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Common Forum/Request/Suggestions / Ethical Principles
« Last post by ishaquemijee on Yesterday at 10:45:00 PM »


Integrity: To behave in accordance with ethical principles, and act in good faith, intellectual honesty and fairness.

Accountability: To take responsibility for one’s actions, decisions and their consequences.

Independence and impartiality: To conduct oneself with the interests of WHO only in view and under the sole authority of the Director-General, and to ensure that personal views and convictions do not compromise ethical principles, official duties or the interests of WHO.

Respect: To respect the dignity, worth, equality, diversity and privacy of all persons.

Professional Commitment: To demonstrate a high level of professionalism and loyalty to the Organization, its mandate and objectives.
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News Reporting / Attribution
« Last post by Ratul.JMC on Yesterday at 10:42:49 PM »
Attribution is stating who said something. Attribution is essential in all the media, including radio and television. Journalists do it so that your readers or listeners can know who is speaking or where the information in the story comes from. You can use attribution for both spoken and written information, so that you attribute information gathered from interviews, speeches, reports, books, films or even other newspapers, radio or television stations. In a moment we will discuss when you need to use attribution. First, however, we will look briefly at how attribution works in reported speech.

Reported speech
In the previous chapter, we mainly looked at attribution as it applied to quotes. However, attribution should be used whenever you want your readers or listeners to know where your information comes from. For example, in reported speech the attribution is still part of the sentence, although it is not as distinct as when you use a direct quote. In both of the following sentences, we attribute the words to Ms Mar. In the first, her words are in quotes; in the second they are put into reported speech. The attribution is in italics.

For Details visit the following website: https://www.thenewsmanual.net/Manuals%20Volume%201/volume1_09.htm
3
News Reporting / Use of Quotes
« Last post by Ratul.JMC on Yesterday at 10:39:38 PM »
A quote is the written form of the words which people have spoken. Occasionally it will also apply to words they have written down, perhaps in a book or a press release. In print journalism, quotes are shown surrounded by quotation marks, either single (‘) or double ("). These are sometimes called inverted commas. The alternative to using a quote is to rewrite the sentence into what we call reported speech. We will discuss how to move between quotes and reported speech later in this chapter.
Quotes should not be used on radio, which should broadcast the words in the spoken form, sometimes called audio. Television journalists can use quotes shown as text on the screen.
Attribution is stating who made the quote or gave the information. The most common form of attribution uses the verb to say. Always say who is speaking. In America, attribution is called the tag. We discuss attribution in greater detail in the following chapter.

Why use quotes?
There are three main reasons why you should use quotes in print journalism:

If you repeat the exact words which people themselves used you will reduce the risk of misreporting what they say.
When we give a person's exact words our readers can see both the ideas and the way they were presented.
People often use lively language when they speak. Quotes allow you to put that lively language directly into your story.
let people speakRemember too that, as a journalist, you are simply the channel through which people with something to say speak to people who want to know what they said. The best way of keeping the channel clear is to let people tell things in their own way. One of the golden rules of journalism is: Let people speak for themselves. Use quotes.

In print we hear people's voices through quotes, in broadcasting the voices are heard in the form of audio or actuality.
Because radio journalists should avoid quotes altogether, and television journalists should use them as graphics on the screen, this chapter will concentrate on using quotes in the print media.

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When to use quotes
Quotes serve many useful purposes in print journalism but they cannot be used everywhere in your story. You will make your writing more effective if you obey the following rules.

Never start a news story with a quote
The most important reason for not starting a story with a quote is that a quote itself seldom shows the news value of your story. It is your task as a journalist to tell the reader what is news. You should tell them what is new, unusual, interesting or significant about the information you present. Only when you have told them what is news should you use a quote to support your intro.
A standard intro in reported speech is the most effective method of expressing an idea. Very few people speak well enough to say in one sentence what a good journalist can compress into a well-written intro.
Starting a news story with a quote produces awkward punctuation. By putting words inside quotation marks, you give readers an extra obstacle to overcome just at the time when you are trying to grab their attention.
Beginning with a quote also means that your readers see the quote before they know who has said it. How can they judge the importance of the quote without knowing the speaker?
A quote can often be most effective following straight after a hard news intro. See how effective a short quote becomes when it follows a short, sharp intro:

The Minister for Finance, Mr Joe Wau, yesterday attacked laziness in the public service.
"Government employees must get off their backsides and work," he told a lunchtime meeting of senior department heads.

Quotes in the rest of the story
If you are going to quote a speech or a personal interview, never leave the first quote later than the third or fourth paragraph of the story. If you cannot find a quote strong enough to go that high, you should question the value of covering the speech or doing the interview in the first place.
One of the problems faced by many journalists is that their shorthand - or their memory - is not good enough to get a full and accurate note of what a person says. So they take the easy way out and write everything in reported speech. It is your task to make sure that you get an accurate note of what is said, even to the extent of asking the speaker to repeat it. Modern journalists can, of course, use tape recorders to make an exact record of what a person says. However, you must still take care in transcribing your quotes into your story. (See Chapter 16: Interviewing.)
There is, of course, no excuse for making up a quote. That is one of the greatest sins a journalist can commit. It destroys your integrity and risks landing both you and your employer in an expensive action for defamation. Don't do it.

Quotes in features
One of the few places where a journalist can occasionally begin a story with a quote is in writing features - and then only in special cases.
The most common use among young journalists is what one might call the sound effect quote, where the quotation is used to create an atmosphere for the feature. The following introduction to a feature begins with a quote especially to grab the reader's attention:

"Atten...shun!"
The drill sergeant's voice rings out over the new Bomana parade ground.

But be warned, this type of intro cannot be used often as it rapidly loses its impact and becomes irritating to the regular reader.
As a rule, do not start stories with quotes until you reach a level of experience when they earn their place through artistic merit and not because of their novelty. (See Chapter 50: Features.)

How often should you use quotes?
Although quotes bring a story alive, it is still possible to kill a good story by carelessness, particularly over-repetition. It is like smothering a meal with sauce, drowning the taste of the meat. Each quote must earn its place in the story. Do not put in strings of quotes simply because you have them in your notebook.
Alternate quotes and reported speech, choosing those quotes which are especially strong and rewriting in reported speech those which are either too complicated or too long. Just because someone said something does not mean that they have expressed themselves well or clearly. If the quote is likely to confuse your readers or spoil the rest of the story, turn the words into reported speech. As we said earlier, very few people are able to compress ideas into sentences better than a good journalist can.

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Writing quotes
Many new journalists are afraid of using quotes because they believe that the language and punctuation is complicated. In fact, there are some simple rules which, if followed, can make quotes as easy to use as any other kind of sentence.

