From our BASIC JOURNALISM section

Language and style – the basics

This training module from The News Manual looks at language and style in news writing. It offers guidance on how to write sentences for maximum understanding, and examines why care over language is important. 

Spelling tips for journalists

Mis-spelling is the ultimate misuse of words. Good spelling is primarily a matter of observing and remembering. Below are 80 words which are frequently misspelled. Test yourself on these.

Referencing, attribution and plagiarism

Journalism often involves referring to material produced by others. This module looks at how journalists should provide attribution and avoid plagiarism.

Language and style – grammar

In this, the third module in the series about language and style from The News Manual, we look at some of the most important grammatical rules for news writing, at some common mistakes and how to correct them.

Language and style – translation

In this module from The News Manual we look at the issue of reporting and writing across different languages, some of the challenges of translation and some of the main dangers to look out for.

The essence of style

Style differs from sentence construction (syntax) in that it cannot be quantified; it has no precise rules. This is inevitable because style is concerned not so much with the mechanics of English as with the manner in which the writer uses language to play on the sensations of the reader.

From our EDITORIAL ETHICS section

Impartiality in journalism

Being impartial means not being prejudiced towards or against any particular side. All journalists have their own views, however they must learn to leave aside their own personal perspectives.

Integrity and journalism

Without integrity your journalism is untrustworthy and suspect. Integrity is essential if a journalist wants to investigate issues, shine a light in dark places, and to dig where others don't.

Is your journalism ethical?

If the content you produce pushes an agenda, spins a line, favours a sector of society, is manipulated by subjective values, you are probably producing PR copy or even propaganda.

Accuracy in journalism

A media organisation will be judged on the accuracy and reliability of its journalism, which must be well-sourced, supported by strong evidence, examined and tested, clear and unambiguous. Verified facts must form the basis of all news, not rumour or speculation.

Fairness in journalism

Fairness in journalism means exploring all sides of an issue and reporting the findings accurately. Members of the public should never be used to exaggerate the importance of a story.

Offence and journalism

Journalists must ensure that the material they use in coverage has a clear editorial purpose. Where that material is likely to offend, there need to be clear warnings of what is coming up.

From our ADVANCED JOURNALISM section

How to set online news priorities

Increasingly, news websites are the product of a converged newsroom operating as a content factory and delivering information to whatever device the user turns to in order to access information.

Snacking on rumour, feeding on facts

The good news for mainstream media is that the social networking audience still wants facts, but those producing the facts need to rethink how they create and disseminate those facts.

How to set online news priorities

Tips on how to run a news website which is part of a converged news operation involving broadcast and/or print in order to fully exploit existing resources and add in-depth interactive elements.

Information disorder – how to recognise the forms

Four free-to-download high-resolution graphics created by First Draft News to help explain the different categories, types, elements, and phases of information disorder. They are available for use in publications and presentations.

Managing a news website’s front page

The person in charge of a news website is like a shopkeeper who sets out their stall. If the items are badly displayed the customer might miss them, if they are not fresh people won't buy them.

Information disorder – mapping the landscape

Over recent months, there has been a surge of interest in trust and truth in a digital age. Claire Wardle of First Draft News sets out her 13 priority areas for further research.

Media Helping Media Facebook Page

journalism training in Serbia. Image by David Brewer shared via Creative CommonsMedia Helping Media offers free training resources covering basic, advanced and investigative journalism, editorial ethics, media management and strategy, and staff training. We also have scenarios to test journalistic instincts. The site is supported by Fojo Media Institute.
Fojo Media Institute logo

Why would anyone want to talk to a journalist?

There may be many reasons why someone will agree to open up to a reporter, and some will be beyond their control. It's worth taking time to try to figure out the motives before interviewing them.

How to investigate official documents

The investigative journalist never takes things at face value. They probe and question in order to get to the truth. If you are to uncover the story you need to keep asking questions.

Compiling an investigative journalism dossier

Discipline, order and a well thought out plan are essential for successful investigative journalism. It starts with the compilation of a solid dossier built with meticulous precision and executed with an attention to detail.

Getting the best out of a news meeting

Most newsrooms hold regular news meetings where the editor sets out what news stories are going to be covered and invites the news team to offer ideas about how the news should be developed and covered.

Convergence, workflows, roles and responsibilities

A converged newsroom operates like a content factory, responsible for all intake, production and output. It gathers and processes raw material, creates different products, and delivered them to the target audience.

Newsgathering tips for producing great content

The newsgathering process involves sourcing ideas, planning coverage, assigning teams, structuring packages, monitoring the web, working in the field - and coming back alive and well.

Identifying the target audience and its information needs

The first step in setting up a media business is to identify the audience you plan to serve. You need to know their information needs so that you can better serve them.

The uneasy but essential evolution of news

The audience, empowered with tools to choose, create, enrich and share, is the new superuser offering alternative sources and channels of information to those of mainstream providers.

Vision, accountability and transparency

A media organisation must be clear about what it stands for. If your audience puts its trust in the news you produce, then you need to set out your editorial values and be ready to be judged.

Emotional assumptions – scenario

Try our scenario on how to remain objective when reporting from a live event. It's about how to avoid 'heat of the moment' language and stick to facts.

Covering a tragedy – scenario

In this scenario we look at how a journalist should act when they witness a tragedy unfolding and have to decide whether to help, or to stand by and report. The scenario also looks at how senior editorial managers could, and probably should, support their journalists working in difficult conditions.

Returning ‘favours’ – scenario

In this scenario you are a parliamentary reporter being put under pressure to cover a story by a politician who says they did you a favour in the past.

How to design a successful media training plan

A well-designed media training plan could make the difference between the success and the failure of a media business. Get it wrong and you could be adding to the problems you were asked to address.

Five essential steps for media training

For international media training to be successful, tried, tested and proven case studies from a similar region are needed. Theory has limited value, as do examples of what works in the West.

Maximising the impact of media training

Thorough research is the essential if you are to deliver high-impact media training. Never accept a brief from media managers without question - they could be wrong and often are.