Resources

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Resources

Compiled by Associate Editor, Melody Rautenstraus

Want to enhance your credibility and be a catalyst for change? The world needs stories that heal and reveal. Review these resources to polish your craft and activate your enthusiasm!

Preliminary Considerations:

Why do you think The Peace Correspondent chose this specific subject in lieu of another? What makes this topic relevant to people worldwide?

  • Choose a topic of interest and consider what makes it newsworthy.
  • Look for a common thread that can universally connect people to the topic.
  • Examine both direct and indirect effects.
  • Consider:
  1. Impact
  2. Immediacy (timeliness)
  3. Proximity
  4. Prominence
  5. Novelty
  6. Conflict
  7. Human interest and emotion

Example: Think about the Brexit decision. What made this story newsworthy? Brexit prompted a chain reaction that affected citizens across the globe. What might be some examples of how to make this story universally prominent?

  • Discuss the social norms and political climate that motivated Brexit and parallel these grievances to all cultures worldwide. Example: Globalization and Xenophobia.
  • Emphasize the direct effect of this vote to the global community. Example: Impact on global economy

Recommended Reading:

News Writing Tips for Beginners: http://www.mediahelpingmedia.org/training-resources/journalism-basics/464-assembling-a-news-story

Journalism: Gathering Information and Writing your Story: http://writingcommons.org/open-text/research-methods-methodologies/empirical-research/interviews/journalism-gathering-information-and-writing-your-story

 

Story Composition

Interviews:

  • Consider potential sources.
  • Look for diverse sources to ensure authentic, fair, and unbiased coverage.
  • Sources can incorporate: press releases, emails/ letters, public records, media events, officials, normal citizens, specialists, etc.
  • Conduct interviews ethically, professionally, and compassionately.

Example: One country prohibits another country from adoption rights, and finally lifts the ban. What might be some potential sources?

  1. Parents unable to conceive and ecstatic to adopt
  2. Child relaying life before and after adoption
  3. Chart with statistics illustrating a recent increase in adoptions
  4. Relevant public officials

Recommended Reading:

20 Interviewing Tips for Journalists: http://www.mediahelpingmedia.org/training-resources/journalism-basics/475-20-interviewing-tips-for-journalists

 

Writing:

  • Start with a compelling lead that will draw readers into the story.
  • Leads should not tell the full story in one sentence.
  • Think about the 5 W’s (Who, what, where, when, why).
  • Which angle will best alert readers of the stories prominence?
  • Summarize your story in one sentence, and narrow your focus if you can’t.

Example: News sources covering the tragedy in Nice chose to highlight the number of people killed in order to relay the gravity of the events. Peace journalism might utilize the “why” as persuasion for affirmative action.

Recommended Reading:

Types of Lead: http://www.angelfire.com/nd/nirmaldasan/journalismonline/tol.html

Reporting and Writing Basics:  http://handbook.reuters.com/?title=Reporting_and_Writing_Basics

 

Story structure:

The Inverted Pyramid:

  • Relay facts in order of their importance. (The most important facts are given, followed by subsequently less important information)

The Martini Glass:

  • Lead and key facts follow inverted pyramid structure, but are followed with chronology of events and a kicker

The Kabob:

  • Anecdote, nut graf, meat, meat, anecdote

Recommended Reading:

Journalism Story Structure: http://journalism-education.cubreporters.org/2010/08/journalism-story-structure.html

Language:

  • Concise and strong verbs that are compelling, appealing, interesting and significant.
  • Write just the facts and omit fluffy verbiage.
  • Be purposeful and propelling.

Recommended Reading:

News Writing: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/sep/25/writing.journalism.news\

 

Style:

  • APA format

Recommended Reading:

Journalism and Journalistic Writing: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/owlprint/735/

 

Tips for Success:

  • Attribute all information and sources, except common knowledge.
  • Beware legal pitfalls. Example: Misappropriation
  • Remember your power to evoke change.

Recommended Reading:

Here’s How Reporters Use Attribution When Writing News Stories: http://journalism.about.com/od/writing/a/attribution.htm

News Writing Tips: http://jdwritingctr.iweb.bsu.edu/workshop/hottips.html

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”  ~Mahatma Gandhi

 

Resources At-A-Glance:

Links:

Differences Between Technical and Creative Writing: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/tm/tm185/pdfs/micron.pdf

News writing Exercises: http://journalism.about.com/od/writing/tp/newswritingexercises.htm

News Writing Tips for Beginners: http://www.mediahelpingmedia.org/training-resources/journalism-basics/464-assembling-a-news-story

Journalism: Gathering Information and Writing your Story: http://writingcommons.org/open-text/research-methods-methodologies/empirical-research/interviews/journalism-gathering-information-and-writing-your-story

20 Interviewing Tips for Journalists: http://www.mediahelpingmedia.org/training-resources/journalism-basics/475-20-interviewing-tips-for-journalists

Types of Lead: http://www.angelfire.com/nd/nirmaldasan/journalismonline/tol.html

Reporting and Writing Basics:  http://handbook.reuters.com/?title=Reporting_and_Writing_Basics

News Writing: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/sep/25/writing.journalism.news\

Journalism and Journalistic Writing: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/owlprint/735/

Here’s How Reporters Use Attribution When Writing News Stories: http://journalism.about.com/od/writing/a/attribution.htm

Books:

The Associated Press Stylebook 2012, 47th edition

Inside Reporting : A Practical Guide to the Craft of Journalism, by Tim Harrower

 

Copyright © 2016 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

 

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