Punctuation
Most newspapers adopt a standard style when punctuating. Two simple phrases will act as a reminder of how to punctuate quotes. (For simplicity, we use the term 'tag' for the attribution of the person who said the words and 'caps' as a shortform for 'capital letters'.)
When the attribution (the tag) is at the beginning of the quotation, the order is:

TAG, COLON, QUOTES, CAPS.

Look at the following sentence:

He said: "It is not something I expected."

See how the punctuation follows our rule:

He said(tag) :(colon) "(quotes) I(caps)t ...
When the tag is at the end of the quotation, the order is:

COMMA, QUOTES, TAG, POINT

as in the following sentence:
"It is not something I expected," he said.
Again, we can see the pattern in the sentence:

... expected,(comma) "(quotes) he said (tag).(point)
Notice that full stops (points), commas, question marks and exclamation marks always go inside the quotes. When you have a quote within a quote, use a single inverted comma for the inside quotation. If both end in the same place, put the comma, full stop or similar punctuation mark within the single inverted comma:

Sgt Ovea said: "I told him, `You are your own worst enemy.'"
You should always start a new paragraph for a direct quote. If you have started a quote and continue to quote in the next paragraph, you do not need to close the quotes before going on to the next par, though you should start the new paragraph with inverted commas. See how we leave out the quotation mark after the first paragraph but include it at the beginning of the second:

Mr Raukele said: "It is not something I ever expected to happen in this country in my lifetime.
"I have to admit that it came as a complete surprise."
Whenever you introduce a new speaker, put the tag before the quote, giving the speaker's title as well. This is particularly important when you are changing from one speaker to another. If you quote a new speaker and fail to put his tag at the beginning, the reader will assume that the first speaker is still being quoted:

RIGHT:
Businessman Mr Tom Avua said that trade was lower than last year.           
His partner, Mr Michael Mu, added: "I may have to sell my home to pay off the outstanding debts to the bank."   WRONG:
Businessman Mr Tom Avua said that trade was lower than last year.           
"I may have to sell my home to pay off the outstanding debts to the bank," said his partner, Mr Michael Mu.
Notice from the example above that it is possible to change the usual "somebody said" order of the tag to "said somebody" order. This becomes necessary when the tag has a long identifier, so that you do not separate the verb "said" too far from the actual quotation:

RIGHT:
"It is a load of rubbish," said Mr Peter Kuman, vice-president of the Retail Traders Association and its regional representative on the PNG Chamber of Commerce.   WRONG:
"It is a load of rubbish," Mr Peter Kuman, vice-president of the Retail Traders Association and its regional representative on the PNG Chamber of Commerce, said.
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Partial and incomplete quotes
Although you may not be able to write fast or make notes in shorthand, you may still have notes of particular phrases the speaker used. This is when you might be tempted to use partial or incomplete quotes. These are quotes which do not make full sentences.
There is seldom any excuse for using partial quotes, whether it is in an intro or in the main body of the story. The main exception is when the words you are quoting are slang, such as "dead loss", "the bee's knees", "Star Wars" or "junket", as in the following example:

The Prime Minister Mr Galea yesterday defended his European tour, saying it was not a "junket".
"The trip was very successful, particularly in Germany," he said.

If you do use a partial quote in the intro, you must give the full quote later in the story, otherwise the reader may believe that it is you using slang.
Some bad journalists use quotation marks around words or phrases which they think might be defamatory. They mistakenly believe that, by showing that the words were said by someone else, they themselves will not be sued for defamation. This is not so. If you use defamatory words, you can be sued, whether they were your words or someone else's, whether or not they were in quotes (See Chapters 69 and 70 on Defamation).

Do not put individual words or phrases in quotation marks simply because someone else said them first. Most descriptive words can stand by themselves, without the support of quotation marks. For example, the minister may have said in an interview: "The job ahead will be difficult." If you put that into reported speech, it would be wrong to choose only the word difficult for partial quoting:

RIGHT:
The minister said the job ahead would be difficult.   WRONG:
The minister said the job ahead would be "difficult".
Incomplete quotes are slightly different to partial quotes. Incomplete quotes are full sentence quotes with some words left out. They can be used if it is made clear that you have omitted some words or phrases without altering the essential meaning of the sentence. This should not be done because you failed to make a note of the whole sentence, only if the part you want to cut is either insignificant or unconnected. You should type three dots (called ellipses) in place of the missing word or phrase. For example, we may not want to use all of the words quoted in the following sentence:

"Carelessness, as many people before me have argued, is the curse of clear writing," he said.

so we rewrite it as:
"Carelessness ... is the curse of clear writing," he said.
Sometimes you may need to use a strong quote which does not actually contain all the information your reader needs to make sense of the sentence. This can happen because the person is speaking about something he or she does not mention in the actual quote itself. In such cases you can insert the missing fact - often a name or a title - in square brackets - within the quote to show what you have done For example, the Finance Minister might be speaking in Parliament about the May Budget but did not use the actual title in the sentence you want to quote:

"I have repeated a thousand times, it will be ready when it is ready and not a moment before."

To make sense for your readers, you can use the quote by inserting the words "the May Budget" in square brackets:

The Finance Minister told the Opposition: "I have repeated a thousand times, [the May Budget] will be ready when it's ready and not a moment before."

Whether you use a full quote, a partial quote or an incomplete quote, you must not take it out of context. The most common complaint against journalists - after that of misquoting itself - is the accusation that the reporter took the statement out of context.
A journalist might be tempted to quote someone as saying: "I entirely agree that the plans are good" when, in fact, what he said was "I entirely agree that the plans are good, but they are unworkable and unsuitable." That is bad journalism.

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Scare quotes
Scare quotes are words or short phrases which are placed between quotation marks when they really do not belong. Usually, the writer is trying to add stress to the words or to suggest something other than their obvious meaning.

Scare quotes are usually unnecessary and should only be used if you are confident they are required. As discussed above, there are usually better ways of using partial quotes.

The simplest reason for scare quotes is to add emphasis, which in literature is normally done by the use of italics. In news reporting, however, this usage can cause confusion or be misleading. Unless the words are actually quotes which can be attributed to a person, avoid scare quotes for emphasis.

BAD:
The priest said he would "never" marry a divorced person in his church.   BETTER:
The priest stressed that he would never marry a divorced person in his church.
or
The priest said: "I will never marry a divorced person in my church."
A more common use of the scare quote is to suggest that the word or phrase should not be taken at face value. It is often used to suggest disbelief or actual disagreement with the words as they are being used.

