not a good practice. For example, body text
in colour does not have as much of contrast as black body text. Certain practices in
the use of colour adopted by designers are:

• Use of colour for display types (headlines, sub headlines, etc)


• Use of colour for lines and borders to separate and dramatize the stories
• Use of colour for typographical dingbats like initial letters, etc
• Use of duotone photos instead of black and white photos
• Colour enhancements of graphs and charts
• Use of coloured screens

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Visual personality of Magazines

A magazine to be successful needs to find out its target audience and provide the
content needed by the audience in the way they want it. As different magazines are
directed at different audiences, they should have different personalities. According
to the audience it is directed at, a magazine could be conservative or traditional,
modern, action-oriented, classical, fashionable, etc.

Here designers look for what is called the ‘intensity of interest’ on part of the
audience members. For technical magazines or other serious magazines, the
readers want more information and less entertainment. So ‘flashy’ designs are
avoided in such magazines.

In case of film magazines or fashion magazines where the readers want more
entertainment and less information, then the magazine should be ‘dynamic’ in
physical appearance to be able to get attention, keep them interested, and the create
a long-lasting impression.

The visual personality of a magazine depends on many factors. One is the use of
colour, how much colour and in what manner colour is used. The second
consideration is the number and variety of illustrations. Another factor is the type
of paper used. Although it is a technical aspect, but type of paper plays an
important role in creating the personality of the magazine.

Redesign

In today’s fast and evolving world, the magazines also need to change to adapt to
changing times and changing audiences. Such changes could be cosmetic or
superficial which keep old readers while attracting new readers. Sometimes bold
changes are also brought about. Many magazines have undergone change or
redesigning in the past two decades.

These include the Time, Ms, Esquire, Fortune, etc. in India, the India Today has
been making subtle changes while The Week recently underwent a drastic and
complete design overhauling. This redesign trend was in full force in the 1990s and
will continue in the times to come. One of the most important redesign practices is
the increased emphasis on providing more graphic power for the pages. But this is
not done at the cost of editorial content. In fact, improving editorial quality also
has got equal (maybe more) emphasis and more of efforts.

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Format

This is one thing that remains constant over a long period of time. Format includes
the size and shape of the magazine. The different magazine formats are:
• Miniature: 4%” X 6”
• Books: 6” X 9”
• Basic: 8 ½ X 11”
• Pictorials: 10 ½” X 13”
• Sunday Supplement: 11” X 13”

The most common among these is the basic format. This size can cut without
any wastage and is easy to handle. It allows dramatization of pictures sizes and
other elements.

Magazine cover

A magazine front cover is the most important page. It is like the magazine’s face, it
creates the all-important first impression and is the primary indicator of the
magazines personally. Magazine covers are not changed for long periods of time
unless of course there is a complete editorial personality reshaping.

A magazine cover could be a self-cover printed on the same paper as the inside
pages and printed along with the other pages. But mostly magazines have separate
covers (printed on usually glossy papers and separately form the other pages).
Magazine covers set the tone for its personality. It has to draw the attention of the
readers, tell something about the contents of the issue by showcasing the major
articles or features published. It should help the magazine stand out from the
clutter in magazine stands.

The front cover also contains continuing characteristics that identify it from issue
to issue. At the same time, it has to be flexible enough to accommodate subtle
changes in every issue. A magazine cover could be ‘type only’ with no illustration
or it could be a combination of type and illustration. Whatever the practice, a
magazine cover should not be cluttered with a lot of elements. It should not also
have a ‘light’ or ‘loose’ look. By blending type elements, visuals and white or
colour-space the page should look inviting.

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Page Structure

A magazine may have fixed or flexible page structures. The page structure refers to
the ‘type page’ (space inside the margins), the number of columns, the columns
widths, etc. magazines usually have two, three or four columns. Many magazines
today do not use a fixed number of columns for all pages. For different pages they
use different number of columns. Also a lot of bleeding (illustrations intruding into
space of text matter and vice versa) is done.

