Basics

How to create a structured news report

This module was written for trainee journalists in Zimbabwe who were keen to learn how to produce in-depth video reports about life in their remote rural communities.

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.

How to find and develop important news angles

Looking for uncovered angles on a breaking or developing news story is an important part of the editorial process where journalists have to explain the significance of events.

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.

Punctuation

Punctuation is designed to make reading easy. It is the written counterpart of those pauses and verbal inflections which make speech understandable.

Parliamentary reporting tips for beginners

To cover parliament, a journalist needs to know local laws, understand parliamentary procedure, know about the politicians and the political parties involved, and have a solid knowledge of history.

Language and style – words

In this module on language and style from The News Manual, we look at the words you use to tell your story. We see how important spelling is and how to avoid causing confusion with the words you choose.

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.

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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.

Editorial impartiality – scenario

Allegations are made about an incompetent medical surgeon and a subsequent cover up at a hospital. People have died. Your news editor asks you to investigate. The only problem is – the surgeon is your cousin. What do you do?

Managing people and setting objectives

For most staff, personal objectives are the most important, but they also need to know about the wider objectives. It is the line manager's responsibility to set personal objectives to help employees contribute fully.