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Unit Objectives, Introduction, Meaning and Definition of Journalism,
History of Journalism, Role of Journalism, Glossary of Terms used
in Journalism, Summary, Exercises and Questions, Further Reading

UNIT 2-NEWS 22-62

Unit Objectives, Introduction, Definition of News, Leads
Headlines, Types of News Writing, Newsroom structure and Role
Journalist, Trends in Modern Journalism, Summary
Exercises and Questions, Further Reading



1.0 Unit Objectives

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Meaning and Definition of Journalism
1.3 History of Journalism
1.4 Role of Journalism
1.5 Glossary of Terms used in Journalism
1.6 Summary
1.7 Exercises and Questions
1.8 Further Reading


• To understand the meaning of Journalism

• To discuss the terms and definitions of Journalism
• To study the role of Journalism
• To trace the history of Journalism


Journalism as a craft, a profession and even as a trade or business is over two

centuries old. It was made possible by the coming together of a number of
technologies as well as several social, political and economic developments. The
main technologies that facilitated the development of large-scale printing and
distribution of print material were the printing press.


Journalism is a form of communication based on asking, and answering, the

questions Who? What? How? Where? When? Why?

Journalism is anything that contributes in some way in gathering, selection,

processing of news and current affairs for the press, radio, television, film, cable,
internet, etc.
Journalism is a discipline of collecting, analyzing, verifying, and presenting news
regarding current events, trends, issues and people. Those who practice journalism
are known as journalists.
Journalism is defined by Denis Mc Quail as ‘ paid writing for public media with
reference to actual and ongoing events of public relevance’.

Journalism can also be defined as:

1. The collection and editing of news for presentation through the media
2. The public press
3. An academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or
the management of a news medium
4. Writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of
events without an attempt at interpretation
5. Writing designed to appeal to current popular taste or public interest

The words ‘journalist’, ‘journal’ and ‘journalism’ are derived from the French
‘journal’ which in its turn comes from the Latin term ‘diurnal is’ or ‘daily’. The
Acta Diurna, a handwritten bulletin put up daily in the Forum, the main public
square in ancient Rome, was perhaps the world’s first newspaper. Later,
pamphlets, gazettes, news books, news sheets, letters came to be termed as ‘news
paper’. Those who wrote for them were first called news writers and later

Thus, Journalism can be one of the most exciting jobs around. One goes into work
not necessarily knowing what you are going to be doing that day. Journalists get to
meet powerful people, interesting people, inspiring people, heroes, villains and
celebrities. The chance to know something and to tell the world about it is exciting.
One also gets chance to indulge a passion for writing and the opportunity to seek
the truth and campaign for justice. And then there’s the excitement of seeing your

byline in print, watching your report on television, or hearing your words of
wisdom on the radio.
As a craft Journalism involves specialization in one area (editorial, design,
printing) for the reporters and the sub-editors for instance, it entails writing to a
deadline, following routines in a conveyor-belt like workplace, while respecting
the divisions of labour in the newsroom and the printing press. In earlier times,
knowledge of typewriting and shorthand were the main skills demanded. But
today, computing and DTP skills are in demand for all areas of Journalism.
As a profession, it is markedly different from other established professions like
medicine, law, management or teaching. While the established professions require
some specialized educational qualifications and training to be recruited to them,
Journalism does not make any such requirement essential. There is no bar to
anyone entering the profession, no matter what one’s educational background or
professional experience is. From the very beginning, Journalism has been, and still,
remain an ‘open’ profession.

Also, journalism has no distinct body of knowledge that defines the profession and
marks its relationship with its clients (readers, advertisers, advertising agencies,
public relations officials, others). Journalism is a specific approach to reality.
However, there is no consensus in the journalist community on this, nor is there
any universally code of conduct or code of ethics, and where it does exist, is rarely
enforced. Opinions vary on whether journalism is a ‘calling’ public service, an
entertainment, a cultural industry motivated by profit, or a tool for propaganda,
public relations and advertising. Journalism can be a combination of all these, or
each of these separately. Opinions are not so varied about the other professions.

As a business and trade, Journalism involves publishing on a regular basis for

profit, with news considered as the primary product. Hence, there is the need to
attract advertisers and readers, through marketing strategies, which focus on
circulation and readership.


Q1.Define ‘Journalism’?
Q2.How is Journalism different from other professions?


The history of Journalism, or the gathering and transmitting of news, spans the
growth of technology and trade, marked by the advent of specialized techniques for
gathering and disseminating information on a regular basis that has caused, the
steady increase of "the scope of news available to us and the speed with which it is

Some relatively recent craze, stimulated by the arrival of satellites, television or

even the newspaper, the good news is that the frenzied, obsessive exchange of
news is one of the oldest human activities.
In early times, messengers were appointed to bring word, carriers to proclaim it
and busybodies to spread the word. The need to know helped attract people to
crossroads, campfires and market places. It helped motivate journeyers; it helps
explain the reception accorded travelers.

In most parts of the pre-literate world the first question asked of a traveler was, as
it was in Outer Mongolia in 1921, "What's new?" These preliterate peoples were
probably better informed about events in their immediate neighborhood than are
most modern, urban or suburban Americans.

A similar fascination with news was evident in the Greek and later in the Roman
Forum, where to the hubbub of spoken news was added information from daily
handwritten newssheets, first posted by Julius Caesar.

The bad news is that two of the subjects humans have most wanted to keep up with
throughout the ages are –sex and violence.
The Nootka of Vancouver Island, for example, would exchange plenty of
important news on fishing, on the chief's activities, on plans for war. But they also
pricked up their ears at word that someone was having an affair. And the tale of a
suitor who tumbled into a barrel of rainwater while sneaking out the window of his
lover's house "spread," according to an anthropologist, "like wildfire up and down
the coast."

There is more bad news. The golden age of political coverage that journalism
critics pine over – the era when reporters concentrated on the "real" issues-turns
out to have been as mythical as the golden age of politics. In those rare historical
moments when politicians deigned to face major problems to allow journalists to

comment on them, those comments tended to be wildly subjective, as when the
founders of our free press called their pro-British compatriots "diabolical Tools of
Tyrants" and "men totally abandoned to wickedness."
Samuel Johnson, writing in an era when thinkers like Joseph Addison, Daniel
Defoe and Jonathon Swift dominated British periodicals, concluded that the press
"affords sufficient information to elate vanity, and stiffen obstinacy, but too little to
enlarge the mind."

Yet, journalism had changed. And much doesn't change. It is foolish to pretend that
sensationalism and superficiality could simply be expunged from the news.
Nevertheless, we can still protest when the news gets too irrelevant, too shallow.
We can better educate audiences about its limitations and encourage viewers to
change the channel. The desire to keep up with the news seems basic to our
species, but that does not mean that in learning about the world we have to limit
ourselves to just satisfying that desire.

Prehistoric, ancient and Midieval periods

Early methods of transmitting news began with word of mouth, which limited its
content to what people saw and relayed to others; accuracy in new depended on the
scope of the event being described and its relevance to the listener. Ancient
monarchial governments developed ways of relaying written reports, includinng
the Roman Empire from Julius Caeser onward, which recorded and distributed a
daily record of political news and acts to Roman colonies. After the empire
collapsed, news dissemination depended on travelers' tales, songs and ballads,
letters, and governmental dispatches.

Rennaissance and the printing press

The invention of the movable type printing press, attributed to Johann

Gutennberg in 1456, led to the wide dissemination of the Bible and other printed
books. The first newspapers appeared in Europe in the 17th Century. The first
printed periodical was the Mercurius Gallobelgicus, first appearing in Cologne,
now Germany, in 1592; it consisted of Latin text, was printed semi-annually and
distributed in book fairs.
The first regularly published newspaper was the Oxford Gazette, first appearing in
1665, which began while the British royal court was in Oxford to avoid the plague
in London and was published twice a week. When the court moved back to

London, the publication moved with it. An earlier newsbook, the Continuation of
Our Weekly News, had been published regularly in London since 1623.
The first daily newspaper, the Daily Courant, appeared in 1702 and continued
publication for more than 30 years. Its first editor was also the first woman in
journalism, although she was replaced after only a couple of weeks. By this time,
the British had adopted the Press Restriction Act, which required that the printer's
name and place of publication be included on each printed document.

Journalism in America

The first printer in Britian's American colonies was Stephen Day in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, who began in 1638. The British regulation of printing extended to
the Colonies. The first newspaper in the colonies, Benjamnin Harris's Publick
Occurences both Foreighn and Domestick, was supressed in 1690 after only one
issue under a 1662 Massachusetts law that forbade printing without a license. The
publication of a story suggesting that the King of France shared a bed with his
son's wife probably also contributed to the suppression.

The first real colonial newspaper was the New England Courant, published as a
sideline by printer James Franklin, brother of Benjamin Franklin. Like many other
Colonial newspapers, it waS aligned with party interests and did not publish
balanced content. Ben Franklin was first published in his brother's newspaper,
under the pseudonym Silence Dogood, in 1722, and even his brother did not know.

After James Franklin suspended publication of the Courant, Ben Franklin moved to
Philadelphia in 1728 and took over the Pennsylvania Gazette the following year.
Ben Franklin expanded his business by essentially franchising other printers in
other cities, who published their own newspapers. By 1750, 14 weekly newspapers
were published in the six largest colonies. The largest and most successful of these
could be published up to three times per week.
American Independence

By the 1770s, 89 newspapers were published in 35 cities. "Most papers at the time
of the American Revolution were anti-royalist, chiefly because of opposition to the
Stamp Act taxing newsprint." Though the tax was imposed on newsprint, not
publication itself, Colonial governments could supress newspapers "by denying the
stamp or refusing to sell approved paper to the offending publihser." Newspapers
flourished in the new republic by 1800, there were about 234 being published.

As the 19th Century progressed in America, newspapers began functioning more
as private businesses with real editors rather than partisan organs, though standards
for truth and responsibillity were still low. "Other than local news, much of the
reporting was simply copied from other newspapers, sometimes verbatim. In
addition to news stories, there might be poetry or fiction, or (especially late in the
century) humorous columns."

Newspapers in general remained political with strong bias toward the government;
Andrew Jackson started his own newspaper, funnelled government printing work
to it, and forced his Washington competition out of business.
Rise of the great newspapers

As American cities like New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington grew
with the growth of the Industrial Revolution, so did newspapers. Larger printing
presses, the telegraph and other technological innovations allowed newspapers to
print thousands of copies, boost circulation and increase revenue.

The first newspaper to fit the modern definition as a newspaper was the New York
Herald, founded in 1835 and published by James Gordon Bennett. It was the first
newspaper to have city staff covering regular beats and spot news, along with
regular business and Wall Street coverage. In 1838 Bennett also organized the first
foreign correspondent staff of six men in Europe and assigned domestic
correspondents to key cities, including the first reporter to regularly cover

Brief History of Journalism in India

Newspaper industry in any country is related to the beginning of printing press and it
was Johann Guttenberg who invented printing press in 1455. Thus in India too, the
beginning of newspaper is related to the beginning of the press. The Portuguese
introduced the printing press in Goa, in 1557. British East India Company brought
about the printing press in India and first press was strolled at Bombay in 1674.
Ironically, the first printing press was strolled in 1674, yet there was no newspaper
being published for another 100years.

