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204 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Inverted Pyramid
most important info is first, and the rest in descending order of importance
the one main point all news stories are based around

All quotes, facts and information should support the focus

Ask yourself what the story is about in one sentence. That is your focus
copy editors write headlines: they obtain key information fro the first few paragraphs
"hook" that tells the reader what the story's about
Lead Quote
First quote of the story

Usually supports the lead WITHOUT repeating it.

Usually the strongest quote of the story.
How does this news affect the readers? What is the significance of the story?
Tells the reader where you got your information

Attribute all quotes and information you did not witness

Common knowledge does not need to be attributed

Attribute any statement that expresses an opinion

Example: A smoky bar may be more harmful to your health than a city street filled with diesel truck fumes, according to a new study.
The focus sentence should tell the reader:
The main idea of the story in a brief sentence
A Nut Graph is:
The paragraph that states the main point or focus of a soft news (or feature) story, preferably by the third or fourth paragraph

format identical to a hard news lead; found deeper in story bc the reported wanted to lead with a more creative element
Does this require attribution?

Members of a local gay rights group protested Thursday in support of a gay University of Tampa student's efforts to take an Army ROTC class.
Does this require attribution?

Dieting doesn't work for the vast majority of people.
Does this require attribution?

City council members voted unanimously Thursday to increase city fines for prostitution.
Does this require attribution?

Alumni members of Skull and Bones, an all-male secret society at Yale University, have voted to admit women.
Does this require attribution?

A 40-year-old woman went berserk in her ex-boyfriend's apartment early Monday, shooting him to death with seven shots from two guns.
Does this require attribution?

Two leading figures in the growing national debate about political correctness on American college campuses will be at the University of South Florida in Tampa tonight.
Does this require attribution?

A York College sophmore died early yesterday after drinking at a dormitory party.
Ending/Ending Techniques
Endings usually contain one of these elements: future action, a statement/quote that summarizes but does not repeat previous information, or more elaboration

If future action is key information, place higher in the story

Proper ways to quote and attribute
Quotes should be interesting; bad quotes bog a story down

Quotes should not repeat information

Long quotes are usually not interesting. Reporters should paraphrase information when they can state it better in their own words

Good quotes advance the story by adding emotion or interest
The FORK method
 F – Focus
 O – Order
 R – Repetition of Key Words
 K – “Kiss Off” (stop using a source)
 Information in one paragraph should raise a question that needs to be answered in the next
 Use cause and effect (anticipate questions the reader might have)
 To introduce a new speaker after a previous speaker, identify the new person by name and title
 To insert background, use phrases such as “previously”, “in the past”, or “two weeks ago”
 To get from one point to another, use phrases like “in another matter” or “on a related issue”
 Words or phrases can be repeated in subsequent paragraphs to aid flow
Wall Street Journal Formula
 Starts with soft news/feature lead
 Unlike the inverted pyramid, the story progresses from specific to general information, starting with a person, place, scene or event that illustrates the main point of the story
 Person, place, scene or event is one of many affected by the issue presented in the nut graph that follows the soft lead
 After the nut graph, the story proceeds to backup information and supporting points
 Often concludes with a circle kicker
 Versatile formula used for news and feature stories
Hourglass Structure
 Starts with the inverted pyramid, but leads to a chronological storytelling of the event for a part or rest of the story
 Hourglass structure is useful when the story has dramatic action that lends itself to chronological order (e.g., crime and disaster stories)
 Overview attribution often needed (see example on next slide)
 Advantage: Narrative adds drama to the story
 Disadvantage: Key information may be repeated
List Technique
 Useful in stories when you have several important points to stress
 Works well for stories about studies, meetings, or feature stories about people or programs that contain several key points
 Offset with bullets (just like all my slide shows)
 Each bullet should be a separate paragraph
 “In other business” or similar transition useful
 Do not use list technique to make only one point; use two bullets or more
Sections Technique
 Separate the story into sections
 Useful for in-depth stories
 Treat each section like a separate chapter. All sections should include a lead and a conclusion that compels readers to continue
 Organize by points of view or time frames (present, past, present, future)
 Nut graphs important when using soft news leads
Soft Leads
Also called "feature leads" or a "delayed lead"