Typographical policy of Magazines

The most important consideration for selecting typefaces for magazines is ease of
reading (legibility and readability). Traditional magazines used fixed typefaces and
this policy provided continuity. But contemporary magazines use a wide variety of
typefaces, sizes, and variations to give different looks for different stories or
articles. Other practices include use of dingbats (decorative type devices like stars,
bullets, and raised or drop letters).

Basic steps in magazine layout are:

• Determining the exact amount of space available for a story or article


• Deciding how many columns to be used
• Determining the space to be used for the text and the visuals respectively
• Designing and positioning display types for headlines, etc
• Positioning body text and illustrations
• Deciding what typographical devices to be used

Earlier makeup personnel designed through the various stages of layout. They
drew thumbnail sketches, made roughs, created comprehensive layouts, and finally
made the artwork, which was ready for printing. But now computer have made the
layout job much easier. Any kind of effect in layout can be created by pressing a
few keys or at the click of the mouse.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. What are the basic functions of using illustrations in a magazine?
Q2. What is the importance of Magazine Cover?

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3.7 PAGES OF NEWSPAPER

Newspapers contain many different types of content. There are many different
types of news. Then there are editorials, features, articles, etc. in addition to the
text material, there are sizeable amount of visuals also. Newspapers are usually
divided into several segments for accommodating the wide variety of material.

First there is the front page. It is the window to a newspaper. So a lot of importance
is given to designing this page. The other important pages are the editorial page
and the sports pages. The other pages are business pages, pages for local news,
pages for regional news, pages for national news, pages for international news.
With increased emphasis on entertainment, there are leisure and entertainment
pages. Finally, there are the special pages that come daily, weekly or fortnightly.

Front page of the newspaper

In the past, front-page makeup practice was very traditional. It was old-fashioned
and looked artificial and unattractive. Unfortunately, front-page makeup in the
earlier days was highly inflexible. The reasons behind this were unplanned and
haphazard placement of stories and photos, and non-adherence of any design
principle.

Modern front-page make up is highly functional, well-designed, attractive and very


flexible. The front page is the showcase of a newspaper. Thus it should be easy to
read, attractive and inviting. It should be orderly, and have a distinctive personality
of its own.

One way of getting a well-designed front page is to use the principle of artistic
dominance. Front page, being showcases; carry a lot of important stories, which
compete with each other for attention. This kind of a situation is confusing for the
readers. So the front page has to have a point of dominance. It could be a story,
with accompanying picture, or a group of similar stories clubbed together.
Dominance can be achieved by way of size, shape, and placement, etc.

Some basic guidelines for more readable front page include:

• Creation of an open page with lot of white space between columns, between
stories, pictures, etc.

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• Using a news summary rather than having many small stories on the front
page
• Making the bottom half as interesting as the top half by using larger pictures,
boxed stories, etc
• Avoiding too many boxes, lines and other attention getting devices (like
asterix marks, screens, etc) that pull the reader’s away from the stories
• Using clearer, easy-to-read typefaces
• Incorporating a sense of freshness and vitality to the page by making small
changes to the basic format on different days
• Creating an elegant but different look by having columns of different widths
• Use of simpler nameplate

Inside page of the Newspaper

Inside pages almost always have advertisements. As ads bring revenue, they are
given priority above the news here. In fact, it is the ads that are first placed on the
pages. The remaining space or the ‘news hole’ is left for the editorial matter. As
the number and total space taken by advertisements each day are different, makeup
personnel have to deal with different amounts of space everyday. This makes the
job of a page makeup artist very difficult.

Inside pages cover a variety of content. And the editorial content decides the
design pattern within the available space. The structural position of advertisements
also needs to be considered for bringing about a harmonious blend between the
advertising and editorial content. Often makeup personnel have no or little control
over the placement of advertisements. But it is wise to consult with the advertising
department and suggest about advertising placement on the pages in such a way
that allows proper designing of editorial content on these pages.

