Journalistic Writing is the style of writing used to report news stories in the print media (newspapers and magazines), broadcast media (TV and radio) and on the Internet. It is about “telling people what they didn’t know”. Journalistic writers and journalists write stories for their readers to tell them what is going on, to inform them, engage them, entertain, amuse, shock, or uplift them. The subject matter will vary according to the nature of the publication and the intended audience. Journalism is basically a relatively simple game: Finding things out and telling other people about them.
Ultimately there is only one purpose: to make the reader read the story.
Not too long ago, in the days before the arrival of the Internet, people had limited options only for accessing the news. Daily news came in the form of newspapers or television news programmes, while the less urgent stories could be found in magazines or weekly newspaper supplements. In this day and age, we all have instant 24/7 access to any type of news in any format, thanks to the Internet. Yet, while the ways in which people consume the news have changed dramatically, the style and principles that guide journalistic writing have remained largely unchanged.
Good journalism has always been associated with competent writing, and competent writing has always required an easy command of correct language and style.
Unlike other styles of writing, which can be flexible and casual, the characteristics of journalistic writing are pretty easy to spot. For instance, if you opened the chapter of a book and set it next to a newspaper article, you’d quickly notice that, unlike the book, the article is written in short sentences and paragraphs and quickly gets to the point. Journalistic style is uncluttered writing, with compact, simple and direct sentences in short and terse paragraphs in order to make the article easy to read and understand. Good writing in this sense follows the so-called ABCD principle: Accuracy, Brevity, Conciseness, and Directness.
In addition to their brevity, news stories have a particular structure that is easily recognisable. The big, bold headline, for example, is intended to grab readers’ attention, while the first sentence or paragraph lays out the story, so the reader knows what to expect. These are the most common elements of journalistic writing and they have a lot to do with the function of journalism in society.
The most important part of journalistic writing is the dissemination of information. For this purpose, every article should relay the “5 W’s” (Who, What, Where, When, Why, and often: How) in a straightforward manner. In general, this means that every subsequent paragraph is of less significance than the previous one.
Without journalistic writing, we would know nothing about what’s going on in the world. Many say that journalism was kind of “a dying medium” because journalistic writing was moving away from print and into the digital world, but it is still just as important, if not more important, than ever. We can connect with others from across the globe in literally an instant, so it’s important for journalists to know of how to accurately and truthfully report quickly what’s going on around them.
It can be quite difficult to always write simply and engagingly, so that readers will keep reading, and to explain so that all the readers understand, and want to. This is the challenge to any journalistic writer.
Typical tasks in which we assist our clients through journalistic writing are:
• News stories
• Investigative articles
• Press releases
In all of this, there is no room for irrelevant details and, usually, also not for the author’s opinion. It rather is about providing as much factual and objective information as possible, and as clearly as possible, using sentence structures that are both direct and interesting. Journalistic writing requires a delicate balance between detail and brevity, and between precision and creativity.
To our teams, journalistic writing projects provide a much-welcomed opportunity to further practice writing in a clear, objective and concise way. The experience gained and enhanced during the processes, in turn, is valuable for working on tasks in other fields of writing as well, such as academic, legal, and technical.
Anyway, journalistic writing, in our opinion, is one of the most relevant forms of writing, and arguably the most useful form, as it supplies the reader with important information, keeps them aware, and prompts enquiry.
With journalistic writing, you have the opportunity to share information that can change how people view other people, places, your business, and even the world as a whole.
AVALON’s journalistic writing team is here and ready to professionally assist you.
Please note that all our services descriptions here are only meant as a rough outline.
Upon genuine further interest on your part, we will be happy to provide you with
more detailed information and work out a specific proposal tailored to your needs.
“Verba volant, scripta manent”
Spoken words fly away, written words remain