Someone who does not believe in global warming might put the phrase in scare quotes to signify that disbelief.

The Opposition Leader, Mr Tony Abbott, said people should not be alarmed by the threat of "global warming".

The problem with using a scare quote in this way is that it is now unclear whether the disbelief is in the mind of Mr Abbott or the writer of the sentence. Your credibility as a journalist depends partly on presenting information clearly and unambiguously for your readers, so avoid scare quotes in such circumstances.

Finally, the use of quotation marks to define a single word or phrase linguistically is justified in certain circumstances when the use and meaning are clear. For example:

The Minister said he had been misunderstood by some people who thought he had said 'weather' when, in fact, he had said 'whether'.

Source: https://www.thenewsmanual.net/Manuals%20Volume%201/volume1_08.htm
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News Reporting / Writing the news story in simple steps
« Last post by Ratul.JMC on Yesterday at 10:38:13 PM »
The first hurdle has been cleared when you have written your intro. You have made a good start - but only a start. You now have to tackle the rest of the story to ensure the second, third and following paragraphs live up to the promise of the intro.
With a thorough understanding of the story, its content and its implications, and with the appropriate intro composed, the remainder of the story should fall into place quite naturally. It should become natural for you to take the readers and listeners by the hand and lead them through the story so that they absorb easily the information you have gathered.

Remember the inverted pyramid
Remember the inverted pyramid. Using this structure, the first sentence or first two sentences of the story make up the intro and should contain the most important points in the story. In the sentences below the intro, detail is given which supports the facts or opinions given in the intro; and the other most newsworthy details are given. Less important details and subsidiary ideas or information follow until the story finally tails away to the sort of details which help to give the full picture but which are not essential to the story.
A story written as an inverted pyramid can be cut from the bottom up to fit limited space or time.

Length and strength

The actual length of the news story should not be confused with the strength of the story. Some very strong stories about major issues may be written in a few sentences, while relatively minor stories can sometimes take a lot of space. However, it is usual for stronger stories to be given in more detail. Whatever the length of the story, the bottom point of the inverted pyramid - the place where we stop writing - should be the same. That is the level at which further details fail to meet the criteria for newsworthiness.

For details visit the following website: https://www.thenewsmanual.net/Manuals%20Volume%201/volume1_06.htm
5
News Reporting / Writing the intro, the golden rules
« Last post by Ratul.JMC on Yesterday at 10:36:53 PM »
Writing the Intro in simple steps you learned what qualities made a good intro, the importance of newsworthiness and of answering the questions Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? (WWWWW & H) - but not all in the intro!. You also took the first steps in actually writing an intro from raw information to the finished short, crisp sentence based on the news angle.

In this chapter, the second part of intro writing, we discuss some golden rules to help you write the best intro possible.

KISS
As we have mentioned in Chapter 4, all news stories must answer the questions Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?  Each of these questions may have several parts, depending upon the nature and complexity of the story.
Do not try to answer them all in the intro. You will only confuse your reader or listener. Stick to one or two key points per sentence, especially in the intro.
Remember the golden rule is KISS - Keep It Short and Simple.
You will overload your sentence and make instant understanding difficult if you include unnecessary details which can be explained more fully later in the story.
Your intro is like a canoe being paddled against a fast flowing current. Every word in the sentence should be like a rower with a paddle, helping to push the sentence forward. There is no room for lazy words sitting back without paddles in their hands. They just make work harder for the rest of the words. So look closely at every word and ask yourself: "Does it have a paddle in its hand?" If it doesn't, throw it overboard!

Some of the fattest and laziest words to be found in the intro canoes are titles. Inexperienced journalists often think that they have to put full titles in the intro when, in fact, they belong later in the story. Try to shorten titles for your intros wherever possible.two canoesIn the following example, you will see that a general description of the person in the intro, followed by the full name and title in the second paragraph, works much better:

RIGHT:
A Port Moresby union leader yesterday condemned politicians who try to interfere in labour disputes.

Mr Mug Wump, president of the Port Moresby Waterside Workers' Union, said...

WRONG:
Mr Mug Wump, president of the Port Moresby Waterside Workers' Union, yesterday condemned politicians who try to interfere in labour disputes.

 


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Active voice
Use the active voice wherever possible. An active voice sentence uses the simple grammatical structure of subject-verb-object.

The sentence "the man hit the table" is in the active voice, where the table is the object of the verb "hit". The sentence "the table was hit by the man" is in the passive voice. As you can see, the first sentence is not only shorter, but it is far simpler and easier to understand. This is especially important when your reader or listener speaks English as a second or third language.
The following examples will demonstrate this rule:

RIGHT:
Copra growers have demanded a new subsidy scheme.

RIGHT:
Angry villagers attacked three Japanese tourists in Western Province yesterday.

WRONG:
A new copra subsidy scheme has been demanded by growers.

WRONG:
Three Japanese tourists were attacked by angry villagers in Western Province yesterday.


The main exception to this rule is when the object of the sentence is much more newsworthy than the subject. For example:
RIGHT:
The Prime Minister was attacked by angry villagers in Western Province yesterday.   WRONG:
Angry villagers attacked the Prime Minister in Western Province yesterday.
Note that we used the passive voice in the final intro version of our cyclone story. This was because the victims - the six dead and more than 100 homeless - were more important than the cyclone itself. Remember, news is about people. We could have written it in the active voice, putting the cyclone as the subject of the sentence:
Cyclone Victor left six people dead and more than 100 homeless when it hit the Solomon Islands yesterday.

However, this delays the big news until the middle of the intro, instead of putting it at the very beginning.

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Facts First
Don't think that, because an important person says something important, his name should come first. Let the facts come first in the intro.
Remember to ask yourself: "How does this affect my readers' or listeners' lives?" The answer to that question is the heart of the news story, not the name or title of the person who made the announcement.
You will see in the following example how the full name and titles in the wrong version of the intro makes it overloaded with detail, and hard to understand:

RIGHT:
Two overseas companies will negotiate with the Government to develop the important Vanimo timber area. 

The Forests Minister, Mr Jacob Diwai, said yesterday that various submissions by different companies had been considered by the National Executive Council.     