William Bolts who was an officer in the company announced a hand written
newspaper in 1776. He wrote the newspaper and asked the people to come to his
residence to read it. The aim of this newspaper was to inform British Company in

India to the news from home and also to bring about the grievances against colonial

The first newspaper to be published in India was ‘Bengal Gazette’ or Calcutta

general, which was a weekly newspaper. Later, it was named as ‘Hickey’s Gazette.
Hickey declared that he started the newspaper to expose corruption and favoritism of
the Company and thus he covered all the inner fights of the company and did not
spare even the governor general.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy published out free newspapers magazines in the year 1821,
namely sambad kaumudi (Bengali), mirat-ul-akbar (Persian), brahamanical
magazine (English) . It was the first time that through these newspapers Raja Ram
Mohan Roy tried to cover all the readers in India.

The first newspapers in Bombay were owned and printed by Parsis, who already
owned the technological and financial basis for such ventures. Rustomji Keshaspathi
printed the first English newspaper in Bombay in 1777. The first vernacular
newspaper in Bombay was the Gujarati daily Mumbai samachar, published in 1822
by Fardoonjee Marzban. Although not the first newspaper in an Indian language,
Mumbai Samachar is still being published and is India’s oldest newspaper.


Q1.What developments in the history have helped in the publication of the
Q2.How could have newspapers helped in India’s Independence?


Disseminators of information? Watchdogs? Interpreters of events? Journalists have

many roles to play.

Journalism mainly involves practices of print journalism in general, and

newspaper in particular, because newspaper journalism remains a good grounding
career in television, radio, magazine and online journalism.

The role of press is to be a watchdog and act as a catalytic agent to hasten the
process of socially and economic change in the society. Journalism is the voice of
the people about corruption, the government, and the use and misuse of power. It

should be noted that Journalism too is part of the political process, craves for
power, is made up of people with personal ambitions and aversions, preferences
and prejudices. As perhaps the largest advertisers, the government supports and
strengthens the press. Both the government and the press represent the ‘power
elites’ and therefore reflect their interests. This is why the interests of the poor are
rarely on the agenda of public discussions.

The press is so obsessed with politics that even a silly rumor hits the front page.
What the Journalism profession urgently needs is creative, investigative and
development reporting chiefly on non-political themes like unemployment,
malnutrition, exploitation of the poor, miscarriage of justice, police atrocities,
development schemes and the like. For example, in India, the Bofors pay-offs, the
Harshad Mehta securities scam, the ‘hawala’ payments to top politicians etc are all
incidents where follow-up investigations are lacking. Such ‘crisis’ reporting sells
newspapers but does little to bring the guilty to book or to educate the public about
the context of corruption.

Credibility is indeed the very life-blood of the press, no matter which government
is in power. Journalism is an awesome responsibility, which rests on the shoulders
of journalists because in the final analysis they are the custodians of the freedom of
press. If they prefer careerism to standing up for their rights, they are letting down
their profession. Unfortunately, journalists are inclined to accept many favors from
government and therefore, their news stories will ultimately favor that particular

New paradigm features

• Journalism, have a role in society to link the individual to the world. The
journalists need to give the audience a sense of what it is to be in the place
they are reporting and connected to the world.
• Our audience is diverse and complex. So There needs to be a consciousness
of diversity: not just in terms of race and gender but also class, rural/urban
and youth/aged.
• Journalism must emphasize context; interpretation; research; investigation;
complete reporting and analysis.
• The journalists must foreground the storyteller (the individual and the media
• They should respect the audiences and engage in dialogue.

• In our use of sources the journalists should move beyond “the authorities”.
Audiences are also sources. They must remember to foreground and situate
who the sources are.
• Ownership: symbolically the audience needs to feel they “own” the medium.
• Ownership: economic -this needs to be diverse and needs participation by all
stakeholders in media.
• Control and structures within media organizations – there should be respect
for storytellers and storytelling and these should be given status and
compensation. From this we drafted the policy statement which reads: “In
recognition of our role in society as storytellers; as the link between citizens
and the world; we strive to promote:
• Stories, told in a multiplicity of voices that are well researched;
conceptualized; analytical; interpretive; in dialogue with, are considered

Q1.Why are journalists called the ‘watchdogs’?

Role of Journalism in society

Journalism's role is to act as a mediator or translator between the public and

policymaking elites. The journalist became the middleman. When elites spoke,
journalists listened and recorded the information, distilled it, and passed it on to the
public for their consumption. The reasoning behind this function is that the public
is not in a position to deconstruct a growing and complex flurry of information
present in modern society, and so an intermediary are needed to filter news for the
masses. Lippman put it this way: The public is not smart enough to understand
complicated, political issues. Furthermore, the public was too consumed with their
daily lives to care about complex public policy. Therefore the public needed
someone to interpret the decisions or concerns of the elite to make the information
plain and simple. That was the role of journalists.

Public affects the decision making of the elite with their vote. In the meantime, the
elite (i.e. politicians, policy makers, bureacrats, scientists, etc.) would keep the
business of power running. The journalist's role is to inform the public of what the
elites were doing. It was also to act as a watchdog over the elites as the public had
the final say with their votes.
On the other hand, it is believed the public was not only capable of understanding
the issues created or responded to by the elite, it was in the public forum that

decisions should be made after discussion and debate. When issues were throughly
vetted, then the best ideas would bubble to the surface. Thus, journalists not only
have to inform the public, but should report on issues differently than simply
passing on information. journalists should take in the information, then weigh the
consequences of the policies being enacted by the elites on the public. Over time,
this function of journalism has been implemented in various degrees, and is more
commonly known as "community journalism."
This concept of ‘Community Journalism’ is at the center of new developments in
journalism. journalists are able to engage citizens and the experts/elites in the
proposition and generation of content. the shared knowledge of many is far
superior to a single individual's knowledge and conversation, debate, and dialogue
lie at the heart of a democracy.


Q1.What role does Journalism play in our society?


1. ABC: Audit Bureau of Circulation, which has the task of certifying,

audited statistics on the circulation of a publication. This is highly respected
watchdog body.
2. Add: additions of any kind to news story. If copy sent down to the
printing has to be supplemented by additional material, this is done by
marking the news copy with the connotation ‘add to’
3. AP: Associated press
4. Assignment: A particular job given to reporters by editors.
Sometimes reporters suggest their own assignments, but they must get an
editor's approval before beginning work.
5. Advertisement: A public notice or announcement usually paid for,
about things for sale.
6. Angle: To give a specific aspect, bias, or point of view to a story or
7. Article: A complete piece of writing on a single subject; it is
8. Attribute - to write the name of source of your information when
using a quote, of book, or a part of any copyrighted work.
9. Banner: A headline stretching across all the columns on the top of the
front page.

10.Beat : The exclusive territory assigned to reporter or a series of places
visited by a reporter to gather news.
11.Body: Part of a story that follows the lead. Also the name of the type in
which regular newspaper reading matter is set.
12.Bleed : When an illustration of photograph runs (bleed) into the edge of the
page. Instruction given to printer to follow this direction.
13.Blurb: Publicity material.
14.Broadcast - communicating near and far using radio and television.
15.Byline: A line between the headline and the article, telling who wrote the
16.Caption: The copy (what is written) underneath a photograph
17.Caps: Capital letters
18.Closed question - This type of question doesn't help an interviewee to open
up! Closed questions usually prompt a person to answer with simple "yes" or
"no". But keep in mind that they can be the right questions to ask at certain
points in an interview. They help you pin down important information and
get a definite answer.
19.Clip - a segment of audio or videotape that's included in a story that is
broadcast on radio or television or on the Web.
20.Copy - material for a newspaper or magazine article.
21.Copy Desk: Where copy is edited, cut and headlined.
22.Correspondent: A reported who is out of town on duty, who corresponds
with his head office
23.Cover: Covering an event, that is, reporting it in full
24.Credit line: To name the source of a picture, illustration, photograph, giving
credit to the person responsible
25.Cartoon or Comic Strip: A drawing, as in a newspaper, caricaturing or
symbolizing, often satirically, some event, situation, or person of interest. Or
a humorous drawing, often with a caption.
26.Crusade: a newspaper campaign for reform and development
27.Column: An article that appears regularly. It is written by one writer or
about a special subject.
28.Communications: A giving or exchanging of information, signals, or
messages by talk, gestures, writing, etc. Or a system for sending and
receiving messages, as by telephone, radio, etc.
29.Crop: Cutting out nonessential parts of a photograph to sharpen the visual
30.Cut line - sentences at the bottom of a photo that describe what happened in
it, which usually relate to a story. Also called a caption.
31.Cub: An unseasoned reporter

32.Dateline: The place-names at the beginning of a story that tell the reader
where the story occurred. A dateline includes the name of a city or town, and
sometimes the country. Before high-speed transmission of data, it also
included the date, which is why it is called a "dateline."
33.Deadline: A time given to a reporter by which he/she must turn in a story.
34.Desk: The sub editor’s desk
35.Download - to take files from another computer or server for use on your
36.Drop: Used to indicate that a letter should be in larger type, it is the first
letter in the first paragraph of a story and is set thus for purpose of effective
37.Draft - Most journalists will write a draft of an article before submitting it.
After completing this draft, they will edit their own work for content and
mistakes before submitting it to the editor.
38.Dummy: A drawing usually freehand, outlining the position of news stories
on a page, along with advertisements and illustrations
39.Editor: A journalist who works closely with reporters, giving out
assignments and deadlines and helping them craft their stories.
40.Edition: Remake or revision of some of the pages of a newspaper
41.Editing - the process of reviewing a news story, revising the writing and
checking it for mistakes before it is published or broadcast.
42.Editorial: A column written by the editor that expresses his or her opinion
about a particular subject of interest
43.Embargo: Mandatory deadline for the release of a story
44.Encoding videos - the process of changing video camera footage into digital
footage, which can be read and displayed by a computer. (i.e.—Real Video
45.Ethics in Journalism: The code of morals that journalists are supposed to
uphold. These include a commitment to revealing the truth, objectively and
without being influenced by self-interest, maintaining the secrecy of sources,
and attributing what is said to the appropriate source.
46.Exclusive: A story that is not carried by any other newspaper on a particular
day, a scoop
47."Execution at Dawn" - These are groups of people lined up against the
wall to be shot (with a camera of course)! For large groups, cut lines end up
being long lists of people from ‘left to right'.
48.Feature: A carefully researched article, that explains, interprets and/or
provides background or tells of interesting, unusual occurrences that interest
the reader. Feature stories sometimes have emotional, personal, and/or
humorous slants.