Page makeup for Editorial Page of a Newspaper

The editorial page is often shabbily made-up. But life can be injected into editorial
pages. This is despite the content-wise sober and serious nature of the editorial
pages.
The techniques of brightening the editorial pages are:
• Setting the editorials in larger types than ordinary body type used for news
• Setting editorials in wider columns
• Boxing editorials and other stories or articles
• Use of more white space

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Placing the masthead at a lower position (removing it from the top left
corner where it doesn’t compete for attention with the editorials)
• Using photographs on the editorial pages though this is not a traditional
practice but it would enhance the ‘look’ of the page
• Use of flush-left and right-ragged style of setting to make it distinct from
other pages

Makeup of Sports page of a Newspaper

With a wide variety of editorial content and photographs, one expects the makeup
of sports pages to be exciting. But this is not always the case. This is because the
large number of sports stories often create problem for the makeup people.

The best solution here is the grid concept. Use of photographs in large sizes and
with careful cropping can enhance the look of the sports pages. But smaller photos
cluttered together make a page look unattractive and repulsive. Also sports photos
can be cropped to exciting shapes and enlarged to emphatic sizes.

Lifestyle and feature pages

The lifestyle pages and the feature pages strike a balance between serious and
sober topics, the hard news and soft news, and always try to involve the readers.
Such pages also serve those readers who only scan newspaper by having a lot of
quotes, subheads, and boxes and also by breaking stories in to small segments.

The key to successful feature page designing include the following steps:
1. Stop the reader
2. Sustain his/her interest, and
3. Surprise them

All three things everyday of the week is difficult. But still designers try to achieve
this by using certain techniques. The first such technique is the center of visual
impact. This could be text matter at a dominant position or a large or prominent
photograph or an illustration. This center of visual impact attracts the attention of
the reader and sustains it. Other techniques include use of modules, use of wider
columns, use of informational graphics, use of colour, etc.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


Q1. Enlist some basic guidelines for brightening the Editorial page.
Q2. How can the front page of the newspaper be made more readable?

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3.8 SUMMARY

Editing is the process of preparing language, images, or sound for presentation


through correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications. A person
who edits, especially professionally or as a hobby, is called an editor.
The main consideration in editing is to tell the story in the fewest words possible.
Condensation is essential because there is more material than can be used. The
second consideration is clarity, which is obtained by avoiding intricate sentence
structure and by using familiar words. The third consideration is forceful
expression. The sub-editor must constantly seek the most effective way to express
the ideas of the story. The forth consideration is respect for accuracy. It means
looking out for small factual errors, which disfigure an otherwise good story.
A newsroom is the place where journalists, either reporters, editors, producers and
other staffers work to gather news to be published in a newspaper or magazine or
broadcast on television, cable or radio. Some journalism organizations refer to the
newsroom as the city room.
Newspaper editing is actually only one operation among several in the ‘the
newsroom’ but the editors, particularly, must know how other branches of the total
newspaper operate in order to do their job with maximum efficiency. The copy
desk is essentially the ‘crossroads;’ between the editorial and mechanical branches
of the business. The copy editor must know the mechanical phase pretty
thoroughly in order to perform his editorial function.

The editorial department actually has two sides, and usually these are separate
responsible to the publisher. They are ‘news’ and ‘editorial’. The news side is
usually under the supervision of a managing or executive editor. The editorial page
crew consists of editorial writers and is directed by a ‘chief editorial writer’ and
‘editor’ or ‘editor- in- chief’ or sometimes an ‘editorial page editor’.
The front page of a newspaper is like a beautiful face. If it is attractive, it will hold
the attention. It is indeed true that the front paper of the newspaper make the
newspaper successful. For a newspaper, to report news is a normal function, but
there is something special about the fact that the news is printed on its front page.
The front page is the ‘face’ of the newspaper.

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3.9 EXERCISES AND QUESTIONS

Q1. Discuss the significance of Editing in Print media.


Q2.What are the main considerations while editing a news story?
Q3. Explain the layout style of the Newspaper.
Q4. How is the layout of Magazine different from the layout of a Newspaper?
Q5. Enlist the responsibilities and duties of various persons working in the
Editorial Department of a Newspaper.
Q6. What are the different categories of Editors in the Print Publishing Industry?

3.10 FURTHER READING

1. Reporting Methods S.Kundra (Anmol Publications Pvt.Ltd)


2. Outline of Editing M.K.Joseph
3. Editing Techniques S.Kundra
4. News Reporting and Editing (Jan.R.Hakemulder, Fay AC de Jonge,
P.P. Singh)

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