Teases the reader with descriptions or a storytelling approach

Generally longer than hard-news leads; sometimes several paragraphs in length


THe only diff. between a nut graph and a hard news lead is its locationin the story

Can be clever/catchy, avoid cliches
Narrative Leads
tells a story w/ enough dramatic action so readers can feel they are witnessing the event

uses elements of fiction, such as dialogue, scene, setting and foreshadowing

only work is the stroy is dramatic enough to sustain reader interest
Leads to Avoid
Good news/Bad news leads

Plop-a-person leads: misuse of the focus ona person lead

Weather-report leads

Nightmare leads- nightmare analogy

Crystal Ball leads

stereotype leads
Hard News Lead

a.k.a Summary Leads
Summarizes in the first sentence what the story is about

usually only 1 or 2 sentences long

gets directly to the point

stresses basic facts about news in the IMMEDIATE PAST

usually written in the past tense

good for serious stories
Fact vs. opinion
Observe facts and details but do not express your opinion

all opinions/judgments must be attributed

good writers let reader form own opinion
Active Voice
preferable in print and broadcast

stresses who is doing the action

It’s considered to be a more powerful and straightforward form of expression. The active voice also uses less words to convey the same message.

IE: The twister left a path of destruction.
Passive Voice
Stresses those whom the action is done

Usually only used for police or court stories

IE: A path of destruction was left by the twister.

James was chosen by Kathy to be her assistant
Delayed Identification
Use when the "who" in your lead is not a well-known person in your community/nation

ID by: age, location, occupation or modifier story

reveal specific names and info later
Impact Lead
Explains how readers and viewers will be affected by an issue

Good for broadcast stories

Can make story seem relevant

Answers "so what?"

can be written in hard-news or soft format
Attribution in Leads
Tells your readers where you got your info

Too much can clutter lead

Dont need to attribute if you know info is factual, you witnessed it, or have 1st hand knowledge that it's true

attribute quotes, partial quotes, accusatory statements, and secondhand info
Using a series of pictures to tell the story
Basic Shots
The close up

The medium or mid shot

The wide shot
Picture Motions
Pan: moving the focus from left to right or vice versa

Zoom: moving from a wide or medium shot to a close up

Pullback or reveal: moving from a close up to a medium or wide shot
Stand Up
When the reporter appears on camera

Create on-air presence and provide credibility by showing the reporter is on the scene
The act of reviewing visual material and sound bites before writing

log should include a description of the image and the exact time of the picture and tape
Broadcast writing/tips
Write in conversational tone

simple and direct sentences

most stories 250 words on avg

Choose words wisely some description not necessary because its video
Broadcast Writing/Tips
beginning: build your lead around a visual that foreshadows, middle usually no more than 3-5 visual points

use natural sound, people engaged in action, surprises and short sound bites

ending: make viewers care about the story
Broadcast Writing/Tips
Use present tense whenever possible

put attribution FIRST

use action verbs

spell difficult pronunciations of names and locations phonetically

ID the speaker by title BEFORE their name
Broadcast Writing/Tips
Write out hundred, thousand, etc

Write numbers to be read IE 15-hundred

Spell out fractions
An anchor’s introduction to a broadcast story is called a ________?
Lead In
This type of journalism, exemplified by Hunter S. Thompson, mixes factual events into a fictional tale. Events are exaggerated, style is favored over accuracy, and features the reporter as part of the story?
Gonzo journalism

Journalists have access to public records such as police reports, real estate records, court rulings, county government expenses, military records, local ordinances, and city expenses?
Which of the following is the best hard news lead?