49.Filler: Small items used to fill out columns where needed
50.Flush: Set copy without para indenting
51.Feature: A feature takes an in-depth look at what's going on behind the
news. It gets into the lives of people. It tries to explain why and how a trend
developed. Unlike news, a feature does not have to be tied to a current event
or a breaking story. But it can grow out of something that's reported in the
52.FTP - (File Transfer Protocol) this is a program used to upload files and
WebPages from a personal computer to a server. After an individual creates
a website, they must upload (transfer) this page to a server so that it can be
viewed by others.
53.Headline: The title of the article or column.
54.Header: The graphic design at the top of each page of the paper that tells
you what section of the paper you are in.
55.HTML - (Hyper Text Markup Language) HTML is the lingua franca for
publishing hypertext on the World Wide Web. It is a non -proprietary
format, based upon SGML and can be created and processed in a wide range
of tools from simple plain text editors to sophisticated authoring tools.
HTML uses tags like <h1> and </h1> to structure text into headings,
paragraphs, lists, hypertext links and more.
56.Hyperlinks - The text you find on a Web site, which can be "clicked on"
with a mouse, which in turn will take you to another Web page or a different
area of the same Web page. Hyperlinks are created or "coded" in HTML.
They are also used to load multimedia files such as AVI movies and AU
sound files.
57.Hypertext -A system of writing and displaying text that enables the text to
be linked in multiple ways, to be available at several levels of detail, and to
contain links to related documents. It refers to a nonlinear system of
information browsing and retrieval that contains associative links to other
related documents. The World Wide Web uses hypertext transfer protocol
(HTTP) to provide links to pages and multimedia files.
58.Interview: A meeting in which a person is asked about views, activities; as
by a reporter on a radio or a published account.
59.Investigative Reporting: Reporting that requires a careful search to uncover
facts and determine the truth.
60.Info-bahn - the information super highway (info, as in information and
bahn, as in German for highway).
61.*. Jpeg *.gif - These two file extensions are the most common types of
picture files. If you were to scan a picture into a computer yourself, you
would need to convert the file to one of these formats for use on a web page.

62.Journalism: The work of gathering, writing, editing, and publishing or
disseminating news, as through newspapers and magazines or by radio and
63.Journalist: Someone who works in the news gathering business, such as a
photographer, editor or reporter.
64.Layout: The way the newspaper is designed and laid out on the page.
65.Leading questions - These questions try to lead an interviewee in a certain
66.Lead - the first and most important sentence of the story. It sets up what the
story is going to be about.
67.Letter to the Editor: a letter written by a private citizen to convey an
opinion regarding a community issue. These are printed in the paper to give
the community members a voice.
68.Loaded words - words that leave people with a distinct and often negative
impression. That can prompt your source to get defensive or to disagree with
your question – and that won't help you get an answer to your question!
69.Mass Media: Those means of communication that reach and influence large
numbers of people, especially newspapers, popular magazines, radio and
70.Masthead: This appears on the editorial page, and it lists the names and
positions of all individuals on the newspaper, along with guidelines for
letters to the editor.
71.Morgue: News library, also known as reference
section 72.Newsroom: An office where journalists work.
73.Neutral questions - A neutral question is straightforward. It doesn't have
your opinion in it. You aren't assuming you know the answer already. Your
question is clear and gets right to the point. In return, you will probably get
an informative answer.
74.News article: It presents, as objectively as possible, the facts about the latest
news events.
75.News brief (or News Item): The basic structure for a newspaper article.
76.News hawk: a reporter
77.Nose for news: aptness for sensing news
78.Objectivity: The state or quality of being without bias or prejudice;
detached, impersonal. The journalist's job is to report the facts, not colored
by his personal opinion; except in the case of opinions or editorials.
79.Obit: Short for obituary, an announcement of a death
80.Opinion: Letters or articles that express the subjective opinion of the writer.

81.Open -ended questions - these questions encourage the person to talk and
share their thoughts and feelings on a subject. It allows them to tell their
own story without much prompting from the reporter.
82.Off the record - this is what people say when they want the information
they tell you to be unmentioned. This means that they don't want their names
or quotes to be said to anyone or printed in your story.
83.On the record - the opposite of "off the record". This means that you are
allowed to use the person's name and quotes for your story.
84.Online journalism - stories that are written specifically for the Web instead
of newspaper, radio, television or magazine. It can include the use of text,
photos, graphics, hypertext, audio and video to tell stories.
85.Pen name: A pen name is a name other than the writer's legal name used as
the byline on their written work.
86.Photographer: A journalist who takes photos.
87.Pulitzer Prize: Pulitzer Prizes are annual awards for achievements in
American journalism, letters, drama and music. The prizes have been
awarded by Columbia University in New York City since 1917, on the
recommendation of a Pulitzer Prize Board. Fourteen prizes are given in
journalism. The award is named after Joseph Pulitzer, American newspaper
publisher, who endowed the journalism school and the awards.
88.Photography: Each article must be accompanied by an appropriate
photograph and caption. Photographs should be colorful, interesting, clear
and well composed.
89.Pix: Picture
90.Plagiarism: The act of taking ideas and writings from another and passing
them off as one's own.
91.Profile: A short biography of an interesting person. It is usually based on an
interview with the person.
92.Proof Reader: One who reads proofs to make corrections in setting and
sends it back for revision
93.Pack journalism - this refers to large groups of reporters from different
newspapers or broadcasting stations that are all after the same big story. You
usually find mobs of journalists outside courthouses, city halls, or at the
scene of an accident or disaster, to get comments from the important
sources. Compare this to a pack of hungry wolves: they're all hunting one
thing, the story, but they're all so hungry that they want to move in to get the
biggest piece for themselves.
94.Photographs "Grip and Grin" - These are photos of people receiving
awards or diplomas, cutting ribbons or passing out cheques. They just do the
‘handshake' pose and smile at the camera.

95.Publish - to produce or release a written work for the public to see or hear.
96.Put to bed: When all pages have been locked up and the press is ready to
print it.
97.Report: An article meant to tell a story and inform.
98.Review: An article that presents a critic's opinion about an artist's work (for
example: books, plays, movies, television and dance).
99.Reporter: A journalist who gathers information and writes news stories.
100. Real Video - The format of video files displayed on most Internet
sites, such as SNN.
101. Running Story: A chronological story of an event topped by
successive leads as the news changes
102. Scoop: An advantage gained over competitors by publishing a news
item first. Often, a news item itself is a called a scoop when no one else has
that news item.
103. Source: A person who gives information to a reporter or editor.
104. Survey: It collects the demographic profile of the reader and their
opinions about a subject that has been chosen for study.
105. Subjectivity: The state or quality of being effected by the feelings or
temperament of the subject or person thinking. (It is extremely important for
us to teach our students to distinguish between subjective and objective
journalism. Even though it is presented in black and white that does not
mean that it is free from the writer's opinion.)
106. Scrum - The gathering of reporters around a person who is important
to a particular story. When a scrum occurs, all the reporters shout questions
to the person in an attempt to further their own story. This situation is much
more informal then a Press Conference.
107. Source -a person, written article, book, song, video or film from
which to get information
108. Search engine - a program used by an Internet browser to look for
specific words and sort them for information.
109. Server - A computer in a network shared by multiple users. The term
may refer to both the hardware and software or just the software that
performs the service. For example, Web server may refer to the Web server
software in a computer that also runs other applications, or, it may refer to a
computer system dedicated only to the Web server application. There would
be several dedicated Web servers in a large Web site.
110. Sleuth: reporter specializing in stories involving exclusive
111. Slug: notation placed on copy to identify the story
112. Syntax - the way those words are put together to make sentences.

113. Target Audience: Who are the readers of the newspaper? The editors
and journalists must gear themselves towards writing what will interest this
population, in order for the newspaper to be successful.
114. Tail piece: Usually paragraph with finishing touches, a joke at the
end, something added on to enliven a column
115. Upload: to transfer files from your computer to another computer or
116. Wire: A source of information for Journalists. You may have heard a
reporter say that they got their information "off the wire". The wire itself is
an up-to-the-minute source of information for other reporters.
117. Wrap-up questions - help you make sure you have all the
information you need. You can ask your source questions like this to end the
interview and clarify information he has given you during the course of your
118. Web cast - a video or audio broadcast that's transmitted over the
World Wide Web.
119. Wire Service: News Agency
120. Yellow Journalism: The use of cheaply sensational or unscrupulous
methods in newspapers to attract and influence the readers. (The New York
World of 1895 would print the "Yellow Kid" comic strip in yellow ink to
attract readers.)


Journalism is anything that contributes in some way in gathering, selection,

processing of news and current affairs for the press, radio, television, film, cable,
internet, etc.
The history of Journalism, or the gathering and transmitting of news, spans the
growth of technology and trade, marked by the advent of specialized techniques for
gathering and disseminating information on a regular basis that has caused, the
steady increase of "the scope of news available to us and the speed with which it is

In early times, messengers were appointed to bring word, carriers to proclaim it

and busybodies to spread the word. The need to know helped attract people to
crossroads, campfires and market places. It helped motivate journeyers; it helps
explain the reception accorded travelers.


Q1.Define ‘Journalism’? What role does it plays in our society?

Q2.Give a brief account of the history of Journalism in the world.
Q3.Write down the names of some journalism terms and explain their meaning?


1.News Writing - George Hough

2.The Professional Journalism - M. V. Kamath
3.The Journalist 's Handbook - M.V. Kamath



2.0 Unit Objectives

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Definition of News
2.2.1 What is News? 2.2.2 Writing news story 2.2.3 Types of News 2.2.4 News structure
2.2.5 Elements of News 2.2.6 Functions of News 2.2.7 News Sources 2.2.8 Structure and
Scope of News 2.2.9
2.3 Leads
2.3.1 What is a ‘lead’? 2.3.2 Ideas to write leads 2.3.3 Types of leads 2.3.4
2.4 Headlines
2.4.1 Definition of Headline 2.4.2 Types of Headlines
2.5 Types of News Writing
2.6 Newsroom structure and Role
2.6.1 Desk Management 2.6.2 Editor 2.6.3 Sub-Editor
2.7 Journalist
2.7.1 Role of Journalist 2.7.2 Qualities of a Journalist
2.8 Trends in Modern Journalism
2.9 Summary
2.10 Exercises and Questions
2.11 Further Reading


• To define ‘news’
• To discuss the importance and types of news
• To know the elements of a news story
• To discuss the functions of news and trace various news sources
• To know the meaning of a ‘lead’ and ‘headline’

• To learn the role and ethics of journalists in our society


‘Dog bites man isn’t news. Man bites dog is’. So goes an adage probably as old as
journalism itself. Like many such sayings, it conceals as much as it reveals.
People watch television or read the newspaper because they want to know about
the happening and events around them. They want to gather all the news from
around the world.


2.2.1 What is News?

‘News is anything that makes a reader say “Gee whiz”! Arthur Mac Ewen
As the word implies, news contain much that is new, informing people about
something that has just happened. But this is not happening always as some stories
run for decades and others are recycled with a gloss of newness supplied to it.

News is, anything out of the ordinary, it is the current happenings. It is

anything that makes the reader surprised and curious. News is anything that will
make people talk. News is the issue for discussions and debates. Any event, which
affects most of the people, interest most of the audiences and involves most of the
people, is news. Thus, news can be called an account of the events written for the
people who were unable to witness it.

‘News’ is the written, audio, or visual construction of an event or happening or an

incident. The news is constantly in search of action, movements, new
developments, surprises, sudden reversals, ups and downs of fate and facts and
follies of the mankind.

2.2.2 Writing a News Story

1. What can I write about? What is news?

On the surface, defining news is a simple task. News is an account of what is
happening around us. It may involve current events, new initiatives or ongoing
projects or issues. But a newspaper does not only print news of the day. It also
prints background analysis, opinions, and human-interest stories.