It had been decided that two of them would be invited individually to negotiate terms for an agreement to develop the resource, he said.   WRONG:
The Minister for Forests, Mr Jacob Diwai, announced that a special meeting of the National Executive Council held yesterday to consider various submissions by different companies for the development of the Vanimo timber area, had decided that two overseas companies would be invited individually to negotiate terms for an agreement to develop the resource.
Always begin your intro with your most newsworthy key point, even though you may include another key point in the intro, in what is called a subordinate clause. You will recognise subordinate clauses as they usually begin with words like "while...", "as...", "although..." and "despite...".
RIGHT:
Thieves broke into the Prime Minister's official residence last night, while he was attending a concert.   WRONG:
While the Prime Minister was attending a concert last night, thieves broke into his official residence.
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Up-to-date
Keep the story fresh. Remember that one of our four criteria for news is "Is it new?" One way in which the reader judges the newness or otherwise of a sentence is in the verb tense. Wherever possible use the present or future tense in your intro.
In the following example, we focus on the real news, which is in the future - the visit of Prince Charles - rather than on the announcement, which happened last night:

RIGHT:
Prince Charles will visit Tuvalu in August.    WRONG:
It was announced in Funafuti last night that Prince Charles would visit Tuvalu in August
This also allows us to use the simple future tense "will" instead of the rather complicated "would".

In the next example, we use the present tense "is" rather than the past tense "was". Although the announcement was made last night, what was said is still true today - such things do not change overnight:

RIGHT:
The Solomon Islands is on the verge of bankruptcy, the Finance Minister said last night.   WRONG:
The Solomon Islands was on the verge of bankruptcy, the Finance Minister said last night.
No quotes
Do not begin a news story with quotes. The value of the quote is dependent entirely on the speaker. For that reason, it is important to know who is speaking before we know what is said.

It really comes down to this: If someone is expressing an opinion (and most quotes are expressions of opinion), then the name of the opinion-expresser should come first, so that readers and listeners can make their own assessment of the opinion. If, on the other hand, the speaker is dealing in facts or revealing something so far unrevealed, let the facts speak first.

In the following example, we can take it as a fact that income tax will rise. The Finance Minister says so, and he is the one who decides such things. (Of course, politicians do not always deliver everything they promise; but if they promise something unpleasant, you may be sure that they are not doing it to win votes, so we can believe that it is true.

RIGHT:
Income tax is to rise by seven percent in January.
WRONG:
"Income tax will rise by seven percent when I present my budget in January," said the Finance Minister, Ms Bernadette Kina, at a meeting in Lae yesterday.
In the next example, we take the content of what has been said, and present that as fact. The full quote is rather long, but we should be able to use it later in the story.

The fact that this will be the first school swimming pool on the island is not included in the quote - this is a case where journalists must set the news in context by applying their own background knowledge.

RIGHT:
Work on Espiritu Santo's first school swimming pool will start next year if government grants can be obtained.   
WRONG:
"If the primary school gets suitable financial help from the Government, I confidently expect that next year will see the start of work on a new swimming pool here," the chairman of Luganville Primary School said yesterday.

Check-list
Once you have written your intro, you should read it again carefully, asking yourself the following questions:

Is it the most newsworthy key point in the story?
Is it short and simple? If it is more than 20 words, try to cut it down. Cut out repetition and other unnecessary words. Remember the lazy passengers in that canoe.
Is it written in the active voice? If not, should you rewrite it in the active voice?
Have you put the facts first in the sentence?
Is it up-to-date? Are your verbs in the correct tense?
Have you avoided quotes? If you have started with a quote, can you rewrite it in reported speech?
It is very rare for a journalist to get exactly the right intro on the first attempt, even after years of experience. Some intros have to be rewritten several times before they achieve the correct length, balance and clarity.

Never be satisfied with your first attempt, however good. Always ask: "Can it be better?"

Source: https://www.thenewsmanual.net/Manuals%20Volume%201/volume1_05.htm
6
News Reporting / Writing the intro in simple steps
« Last post by Ratul.JMC on Yesterday at 10:35:39 PM »
The intro is the most important part of any news story. It should be direct, simple and attention-grabbing. It should contain the most important elements of the story - but not the whole story. The details can be told later.

It should arouse the interest of the reader or listener, and be short. Normally it should be one sentence of not more than 20 words for print media, and fewer for radio and television.

The perfect intro
The intro should be based on the most newsworthy aspect of the story.
The intro should be kept short, uncluttered and relevant to the main story. It should be simple grammatically.
The intro should make the reader want to read the rest of the story.
The intro should be appropriate in style to the story.
Newsworthy
To write an intro, you must first decide what makes the story news. There may be several things which are newsworthy in the story. If so, you have to decide which is the most newsworthy. This will be in the intro.
In this way, your readers or listeners will be provided with the most important information straight away. Even if they stop reading or listening after the first one or two sentences, they will still have an accurate idea of what the story is about.
One simple way to do this is to imagine yourself arriving back at your office and being asked by the chief of staff: "What happened?" Your quick answer to that question, in very few words, should be the basis of your intro.
With some years of experience, you will find that you can recognise the most newsworthy aspect of a story almost without thinking. While you are still learning, though, it is useful to have a step-by-step technique to use. We shall explain this technique in detail later in this chapter.

Short and simple
Your intro should normally be no longer than 20 words. There is no minimum length. An intro of 10 or 12 words can be very effective.
Usually, an intro will be one sentence. However, two short sentences are better than one long, crowded and confused sentence.

The words you use should be short and simple, and the grammar should be clear and simple.

You should not try to give too much detail in the intro. The six main questions which journalists try to answer - Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? - will all need to be answered in your news story, but they should not all be answered in your intro. Try to remember these questions as The Five Ws and H - WWWWWH.

For each of those six key questions, you will need to ask whether this detail makes the story news. For example, who was drowned? A woman called Mary. Suppose it had been somebody else - would the story have been stronger, weaker or the same? Only if this detail makes the story stronger should it be in the intro.

The golden rule for intro-writing is KISS - Keep It Short and Simple.

Attract the reader
The intro is the most important part of the news story, because it determines whether the rest of the story will be read.

If the intro is dull the reader will not want to read on. If it is too complicated the reader will give up.

Your time and effort in gathering information and writing the story will all be wasted unless you write a good intro.

Appropriate style
Not all possible intros are appropriate. It would be wrong to write a humorous intro for a story about a tragedy. Serious news stories call for serious intros.

For example, if a man was eaten by the pet crocodile he had reared from an egg, it might seem amusing to use the saying about "biting the hand that feeds you", but it would cause great hurt to the man's family and friends for no good reason (apart from trying to show how clever you are).

Simple steps in writing the intro
Later, we will look in detail at how you gather information for a news story. For the moment, we will concentrate on how you write your news story based on that information.

You will have in front of you a notebook or a tape with a record of one or more interviews which you have conducted. You may also have information from other sources, such as handouts. Wherever your information comes from, your approach must be the same.

