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Brites. A featurette : generally odd or amusing nuggets R elief from the hard news of the day Ledes are fun, designed to draw you in... not inverted pyramid Need a nut graf after your clever lead. So you want to write like a journo. So you want to write like a journo.

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Brites

Brites

  • A featurette: generally odd or amusing nuggets

  • Relief from the hard news of the day

  • Ledes are fun, designed to draw you in... not inverted pyramid

  • Need a nut graf after your clever lead


So you want to write like a journo

So you want to write like a journo


So you want to write like a journo1

So you want to write like a journo

  • Passive verbs… kill them! Watch out for “is,” “were,” “was”

  • “The students were taught by Mr. G.” NO!!!

  • “Mr. G taught the students.” YES!!!


So you want to write like a journo2

So you want to write like a journo

  • Jargon

  • Every sport, profession, government and religion thrives in its own world

  • Our job: translate the jargon so all can understand

    “Christians are sanctified through the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb.”

    “Jesus died for your sins.”


So you want to write like a journo3

So you want to write like a journo

  • Clichés: Generally don’t use unless in quotes

  • Thousands of clichés around, carefully check your copy to be sure you avoid them like the plague, 24/7 or you’ll be up the creek without a paddle!


Brites

  • Think outside the boxWhen the rubber meets the roadHit the ground runningA perfect stormConnect the dotsLight at the end of the tunnelIt is what it isThrow under the busMission-critical
stakeholdersDrink the Kool-Aid
Reinvent the wheelTo cut a long story short
Let’s cut to the chase
Beating around the bushRead my lipsLow hanging fruit



So you want to write like a journo4

So you want to write like a journo

  • AP Stylebook


Ap stylebook

AP stylebook

  • Most newsroom use some variety of it

  • But most newsrooms and sites have their own deviations

  • Wall Street Journal and New York Times have unique styles, for example


Deadlines

Deadlines


Features

Features


Features1

Features

  • So far we’ve focused on breaking, hard news and brites

  • Almost always requires an inverted pyramid lede or a nut graf that does the same thing

  • But much of journalism lives outside of that construct… although our pal the nut graf lives on


Features2

Features

  • The rules change for features


Features3

Features

  • The rules change for features

  • Loosen up, be dramatic, use adjectives


Features4

Features

  • The rules change for features

  • Loosen up, be dramatic, use adjectives

  • Can use more than past tense… often in present tense so readers can feel what is happening now

    “Sophie glides over the slick golf-course grass, passing gasping runners one-by-one.”


Features5

Features

  • Seek out details to put your readers at the scene


Features6

Features

  • Seek out details to put your readers at the scene

  • Can use feature techniques – if time and space are available – for car wrecks, tragedies, political conflicts, even a routine meeting


Narration

Narration

  • Simply telling a story, using characters, scenes, anecdotes and dialogue... mixed in with chronology

  • Seen in newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and online


Narration1

Narration

  • Simply telling a story, using characters, scenes, anecdotes and dialogue... mixed in with chronology

  • Seen in newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and online

  • Analogous to a movie or a novel: you usually don’t get everything in the first two graphs

  • Take your reader right to the scene... and then get out of the way!


Vivid scenes

Vivid scenes

  • Capture the color of the situation and the characters


Vivid scenes1

Vivid scenes

  • Capture the color of the situation and the characters

  • “We should all try to make readers see, smell, taste and hear”


Vivid scenes2

Vivid scenes

  • Capture the color of the situation and the characters

  • “We should all try to make readers see, smell, taste and hear”

  • Develop your senses for the details that make the story


Dialogue

Dialogue

  • People talking with one another


Dialogue1

Dialogue

  • People talking with one another

  • Ideal when two or more people are talking, especially in conflict


Dialogue2

Dialogue

  • People talking with one another

  • Ideal when two or more people are talking, especially in conflict

  • Where would the Bible be without dialogue?


John 14 5 7 remix

John 14:5-7 remix

JERUSALEM -- In a meeting with his disciples on June 13, Jesus of Nazareth said he was the only way to salvation, a controversial claim roiling the combustible Galilee religious scene.

Jesus made the statement after Thomas, one of his followers, asked: “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Sources told the Nazareth Gazette that Jesus then said. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus continued by comparing himself to his father, who he declined to directly identify. However, the Gazette has learned that his father was Joseph, a carpenter who died in the year 18 from unknown causes.


John 14 5 7

John 14:5-7

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”


Profiles

Profiles


Profiles1

Profiles

  • An entertaining, informative piece on a person (or occasionally a group)


Profiles2

Profiles

  • An entertaining, informative piece on a person (or occasionally a group)

  • Depends on how well you can coax the subject into revealing details of their private life


Profiles3

Profiles

  • An entertaining, informative piece on a person (or occasionally a group)

  • Depends on how well you can coax the subject into revealing details of their private life

  • Also should talk with their friends, colleagues, relatives, critics


Profiles4

Profiles

  • Get them to tell lots of stories (anecdotes)

  • The anecdotes make the reader relate to subject


Profiles5

Profiles

  • Get them to tell lots of stories (anecdotes)

  • The anecdotes make the reader relate to subject

  • Have strong opening and closing


Assignment 11 12

Assignment 11/12

  • Review pages 120-121


Assignment 11 121

Assignment 11/12

  • Review pages 120-121

  • Write a 500-word profile on a grandparent, uncle/aunt or other relative (not parent)

  • Everyone has a story to tell!

  • Interview at length, sift through your material, and craft a fascinating, informative piece

  • Use color, scenes, anecdotes, quotes, narration, anecdotal lede w/ nut graf


Assignment 11 122

Assignment 11/12

  • Review pages 120-121

  • Write a 500-word profile on a grandparent, uncle/aunt or other relative (not parent)

  • Everyone has a story to tell!

  • Interview at length, sift through your material, and craft a fascinating, informative piece

  • Use color, scenes, anecdotes, quotes, narration, anecdotal lede w/ nut graf

  • Have a strong opening and closing… complete package


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