Choosing what's news can be harder.

The reporter chooses stories from the flood of information and events happening in
the world and in their community. Stories are normally selected because of their
importance, emotion, impact, timeliness and interest.

2.2.3 Types of News

Hard news (+/- 600 words): This is how journalists refer to news of the day. It is
a chronicle of current events/incidents and is the most common news style on the
front page of your typical newspaper.

It starts with a summary lead. What happened? Where? When? To/by whom?
Why? (The journalist's 5 W's). It must be kept brief and simple, because the
purpose of the rest of the story will be to elaborate on this lead.

Keep the writing clean and uncluttered. Most important, give the readers the
information they need. If the federal government announced a new major youth
initiative yesterday, that's today's hard news.
Hard news stories make up the bulk of news reporting. Hard news consists of basic
facts. It is news of important public events, international happenings, social
conditions, economy, crime, etc. thus, most of the material found in daily papers,
especially from page items or news casts, deal in the hard news category. The main
aim of the hard news is to inform.
Soft news (+/-600 words): This is a term for all the news that isn't time-sensitive.
Soft news includes profiles of people, programs or organizations. Most of news
content is soft news.

Soft news, if cleverly written and carefully targeted can offer an alternative. Soft
news can cover business or social trends. Typically, soft stories have a human
interest, entertainment focus or a statistical and survey approach. This gives a
journalist a chance to be creative and have fun with the news.

One major advantage of softer news is that many of the stories have a longer shelf
life. They can be used at any time the practitioner or reporter deems appropriate.
Feature (+/-1500 words): A news feature takes one step back from the headlines.
It explores an issue. News features are less time-sensitive than hard news but no
less newsworthy. They can be an effective way to write about complex issues too
large for the terse style of a hard news item. Street kids are a perfect example. The
stories of their individual lives are full of complexities, which can be reflected, in a
longer piece.
Features are journalism's shopping center. They're full of interesting people, ideas,
color, lights, action and energy. Storytelling at its height! A good feature is about
the people in your community and their struggles, victories and defeats. A feature
takes a certain angle (i.e. Black youth returning to church) and explores it by
interviewing the people involved and drawing conclusions from that information.
The writer takes an important issue of the day and explains it to the reader through
comments from people involved in the story.

While writing a feature, remember to "balance" your story. Present the opinions of
people on both sides of an issue and let the readers make their own decision on
whom to believe. No personal opinions are allowed. The quotes from the people
you interview make up the story. You are the narrator.
Editorial: The editorial expresses an opinion. The editorial page of the newspaper
lets the writer comment on issues in the news. All editorials are personal but the
topics must still be relevant to the reader. Editorials try to persuade the readers. Its
goal is to move the readers to some specific action, to get them to agree with the
writer, to support or denounce a cause, etc. It is considered to be the most difficult
writing among all the newspaper types of writing. Editorials are also important as
they interpret and analyze issues for the readers.

Two types of editorials can be recognized:

Youth beat (+/- 700 words): Youth beats are journalist’s editorial bread and
butter. It's the story, from your point of view. Tell it like it is. Youth beats usually
(but not always) combine personal experience(s) with opinion/analysis.
Essentially, you establish your credibility by speaking from experience.
My Word! (+/-600 words): An opinion piece. Short, sweet and to the point. Not
as likely to be a personal narrative. Christmas "spirit" bugs you? Say why. Had an
encounter with a cop that left you sour? Same deal. Be strong. If you don't like

something, don't beat around the bush. This is a space for you to rant and roll with
as much emotive power as possible.

Q1.What are the different types of News?

2.2.4 News Structure

The structure of a news story (hard & soft news & features) is simple: a lead and
the body.
The Lead

One of the most important elements of news writing is the opening paragraph or
two of the story. Journalists refer to this as the "lead," and its function is to
summarize the story and/or to draw the reader in (depending on whether it is a
"hard" or "soft" news story.

Below is the difference between these two genres of news stories.

In a hard news story, the lead should be a full summary of what is to follow. It
should incorporate as many of the 5 "W's" of journalism (who, what, where, when
and why) as possible. (e.g. "Homeless youth marched down Yonge St. in
downtown Toronto Wednesday afternoon demanding the municipal government
provide emergency shelter during the winter months." - Can you identify the 5 W's
in this lead?)
In a Soft news story , the lead should present the subject of the story by allusion.
This type of opening is somewhat literary. Like a novelist, the role of the writer is
to grab the attention of the reader. (e.g. "Until four years ago, Jason W. slept in
alleyways... ") Once the reader is drawn in, the 5 "W's" should be incorporated into
the body of the story, but not necessarily at the very top.

The Body

The body of the story involves combining the opinions of the people you
interview, some factual data, and a narrative, which helps the story flow. A word
of caution! In this style of writing, you are not allowed to "editorialize" (state your
own opinion) in any way.


The role of a reporter is to find out what people are thinking of an issue and to
report the opinions of different stakeholders of an issue. These comments make up
the bulk of the story. The narrative helps to weave the comments into a coherent
whole. Thus, stick to one particular theme throughout the story. You can put in
different details but they all have to relate to the original idea of the piece. (e.g. If
your story is about black youth and their relationship with the police you do not
want to go into details about the life of any one particular youth).

As a reporter, you are the eyes and ears for the readers. You should try to provide
some visual details to bring the story to life (this is difficult if you have conducted
only phone interviews, which is why face-to-face is best). You should also try to
get a feel for the story. Having a feel means getting some understanding of the
emotional background of the piece and the people involved in it. Try to get a sense
of the characters involved and why they feel the way they do.


Q1.An artist is having her first show. Why? What is it that she believes about her
art? Is her artistic process rational or from the soul? What does the work look like?
Write a news story about it.
Q2.Note a lead from any news story in a newspaper. Try to identify the 5Ws in the
Further tips for news writing

Finding story ideas

• Keep your eyes and ears open; listen to what your friends are talking about.
• Read everything you can get your hands on; get story ideas from other
newspapers and magazines.
• Think of a youth angle to a current news story.
• Research a subject that interests you ask yourself what you would like to
know more about.
• Talk to people in a specific field to find out what is important to them.


Begin collecting articles on your subject.

• Talk to friends and associates about the subject.
• Contact any agencies or associations with interest or professional knowledge
in the area.
• Create a list of people you want to interview; cover both sides of the story
by interviewing people on both sides of the issue.
• Collect government statistics and reports on the subject get old press
releases or reports to use as background.
Interviewing do's and don'ts

• Be polite.
• Explain the ground rules of the interview to people unfamiliar with how the
media works - this means that you tell them the information they give you
can and will be published. If they do not want any part of what they say
published, they need to tell you it is "off the record."
• Tape the interview (so if anyone comes back at you, you have the proof of
what was said).
• Build a relationship with the person being interviewed.
• Start with easy questions; end with difficult questions.
• Read the body language of the person you're interviewing and if they get
defensive, back away from the question you are asking and return later.
• Don't attack the source.
• Keep control of the interview; don't let the subject ramble or stray from the
• On the other hand, don't let your "opinion" of what the story should be color
the interview. Always remember that the person you are talking with knows
more about the subject than you do.
Organizing the information

• Gather your notes, interviews and research into a file.

• Review your notes.
• Look for a common theme.
• Search your notes for good quotes or interesting facts.
• Develop a focus.
• Write the focus of the article down in two or three sentences.

Writing and editing

• Remember you are the narrator, the storyteller.

• Don't be afraid to rewrite.

• Be as clear and concise in the writing as possible.
• Avoid run-on sentences.
• Be direct.
• Tell a good story.
• Tell the reader what you think they want to know.
• Always ask yourself what the story is about.
• Read the story out loud; listen carefully.
2.2.5 Elements of News
The main elements of news are:

Elements of news are what determine a story’s “newsworthiness”. There are 10

elements of news; however, a story only needs to have a few of these elements.
Oddity-Strange incidents are news. News stories with an element of surprise will
create curiosity and will be in news. This is where the ‘man bites dog’ stories
come in along with other surprising, shocking or unusual events.
Emotion-How do people feel about it? These news stories will be both bad news
and good news. Death, tragedy, is example of bad news. Positive news stories are
far more prevalent than is suggested by the cynical claim that only good news is
bad news.
Consequence -What is the effect on the reader? News stories about issues,
groups and nations are perceived to be of relevance to the audience.
Proximity- Where is the story from? What happens in and around your city
interests you more than what happened in a far-flung region. Therefore,
newspapers allocate greater space for local news coverage because of the
proximity factor.
Drama-Dramatic Events of any kind would be an ideal subject for an interesting
news story.
Human Interest-People doing interesting things or incidents having an
emotional element. These kind of stories covers all the feelings that human
beings have including sympathy, happiness, sadness, anger, ambition, love, hate,
etc. News stories concerning entertainment, showbiz, drama, humorous
treatment, witty headlines, entertaining photographs will be of interest to most of
the people.

Prominence-Famous people make news! Virtually every action of famous
people is considered to be newsworthy. Stories concerning the elite, powerful
individuals, organizations or institutions are enough to create a news story.
Celebrities are always a subject for news and their every action is under the
observation of the media.
Progress-Technological advance and new discoveries will always be the subject
for discussion and a readable news story.
Conflicts-Man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. machine, man vs. himself.
Conflict has an element of drama that gets attention and hence serves as a
criterion for news selection.
Timeliness-Its new so will be in news! Timeliness is the essence of news and is
understandably a criterion for news selection. An event that has just happened
makes a good news story, while events happened a few days ago are history.
News values

Your lead should emphasize the most " newsworthy" information in the story you
are trying to tell. But how do you figure out what information is most newsworthy?
The information you consider most newsworthy depends in part on your own
values, experiences and knowledge. But some general guidelines exist. Below are
several characteristics that can make information newsworthy. The more of these
characteristics a piece of information has, the more newsworthy the information is.
Impact: Information has impact if it affects a lot of people.

A proposed income tax increase, for instance, has impact, because an income tax
increase would affect a lot of people.
The accidental killing of a little girl during a shootout between rival drug gangs has
impact, too. Even though only one-person -the little girl-was directly affected,
many people will feel a strong emotional response to the story.
Timeliness: Information has timeliness if it happened recently.

"Recently" is defined by the publication cycle of the news medium in which

the information will appear.
o For "Newsweek," events that happened during the previous week are

o For a daily newspaper, however, events that happened during the 24
hours since the last edition of the paper are timely.
o For CNN Headline News, events that happened during the past half hour
are timely.

Prominence: Information has prominence if it involves a well-known person or


• If you or I trip and fall, no one will be all that interested, because you and I
aren't well known.
• But if the president of the United States trips and falls, everyone will be
interested because the president is well known.
Proximity: Information has proximity if it involves something happened
somewhere nearby.

• If a bus wreck in India kills 25 people, the Nashville Tennessean will devote
maybe three or four paragraphs to the story.
• But if a bus wreck in downtown Nashville kills 25 people, the Tennessean
will devote a sizable chunk of its front page to the story.
Conflict: Information has conflict if it involves some kind of disagreement
between two or more people.

• Remember how, when you were a kid, everyone would run to watch a fight
if one erupted on the playground?
• Fights have drama-who will win? - And invite those watching to choose
sides and root for one or more of the combatants.
• Good democracy involves more civil -we hope -conflicts over the nature of
public policy. That's why the media carry so much political news. Journalists
see themselves as playing an important role in the public debate that forms
the basis for democracy.
Weirdness: Information has weirdness if it involves something unusual or strange.

• Charles A. Dana, a famous editor, once said, "If a dog bites a man, that's not
news. But if a man bites a dog, that's news!"
• Dana was saying that people are interested in out-of-the-ordinary things, like
a man biting a dog.

Currency: Information has currency if it is related to some general topic a lot of
people are already talking about.

A mugging in downtown Murfreesboro generally won't attract much attention

from reporters at the Daily News Journal.
• But if the mugging occurred a day after a report by the FBI had named
Murfreesboro the city with the state's fastest-growing crime rate, the mugging
would be big news.
• People would respond to news of the mugging by saying, "See, here's an
example of just the kind of thing that FBI report was talking about. We've got to do
something about the crime rate!"

Q1.Enlist the various elements of a News story.

2.2.6 Functions of News

News contains much that is new. ‘News is anything out of the ordinary.’ ‘News is
anything published in a newspaper which interests a large number of people’. The
main functions of news are:

1. News informs people about anything unusual that take place in the society.
Mysteries, small or big, interest people and so mysteries are news. Events that
affect people’s lives are news, the more people affected the bigger the news.
2. People learn something new everyday through news they get from
newspaper or television. They read about things they have heard about and also
would like to read about.
3. News affect people and is capable of stirring widespread awareness. News
touches the deepest emotion of the people and appeals somehow to everyone. Thus
news affects the government as well as the common people.
4. Important messages and decisions of the government are conveyed to the
people through the medium of news. News broadcast carry important statements
by persons in authority to the people.
5. Conflicts between man to man and also between man and environment are
carried out as news. These affect us in one-way or other. Natural phenomena like
violence, calamities and disasters make us aware of the present situations and keep
a check on growing violence in our society.

6. New trends, events and ideas are the focus of soft news and thus grasp the
imagination of people in the society. This further brings about change and
progress for the country.
7. News focus on the economic, political and cultural aspects of a nation and
people throughout the world learn about other nation through news only.
News forms an image of a nation to the outside world.
8. Journalist may predict that something will happen thus forming a mental
image of an event and thus increase the curiosity of the audience making the
news more and more relevant.
9. Reference to persons in news makes them more popular and famous. Elite
personalities crave to remain in news to keep up with their image though
negative publicity too these days is seen as a medium of becoming famous.
10.Stories and pictures with the capacity to entertain or amuse an audience is
always the main function of news. Entertainment through news is done by
carrying stories relating to showbiz, drama, sex, and humorous treatment by
use of photographs or witty headlines.


Q1.What are the functions of News in our society?

2.2.7 News Sources

‘One study after another comes up with essentially the same observation….the
story of journalism, on a day-to-day basis, is the story of the interaction of
reporters and officials.’- Michael Schudson

‘Sources of news are everywhere’. A journalist is surrounded by sources of

potential news stories ore features. A conversation with a friend, a poster on a wall,
an unexpected juxtaposition-all might result in a story if you keep your eyes, ears
and mind open. Some sources will be routine points of contact for journalists while
others may be one-offs, some will be proactive, approaching journalists because
they want news access for their views or events, while other sources may not even
be aware that they are sources. A journalist should maintain a contact book having
list of people categorized and carrying vital information. Sources of news can be
listless, some sources are:

1. Academic journals- Research by academics, published in journals is a

frequent source of news stories. Here the journalist job is to spot a potential
story among qualifications and to render the story intelligibly to the readers.

2. Armed forces- in peacetime the armed forces can generate stories
through mysterious deaths or cases of bullying that comes to light. During
times of conflict military briefings become events in their own right.
3. Art groups- apart from providing information about forthcoming events,
art groups can generate rows about funding or controversial subject matter.
4. Campaigns- campaigners who want to influence public opinion on
subjects ranging from animal rights to environment are likely to come up
with opinions or events that might generate news stories.
5. Commerce & Trade- business organizations can be useful source of
news stories or comments about anything from interest rates, shares to
shopping. Also, consumer stories are a valuable source of information for
evaluating the image of an organization.
6. Council press offices- local authorities employ teams of press officers.
They react to journalists’ queries, coming up with information, quotes and
contacts while acting as buffer between decision makers and journalists.
Council press officers with an eye for a good story should be able to get
daily page leads in local evening newspaper because they know what turns
on the common people.
7. Court hearings- court reporters dip in and out of several courtrooms
looking for cases that fit the news values. Hence, the importance of good
contacts with court staff, police, solicitors and others should be realized.
Some reporters will also go after background material like quotes from
victims and their relatives.
8. Entertainment industry- it is an increasingly important source for
today’s media and celebrities gain immensely because of popularity through
media coverage. Films, serials and various other programmes gain only if
media has been highlighting them.
9. Government News Network- the government news network produces
numbers of news release on behalf of the government departments and
agencies on a regional and national basis. It also handles ministerial and
royal visits.
10.Health authorities & hospitals- outbreak of serious disease, funding crisis,
hospital closures and health promotion are all examples of news stories that
arise from health authorities. Hospitals are source of good news stories
carrying news about cures, new treatments and general triumph-over-
11.Libraries- though it is hard to believe but the truth is that not everything is
available on the Internet. Libraries retain a useful role in providing access to
reference books, company reports, local history achieves, indexes of local
societies, community notice boards and so on.

12.News Agencies- they are the foot soldiers of journalism at a national and
international level, allowing media organizations to cover stories in areas
where they have few or no staff. Agencies keep a check on offices and local
bodies and look out for news stories here. Newspapers, radio, television, big
news media houses, depend largely on the news agencies for general news
coverage. Some famous news agencies are AP (Associated press of America
print), Reuters (UK), PTI (Press Trust of India), etc.
13.News Releases- news or press releases are point of reference for the
journalists while covering an event. Badly written press releases can be
waste of time both for the journalist as well as for the organization.
14.Notice boards- Notices in shops, offices, libraries, colleges and elsewhere
may also become a source of news.
15.Other media- newspaper monitor other papers plus TV, radio, news sites on
the web. And, in turn, each medium monitors other media.
16.People- potential stories can be suggested by people you meet while at
work, rest and play. This can range from somebody mentioning that they
have just seen a police car parked in their street to other substantial
information provided by the common people.
17.Political parties- contacts within parties can be a fruitful source of stories
about rows and splits, while party spokespeople will be more keen to let you
know about the selection of candidates or launch of policy initiatives.
18.PR companies- this industry provides the journalists and us a peek into the
media world everyday. So it is a major source for the journalists.
19.Press conferences- press conferences are likely to be held to announce the
results of official inquiries or to unveil new appointments. Fewer press
conferences take place these days, as most journalists are too busy to go and
collect information that could be faxed or emailed.
20.Universities- universities are a source of a huge range of stories, whether it
is ground breaking research, an unusual degree scheme or an ethical
argument. They are also where you will find experts in everything from
aeronautics to the zodiac.


Q1.What can be possible sources to gather news from?

2.2.8 Structure and Scope of News

‘Always grab the reader by the throat in the first paragraph, sink your thumbs
into his windpipe in the second and hold him against the wall until the tag line.’-
Paul O’Neill.

News report writing always starts with the most important fact. When you report
on a football game, you do not start with the kick -off; you begin with the final
score. A news report has a beginning, a middle and an end. News stories in
contrast to this will blurt out something and then explain themselves. News reports
are mostly active rather than in passive voice and are written in concise language.
Paragraphs are short so as to set in newspaper columns. Shorter paragraphs are
more likely to keep the attention of readers. Attribution meaning ‘somebody
saying something’ is used in the news- reports to present a range of views over
which the reporters can appear to remain neutral.

Most news reports follow the ‘Kiss and tell’ formula- Kiss standing either for
‘keep it short and simple’ or ‘keep it simple, stupid.’ Complexity, abstract notions,
ambiguity and unanswered questions tend to be frowned upon and deleted out of
news copy. News reports structure should have-

• Stories should have the main idea given to the journalist for covering of an
• Content of the news report should be comprehensive and balanced.
• The intro should contain the main point of the story and should be clearly
developed with the most important information coming early in the story,
followed by a coherent, logical and readable structure.
• Personal comments should be avoided.
• Facts should be presented logically.
• The style, context and facts should be accurate.

The news reports aim is to meet the requirements of everyday life as lived by
everyday readers. So it largely depends on elements like directness, pace, variety
and information. It aims to state the facts quickly and clearly.

A news report has three parts:

1. The headline
2. The first paragraph
3. The remainder of the news story

The headline first attracts us. It stands out in bold black type. It message is abrupt
and often startling. It makes us stop and look. It tells us quickly what the story
covers. Its function is to attract our attention. Though, the headline writing belongs
to the copyreader’s province and not to the reporter’s.

The lead remains the primary concern of the news writer. As the present day
reader is the man who both runs and reads, present day newspapers seek to
facilitate his getting the information quickly. The convention has developed of
telling the main facts of a news story in its first lead paragraph. Writing this lead
also involves answering the questions, which would occur to any normal person
when confronted with the announcement of a news story. These questions, called
the five W’s are:


Suppose the news story concerns a fire. In writing the lead-the reporter would
answer the questions, ‘What?’ “Fire broke out,” he would write. He would answer
the question, ‘Who?’ and ‘Where?’ by telling whose premises were burnt and
giving their location. He would answer “When” by telling the time the fire broke
out and how long it lasted. ‘Why?”-In this case the cause the usual carelessly
tossed cigarette butt. The reporter can also answer the ‘How’ in this story in
several ways by describing the type of fire, or by answering ‘How much’? Here, he
would estimate the probable lost and find out if premises had been covered by
insurance and if so by what amount.

The lead forms the springboard for the reporter’s leap into the story. The journalist
should keep in mind the elements of a good lead as he may flop sadly if the lead
turns out to be defective. The best way to gain journalistic facility is to practice the
writing of leads.

The end is the conclusion of the news reports. From the headline and the lead one
comes to the rest of the story. The reporter constructs the model news story after
this pattern. He selects the most important incident or fact for his lead. Then he
proceeds by selecting the next most important incident, fact or detail, the next most
important after that, and so on till he reaches least important phase of all. Guided
by his idea of news importance, the story assumes graphically the shape of an
Inverted Pyramid. The end will be at the peak of the inverted pyramid with the
facts or incidents of least value.

When writing a news story for an organization you should always retain the idea
that your text is to be read and understood by others. Thus a story is like building
blocks, which should be linked logically to each other. Therefore, there should be
continuity between the intro, the lead and the end of the news story.

Thus, the most popular format of news writing is the Inverted Pyramid:

This is the most widely used approach in news writing. The information is given
in the descending order of importance. Thus, it has three parts:

• Lead –introduction paragraph

• Support and supplement to the lead
• Details on descending order of importance


Q1.Select a news story and find its lead, body and end.


2.3.1 What is a ‘Lead’?

The opening paragraph of the introduction paragraph of the news story is called the
‘lead’. Though in journalistic practice we also use this word for biggest headline
on the front page of newspaper, calling it the ‘lead story’.

