From our BASIC JOURNALISM section

How to write a radio news script

Radio journalists writing a script need to be able to select the most newsworthy audio clips and write clear and informative links that highlight the most important elements and help the audience understand the significance of the points made

The use of English

English is one of the most expressive and flexible languages in the world. Its immense vocabulary provides for the persuasive and precise communication of ideas.

News sources, numbers and the ‘so what’ factor

Journalists covering news should always be considering what might happen next and thinking through the consequences of the events they are reporting on.

Journalists and bloggers – stop stealing pictures

Copying images from the web and using them to illustrate news articles without permission is a global problem. Some think it's okay to use images without permission; it isn't and there's a better way.

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.

Word power

Words and phrases are the nuts and bolts which hold the communications bridge together. The writer must, therefore, learn to recognise the exact words and phrases they needs to convey their meaning to the reader.

From our EDITORIAL ETHICS section

Photojournalism and ethics

Media Helping Media has produced a set of suggested ethical guidelines for video and photojournalists in order to try to help those in the field navigate everyday editorial issues.

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.

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

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.

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.

How to spot errors in your writing

Most journalists need a second pair of eyes to check their copy in order to spot any factual, grammatical or spelling mistakes. This is because it's often difficult to see your own errors.

Updating an online news item

The site was asked by the editor of a newspaper in Zimbabwe to set out how an interactive news story should develop online and what elements should be added and when.

Confronting editorial bias in election coverage

Allegations of bias in the news media happen all the time, but they are most evident at election time. When deadlines are tight and pressures are greatest, the weighing of these factors may be less thorough.

The challenges facing journalists covering elections

The challenge of objectivity, impartiality in journalism is faced daily by journalists, but there is no test of professionalism greater than the heat and pressure of a bitterly-fought political election.

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.
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20 ways a suspect can help a journalist

Sources are one of the most valuable resources for a journalist. Without sourced information, the reports produced may end up being padded with rumour and personal opinion.

Avoiding the pitfalls of investigative journalism

Producing a piece of investigative journalism to international standards can be a daunting prospect. This guide is to help journalists avoid some of the pitfalls and problems often encountered.

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.

Creating a journalism content weighting system

Introducing a story weighting system helps prioritises effort on the stories that are of most value to the target audience, it saves time, speeds up production, and helps avoid wasted effort.

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.

Prioritising production with the content value matrix

How to prioritise newsroom effort There are many demands on a newsroom. There is the routine flow of news releases and stage-managed events that need to...

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.

Setting up a media business – four essential steps

A media business is like a table with four legs. These are the media organisation's target audience, the core editorial proposition that it offers to that audience, the values that the business holds dear, and the market that sustains the business. Each leg has to be strong and firm. If one leg is weak, the table wobbles. A shaky media organisation is not good.

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.

Photo journalism – scenario

Scenario: You arrive at a border crossing and see a child sitting by the roadside crying. You think it's been abandoned and take a picture. You alert the newsdesk. But it transpires it's just lost its mother and stops crying when the mother arrives. What should you do?

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.

Accuracy – scenario

Scenario: There has been a strike at a steel works. The union claims all its 100,000 members were out on strike, but the employer says 50% turned up for work and defied the picket line. You were reporting from the main gates of the steel plant all day and you didn't see anyone crossing the picket line. What do you report?

How media assistance could improve

Trainers have as much to learn as they have to give. That’s the message to those offering media assistance in transition and post-conflict countries from some of those on the receiving end.

Basic rules for delivering training

One of the first steps in delivering training is to articulate the ground rules. Participants need to know what to expect, what is expected of them and how you intend to schedule course elements.

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.