Key points
Before you write anything, you have to decide what is the most newsworthy aspect of the story. To do this, let us remind ourselves of the main criteria for news:
  • Is it new?
    Is it unusual?
    Is it interesting or significant?
    Is it about people?
Any fact or opinion which meets some or all of these criteria is what we call a key point. All the key points belong in the news story, but only the most newsworthy belong in the intro. It is your job to decide which.

Go through your notes, go through the handouts and, on a piece of paper, list all the key points.
Now go through the list of key points, ranking them in order of newsworthiness, according to the criteria we have just mentioned. The key point which best meets the criteria will be number one on your list.
Let us do this with the following example.

Information

At 2 a.m. yesterday morning, meteorologists at the Nadi Weather Centre detected a cyclone developing rapidly near Nauru and moving quickly south-west across the Pacific towards the Solomon Islands. They named the cyclone "Victor". At 3 a.m., they contacted the Solomon Islands government warning of the approach of Cyclone Victor. Government officials immediately put emergency plans into operation. They warned all shipping in the area of the cyclone's approach. They broadcast warnings on the radio, and alerted the police, who in turn sent officers to warn the people. By 10 a.m., winds in Honiara were blowing at more than 140 kilometres per hour. At about midday, the centre of the cyclone passed directly over Honiara before tracking into the Coral Sea, where it blew itself out. In Honiara, more than 20 houses were destroyed and a number of other buildings sustained considerable structural damage. More than 100 people are now homeless. Six people were killed. Another 18 people have been treated in hospital for minor injuries. Mopping-up operations have started in Honiara. The emergency services are still awaiting news from outlying districts but believe that Honiara has been the worst affected. Police say that of the six people who died, three men drowned when their car was blown off the road into a river, and two women and a man were killed by flying debris.

Analysis
First we go through the story picking out the key points. For the purposes of this exercise, we shall limit ourselves to six or seven of the most important ones.
Remember our four criteria and test each of the facts against them.

For example, how new, unusual or significant is it that meteorologists in Nadi detected the cyclone? After all, this is one of their jobs. Also it happened at 2 a.m. yesterday, many hours ago. More significant and certainly more up-to-date is the fact that they warned the Solomon Islands government. Maybe that is not too unusual in the event of a cyclone, but certainly an unusual occurrence in the day-to-day communication between the two nations. We will make that a key point:

a) Nadi meteorologists warn Solomon Islands government of approach of Cyclone Victor.

Now let us look for our next key point. Key point (a) is about meteorologists and government officials. We have to read on a bit further to find facts about the Solomon Islanders themselves, the people most affected by the cyclone. They were first alerted to the cyclone by radio broadcasts and police officers. They would have found this unusual and highly significant. Let us make this our next key point:

b) Solomon Islanders themselves warned of approaching cyclone.

Next we have mostly weather details. These should be reported in our story, but they do not themselves tell us much about the effect the cyclone is going to have on people's lives. Those people live in Honiara and we learn that 20 of their homes have been destroyed. This is quite new, unusual, significant and about people - another key point:

c) More than 20 houses destroyed and other buildings sustained considerable structural damage.

Key point (c) tells us about "houses", now we learn the fate of the people in them. More than 100 people now have nowhere to live. That is unusual and very significant for both the people themselves and for the government. It is also as up-to-date as we can get:

d) More than 100 people homeless.

The next sentence gives us the real tragedy of the story - six people have been killed. This fact fills all the criteria for news. It is new, it is unusual for a number of people to die so suddenly in such circumstances and it is significant for their families, friends and the authorities. Most important, it is about people:

e) Six people killed.

We could leave it there, because mopping up after a cyclone is not unusual and it appears that Honiara was the worst hit. There are, however, 18 people who will bear some scars from the cyclone, so let's make them a key points:

f) Eighteen people treated for minor injuries.

Right at the end of the information we find out how the six people died. Our readers or listeners will be interested in this, so we will make it our final key point:

g) Three drowned and three killed by flying debris.

Notice that we have left out a number of details which our reader or listener might like to know. We can come back to them in the main body of the story. In the Chapters 6 and 7 we will show you how.

For now, we have seven key points. We cannot possibly get them all in an intro so we must choose one, possibly two, which are the best combination of our news criteria.


News angle
In most events journalists report on, there will be several ways of looking at the facts. A weatherman may take a detached scientific view of Cyclone Victor, an insurance assessor will focus on damage to buildings, a Solomon Islander will be interested in knowing about the dead and injured. They all look at the same event from a different angle. Journalists are trained to look at events from a certain angle - we call it the news angle.

The news angle is that aspect of a story which we choose to highlight and develop. We do not do this by guesswork, but by using the four criteria for news which helped us to select our key points. The news angle is really nothing more than the most newsworthy of all our key points.
With this in mind, let us now select the news angle for our intro from the key points. Keep referring back to the Information given earlier in the chapter.
Key points (a) and (b) are not very new, nor are they really about people (simply meteorologists and governments). Key point (c) is about buildings, and the point is made better in (d) when we translate destroyed houses into homeless people. Key points (e), (f) and (g) are all about people. People slightly injured (f) are not as important as people killed (e). Key points (e) and (g) are about the same fact, but (e) gives the details in fewer words and is therefore preferable for an intro.
We are left with a shortlist of (d), (e) and (f). Because 100 people homeless is more significant than 18 people slightly injured, let us take out (f). We can always use it later in the story to fill in details. That leaves us with (e) as the most newsworthy fact, followed by (d):

Six people killed. More than 100 people homeless.
Here we have our news angle, the basis for our intro, but on their own these eight words will leave our reader or listener more confused than enlightened. This is because we have told them part of what has happened, but not who, where, when, how or why. You should never try to answer all these questions in the intro, but we have to tell our audience enough to put the bald facts - six people killed, more than 100 people homeless - in context. Let us do it:

Six people killed. More than 100 people homeless...
Where? ... Honiara, Solomon Islands. When? ... yesterday. How? ... Cyclone Victor passed through Honiara.

Exactly who the victims were, why they died and what else happened need to be told in greater detail than we have space for in an intro. We will leave that until the Chapter 6.

We do, however, have enough facts to write our intro, once we have rearranged them into grammatical English. Let us do that:

Six people were killed and more than 100 people were left homeless in Honiara in the Solomon Islands yesterday when Cyclone Victor passed through Honiara.

The word count for this sentence is 25, which is too long. We repeat words unnecessarily, such as "people were" and "Honiara", and we should be able to find a simpler and more direct word than "passed through". Let us write it again:

Six people were killed and more than 100 left homeless when Cyclone Victor hit Honiara in the Solomon Islands yesterday.

