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Writing for the Mass Media now an all-digital offering from Pearson

Writing for the Mass Media, now in its ninth edition and in print since 1985, is now being offered by Pearson, the publisher, in a digital edition that downloads to all formats and devices. This book, which is used as a textbook for courses in about 200 colleges and universities each year, is one of […]

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Advice to young Tommy Wilson: load your sentences like a rifle, not a shotgun

The advice given to a future president by his father about forming sentences gives us a picturesque metaphor for good writing.

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Writing for the Mass Media used in 180+ schools in 2013

Here’s where Writing for the Mass Media, now in its eighth edition, was used as a textbook in 2013.

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Richard Ben Cramer

A journalist needs something to write about: Richard Ben Cramer, Alex Rodriguez and the book that did not get written

In 2006 Cramer sold both his publisher and his subject on a book about Alex Rodriguez, the star of the New York Yankees who was recently banned for a year by Major League Baseball for taking banned substances. The book had the title, The Importance of Being Alex: A Life with the Yankees. He had […]

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Francis P. Church

Yes, Virginia: the world’s most beloved editorial

Here’s the story of a little girl’s letter that sparked an editorial that become eternal: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

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Writing good tags should be part of the journalist’s writing process

At minimum, tags should include • all of the proper names and places referred to in your story; • major ideas and concepts of the subject of the story: • important actions and processes referred to in the story.

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Jonathan Swift, writer ‘to the vulgar’

Jonathan Swift wanted his writing to be “understood by the meanest.” It’s the standard we want our journalism students to shoot for.

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7 reasons why you should encourage your students to tweet your lectures

Some professors ban laptops, tablets and smart phones from their classrooms, seeing them as distractions for their students. Instead, they should welcome them as tools for engagement.

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Newswriting in the near future

The speed of the Internet and the World Wide Web in disseminating information has forced editors and journalists to rethink the way they present news and the structure of writing.

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Teaching AP style: some high school teachers weigh in

Some high school teachers tell how they teach AP style to their students. And here’s what adherence to style brings to your writing:

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Texting and grammar:

r u goin 2 c her 2-nit Strict grammarians (I don’t count myself in those ranks) believe that text messaging will kill off good grammar, spelling and punctuation. (Unless it literally kills us first, since many text messages are sent and received from behind the wheel of vehicles at 45-plus mph.) But before we don […]

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Avoid the exclamation mark! (audio)

Deeply into the process of revising the eighth edition of Writing for the Mass Media into the ninth edition, I have just composed the following paragraph on exclamation marks. Listen to the audio below and read more by clicking on the headline above.

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Writing for the Mass Media – 9th edition

Writing for the Mass Media will be a new edition — its 9th — next year. The new edition will maintain the same chapter outline (with some minor adjustments) as the 8th edition, but the material in the book will be expanded and updated. This new edition will be more closely tied to the book’s […]

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NYT article demonstrated the power of radio – and a radio station

KMOX-AM in St. Louis has been broadcasting the St. Louis Cardinals baseball games (with a short interruption a few years ago) since 1926. The station is a powerful one — 50,000 watts — and spreads itself throughout the country when night falls and AM stations have their maximum reach. That fact has, over the years, […]

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Inverted pyramid checklist

Before giving you the checklist, we encourage readers to play slots baby whenever you feel bored. They offer many kinds of games from poker, slots, jackpots and many more. So let’s go back. When you write an inverted pyramid news story, use the following checklist to make sure that you have done it correctly. Information […]

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Reading on the web – and writing for it

Jakob Nielsen and his group analyzed 1.5 million eye-tracking fixations, and they found that users focus in on sentences and paragraphs where they can get the information they want.

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MC 102: Thoughts on accuracy

One of the four tenants of media writing is accuracy (the other three: completeness, precision and efficiency), and we say that accuracy is primary. But media professionals don’t always achieve accuracy. And inaccuracy can arise in places where we least expect it.

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Mugsy Cliché: a parable

________________________________________ Subtitle: Ya don’ wanna get within no ten-foot pole of dat place, lemme tell ya ________________________________________ The tragic tale of our intrepid hero Don Vito Scripto, notorious mobster, who orders a hit on one-time protege turned dirty rat Mugsy Cliché

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MC 102 Lecture 3: Writing in the Media Environment

Professional writers need to learn what it is to write in the media environment. This “environment” is not just a place — although it is often that, such as a television or newspaper newsroom or the writer’s pool of an advertising agency. But it is also a state of mind, an acculturation that the writer […]

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Verbs of attribution

Here we explain the differences of some of the most common verbs of attribution.

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