Home Basics

Basics

For those starting off in a career in journalism including what makes news, how to write a story, interviewing tips, and fact-checking.

Image by David Brewer released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

50 tips for budding journalists

A journalist must learn the house rules of the media organisations they are working for. All will have a set of guidelines and a style guide. But here are general tips about starting off in journalism.
Radio production training in Jaffna, Sri Lanka by David Brewer shared via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

20 tips for TV and radio packaging

Structure, timing, and letting the interview breathe are all essential elements for ensuring a TV or radio news package explores multiple elements of the story through interviewing different people.
Image by David Brewer released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

The use of English

The bridge between one mind and another  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. It is a...
Image by David Brewer released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

For journalists, clarity is as important as accuracy

These are a few thoughts (some of them taken from The Economist’s style guide and those of other respected newspapers) for journalists writing and editing copy in English.
Image by Symic released under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

20 interviewing tips for journalists

A journalist needs to be well-prepared when planning an interview. However, after all your research, try to keep the interview to three questions in order to avoid over-complication and confusion.
Image by David Brewer released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

The essence of style

The shape and sound of language  STYLE DIFFERS FROM  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...
Image courtesy of Vin Crosbie shared via Creative Commons

Keeping the sub happy: tips for print journalists

A sub-editor is happiest when given copy that reads well and needs little rewriting. A writer or reporter is happiest when their copy is printed with the fewest changes to their original.
Image by Hans and Carolyn released under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

News writing tips for beginners

A journalist writing a news story is the author, organiser and decision maker. Without them the story may never be told. They make the most important decision of all by asking the question - is there a story?
Image by woodleywonderworks released under Creative Commons

Referencing, attribution and plagiarism

Plagiarism is rife. Many journalists just copy and paste. There are tools - many of them free - which help content producers check whether content has been used without permission.
Image by Jesper Sehested at PlusLexia.com, released under Creative Commons BY 2.0

Spelling tips for journalists

The ultimate misuse  NO ONE CAN DEVELOP WORD POWER without the ability to spell, for mis-spelling is the ultimate misuse of words.  Good spelling is primarily a matter of observing and remembering. Below are 80 words...