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Practical Newspaper Reporting, 3rd Edition

Book Description

This guide to all aspects of the reporter's job, has been extensively revised and updated for a third edition. It considers:
What is news?
How the modern newsroom operates
How facts are gathered and checked
The reporter and picture ideas
District reporting
Techniques of interviewing
News writing and newspaper language
How to summarize
Reporting the courts
Political and industrial reporting
Aspects of sportswriting
Feature writing and arts reviewing


The book also includes an important new chapter on the place of local government in newspaper coverage and it examines a newspaper's internal structure and the reporter's daily work in the light of the latest technology.

This classic textbook is a must for all journalism and media courses and offers the ideal career introduction for the young journalist.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Table of Contents
  6. List of illustrations
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. 1  What is news?
    1. Assessing news value
    2. Good news and bad
    3. Readership
    4. News ideas
  9. 2  Gathering the news
    1. The news room
    2. Calls and contacts
    3. Tip-offs
    4. Reading newspapers
    5. Chasing the facts
    6. Tools of the job -Taking notes
    7. Making inquiries
    8. Dealing with people -Being fair
    9. Being thorough
    10. Who to ask and where to look
  10. 3  Picture ideas
    1. Working with a photographer
    2. What makes a picture?
    3. Colour
  11. 4  District reporting
    1. What makes a reporter
    2. Local geography
    3. Beyond your district
    4. Getting to grips
    5. Nursing your contacts
    6. Organizations
    7. People in the know
    8. The local angle
    9. Diary jobs
  12. 5  Interviewing
    1. Preparation
    2. Background
    3. Establishing confidence
    4. Reluctant people
    5. Using your notebook
    6. Let them talk
    7. The bell that rings
    8. Coaxing answers
    9. Checking back
    10. Telephone interviews
    11. Controversial interviews
    12. Finding the hidden story
    13. The second interview
    14. Where interviews can fail
    15. Attempts to vet copy
  13. 6  News writing
    1. Where to begin
    2. What is new?
    3. Starting with a quote
    4. Opening sentence
    5. Stick to the facts
    6. Simple and precise
    7. Grabbing the reader
    8. Order of facts
    9. Explanations
    10. Helping the reader
    11. Changing subjects
    12. Handling quotations
    13. The right length
    14. Facts and figures
    15. Entering your text
    16. Presentation
    17. When time is short
    18. Read it through
    19. Complaints
    20. Good taste
    21. A note on short reports
  14. 7  Newspaper language
    1. The problem with codes
    2. Sentence length
    3. The right word
    4. Correct English
    5. Words and idioms
    6. Slang and contractions
    7. Technical language
    8. Foreign words
    9. Double meanings
    10. The right word order
    11. Variety and rhythm
    12. Numbers
    13. Political correctness
    14. Loaded words
    15. Worn phrases
    16. References
  15. 8  Reporting the courts
    1. 1 Court structure
      1. Magistrates’ courts
      2. Crown courts
      3. High Court
      4. County courts
      5. Coroners’ courts
      6. Consistory courts
      7. Courts-martial
      8. Tribunals and inquiries
    2. 2 How to write up court cases
      1. Notes
      2. Who, where and what?
      3. Court feature articles
    3. 3 Privilege
    4. 4 Restrictions on reporting
      1. Committals for trial, remand hearings and adjournments
      2. Contempt of court
      3. Crime and accident stories
      4. Young offenders courts
      5. Family proceedings
      6. Divorce courts
      7. Rape and indecency
      8. Code of Practice
    5. 5 The probation service
    6. 6 The police
      1. Useful telephone numbers
  16. 9  Reporting local government
    1. The local councillor
    2. Council meetings
    3. Writing it up
    4. The council officer
    5. Radical change
    6. The stories to look for
  17. 10  Politics
    1. Independents
    2. Electioneering
    3. Election procedure
    4. Party organization
  18. 11  Business and industry
    1. Knowing the firms
    2. Trades councils
    3. Disputes
    4. Shop
    5. The employers
    6. Company publications
    7. Employment and industry services
    8. Winning their confidence
  19. 12  Reporting religions
    1. Weddings
    2. Priests and ministers
    3. Islam
    4. Hinduism and Sikhism
    5. Judaism
    6. References
    7. Useful telephone numbers
  20. 13  Some thoughts on sportswriting
    1. Going to a match
    2. Writing your report
    3. Words and openings
    4. Colour and variety
    5. Vocabulary
    6. Midweek sportswriting
    7. Sporting reference books
  21. 14  Summarizing
    1. The short report
    2. The long report
    3. Balance sheets
  22. 15  Feature writing
    1. Finding ideas
    2. Illustrations
    3. Interviews
    4. Behind the facts
    5. Comment
    6. Good beginnings
    7. Building the text
    8. Some writing tips
    9. A note on leaders
  23. 16  Arts reviewing
    1. Shaping your review
    2. Amateur theatre
    3. Professional theatre
    4. Theatre: basic background
    5. Drama festivals
    6. Music
    7. Singing
    8. Pop, folk and jazz
    9. Films
    10. Television
    11. Books
  24. 17  Newspaper structure
    1. Who does what
    2. Copy input
    3. What happens to your story
    4. Page production
    5. Press and post-press
    6. Conclusion
  25. 18  Looking things up
    1. The arts
    2. Aviation
    3. The Bible
    4. The churches
    5. English language
    6. Geography
    7. History
    8. Industry and companies
    9. Local government
    10. Local information
    11. National affairs and information
    12. Parliament
    13. People
    14. Press and radio
    15. The services
    16. Sport
    17. World affairs
  26. 19  A note on ethics
    1. Press complaints
    2. Accountability
    3. Informants
    4. People in the news
    5. Journalists and their readers
    6. Further reading
  27. 20  Careers in journalism
    1. The NCTJ
    2. In-house training
    3. NVQs
    4. Journalism degrees
    5. Other courses
  28. Appendix 1 Investigative reporting
  29. Appendix 2 Code of Practice for the Press
  30. Index