Writing: Introduction

It’s likely that many readers will come to this book from either a text or visual reporting background. This chapter introduces the very basics of journalistic writing, so If you’ve had text reporting training previously, you might skip this chapter. For those without however, this chapter gives a solid grounding. Text is a key multimedia skill; you’ll use it singly, for structuring video and audio scripts or as an integrated part of your multimedia packages.

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This chapter’s sections are mainly composed of animated videos guiding you through the principles of writing news. News stories are split into two major categories, hard news and features. Hard news stories deliver fact-based accounts of important, impacting current events while features tell stories in more depth and don’t necessarily centre around current events. Features often provide analyses and are written in a more creative, entertaining style than hard news.

Like all journalism, accuracy, conciseness and fairness are the corner stones of good journalistic writing. Your reporting will need to highlight important topics and engage your audience.

The guidelines we outline apply to both writing for print and online publications, but we’ve also included a few specific tips for writing online too. In the age of multimedia journalism text is delivered on a variety of platforms: print, web, tablet and mobile. Check out the links we’ve provided for further material that will help you consider writing for web and mobile.

Continue on to the following writing sections in this module: