Last week, I wrote an article on how to organise a news story and make its structure work well for both the reporter and the reader. A story that is constructed properly under the journalistic norms of storytelling will not only pass the editor’s litmus test, but enables a more pleasant experience for the end-user getting ready to buy their Saturday paper at the newsagents…or browsing the news site for their daily digest of current affairs. This week, we delve deeper into the art of writing an arresting intro. The word ‘intro‘ in newswriting jargon is a shortened form of … Continue reading SETTING THE SCENE: News intros

NEWS STORY: How to organise one

In this next article in the Half-Eaten Mind practical journalism series, we move on from how to interview to what happens when you return to base to begin writing your story or feature. Like any sort of story, a news story needs to have a structure. You must have a beginning, a middle and an ending. Traditionally in journalism, students were taught that news stories followed a structure best summed up as an inverted (upside-down) pyramid. All of the most important facts and parts, such as the ‘who?’, ‘where?’ ‘when?‘, ‘how?’ and sometimes ‘why?’ which lend the most weight to … Continue reading NEWS STORY: How to organise one

INTERVIEWING: What to do…and what not to do (Part 2)

Today we bring you the second part of the first article on journalism advice for the fledging reporter. Last Sunday we covered the dos and don’ts of preparing for and carrying out an interview, including the all-important requirements to behave professionally and support the journalistic ethics of impartiality and accuracy. These articles are based largely on notes distributed by a lecturer during newswriting and reporting seminars I attended over ten years ago on my journey into this exciting, fulfilling and noble career path. One of the most enduring memories I have of this lecturer, Mr. Geere, was on one occasion … Continue reading INTERVIEWING: What to do…and what not to do (Part 2)

INTERVIEWING: What to do…and what not to do (Part 1)

Today I bring you the first in a series of articles on newswriting and reporting. These articles tie in with the Half-Eaten Mind’s objective to provide high-quality journalism and writing in general as well as its secondary aim as a means of education. They are based on handouts from a taught module on newswriting and reporting that I studied in late 2003 as part of my university degree in journalism and media studies. I had recently discovered the original handouts and have decided to digitally retype them for your reading pleasure, along with my own further commentary. The handouts were originally produced … Continue reading INTERVIEWING: What to do…and what not to do (Part 1)