Five tips for writing like a journalist!
Writer and journalist have one thing in common: they both know how to effectively tell a story!
In fact, if you want to be a successful writer, you might have to become a journalist first.
H.P. Lovecraft, Maya Angelou, Ernest Hemingway, George Sand, Charles Dickens, Dorothy Parker, Neil Gaiman, Ian Fleming, and Jack London – many great writers spent their foundational years working as a journalist.
Journalists and writers share plenty of qualities, such as they both are good with words, blessed with investigative skills, thorough knowledge and effective communication skills.
A journalist’s job is to tell stories – truthful, compelling and relevant stories. And to do this, journalists use a set of writing techniques that they learnt at college and have been practising for years.
The same techniques a journalist uses to craft a news report can be applied to any form of writing, including academic writing, novel, story-telling, or blogging. So whether you want to be a writer, blogger, copy-writer, novelist or aspiring reporter, learning how to write like a journalist would surely make you better at telling stories.
But what is journalistic writing exactly?
According to law essay writing help, journalistic writing refers to a writing style used in a news organization to report on a story. A news story contains plenty of information, starting with the main points at the top of the webpage/ paper. These reports usually follow a particular set of formatting and writing rules, such as the Associated Press style (a.k.a AP style). Since television and radio no longer remained the primary source of news, journalists now started writing for various online media platforms, podcast and digital sites.
Five tips for writing like a journalist:
Journalists follow a specific formula while crafting their stories. You can use the same formula for writing an essay, research paper, novel, blog or any type of writing piece. It’s just the way of assembling and phrasing information that makes sense to the readers. Follow these five tips for articulating stories like a journalist:
Get hands-on all the information you can get for constructing your story. Just like a journalist, you might have to visit the place, gather pieces of important information, interviewing witnesses and people involved in that particular event, and using search engines to gather information. For fiction writing, you still have to collect the information about where a sequence takes place and learn about their culture, people, traditions, and all the relevant details that can help you craft a compelling story.
Choose your viewpoint
Every news story consists of a viewpoint– a specific theme, and the story’s highlight that makes it significant. A political piece will have a different viewpoint than a human interest story. Journalist often reveals their viewpoint at the beginning of their stories. When writing your price, pick up a viewpoint and present it in the starting paragraph, chapter, or page.
Write a compelling lede:
The opening paragraph and sentences of a news story are called a lede. It goes without saying that every story needs a kick-ass opening! The lede of a news story conveys the important information by addressing the five W’s and 1H: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How? These are basically the pillars of a good story. Whether you’re writing an argumentative piece, a marketing copy, or a technical article, it’s important that you hook your readers from the beginning!
Lay down information in a proper structure:
Have you heard of an inverted pyramid? It’s basically a technique where journalists present information in order of importance, with the most important piece of information coming at the beginning of the story. The important details should be written at the top. The next section is dedicated to the supporting details of the story and the bottom section for the extra details that might interest the readers.
Even in fiction writing, you must begin your story by answering 5W’s and 1 H – what, why, when, where, who, and how – so that your readers would know what the story is all about.
A good news report usually consists of quotes and interviews of the people involved in the story. It offers unique and first-hand perspectives of the people involved while keeping the reporter an external observer – quite like how the third-person point of view is used in different narratives and short stories. For non-fiction writing, you can use quotes to produce a well-informed piece. As far as fiction writing is concerned, quotations are used in dialogues between the characters.
Write simple and straightforward:
Journalists use simple and short sentences to report a story. They prefer writing in active voice rather than passive, as passive sentences can make writing complicated and readers confused. Whereas active sentences are direct and help improve the readability of a writing piece.
With these tips, you’re ready to become a journalist – or perhaps able to write like one!