The main purpose of the intro or the lead is to make the reader want to read on,
motivate them to move further into the news story and state the important facts

Lead to a story "grabs the reader, informs the reader, and teaches the reader how to
read the rest of the story." John Mc Phee says the lead is the "flashlight that shines
into a story.” A newspaper reader is likely to spend only a few seconds deciding
whether to read a story. If the lead does not grab the reader, the writer's work is in

The lead establishes the direction your writing will take. A good lead grabs your
reader's attention and refuses to let go. In other words, it hooks the reader. Not
every type of lead will work for every writer or for every piece of writing and one
has to experiment with them. For writing a good news story, be sure to have at
least three sentences in your lead, whatever type it may be.

2.3.2 Ideas on how to write an interesting lead:

Open with an interesting question that relates to the main idea.

Example: Have you ever wondered how you would survive if you found yourself
alone in the wilderness? How would you defend yourself against predators? What
would you eat? Where would you find water?

Open with a riddle that the reader can solve by reading further. You may want to
give the answer right away or save it for the conclusion.
Example: What textbook has no pages, is miles wide, and smells like a creek? It's
been around for millions of years. That's right-Outdoor School
Open with an announcement about what is to come. However, do not insult the
reader by saying something like, "I am going to tell you about..." The reader should
be able to figure out what you are writing about. If not, there is something wrong
with what you have written, not with the reader.

Example: The trait of voice is very important in writing. However, it is difficult to
teach and even more difficult to learn. It is similar to athletic ability because it is
more like a talent than a skill.

Bold and Challenging Statement

A bold and challenging statement is similar to an announcement, but is meant to
cause some people to disagree with what you say. It's like one side of an argument.
It can be an opinion, but don't immediately state that it is your opinion.

Example: Using horses and cattle in the sport of rodeo is animal abuse. What
makes it more aggravating is that it is legal. According to the law, there is nothing
wrong with chasing an animal down, tightening a rope around its neck, knocking it
to the ground, and tying its legs together so it cannot move.

Open with a definition of the term you are discussing. It can be your own or come
from a dictionary or textbook. If you take it from a dictionary or textbook, be sure
to use quotation marks and give credit to the source.

Example: According to Webster's Dictionary, a government is the authority that

serves the people and acts on their behalf. How can the government know what the
people want if the people do not vote? If we do not vote, the government may act
on its own behalf instead of on the behalf of the people.

Open with your opinion about the topic. This is similar to a bold and challenging
statement, but you let the reader know that it is your opinion right away.

Example: In my opinion, the driving age should be lowered to fourteen. Most

teenagers are more responsible than adults give us credit for being. Just because we
are teenagers does not mean we are irresponsible and dangerous

Well Known Quotation or Quotation from a Famous Person

Open with a quotation that is well known or from a famous person. Be sure to put
quotations around the quotation and give credit to the person who said it. Of
course, the quotation must be directly related to your topic. A good source is a
book of quotations. Look in the library or ask your teacher.

Example: President John F. Kennedy once said, "Ask not what your country can do
for you, and ask what you can do for your country." I think today's Americans have

forgotten Kennedy's message. We expect our country to take care of us, but we are
not taking care of our country.

Quotation Not from a Famous Person

Open with a quotation from a person that is not famous. It could be a character
from the story or someone you know personally. You still must put it in quotation
marks and give credit to the person who said it.

Example: When I was a child, I was given the "mother's curse" by my mom. Oh, it
is not anything mean or evil. She just said, "When you have children, they will act
just like you." I laughed. Well, now that I have children of my own, I am not
laughing anymore. The "mother's curse" really works!

Personal Experience
Open with something that has happened to you, or a personal experience. It could
be a part of the story, or it could be something that is not a part of what you are
writing about but still relates to the topic.

Example: Although I did later in my room, I never cried at my grandfather's

funeral. I guess that is why I felt so sad for the little girl standing next to her
grandma's coffin. She looked so lost and afraid.

Figurative Language
Begin with a simile (comparison using like or as), metaphor (comparison saying
one thing is another thing), personification (giving something nonhuman human
qualities), or hyperbole (exaggeration.) The figurative language must relate directly
to your topic.

Example: The pencil sharpener was always hungry. It ate my pencil every time I
went to sharpen it. It never seemed to do this to anyone's pencil but mine. What
was so special about my pencils?

Enumerated General Statement

Begin with a general statement containing three or so ideas about your topic. The
information given in the lead is general, not specific. The specific details that
support the general statement will appear later in the paper.

Example: There are many characteristics that a good teacher possesses. However,
the three most important characteristics include being a good listener, being

knowledgeable about the subject, and having a kind heart. All of the teachers who
positively influenced me had all three of those characteristics in common.

2.3.3 Types of Leads

1.Hard/Direct/Summary Leads: This kind of lead is mostly used in news
stories because of the fact that news stories need to be concise, to the point and
put the most information into the least amount of words. That's why with
summary leads you summarize the entire article in the lead, or in other words,
put the most important piece of information into the first sentence and go from
there. Here's an example of a summary lead:

President Bush was aiming to rally U.S. forces encountering tougher resistance
in Iraq and warn Americans anew of a potentially long conflict when he was to
visit the headquarters of Central Command on Wednesday. The president was
getting a pair of briefings from Central Command brass and having lunch with
troops. At the Tampa, Fla., facility, he also was to give a speech in which he was
reminding military personnel that the United States leads a large coalition in the
war to unseat Saddam Hussein, White House spokesman Fleischer said.
2.Blind Leads: This is a lead where you start off the article by summarizing but
leaving out one essential detail; this is done to catch the interest of the reader. As
journalists you want people to read and be interested in your work, and in feature
writing especially confusing the reader in the beginning is sometimes a very
good way to catch their interest. Right after a blind lead you have to clarify the
missing piece of info though. Here's an example:

It was like the scene from the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," only for a
wireless generation.
Elena Brooks was incredulous when a pizza deliveryman arrived at Bethel High
School one day last spring with an order for a student who was in class.
Finding the culprit was simple enough. "Go into the room, tell everyone to turn
their cellphones on and find out which phone has the number stored for the pizza
place," said Ms. Brooks, the principal of Bethel High, in Hampton. When
identified, the student said he had ordered the pizza because he had missed
lunch. "He didn't see anything wrong with it at all, which was amazing," she

3.Narrative Leads: These leads are another feature type that actually takes you
into the mind of the main person in an article. Narrative leads tell a story from a
person's specific perspective; it's the most classic and in some instances most
effective way to start out a feature. Pick a person and start your article out with
their story and tie it into the main point. Here's an example:

Joe Darnaby had his heart set on going to college out East next year. But since
Sept. 11, his parents have laid down a new rule: no school more than five hours'
drive from home in Deerfield, Ill.
"Part of me says that he has to follow his dreams," says his mother, Maureen,
who wants her son to be able to get home in an emergency. "But there must be
another place closer to home where he can do that."
4.Quote Leads: This is a lead where you start off the article with a quote that
expresses the idea you want to get across well. In some newsrooms quote leads
are banned because finding the perfect quote for an article is a very challenging
task that most newspapers don't have the time for. Articles are written fast and
frequently, and finding a good lead is essential and needs to sometimes be done
very quickly. But if you have the time quote leads are very effective if done

5.Question Leads: These are leads use the first sentence of an article to answer
one of the "w" questions in journalism, who, what, when, where and why.
Another question is how, and question leads can use this too. Basically you use
the lead to answer one question to make the reader wonder the answers to the
6.Direct Appeal Lead: This type of lead addresses the reader directly or by
implication as ‘you’. It has the effect of making the reader, a collaborator, and
partner, in what follows.
7.Circumstantial Lead: Here the beginning stresses on the circumstance of the


Q1.Define ‘lead’? What are the different types of leads?

Q2.Write the lead of a happening or incident that took place recently in your


2.4.1 Definition

A headline grabs the reader's attention, targets him or her by saying

something meaningful, and creates some curiosity in the reader. It can make a
promise for some big benefit, it can make an offer, it can challenge the reader
in some way, it can introduce some really compelling concept or idea, or it can
be something newsworthy.

A headline is a ‘window’ to the news story. Thus, a heading must fit, must tell
the story, must confirm to newspaper’s standard, must not just be a label, must be
safe and must not commit the paper to an opinion. A good headline is one that in
less than a dozen words summarizes what a reporter has said.
The earliest newspapers had no headlines on the front page, which was devoted
entirely to advertisements, and the headlines inside did no more than announce
the subject of the report. Today, every newspaper has its own style of headlining
a story. Some newspaper give straight hard headings, while some other prefer to
give exciting and sensational headings. It normally depends on the policy of the

It has been found that all daily newspapers in standard size generally prefer to
give straight headlines and tabloid newspaper throughout the world give
sensational headlines.

2.4.2 Types of Headlines

Banner Headline: A newspaper headline written in large letters across the width
of the page. When the heading is given below the nameplate of the newspaper and
covers all columns from left to right, it is called banner headline. Some may call
it streamer, which also covers the entire column but is normally given on the inside
page. Sometimes the streamer may leave one column.
Skyline: for very exceptional and exclusive events, the headline of the story is
some times given over the nameplate of the newspaper. It means that the event is
even more important than the authority of the newspaper.

Rectangle: in such headings, all the lines are equal from left to right. Normally, it
is of three lines but sometimes it can be of 2 to 4 lines too.
Hanging indentation: (right justification) the heading with more than two or more
lines which are justified on the right side and unjustified on the left are called
hanging indentation.
Waist: this is of three lines where the first and the third line cover the column but
the centerline is smaller and placed centrally.
Full one/one line: the headline is normally single line heading covering all the
columns of the story
Crosser/highlighter: crosser are normally one line headline which is given in the
middle of the story. Sometimes in the story, a few important points are highlighted
in the middle of the story. They are also included in this category.
Flash: a recent development in the newspaper is to highlight the stories of inside
pages on the first page, just below the flag. Flag (The Times of India).
Over line: this is also called the eyebrow or strap line. This is normally given over
the main heading.
Oval: in such headlines, middle line is longer than the above and below lines. This
is normally of three lines.
Multi deck headings: the descending lines get smaller in size, after the main
Sub-heading: these are the small subsidiary headings in the body of the story

Symbolic headline: this headline will show the special effects of the story

Left step: here the lines of the headline are justified on the left and unjustified on
the right.
Step line: the headline with two or more lines, displayed so as to give an effect of
a stair. (Ladder)

Inverted pyramid: in this heading, there are three or more than three lines which
are centrally set from large to small. In some cases, there could be two lines only,
set in such a fashion.


Q1.Enlist various types of Headlines.

Q2.Look for different types of Headlines in your daily newspaper.

Some Guidelines for Headlines

Four functions of a headline:

1.It gets the reader's attention.

2.It summarizes or tells about the article.
3.It helps organize the news on the page.
4.It indicates the relative importance of a story.
• A good headline should be accurate, clear, grammatically correct, strong,
active, fresh and immediate. It should catch the reader's attention.
• The two most basic rules for headlines:

1.They must be accurate. 2.They

must fit the available space.
For headlines to be accurate, the headline writer must understand the article
thoroughly before writing the headline; the copy editor who doesn't have a
good view of what the article says isn't likely to write a headline that
communicates clearly and accurately.