This is very nearly correct, but it contains a strange expression: "hit Honiara in the Solomon Islands". This sounds too much like "hit John in the face", so it may confuse our reader or listener. (How could Honiara be hit in the Solomon Islands?)

We must simplify this. If we are writing this story for a Solomon Islands audience, then we can leave out "in the Solomon Islands". After all, Solomon Islanders know where Honiara is:

Six people were killed and more than 100 left homeless when Cyclone Victor hit Honiara yesterday.

If we are writing this story for readers or listeners in any other country, we can leave "Honiara" out of the intro. Of course, we shall include this important detail in the second or third paragraph. Our intro will look like this:

Six people were killed and more than 100 left homeless when Cyclone Victor hit the Solomon Islands yesterday.

Of course, not all stories are as simple to see and write as this. But by applying this step-by-step approach of identifying the key points and ranking them in order before you write, you should be able to write an intro for any story.

Source: https://www.thenewsmanual.net/Manuals%20Volume%201/volume1_04.htm
7
News Reporting / The shape of the news story
« Last post by Ratul.JMC on Yesterday at 10:33:11 PM »
News stories go straight to the point. In this respect, they are quite unlike other forms of written English, such as novels and short stories, committee reports, letters and theses. All these are written primarily for people with the time to consider and absorb what has been written.

They also follow the usual pattern of spoken language, in which it is generally impolite to jump straight to the main point which you wish to make without first establishing contact.
For example, a female student writing home may say:

"Dear Mum and Dad, I don't want you to worry about me, but I have some news for you which you are not going to like. I met a boy here at the start of the semester and he likes me a lot. Well, we have been seeing a lot of each other and ..."

What she is not likely to write home is:

"Dear Mum and Dad, I am pregnant."

But news stories do that; that is why they are different.

In the following example, you will see that the narrative form starts at the oldest part of the story, then tells what happened in the order in which it happened. The news form starts at the most newsworthy part of the story, then fills in details with the most newsworthy first and the least newsworthy last:

NARRATIVE   

When electricians wired the home of Mrs Mary Ume in Hohola, Port Moresby, some years ago they neglected to install sufficient insulation at a point in the laundry where a number of wires crossed.

A short-circuit occurred early this morning.

Contact between the wires is thought to have created a spark, which ignited the walls of the house.

The flames quickly spread through the entire house.

Mrs Ume, her daughter Peni (aged ten) and her son Jonah (aged five months) were asleep in a rear bedroom. They had no way of escape and all perished.

NEWS

A Port Moresby woman and her two children died in a house fire in Hohola today.

Mrs Mary Ume, her ten-year-old daughter Peni and baby son Jonah were trapped in a rear bedroom as flames swept through the house.

The fire started in the laundry, where it is believed faulty electrical wiring caused a short-circuit. The family were asleep at the time.

The flames quickly spread and soon the entire house was blazing.       

etc etc   

 

 

The reader knows the outcome of the drama in the first sentence of the news story. The background information about how it happened, and why it happened, are filled in later in the story.

^^back to the top

Top priority
News stories are written in a way which sets out clearly what is the top priority news, what is the next most newsworthy, and so on. This makes it easier for readers and listeners to understand.

In many societies, people read newspapers and web pages in a hurry. They probably do not read every word, but skim quickly through, reading headlines and intros to see which stories interest them. Some which seem at first glance to be interesting may seem less interesting after a few paragraphs, and so the reader moves on.
In other societies, people may find reading a newspaper hard work. This may be because it is written in a language which is not their first language; or it may be because they are not good at reading. They, too, will look at headlines and intros to decide which stories are interesting enough to be worth the effort of reading them.
In either case, the readers will generally read less than half of most stories; there are very few stories indeed of which they will read every word.
Similarly, people do not listen intently to every word of a radio or television news bulletin. Unless the first sentence of each item interests them, they allow their minds to wander until they hear something that interests them.
The way a news story is written therefore has to do two things:

It has to sell the story to the casual reader or listener.
It has to give the main point of the story very quickly, so that even if the reader moves on after one or two paragraphs, or if the listener stops listening after the first sentence or two, they will still have a fair idea of what the story was about.
^^back to the top

The inverted pyramid
This way of writing a news story, with the main news at the start and the rest of the detail following in decreasing order of importance, is known as the inverted pyramid. A pyramid has a broad base and tapers towards its top; the news story is just the opposite, with a broad top and tapering towards the base. It is therefore called an inverted (or upside-down) pyramid.

the inverted pyramidThis "shape" of the news story, with a "broad" top and a "narrow" base, is in the weight of the news itself. Look back at the earlier example, of the Hohola house fire. See how the first paragraph of the news story is the biggest news, and how the story begins to taper down towards the minor detail.
The first paragraph, which is called the intro, contains the most newsworthy part of the story - the newest, most unusual, most interesting and most significant - told clearly and simply. This is followed by a full explanation and all the details. The most newsworthy parts of the story will be written nearest to the top of the story.

The later part of the story - the tapering point of the inverted pyramid - contains detail which is helpful, but not essential.

Here is an example of a short news story in the inverted pyramid; structure:

A Palauli woman whose body was found in the sea is believed to have drowned.
Police say the 35-year-old woman, whose name has not been released, was an epileptic.
Her body was found floating in the sea near Palauli, Savai`i, on Monday.
A post mortem examination will be conducted today.

This format has a practical advantage, too. If it is necessary to cut a number of lines, to fit the story into the available space on a page or into the available time in a news bulletin, it is best if the least important facts are at the end. They can then be cut without harming the story.

It will be clear from this that the most important part of any news story is the intro and that intro writing is one of the most important skills of a journalist.

We shall look in detail in the next chapter at how to write the intro.

Source: https://www.thenewsmanual.net/Manuals%20Volume%201/volume1_03.htm
8
News Reporting / What is a journalist?
« Last post by Ratul.JMC on Yesterday at 10:32:02 PM »
Journalists work in many areas of life, finding and presenting information. However, for the purposes of this manual we define journalists principally as men and women who present that information as news to the audiences of newspapers, magazines, radio or television stations or the Internet.

What do journalists do?
Within these different media, there are specialist tasks for journalists. In large organisations, the journalists may specialise in only one task. In small organisations, each journalist may have to do many different tasks. Here are some of the jobs journalists do:

Reporters gather information and present it in a written or spoken form in news stories, feature articles or documentaries. Reporters may work on the staff of news organisations, but may also work freelance, writing stories for whoever pays them.
General reporters cover all sorts of news stories, but some journalists specialise in certain areas such as reporting sport, politics or agriculture.

