writing for mass media midterm basic

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lead
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first sentence or paragraph of a story 5w’s who, what, when, where, why, the how
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nut graph
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an explanatory paragraph near the top of the story that summarizes what the story is about or tells readers why they should care
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paraphrase
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an indirect quote that summarizes in your own words what someone else said
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direct quote
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exact words of an author or speaker
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byline
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the reporter’s name often followed by credentials
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headline
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the big type, written by copy editors that summarizes the story
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caption or cutline
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information about the photo is often collected by photographers but written by copy editors or reporters.
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liftout or pull quote
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a quotation from the story that’s give special graphic emphasis
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info graphic
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informational graphics, maps, charts, lists, diagrams, timelines, that display key facts from a story in a visual way
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quality of news
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impact: immediacy: proximity: prominence: novelty: conflict: emotions:
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plagiarism
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elements of a good quote
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courtesy titles
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anonymous sources
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sources that cannot be depicted
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ways to find story ideas
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breaking news, events, feature stories
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planning an interview, what to do before during & after
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planning: do homework, think through story, determine best way to interview sources, set up interview, when/where, ask if photos are okay before: continue research; organize questions; prioritize; rehearse your interview with friend; be on time; dress appropriately during: relax; you’re in charge; start with basics; budge time; begin with softball questions; focus on questions; keep it simple; dont use ques imited to yes; make sure all questions are answered; rephrase questions; ask follow up questions; ask ppl to slow down; use silence; dont take sides after: review notes before ending session; ask permission to call back later; say thank you
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pros & cons of interviewing with tape records, email & in person
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in person advantage – best way to get sources to cooperate – you can pick up cues -you are taken more seriously disadvantage -you can waste time setting up -distractions -could be awkward phone advantage -fast efficient -sources arent as intimidated -can occur anytime/anywhere disadvantage -impersonal -difficult to record phone convo -more likely to mishear or misquote by email advantage -give sources time to think about questions -offers flexibility disadvantage -no personal interaction -lag time between questions -not as much credibility
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inverted pyramid; the martini glass; the kabob
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inverted:things get summed up at the beginning, start with the strongest then add additional facts; best for breaking news stories martini glass: (hourglass) begins with the inverted pyramid summary then shifts to a chronological narrative and if possible ends with a stronger kicker a surprise twist; best for crimes, disasters, or other dramatic news stories kabob: (the circle/wallsteet journal formula) begins with a quote or anecdote about a specific person then it broadens into a general discussion of the topic then it ends by returning to that specific person again; best for stories on trends or events where you want to show how actual people are affected
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types of leads
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basic news leads anecdotal/narrative leads scene-setter leads direct address leads blind leads roundup leads the startling statement wordplay leads
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basic news leads
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-summary lead: combines 5 w’s -delayed identification lead:withholds a significant piece of info until 2nd paragraph (name) -immediate identification lead
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anecdotal/narrative leads
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some stories unfold slowly as the writer eases into the topic
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scene-setter leads
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usually for long feature stories…they are descriptive
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direct address leads
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feature stories may use second-person voice to speak directly to you, the reader
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blind leads
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extreme versions of the delayed id leads…you deliberately tease readers by withholding info
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the startling statement
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it grabs your attention…we dare you to try to stop reading
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roundup leads
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instead of focusing on one person, place, or thing you want to impress the reader with a longer list
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wordplay leads
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catch-all category encompasses a wide range of amusing leads including bad puns
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lazy leads that should be avoided
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topic leads: not enough to state that a game was played question leads: get to the point; no questions quote leads: quote may not fairly summarize the story
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on the record, off the record, on background & deep background
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on the record: you can use the info, id the source, run actual quotes off the record: you can’t do any of the above on background: you can use info & run quotes but cannot id person on deep background: you can use the info
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active vs passive voice
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active: betty eats cake passive: the cake was eaten by betty
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diversity in sources
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to reflect entire community
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giving voice to the voiceless
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through diversity everyone can be heard

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