Accuracy tips:
1.Spell check after writing the display type.
2.In particular, double-check any proper names or any numbers.
The headline should sell the article to the reader. Tell readers why they
should be interested.

• Every news story headline should have an active Verb. Headlines on feature
stories can be more creative. But aim for complete thoughts. Tell the story,
but avoid the "clears hurdle" or "man dies" phenomena. Get the most
important element first, the least important head element last.
• Attribute heads that convey opinion. If the lead needs attribution, chances
are the headline will, too. Most times, attribution will go at the end of the
• Headlines should be accurate in Tone: Don't put a light headline on a
serious story. Be careful not to put a first-day head on a second-day story.
Match the tone of the story. Be original and creative, but not trite and cliché.
If you do employ word play on an idiom or common phrase, be sure the
meter is exactly the same. The headline will ring falsely otherwise. If you
use a pun, be honest with yourself. Will it make the reader smile, or groan?
• Don't repeat the lead in a headline. Write a better headline than the lead.
And don't give away the punch line of a feature story that has a surprise
• Be aware of any unintended double meanings. Real-life examples of some
headlines that were published: Old man winter sticks icy finger into
Virginia. Teens indicted for drowning in lake; FBI ordered to assist Atlanta
in child slayings.
• Avoid Bad Breaks at the end of lines, such as dangling prepositions or
• Avoid Headlinese: Words such as mull, eye, rap, hit, slam, vie, assail, and
seen and bid are headline weaklings. Alter your approach to get away from
them. Look for a fresh approach.
• Don't go for the obvious. On fire-related stories, for example, stay away
from verbs such as spark and snuff; on storm stories, stay away from verbs
such as spawn, dump, blow, churn. In articles, hurricanes always seem to
churn, and tornadoes are always spawned.
In page layout

• The layout editor should make the headlines work with the graphics and the
art on the page. Most reader surveys show that newspaper readers look first
at photos on a page, then headlines.

• The page designer should leave ample room so writers can create good
headlines. Also, the layout editor should vary the size and shape of headlines
to accurately grade the news elements for the reader.
• Some basic types of headlines: banner (streamer), hammer, kicker or
eyebrow (above the main headline), sidesaddle, deck (usually half the point
size of the main headline), drop, read-in, read-out, jump heads.
Some Headline Technicalities

• Don't get into the habit of relying on squeezing or stretching the headline
type to fit the space. To trained eyes, it can look sloppy, especially when the
"doctored" headline appears near other headlines.
• In general, commas are used to replace 'and'; semicolons are used to split
multi sentence headlines. Many desks do not allow colons to indicate
attribution, except in rare cases, so it might be best to avoid that usage
• Some "headlines" words to avoid: slate, solon, nix, eyes, acronyms, names
of people who are not well known. Don't convict someone in a headline
(unless the story is about a conviction) -use "in" instead of "for."
• Avoid repeating bugs or page titles in headlines. For example, in a regular
column that runs with the bug "Insider Trading," avoid using the word
"Insiders" in the headline.
• Avoid using the same word in several headlines that appear on the same
page. This can easily bore the reader.
Tips for writing Headline

Best headline writers are spontaneous and creative; the best headlines
instantly come to you.
• Headline writers have to be the best writers at the newspaper.
• Many times, the best headlines you come up with cannot be printed!
• Continuity leads to better headlines; one must write them day after day to
get good at it.
• Read others' headlines to get ideas, but doing so isn't necessarily going to
make you a better headline writer.
• The most-effective headlines are those that give an old cliché a new twist;
readers are familiar with the cliché, but something different about it will reel
them in.
• The more conversational the headline, the more the readers will like it.

• Don't be so quick to abandon using articles such as "a," "and" and "the";
sometimes these words are needed for clarity. Also, headline styles change
over time.
Four-part test for each headline:
1. Is it accurate?
2. Is it clear?
3. Is it proper in tone?
4. Does it have a twist?


Every news story has to have a focus, which could be a person or an event. The
story emerges sharper when the focus is clear and blurred when the focus is
unclear. A news story is built on a central idea (theme), sometimes on two or three
central ideas. So it is called as single element story or two-element story or three-
element story depending on the number of themes it has.
Journalists use many different kinds of frameworks for organizing stories.
Journalists may tell some stories chronologically. Other stories may read like a
good suspense novel that culminates with the revelation of some dramatic piece of
information at the end. Still other stories will start in the present, then flashback to
the past to fill in details important to a fuller understanding of the story. All are
good approaches under particular circumstances.
1. Inverted pyramid: By far the simplest and most common story structure is
one called the "inverted pyramid." To understand what the "inverted
pyramid" name means, picture an upside-down triangle -one with the narrow
tip pointing downward and the broad base pointing upward. The broad base
represents the most newsworthy information in the news story, and the
narrow tip represents the least newsworthy information in the news story.
When you write a story in inverted pyramid format, you put the most
newsworthy information at the beginning of the story and the least
newsworthy information at the end.

Before computers, newspaper copy was cut with scissors to fit a space on the
news page. Editors cut the copy from the bottom up, chopping off the least
important information that reporters put on the ends of their stories. These
days, with so much competition from TV, radio, and the Internet, reporters
tend to cover their pyramids with cake frosting. They want to hook even the
most distracted readers. So they write a lead, statement, before the main
news story. A good lead gives readers the feeling that they have a front seat
for the action and provides a reason to keep reading.
2. Story telling style: this approach to news writing is used mostly in
magazines. It is a style that is very familiar to all of us. News stories are told
in the order in which they happened, i.e., what happened first, what
happened second, etc. This is known as telling a story in chronological
order. This style is used to hold the reader’s interest and stimulate some
imagination to see, feel, and understand the news. This is also called
narrative approach.

3. Personalized approach: This style is rarely used in the newspaper stories.

This is the first person approach and the reporter gives a personal account of
the incident, which took place on the spot where he/she was present
personally. The reporter on the television and radio will mostly use this
approach to news reporting and not the newspaper news reports.

4. Chronological news writing: In this type of writing, the information is

given in a chronological order instead of information given in descending
order of importance as in inverted pyramid.

Q1. What does Inverted Pyramid style of news writing indicate?


The newsroom is the hub of the entire activity in a newspaper, news agency or a
news channel. Called by different names, the editorial desk, editorial department or
copy desk or news desk, it is the nerve center of the newsroom. Here the whole
planning is done. However, in a news agency, the news desk edits and transmits

stories to the newspapers or news channels, which further tailors these agency
news stories.
A newsroom is the place where journalists, either reporters, editors,
producers and other staffers work to gather news to be published in a
newspaper or magazine or broadcast on television, cable or radio. Some
journalism organizations refer to the newsroom as the city room.
Following diagram will help in understanding the structure of a newsroom:

A Daily Newspaper



Business Dept. Editorial Dept. Mechanical Dept.

ADM CHM Off.M Editor Chief Editor Plate Making Printing

(Manager) (Circular) (Personal)

2.6.1 Desk Management

Atop the editorial hierarchy ranks the editor or an editor-in-chief who plans and
directs the day-to- day operations, supported by a team of news editors, chief sub
editors, senior sub editors and sub editors. The news desk usually operates in shifts
and each shift is headed by a chief sub, also called as ‘slot man’. Ideally, in a
newspaper, it is the news editor who plans and directs page making while the chief
sub helps implement his decisions.

In a news agency, news editors chief sub editor look after the smooth functioning
of the news desk. They plan and write ‘leads’ (updated version of developing


Residence Editor Joint Editor Assistant Leader

Local Editor Associated Editor Editor
City Editor Deputy
Managing Editor


News Editor Special Foreign Feature

Correspondent Correspondent Supplement

2.6.2 Editor
Editor is the person who directs and supervises the editorial side of the newspaper.
The primary role of the editor is:
• To manage the newspaper.
• Determines whether a submitted manuscript is appropriate for publishing.
• Selects expert reviewers and an area editor to evaluate the submitted
• Renders a final editorial decision on each manuscript based on the
recommendation, journal priorities, other similar manuscripts in process and
related considerations.
• Communicates directly with the author and the review team.
• Schedule accepted manuscripts for publication.
• Balance workloads for the area editors and reviewers.
• Resolve any conflicts.


Sport Desk News Desk
Film Desk Chief-sub-Editor
Business Desk Sr.Sub-Editor
Dak Post Part time Sub Editor

2.6.3 Sub-Editor or Copy Editor

Polishes up the language by removing rough edges from the copy and
making it readable
• Fine-tunes the copy to the style of the newspaper
• Simplifies the language to make it reader-friendly
• Tailors story length to space requirements
• Correct factual errors
• Detects fraud or plant –a plant is falsehood in journalistic garment it
promote somebody’s interest or discredit somebody
• Ensure balance and fairness and objectivity in the stories. In case of
controversy, both sides get equal space

• Guard against legal trappings like defamation and copyright violation. The
report stories should not defame a person by use of pejorative language.
• Rewrites and restructures stories if necessary. Normally sub editing
(subbing) involves looking for errors in spellings and grammar
• Implement the editorial policy of the newspaper like to maintain good taste,
shun sensationalism, etc
• Thus, a sub editor is responsible for every word that gets printed.

In a newspaper, newsroom plays the part of brain and soul of newspaper. Right
from collection of news, to headlining and placing, happens in the newsroom.
Newsroom is the pivot around which the newspaper revolves. All the reporters,
correspondents, report to news editor, who is considered the head of newsroom
would be found in the newsroom of any newspaper or news channel. Today the
scene in newsroom is a bit modernized as everything is done through computers
instead of the desk. Whatever the shape of the newsroom, it is indispensable in the
production of the news stories.


Q1.Describe the Newsroom and discuss the functions of the persons working in a


‘The truth, as all honest journalists know, is that newspapers are full of
Ian Mayes

Journalism has as its main activity the reporting of events -stating who, what,
when, where, why and how, and explaining the significance and effect of events or
trends. Journalism exists in a number of media: newspapers, television, radio,
magazines and, most recently, the World Wide Web through the Internet.
The subject matter of journalism can be anything and everything, and journalists
report and write on a wide variety of subjects: politics on the international,
national, provincial and local levels, economics and business on the same four

levels, health and medicine, education, sports, hobbies and recreation, lifestyles,
clothing, food, pets, sex and relationships.
Journalists report for general interest news outlets like newspapers, news
magazines and broadcast sources; general circulation specialty publications like
trade and hobby magazines, or for news publications and outlets with a select
group of subscribers.
Journalism is a job done by people called ‘journalists’. Journalists have a social
role to inform society about things that would other wise be private. Journalists
are usually expected and required to go out to the scene of a story to gather
information for their reports, and often may compose their reports in the
field. They also use the telephone, the computer and the internet to gather
information. However, more often those reports are written, and are almost always
edited, in the newsroom, the office space where journalists and editors work
together to prepare news content.

Journalists, cover a specific subject or area (beat) and are expected to cultivate
sources, people in the subject or area, that they can communicate with, either to
explain the details of a story, or to provide leads to other subjects of stories yet to
be reported. They are also expected to develop their investigative skills to better
research and report stories.