Sub-editors take the stories written by reporters and put them into a form which suits the special needs of their particular newspaper, magazine, bulletin or web page. Sub-editors do not usually gather information themselves. Their job is to concentrate on how the story can best be presented to their audience. They are often called subs. The person in charge of them is called the chief sub-editor, usually shortened to chief sub.
Photojournalists use photographs to tell the news. .i.photojournalists;They either cover events with a reporter, taking photographs to illustrate the written story, or attend news events on their own, presenting both the pictures and a story or caption.
The editor is usually the person who makes the final decision about what is included in the newspaper, magazine or news bulletins. He or she is responsible for all the content and all the journalists. Editors may have deputies and assistants to help them.
The news editor is the person in charge of the news journalists. In small organisations, the news editor may make all the decisions about what stories to cover and who will do the work. In larger organisations, the news editor may have a deputy, often called the chief of staff, whose special job is to assign reporters to the stories selected.
Feature writers work for newspapers and magazines, writing longer stories which usually give background to the news. In small organisations the reporters themselves will write feature articles. The person in charge of features is usually called the features editor. Larger radio or television stations may have specialist staff producing current affairs programs - the broadcasting equivalent of the feature article. The person in charge of producing a particular current affairs program is usually called the producer and the person in charge of all the programs in that series is called the executive producer or EP.
Specialist writers may be employed to produce personal commentary columns or reviews of things such as books, films, art or performances. They are usually selected for their knowledge about certain subjects or their ability to write well. Again, small organisations may use general reporters for some or all of these tasks.
There are many other jobs which can be done by journalists. It is a career with many opportunities.

Why be a journalist?
People enter journalism for a variety of reasons but, money apart, there are four main motives:

The desire to write
Journalists are the major group of people in most developing countries who make their living from writing. Many young people who see themselves as future novelists choose journalism as a way of earning a living while developing their writing skills. Although writing for newspapers and writing for books require different qualities, the aspiration to be a great writer is not one to be discouraged in a would-be journalist.

The desire to be known
Most people want their work to be recognised by others. This helps to give it value. Some people also want to be recognised themselves, so that they have status in the eyes of society. It is not a bad motive to wish to be famous, but this must never become your main reason for being a journalist. You will not be a good journalist if you care more for impressing your audience than for serving their needs.

The desire to influence for good
Knowing the power of the printed or spoken word or image, especially in rural areas, some people enter journalism for the power it will give them to influence people. In many countries, a large number of politicians have backgrounds as journalists. It is open to question whether they are journalists who moved into politics or natural politicians who used journalism as a stepping stone.

There is a strong belief that journalists control the mass media but the best journalists recognise their role as servants of the people. They are the channels through which information flows and they are the interpreters of events. This recognition, paired with the desire to influence,   can    produce    good    campaigning journalists who see themselves as watchdogs for the ordinary man or woman. They are ready to champion the cause of the underdog and expose corruption and abuses of office. This is a vital role in any democratic process and should be equally valuable and welcome in countries where a non-democratic government guides or controls the press.
There is a difference between the desire to influence events for your own sake, and the desire to do it for other people. You should never use journalism for selfish ends, but you can use it to improve the life of other people - remembering that they may not always agree with you on what those improvements should be.
There is a strong tradition in western societies of the media being the so-called “Fourth Estate”. Traditionally the other three estates were the church, the aristocracy and the rest of society but nowadays the idea of the four estates is often defined as government, courts, clergy and the media, with the media – the “Fourth Estate” – acting as a balance and an advocate for ordinary citizens against possible abuses from the power and authority of the other three estates. This idea of journalists defending the rights of ordinary people is a common reason for young people entering the profession.

The desire for knowledge
Curiosity is a natural part of most people's characters and a vital ingredient for any journalist. Lots of young men and women enter the profession with the desire to know more about the world about them without needing to specialise in limited fields of study. Many critics accuse journalists of being shallow when in fact journalism, by its very nature, attracts people who are inquisitive about everything. Most journalists tend to know a little bit about a lot of things, rather than a lot about one subject.
Knowledge has many uses. It can simply help to make you a fuller and more interesting person. It can also give you power over people, especially people who do not possess that particular knowledge. Always bear in mind that power can be used in a positive way, to improve people's lives, or in a selfish way to advance yourself.

What does it take?
Most young men and women accepted into the profession possess at least one of the above desires from the start. But desires alone will not make a successful journalist. You need to cultivate certain special qualities and skills.

An interest in life
You must be interested in the world around you. You must want to find things out and share your discoveries with your readers or listeners - so you should have a broad range of interests. It will help if you already have a wide range of knowledge to build upon and are always prepared to learn something new.

Love of language
You cannot be a truly great journalist without having a deep love of language, written or spoken. You must understand the meaning and flow of words and take delight in using them. The difference between an ordinary news story and a great one is often not just the facts you include, but the way in which you tell those facts.
Journalists often have an important role in developing the language of a country, especially in countries which do not have a long history of written language. This places a special responsibility on you, because you may be setting the standards of language use in your country for future generations.
If you love language, you will take care of it and protect it from harm. You will not abuse grammar, you will always check spellings you are not sure of, and you will take every opportunity to develop your vocabulary.
The news story - the basic building block of journalism - requires a simple, uncomplicated writing style. This need for simplicity can frustrate new journalists, even though it is often more challenging to write simply than to be wordy. Once you have mastered the basic news story format, you can venture beyond its limits and start to develop a style of your own.
Do not be discouraged by a slow start. If you grow with your language you will love it all the more.

An alert and ordered mind
People trust journalists with facts, either the ones they give or the ones they receive. You must not be careless with them. All journalists must aim for accuracy. Without it you will lose trust, readers and ultimately your job.
The best way of ensuring accuracy is to develop a system of ordering facts in your mind. You should always have a notebook handy to record facts and comments, but your mind is the main tool. Keep it orderly.
You should also keep it alert. Never stop thinking - and use your imagination. This is not to say you should make things up: that is never permissible. But you should use your imagination to build up a mental picture of what people tell you. You must visualise the story. If you take care in structuring that picture and do not let go until it is clear, you will have ordered your facts in such a way that they can be easily retrieved when the time comes to write your story.
With plenty of experience and practice, you will develop a special awareness of what makes news. Sometimes called news sense, it is the ability to recognise information which will interest your audience or which provides clues to other stories. It is also the ability to sort through a mass of facts and opinions, recognising which are most important or interesting to your audience.
For example, a young reporter was sent to cover the wedding of a government minister. When he returned to the office, his chief of staff asked him for the story. "Sorry, chief," he replied. "There isn't a story - the bride never arrived." As his chief of staff quickly pointed out, when a bride does not turn up for a wedding, that is the news story. The young reporter had not thought about the relative importance of all the facts in this incident; he had no news sense.