1. Two boaters were killed Sunday when their small boat capsized in high winds and waves on Lake Harney.

2. On Lake Harney a small boat capsized Sunday in high winds and waves, causing the death of two boaters.

3. A small boat that capsized in high winds and waves on Lake Harney caused the death of two boaters.

4. High winds and waves on Lake Harney caused a small boat to capsize Sunday, killing two boaters.

5. On Sunday two boaters were killed when their small boat capsized in high winds and waves on Lake Harney.
Two boaters were killed Sunday when their small boat capsized in high winds and waves on Lake Harney.
T/F: News releases should be written in the style of news stories.
T/F – Full quotes as leads are often awkward and difficult to understand.
T/F: The following is written in the active voice:

A fire in a split-level house in Hillsmere Shores was started by a pet iguana that knocked over a heat lamp with its tail, fire officials said.
Which of the following stories was NOT written by Hunter S. Thompson?

The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved

2. In Cold Blood

3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

4. Strange Rumblings in the Aztlan
In Cold Blood
T/F If you obtain information “off the record”, it may still be used as unattributed background information.
T/F: When using a tape recorder during an interview, it is recommended that you do not take notes as well.
T/F: If your material does not support the lead, you’ve got the wrong lead.
T/F: Newspaper leads are usually written in the past tense.
T/F: Soft leads are most often employed for breaking news stories.
T/F – You don’t need to attribute partial quotes.
T/F: Television broadcast news stories are written in two columns. Visual information is contained in the left column; audio information is contained on the right.
This author is credited with terming the phrase New Journalism. He wrote The Electric Acid Kool-Aid Test and The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby.
Tom Wolfe
T/F: You can obtain any unclassified document through the Freedom of Information Act.

The Freedom of Information Act only applies to federal documents.
T/F: The passive voice is usually only used for police or court stories in print journalism.
T/F: Soft leads are usually longer than hard-news leads.
T/F: Newspapers publish information from every news release they receive.
T/F: The act of chronicling visual material and sound bites before writing a broadcast story is called logging.
When a broadcast reporter does a piece on camera it is called:
The Stand-Up
T/F – It is appropriate to spell difficult names and locations phonetically on broadcast news scripts.
T/F: News releases should always lead with information about the company/organization hosting the event.
T/F: Hard news leads are usually only one or two sentences long.
Which of the following is NOT used when using delayed identification:





When a broadcast journalist uses a series of pictures to tell part of a story, it is called:
T/F – If you were writing a broadcast news report, the following sentence would be appropriate:

Today in Washington DC, 100,000 people protested the war in Iraq.

Numbers are written out.
A broadcast story that includes narration, sound bites and images is called a:
T/F – Attribution should always come first in a broadcast news story.
The target audience for a news release is:
Which of the following is NOT one of the four characteristics of new journalism:

1. 1st person point-of-view

2. Recording everyday details

3. Full dialogue instead of quotes

4. Telling the story through scenes rather than historical narrative

5. Written in short, concise sentences
5. Written in short, concise sentences
Which of the following is NOT a good note-taking tip?

1. Write everything down verbatim

2. Develop a short hand

3. Pause between questions

4. Ask unimportant questions while writing quotes

5. List the interviewees name and title, then write your interview notes underneath
1. Write everything down verbatim.
T/F: Public Service Announcements run on TV or radio without charge, provided that the messages are both noncommercial and nonpolitical in content.
T/F: You always want to use a person’s name in the lead of a story.
False, Only use specific names when writing about famous people.
T/F – In broadcast news, you always want to use the past tense.
False, use present tense whenever possible.
When arranging interviews, the act of getting someone who knows and trusts you to recommend you to a news source is referred to as:
T/F: In broadcast news, the time element (never p.m. or a.m.) is placed before the verb.
False, it is places after the verb.
T/F – The silent treatment can be helpful when confronted with generic answers during an interview.
T/F: It is illegal to secretly tape phone conversations in which you are not involved.
News releases need to contain all of the following except:

1. SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope)

2. Company's Name and Address

3. Contact Information

4. Release date

5. The issue date of the release
1. SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope)
T/F: Broadcast interviewers should ask questions that begin with the words “Is” and “Do.”
False, Those type of questions often result in yes and no answers. Broadcast journalists use questions that elicit sound bites.
T/F: Broadcast stories are often wordier than newspaper stories.
T/F – Attribution should always come first in a broadcast news story.
T/F: Where, when and who are often the most common elements stressed in a broadcast news story lead?
What is the subject of "Strange Rumblings in the Aztlan?"
Hunter's investigation of the death of a Chicano journalist
"Strange Rumblings in the Aztlan" chronicled the death of this journalis
Ruben Salazar
When publishing news to the web, you should do all of the following EXCEPT:

1. Place a date on the page to show when the material was updated

2. Use color backgrounds

3. Select a page size

4. Make sure users can navigate where they want to go
use color background
The act of citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information is referred to as:
Citizen Journalism
When interviewing by e-mail, you should do all of the following EXCEPT:

1. Ask as many questions as possible

2. Keep your questions short.

3. Limit follow-up e-mails

4. Not depend on e-mails for deadline stories
1. Ask as many questions as possible
T/F: The headline, blurb and lead of an online news story should never be repetitious.
False, It might be useful if they are. It helps readers know they have accessed the correct story.
To take material from your computer and place it on the Web, you must have a _____________.
File Transfer Protocol
A ______ in online journalism is used to promote a news story in a few sentences or less. To write these, many news sites simply copy the story's summary lead or nut graph and use that.
The word "you" works better online than in traditional print stories.
T/F: Sometimes you may use a vague reference to identify an anonymous source.
T/F – It is okay to ask the interviewee to repeat themselves during an interview.
T/F When using a pseudonym, it is recommended you only use a first name.
T/F – Closed-ended questions should be used to elicit quotes, elaboration and longer responses.
T/F: The 1st Amendment protects journalists from being sued if they break promises of confidentially.
T/F – It’s best to start your interview with a tough question.
T/F If you obtain information “off the record”, it may still be used as unattributed background information.
on radio, recorder comments from a news source
personwho reads news from studio
exact time in newscast that a segment will air
short news story
character generator
a computer that produces superimposed numbers or words CG
in the studio, a brief anchor segment that includes narration followed by asound bite, with more narration
indicates the beginning of the source's quote to start a sound bite
lower third
computer generated graphic that IDs an individual by name and title
News director
the person who oversees news operation at a station
indicated the last words of a source's quote
oversees the broadcast or the individual package in the field
story that the anchor reads without visuals or sound bites
rip and read
copy from the wire services that is read verbatim
segment time
length of time for a news segment
standard out cue

reporter's sign off comments at the end of the stroy
sound on tape

a sound bite indicated in copy along with the amount of time the taped comments will take
sound bite
video sement showing a source speaking
video on demand
VOD that is available for downloading
VO voiceover
voice over images
radio version of a reader that is read by the reporter
A nut graph is used in what kind of story?
Feature story
What kind of endings should you avoid in a news story?
summary endings
Of which elements should a news story at least contain one of?
future action,

a statement/quote that summarizes but does not repeat previous info

more elaboration
Do you attribute information you paraphrase?
Do you attribute facts that are on the record or general knowledge?
Do you attribute information you observe directly?
Do you attribute background info established in previous stories about the same subject?
Do you attribute info if it is accusatory, opinionates and not substained and if you did not witness it?
Is the following sentence written correctly:

"It was a boring night in the library," according to Vanessa Terrell.
No, AP prefers the place of "said" after the name or pronoun

Only use "according to" when referring to inanimate objects, not people
Is the following sentence written correctly:

"I am giving you a test Friday," says Mr. Carr.
No, it should be "said".

Only use "says" if someone always says the same thing/
Do NOT use specific names in the lead UNLESS:
THe person is famous

or you are writing a soft news or feature story
How should you write numbers in a news story?
Numbers one through nine are generally spelled out.

