News Writing: Introduction
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This course is designed to give a comprehensive all round introduction to news writing.
All the essential aspects of news reporting are covered including how to find and shape ideas for news stories; what to ask when an editor is briefing you; how to make sure you get all the facts you need to write a fully-rounded news report with no gaps or unanswered questions; how to interview subjects, get the quotes you need and present them accurately - and how to write to deadlines.
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What makes a news story? (2 topics)
- The fundamental requirements for any story to be classified as news
- Knowing your audience - what will be new and of interest to them?
Developing a nose for finding news (2 topics)
- Learning where news is to be found and how to get at it
- How to find an angle that makes a story worth reporting
Researching a story (2 topics)
- The internet, archives, published and unpublished sources
- Who to ask to find out what will make your story new and fresh
Structuring a news story (2 topics)
- The Inverted Triangle method
- Ensuring the six essential elements are present high up in your news story
Finding news in press releases, reports and meetings (3 topics)
- How to spot hidden angles and stories in press releases and reports
- How to develop press releases by gathering additional information and finding a better angle
- Spotting a story in a dull meeting that other reporters might miss
Law for journalists (1 topic)
- What journalists need to know about defamation, contempt and privacy
How to interview (4 topics)
- How to win your subject's confidence
- What questions to ask and the order in which to ask them
- How to encourage them to say more than they intended
- Getting the right quotes and using them effectively
How to keep to deadlines (3 topics)
- Working against the clock
- How to save time by drafting the bulk of a story before you know what the final outcome - or your angle - will be
- Tips and tricks to make news editors happy