2.7.1 Role of a Journalist

The main duty of a journalist is to act as an interpreter of the world around. The
journalist observers the events, transmits facts about the event and acts as an
interpreter of these events and happenings. A journalist should therefore stick to
four ideals:

1. He should imbibe a never-ending search for the truth

2. He should be able to meet needs of the changing times, instead of waiting to
be overtaken by them
3. He should be able to perform services of some consequence and significance
to mankind
4. He should maintain a steadfast independence

A journalist is an important unit of the democratic system in our country. He is

supposed to gather facts, organize them and disseminate them to the masses. He
also explains the significance of the facts and offers opinions on contemporary

issues. He is expected to comment on matters of public interest in a fair,
accurate, unbiased, sober, decent and responsible manner.

A journalist must be cool, detached, and even skeptical as he approaches his

material. The right ‘attitude’ is an important trait in a successful journalist. He
should have a high degree of skill in organizing material and in using the
language. He should not be lacking in confidence but should not be over-
confident or over enthusiastic. He should avoid distortion in the news story in
an effort to attain striking effect.

‘Attribution’ or the ‘name of the source’ is another thing, which should not be
overlooked. The best attribution is the name of the precise source. The next best
is the name of the organization, office or group, represented by the source as a
spokesman. The least satisfactory, but sometimes the most necessary, is some
variation of the phrase, ‘informed source’, if the origin of the news must be held
in confidence.

‘Write like you talk’ is a phrase gaining much currency in modern journalism.
The stiff, formidable phrasing of the thirties is no longer considered a good
form. Instead, easy-flowing, lively and palatable language is becoming popular.

A great deal of importance is also attached to the ‘vitality’ factor in journalists.

Every journalist has to religiously observe the newspaper edition deadlines.
Journalism ethics and standards

It include principles of ethics and of good practice to address the specific

challenges faced by professional journalists. Historically and currently these
principles are most widely known to journalists as their professional "code of
ethics" or the "canons of journalism." The basic codes and canons commonly
appear in statements drafted by both professional journalism associations and
individual print, broadcast, and online news organizations.
While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements
including the principles of- truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality,
fairness and public accountability-as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy
information and its subsequent reportage to the public.

Like many broader ethical systems, journalism ethics include the principle of
"limitation of harm." This often involves the withholding of certain details from

reports such as the names of minor children, crime victims' names or information
not materially related to particular news reports release of which might, for
example, harm someone's reputation.

2.7.2 Qualities of a Journalist

There is no prescribed qualification for a journalist but not everyone can be a good
journalist. A good journalist is sometimes born but more often he is fashioned out
of the hard school of a rigorous test and training.

1. Curiosity- A journalist needs to know more and more, at least five times
more than the ordinary person. The best journalists go into situations with
open and absorbing minds. Thus, curiosity is the greatest virtue of a
journalist-a constant interest in what makes people tick, why has this
happened, what is going on? So naturally ‘nosy’ people makes the best of
reporters. A good journalist would want to know more than anybody else
and will always be enthusiastic in finding out whatever he can.
2. Creativity- There is moments when nothing news worthily happens and this
is when creativity comes into picture.
3. Commitments- some people who become a journalist are committed to
attend to assigned duties even in adverse situations. Commitment is one of
the most important qualities for a journalist.
4. Dependability- a journalist should be able to create among the people trust
for him. The news sources must trust the journalist completely.
5. Skepticism- a journalist should have the habit and quality to double-check
everything before the final presentation.
6. Courage- to face the reality for all excitements and dedication to the value
of a free and open press is some basic restraint in journalism. Journalists
have to deal with all kinds of people all the time. Someone maybe shy or
fearful, rude or kind but a good journalist should know how to deal with
them and how to squeeze news out of them. Thus, a journalist should be able
to read minds and deal in all kinds of people in every situation.

Q1.What are the qualities that one should possess to be a successful journalist?

Professional and Ethical standards for Journalists

Journalists are expected to follow a stringent code of journalistic conduct that

requires them to, among other things:
Use original sources of information, including interviews with people directly
involved in a story, original documents and other direct sources of
information, whenever possible, and cite the sources of this information in
• Fully attribute information gathered from other published sources,
should original sources not be available (to not do so is considered
plagiarism; some newspapers also note when an article uses information
from previous reports)
• Use multiple original sources of information, especially if the subject
of the report is controversial
• Check every fact reported
• Find and report every side of a story possible
• Report without bias, illustrating many aspects of a conflict rather than
siding with one
• Approach researching and reporting a story with a balance between
objectivity and skepticism.
• Use careful judgment when organizing and reporting information.
• Be careful about granting confidentiality to sources (news
organizations usually have specific rules that journalists must follow
concerning grants of confidentiality)
• Decline gifts or favors from any subject of a report, and avoid even
the appearance of being influenced
• Abstain from reporting or otherwise participating in the research and
writing about a subject in which the journalist has a personal stake or bias
that cannot be set aside.


With a change in times, the concept of journalism too is undergoing many changes.
It is no more a social service but a service or a job now. Today, it is considered a
big profit making industry. Therefore, energy medium of journalism, print as well
as visual is trying to increase its audience to earn more revenue, sometimes even

forgetting the basic ethics of journalism. These trends are clearly visible in modern
journalism and these three major elements are:

Editorial: Now-a-days, the editors are manager and the readers have become
consumers. Hence, journalism i.e. to inform and educate have now extended to
entertainment also to attract more and more audience because more audience
means more advertisements i.e. more revenue. Page 3 Culture is exactly the result
of this change.

Another major trend in modern journalism is the investigative part. Investigative

journalism is one in which journalists investigate and expose unethical, immoral
and illegal behavior by individuals, businesses and government agencies Although
every story needs some research and investigation but the ‘Watergate Disclosure’
in the1970 led to a new era, in which the mass media became more aggressive in
reporting the activities of politicians.

‘Watergates’ was an American political scandal that eventually led to the

resignation of Richard Nixon, the first US President to be brought down by
investigative journalism. After that, in India too, the newspapers like the Indian
Express have exposed many political scandals.

In broadcast journalism these days, news channels too are carrying out ‘sting
operation’ to expose corruption, crime and violation of rights in our society,
which is the modern trend in investigative journalism. Many such aggressive
attacks have already been made on famous politicians and well-known celebrities. have carried out many such sting operations in recent past. But
somehow, these sting operations could not be called investigative journalism
because there is no investigation as such. Maximum participation from the
audience is achieved today by letters, SMSs, E-mail, etc. This trend vigorously
started, particularly in broadcast journalism at the time of London Bomb Blast on
7.7.05 when video clippings were shown on BBC television.

Now-a-days there is also an absolutely new trend in journalism i.e. ‘Citizen

journalism’. Here, every citizen can become a journalist by participating in
newsgathering. Citizen journalism, also known as "participatory journalism," is
the act of citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting,
analyzing and disseminating news and information". The intent of this
participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and
relevant information that a democracy requires. Earlier, the sole aim was
information, but today it is information, entertainment, public interest at a large.

Marketing: An aggressive marketing drive has overtaken the media of today,
making it more commercialised than ever. The media of mass communication and
journalism i.e.television, radio, newspaper, are considered as commodities and
vigorous marketing is done. Also much advertising is done these days to increase
the circulation of the mass media. This has also led to state of the art designing and
production of newspapers and programmers because a better and more advanced
presentation is the requirement of the day.

Technology: the news information technology has resulted in revolutionary

changes in every sphere of life including journalism. With over expanding of
satellite network, the world has become a ‘tiny global village’ . Computers,
WWW, cellular phones,internet, etc the world of communication has changed
immensely. As a result, a new branch of journalism i.e. ‘Cyber Journalism’ or
‘On-line-Journalism’ has emerged.
Today, almost eveery important newspaper and magazine is available on the
internet. The fast and vast growth of the Internet and World Wide Web has
spawned the newest medium for journalism, on-line journalism. The speed at
which news can be disseminated on the web, and the profound penetration to
anyone with a computer and web browser, have greatly increased the quantity and
variety of news reports available to the average web user.

The bulk of on -line journalism has been the extension of existing print and
broadcast media into the web via web versions of their primary products. New
reports that were set to be released at expected times now can be published as soon
as they are written and edited, increasing the deadline pressure and fear of being
scooped many journalists must deal with.

Most news websites are free to their users -one notable exception being the Wall
Street Journal website, for which a subscripton is required to view its content- but
some outlets, such as the New York Times website, offer current news for free but
archived reports and access to opinion columnists and other non-news sections for
a periodic fee.
However, the growth of blogs as a source of news and especially opinion on the
news has forever changed journalism. Blogs now can create news as well as report
it, and blur the dividing line between news and opinion.

Thus, technological development is also reflected in the daily working style of the
journalists. They have computers and laptops intead of paper and pen. Also, news
writing and news presentation is done with the help of the computers. Instead of
proof reading mistakes and errors, they can be easily corrected on the computer
screens itself.

Picture arrangements, headings, columns, color arrangements, eveerything is done

on the screen. The full dummy can also be seen on the screen of thecomputer. Even
the print orders is done through electronic E-publishing i.e. you can make a page
on the computer screen, link those pages, make a dummy, final it and OK it for
printing. This has given a new concept of ‘convergence’ in communication.


News is, anything out of the ordinary, it is the current happenings. It is anything
that makes the reader surprised and curious. News is anything that will make
people talk. News is the issue for discussions and debates. Any event, which
affects most of the people, interest most of the audiences and involves most of the
people, is news.

One of the most important elements of news writing is the opening paragraph or
two of the story. Journalists refer to this as the "lead," and its function is to
summarize the story

Most news reports follow the ‘Kiss and tell’ formula- Kiss standing either for
‘keep it short and simple’ or ‘keep it simple, stupid.’ Complexity, abstract notions,
ambiguity and unanswered questions tend to be frowned upon and deleted out of
news copy.
The opening paragraph of the introduction paragraph of the news story is called the
A headline is a ‘window’ to the news story. Thus, a heading must fit, must tell
the story, must confirm to newspaper’s standard, must not just be a label, must be
safe and must not commit the paper to an opinion. A good headline is one that in
less than a dozen words summarizes what a reporter has said.

Journalists report for general interest news outlets like newspapers, news
magazines and broadcast sources; general circulation specialty publications like
trade and hobby magazines, or for news publications and outlets with a select
group of subscribers.

With a change in times, the concept of journalism too is undergoing many changes.
It is no more a social service but a service or a job now. Today, it is considered a
big profit making industry.


Q1.Define ‘News’? What role does news play in our society? What are the various
kinds of news?
Q2.What are the element of a news story? Describe the structure of a news story?
Q3. Who is the ‘Journalist’? What qualities should he possess in order to be an
ideal journalist?
Q4. Describe in detail the structure of the newsroom and discuss the roles of
various people working in Desk Management?
Q5. Discuss the modern trends in today’s Journalism?
Q6. What is a ‘Headline’? What are the different kinds of Headlines?
Q7. What is a ‘lead’? Discuss the various ways to write interesting leads?
Q8. From What all sources can we gather news?
Q9. Discuss the ‘Inverted Pyramid’ style of news writing.
Q10.What elements can be included in a news story to make it more readable and


1.News Writing - George Hough

2.The Professional Journalism - M. V. Kamath
3.The Journalist 's Handbook - M.V. Kamath