10 and higher are written numerically.

$1 million like this
How should you write dates in a news story?
Dates don't need to be included unless reporting on the past. ("last night" instead of "January 23, 2009"
Can you ask questions in a news story?
No. Don't ask questions, answer them. Convert questions into factual statements.
T/F: The first words of your lead can be the "when".
F, Time element is not the most important info, the fatalities or occurence is. Lead your lead with the most important information.
Where should your focus point be located in soft news?
in the nut graph
Where should your focal point be located in a hard news story?
The lead
What is a transition technique to introduce a new speaker?
To introduce a new speaker after a previous speaker, identify the new person by name and title
What is a transition technique to insert background information?
To insert background info use phrases such as "previously" "in the past" or "two weeks ago"
What is a transition technique to get from one point to another?
use phrases like "in another matter" or "on a related issue"
Transition techniques
Info in one paragraph should raise a question that needs to be answered in the next

Use cause and effect
What is the concept that gives your story meaning?

Develop a theme for your story

Theme is why readers want to read your story, not the nut graph required by many editors
Descriptive Techniques
Too much info clutters the story//too little leaves unanswered questions

description should always advance the meaning of your story

never use it to show off

never use more words than needed to trigger mental image readers already have in their mind
What should you avoid in descriptive techniques?
Avoid adjectives/adverbs. use vivd nouns and verbs instead.

Adjectives put you at risk of insterting your opinion
Analogies as a descriptive technique
use analogies -- they can compare a vague concept to something familar to readers

use "like" or "as"
A technique that combins show-in-action description, dialogue, plot and reconstruction of an event as it occured
Narrative technique

Attribution is limited.

You need to make it clear where you got the info- but you dont need to attribute repeatedly

Its not fiction - stick to the facts

get details about color, sounds, sights, smells, sizes, shapes , times, places etc
Tone and foreshadowing are elements used in what writing technique?

dont tell the readers how they should feel, show them
What are elements every story should have?
Focus: central theme

Lead and nut graph: what is the point?

history: how did the problem develop?

scope: how widespread is the development?

reasons: why is it happening?

impact: who is affected and how?

moves and countermoves: who is acting to promote or oppose development?

future: what could happen as a result?
What is this form of narrative storytelling?

stories about people who are doing interesting or unusual things in your community
human-interest profile
What is this form of narrative storytelling?

stories written like novels in chapter form; well suited for the internet
serial narratives
Ending techniques
Climax: fiction-like ending; more suited for features/soft news stories

Out of gas endings: story ends when you have no more to say; used frequently with hard news stories
Which ending technique is this?

article reintroduces information from the lead to end of the story. its popular in soft news stories
Circle kicker
Which ending technique is this?

most common ending; using the quote that sums up the mood or main idea of the story
Quote kicker
Which ending technique is this?
story concludes with the next step in the development of an issue
Future action kicker
Descriptive leads
describes a person, place or event, though unlike the Wall Street Journal formula, it doesnt have to focus on a person who is one of many
giving clips you have written to a source in hopes tehy will agree to talk to you
asking the source who else might know something about the subject.

this helps you find opposing poitns of view
Is information off the record used for attribution?
no, can be used as background info but not attributed
Email interviews
limit number of ?'s (max 5)

clarify your purpose (for a story)

varify sources full name and title

limit your follow up emails
Telephone interviews
work harder to keep sources attention

keep questions short

ask for details and specifics

limit number of questions

dont wait too long to ask essential questions
What is the major difference between public relations writing and journalism?
Public relations practitioners are advocates for their clients
News releases
target editor as your audience

should peak curiosity

double space

2 pgs max
Essential elements of a news release
company address


date of release

date when release can be published

send early

get to the point quickly
Public Service Announcement
messages the TV or radio will air without charge provided the message's content is not political or commercial

