Journalism Tips

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Journalism Tips


When did this start? Who started it? What are the pivotal events on a timeline?


What is the extent of the problem? How many people are affected? How much money is at stake?

3.Central reasons.

Why is this happening? What are the economic, social or political forces that created it, influence it, threaten it?


“Who is helped or hurt by this,” Blundell said, “and to what extent and what’s their emotional response to it?”

5.Gathering and action of contrary forces.

“If this is going on, is somebody trying to do anything about it, and how is that working out?” Blundell said.

6.The future.

“If this stuff keeps up,” he said, “what are things going to look like five or 10 years from now, in the eyes of the people who are directly involved?

Journalism Dos and Don’ts

1. Consider your topic

Is is newsworthy?

Is it controversial or in some way interesting?

Is there new information? Update?

Is it unique?

2. Sources and attribution


Expert opinion — not your opinion

If you do research and have the facts and figures, write where they came from

With research papers, you have footnotes and bibliography; with journalism, you integrate the sources into your story

3. Keep active voice

NO: Albany is ranked 54th among the 327 most dangerous cities in America, based on FBI data.

YES: The FBI ranks …

4. Believe and Feel

As a journalist, you write what people say or do or report. You don’t know what or how people believe or feel, only what they SAY they believe or feel.

5. Hyphens for compound modifiers

30-day trial

three-round format

6. Numbers

AP style: numerals if 10 or higher (unless starting a sentence); numerals for ages

7. Time

1 p.m. (NOT 1:00 PM)

midnight (NOT 12 a.m.)

noon (NOT 12 p.m.)

8. Keep punctuation inside quotes (,”)

9. Very

Don’t use this word. It’s an adverb that modifies an adjective. If the adjective needs “very,” you need to use a different and better adjective. “Very” is overused and has lost its effectiveness.

10. Editorial/commentary

Avoid I, me, my, us, our, we

Don’t use “seems” (a concluding word)

Build a strong case and let the readers come to the intended conclusion on their own

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