A suspicious mind
People will give you information for all sorts of reasons, some justified, others not. You must be able to recognise occasions when people are not telling the truth. Sometimes people do it unknowingly, but you will still mislead your readers or listeners if you report them, whatever their motives. You must develop the ability to recognise when you are being given false information.
If you suspect you are being given inaccurate information or being told deliberate lies, do not let the matter rest there. Ask your informant more questions so that you can either satisfy yourself that the information is accurate or reveal the information for the lie that it is.

Determination
Some people call it aggressiveness, but we prefer the word determination. It is the ability to go out, find a story and hang on to it until you are satisfied you have it in full. Be like a dog with a bone - do not let go until you have got all the meat off, even if people try to pull it out of your mouth.
This means you often have to ask hard questions and risk upsetting people who do not want to co-operate. It may be painful but in the end you will gain their respect. So always be polite, however rude people may be. The rule is simple: be polite but persistent.
While you are hunting for your story, you may drive it away by being too aggressive. Sometimes you may have to approach a story with caution and cunning, until you are sure you have hold of it. Then you can start to chew on it.

Friendliness

You need to be able to get on well with all sorts of people. You cannot pick and choose who to interview in the same way as you choose who to have as a friend. You must be friendly to all, even those people you dislike. You can, of course, be friendly to someone without being their friend. If you are friendly to everyone, you will also be fair with everyone.

Reliability
This is a quality admired in any profession, but is especially valued in journalism where both your employer and your audience rely on you to do your job. If you are sent on an interview but fail to turn up you offend a number of people: the person who is waiting to be interviewed; your editor who is waiting to put the interview in his paper or program; your readers, listeners or viewers, who are robbed of news.

Even if you are late for an appointment, you will upset the schedules of both your interviewee and your newsroom and risk being refused next time you want a story. In a busy news organisation, punctuality is a necessity. Without it there would be chaos.

Source: https://www.thenewsmanual.net/Manuals%20Volume%201/volume1_02.htm
9
News Reporting / News and entertainment
« Last post by Ratul.JMC on Yesterday at 10:28:14 PM »
Most people agree that the purpose of the news media - newspapers, magazines, radio and television - is to inform, to educate and to entertain. However, the purpose of the news itself is to inform and to educate your readers, listeners or viewers.
The entertainment can come from other areas - music and drama programs on radio; cartoons and crossword puzzles in newspapers. It is not the job of news to entertain.
This does not mean that news should be dull. If a news event has an element of humour, you should always try to write the story in a way to amuse your readers or listeners.
Nevertheless, the news should only be reported if it is real news. Do not report non-news as if it was news only because the story is entertaining.
As you gain more experience, you may be able to write things which are purely entertaining - such as a humorous look at current events. This is not news, however, and should not be presented as if it was.
Make it clear to your readers or listeners what is news and what is not.

Source: https://www.thenewsmanual.net/Manuals%20Volume%201/volume1_01.htm#entertainment
10
News Reporting / Where does news come from?
« Last post by Ratul.JMC on Yesterday at 10:27:23 PM »

Now we know what makes news. The following are the main areas of life in which we expect frequently to find news stories. For each category below, think of at least one event or situation which could make a news story in your own society.

Conflicts: This category includes wars, strikes, revolutions, secessionist groups, tribal and clan fights, elections and the power battles of politics.

Disaster and tragedy: This may include air crashes, train crashes, ships sinking, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, or human tragedies like children falling down deep wells from which they cannot be rescued.

Progress and development: Development is always news in a developing country. The report should be always of how the changes affect people's lives, for better or for worse. New ideas or progress in one area may stimulate ideas in another. Development stories may include education, the development of new technology, improvement of farming techniques, road building and irrigation schemes. Citizens of more developed countries may also appreciate stories about developments in things which affect their lives or well-being, such as medical breakthroughs, new technologies or initiatives to make transport easier, quicker or cheaper.

Crime: Any crime can be news, whether it is a road traffic offence, break and enter, corruption, forgery, rape or murder - but more serious crimes or unusual crimes generally make bigger news stories.

Money: These stories include fortunes made and lost, school fees, taxes, the Budget, food prices, wage rises, economic crises and compensation claims.
It is not only large sums of money which make news; the little girl who gives her only ten cents to a huge fund-raising event is more interesting than the businessman who gives $100.

The underdog:
This is one of the great themes of literature and drama (David and Goliath, the Hare and the Tortoise, Cinderella). One traditional role of the journalist is to defend the rights of the little person - the soldier against the unjust officer, the innocent man against false charges, the poor against exploitation.

Religion: There are two types of religious news story. First, there are events involving people's religious lives, such as the building of a new church or a pilgrimage. Second, there are statements by religious leaders on moral and spiritual affairs, such as contraception or salvation. It is important for the journalist to be aware of the relative numerical strengths of Christianity, Islam and other religions - including traditional local beliefs - in his or her country. The importance of a statement by a religious leader in your society depends both upon the news value of what he has to say and upon the size of his following.

Famous people:
Prominent men and women make news. What people in the public eye do, the lives they lead and what they look like, are all of interest. It is especially newsworthy when they fall from power, lose their money or are involved in scandal.

Health:
Many people are concerned with their health, so they are interested in stories about traditional remedies, medical research, diseases, hospitals and clinics, drugs, diet and exercise.

Sex: All societies are interested in sex, even if they do not talk about it openly. Many news stories about sex involve behaviour which goes outside society's generally accepted standards.

Weather: The weather may affect the daily routine of people and is of interest when it behaves unusually, with exceptionally high or low temperatures, or exceptionally high or low rainfall.

Food and drink: The rich person plans feasts, the poor person wants enough to eat and drink. Shortages and gluts, crop diseases and harvest sizes, prices of food in the market or the launch of a new brand of beer - these all make news.

Entertainment:
Stories about music, dance, theatre, cinema and carving keep us informed of developments in the arts, who is doing what, who is performing where, and what it is worth going to see or hear.

Sport:
Many people participate in sport and many others are spectators. They all want to know sports results, news of sportsmen and sportswomen and their achievements.

Human interest:
There are often unusual and interesting aspects of other people's lives which are not particularly significant to society as a whole. Stories about these are called human interest stories. Examples might be a child going abroad for surgery; a pilot recovering from injuries received in an air crash and determined to fly again; or a man with a collection of a million picture postcards.

Source: https://www.thenewsmanual.net/Manuals%20Volume%201/volume1_01.htm#from
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