15 seconds to a minute

Media Kits
used to promote corporate products

often in decorative folders containing a variety of news releases, fact sheets, samples and cover letter
Corporate Publications
state your position in an analytical way

key factor is know your audience

power structures affect communication

instead of informing, create attitudes or actions
Broadcast interview techniques
ask "how" "what" "describe" or "tell me what happened"

obtain proper spelling of names
Stand ups are good for what instances?
live opening to introduce a taped report

a bridge that provides transition

stand-up closing
Broadcast scripts

written in two columns:

visual info for director and editor is found in left

audio cues are placed in right

radio scripts are one column
(in broadcast writing) a few words or sentence to entice a listener to stay tuned during advertisements
Web journalism
articles need to be shorter, more direct and concise

good for availability and immediacy of info
Reporting for the web
does not differ significantly from reporting for other media except that you have to gather material in a variety of media

you have to get info on audio or provide video and photographs
E-mail reporting
useful, but not dependable for deadline stories

request face-to-face interview before resorting to it

cant determine authenticity
possible components of a web story
headline, summary, main story (1 or multiple pgs), breaking news, links to related stories, time lines, short bios of sources, full text speeches, etc, photos, audio/video, searchable databases, interactive elements, polls, games or quizzes, discussion forum, email link to reporter
Web story structure
get to point quickly (within 50w)

favor inverted pyramid

timelines help scan webstories
In a webstory, can a headline, blurb and lead be repetetive?
Yes, it helps the reader know they have accessed the correct story
Do lists help in webstories?
yes, they help break up the text and help readers scan the stories quickly
web story structure
Q/A format good alternative (needs intro)

narrative writing is compelling online (split into pgs w/ cliffhanging endings to entice continuation)
What are the most important factors of a webstory?
headlines blurbs and briefs

clarity is crucial, and need to capture attention
can stand alone in place of story

can be a few paragraphs (longer than blurb)

generally repeat lead in first few paragraphs
What can serve as the equivalent of the editorial page of a newspaper?
provide opinions and commentary

podcasts are audio equivalent
the publication of a falsity that causes injury to someone's reputation
oral or spoken defamation
what is accuracy critial in media law?
because the truth is a defense in libel suits
Times v. Sullivan
Sullivan claimed a civil rights advertisement contained factual errors concerning the police and damaged his reputation
What was the Supreme Courts ruling in Times v. Sullivan?
damages could not be claimed unless its proved "that the statement was made with 'actual malice' (knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not)

it only applied to people who are public officials; later broadened to include public figures

court placed the burden of proving libel on the person who is suing
What type of public figure is the following?

person who has gained prominence in society or great power and influence (actors, athletes, etc)
What type of public figure is the following?

A person who has voluntarily thrust themself into a public controversy to influence the outcome
What type of public figure is the following?

someone who does nothing voluntary to garner attention or get involved in a public issue (rare in libel suits)
term that means you failed to exercise reasonable care in performing your job as a journalist (avoided by taking all sides of controversy, accurate notes, checking info before publishign)
dont prevent libel suits

more common cause of lawsuits is carelessness

"alleged" doesnt save you

vague accusations can get you sued
What type of privaledge is the following?

pubic officials can make statements in the cource of their official duties without fear of being sued for libel
Absolute privaledge
What type of privaledge is the following?

the media may print defamatory statements made by people who are absolutely privaledged as long as they are being fair and accurate and the info is from a public proceeding or record
Qualified privaledge
What is the key to privaledge?
the defamatory statement must be made in an official capacity duing an official proceeding

never call someone a murderer unliess they have been convicted
What is the right of fair comment?
protection from being sued because your statement was expressed as opinion not factual (editorials, analysis stories, reviews and other critism may express opinions)
4 forms of invasion of privacy
intrusion, disclosure of private facts, false light, and misappropriation
False light
if the story gives a false impression or is embarrassing to the person.
is it ok to lie about your identity to sources?
Ethical reasoning
define the dilemma: consider all the problems the story or photo will pose

examine all alternatives: publish, not publish, wait for more info, etc.

justify your decision: weigh the harms and benefits of publication