Basics

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.

Journalism and the public interest

A journalist has no right to intrude on the personal lives of others except in cases where doing so will serve the public interest. We need to be crystal clear on what we mean by public interest.

How to spot a news story

What are the telltale signs that help journalists distinguish fact from fiction, and how do they know when they have uncovered an important news story?

Tips for journalists attending job interviews

An interview for a job in the media is often the culmination of weeks of hard work searching for opportunities, filling out application forms and waiting. So it's important to make the best impression on the day.

Crime reporting for beginners

Sometimes crime reporting reflects important issues in society: corruption, drugs, homelessness, hunger, lack of education, or whatever. And sometimes it is just a good story, with no wider implications.

For journalists, clarity is as important as accuracy

These are a few thoughts (some of them adapted from The Economist’s style guide and those of other respected newspapers) for journalists writing and editing copy in English.

What it takes to be a journalist

Our journalism should be factual, accurate, and easy to understand, and we must be committed to finding original stories and telling them in a way that makes sense to the audience.

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.

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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.

Off-the-record chat – scenario

What should a journalist do with off-the-record information? Should they agree to conditions on its use? Should they ignore any conditions and do the story anyway? Or should they use what they have been told as background information and dig further? Try our scenario and decide what you would do in the circumstances.

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.