Anna McKane's News Writing is a pioneering book dealing exclusively with the all-important craft of writing news stories. The ability to write a good news story is the starting point for all young journalists' careers.

The book deals fully with all aspects of writing news, including how to write a good intro, or first paragraph; how to order the information and assemble a winning story; and what language to use. It provides a step-by-step guide to constructing a story, with good and bad examples, and a detailed analysis of style, language, and grammar. There are checklists to help inexperienced writers to measure their work.

The book is written in a clear and practical way and provides guidance for students and trainee journalists to enable them to write everything from a snappy short agency-style news story to a more reflective piece appropriate for a quirky news item. It will be invaluable for trainee and student journalists at every level from first year undergraduate to graduate courses. It is also likely to be of benefit to the many amateur journalists writing local or society newsletters.

The Language of News 1: Choosing the Right Words

The Language of News 1: Choosing the Right Words

The language of news 1: Choosing the right words

Choosing the right word is central to success in any kind of writing, and is probably the most complicated subject to work on with student journalists. It is essential to avoid wordiness (see next chapter) but the more pedestrian the language is, the more boring the story is. It is hard to strike the right balance between the direct language of speech, while keeping enough interesting words to make the story lively.

Geoff Roberts, my sixth form English teacher, was fond of this example from Keats's poem The Eve of St Agnes:

Full on this casement shone the wintry moon,

And threw warm gules on Madeline's fair breast,

As down she knelt ...

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