The way journalists work and how the public gets its news have changed dramatically. The media landscape has evolved and converged, and to succeed, journalism students must learn the fundamentals of journalism — how to research, write, and tell a great story — and use these skills in an increasingly digital world. The Missouri Group continues to offer the best coverage of the basics while keeping pace with the trends in the field. In Telling the Story, 5th edition, The Missouri Group goes even further with concise, how-to coverage of the new journalistic skills that take advantage of new technologies — from blogging to researching online, to using social media and conducting online interviews.
Brian S. Brooks is associate dean for undergraduate studies and administration at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In addition to coauthoring News Reporting and Writing for Bedford/St. Martin’s, he is coauthor of Telling the Story, Third Edition (2007), Working with Words, Sixth Edition (2006), and The Art of Editing (2009).
Daryl R. Moen is professor of journalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and former editor of three daily newspapers. Moen is also coauthor of Telling the Story, Fourth Edition (2010) and Beyond the Inverted Pyramid (1993), and author of Newspaper Layout and Design, Fourth Edition (2000).
Don Ranly, professor emeritus of journalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, was formerly director of the magazine sequence at the school for twenty-eight years. He is coauthor of News Reporting and Writing, Tenth Edition (2011), Telling the Story, Fourth Edition (2010), and Beyond the Inverted Pyramid (1993), and is the author of Publication Editing (1999), and the editor of Principles of American Journalism (1997). He has conducted more than 1,000 writing, editing, and publishing seminars for corporations, associations and organizations, and individual magazine, newspaper, and publishing companies.
George Kennedy, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, is also a coauthor of Telling the Story, Third Edition (2007) and Beyond the Inverted Pyramid (1993), as well as a former managing editor of the Columbia Missourian and a former bureau chief for the Miami Herald.
PrefacePART I JOURNALISM AND JOURNALISTS The Nature of News Convergence in JournalismWhat News IsElements of a Good News StoryHow Different Media Present the NewsThe Rise of Citizen JournalismThe Role of JournalismChallenges to American JournalismPrinciples of Good JournalismJournalists’ Responsibilities in a DemocracyAccuracy, Fairness and BiasAccuracy and FairnessBiasThe Issue of ObjectivityWhat Is Not NewsVideo: "Convergence and Essential Skills" and "Newspapers Now: Balancing Citizen Journalism and Investigative Reporting." 2 Convergence, Citizen Journalism and Emerging MediaHow People Consume News TodayThe Impact of Media Fragmentation on Legacy MediaTypes of News AudiencesCan Television and the Internet Replace Newspaper Reporting?Distrust of the MediaFinancial Challenges to Legacy MediaConvergence as a Response to Media FragmentationEnhanced Web CoverageSynchronized Media CoverageNewspapers: The Source of Most NewsEmbracing Citizen JournalismThe Role of the Public in News GatheringProblems with Citizen JournalismNew Financial Models for Web-Based JournalismFor-Profit ModelsNot-for-Profit ModelsJobs in Journalism TodayVideo: "Internet Media Entrepreneurs: Newsy.com," "Newspapers and the Internet: Convergence," and "User Generated Content." PART II REPORTING TOOLS 3 InterviewingBuilding TrustPreparing for the InterviewThe News StoryThe ProfileThe Investigative PieceBroadcast InterviewsTelephone, Email and Skype InterviewsSetting Up the InterviewPreparing QuestionsResearching QuestionsPhrasing QuestionsInterview ApproachesEnsuring AccuracyRecordingTaking NotesObservingUnderstanding What You HearAsking Follow-Up QuestionsPacing the InterviewTaking Photos or VideoEnding the InterviewWhat to Quote DirectlyUnique MaterialMemorable ExpressionsImportant Quotes by Important PeopleQuoting AccuratelyVerificationCorrecting Grammar in QuotationsVideo: "Filling the News Hole: Video News Releases." 4 Gathering and Verifying InformationOnline Sources of InformationYour News Library: The Place to StartSearch EnginesNews Sites, Social Media and Content AggregatorsCommercial Database ServicesGovernment DatabasesSpecial-Interest DatabasesEvaluating Internet SourcesThe Discipline of VerificationIs the Website Credible?Traditional Sources of InformationThe Newspaper LibraryOther Traditional SourcesVideo: "Computer Assisted Reporting" and "Investigative Reporting Resources." 5 Reporting with NumbersProportionPercentages and Percentage ChangeAverages and MediansRatesInterest and CompoundingInflationTaxesSales TaxesIncome TaxesProperty TaxesBudgetsBudget BasicsFinding Stories in Budget Changes, Trends and ComparisonsFinancial ReportsMaking Sense of Numbers from PollsMixing Numbers and WordsCurrency ExchangeVideo: "Freedom of Information." PART III STORYTELLING 6 The Inverted PyramidThe Importance of the Inverted-Pyramid StoryFinding the LeadAsking QuestionsWriting the Inverted-Pyramid LeadEmphasizing Different News Values"What," "So What" and "What’s Next"Variations on the Inverted-Pyramid LeadThe "You" LeadThe Immediate-Identification LeadThe Delayed-Identification LeadThe Summary LeadThe Multiple-Element LeadLeads with FlairStory OrganizationThe One-Subject StoryThe Memo-Structure StoryThe Multiple-Element StoryChecking Accuracy and AttributionsEnsuring AccuracyHow and When to AttributeVideo: "Magazine Specialization Today." 7 Beyond the Inverted PyramidThe Techniques of NarrationVivid ScenesDialogueForeshadowingAnecdotesChronology StructureOutlining the StoryThe Nut Paragraph and the "To Be Sure"The EndingThe News Narrative StructureThe Focus StructureWriting the LeadFinishing the SetupWriting the BodyWriting the EndingService JournalismVideo: "Narrowcasting in Magazines" and "The Objectivity Myth." PART IV WRITING FOR SPECIFIC MEDIA 8 Writing News for Digital MediaThe Web as a Unique Media FormReaders’ Expectations of the Digital MediaReaders Want the News Right AwayReaders Want to Have Their SayReaders Want Multimedia VarietyReaders Want the News UpfrontReaders Want to Customize ContentThe Audience Is InternationalStructure Is All-ImportantGuidelines for Writing for the WebThink ImmediacySave Readers TimeProvide Information That’s Quick and Easy to GetThink Both Verbally and VisuallyCut Copy in HalfUse Lots of Lists and BulletsWrite in ChunksUse HyperlinksGive Readers a Chance to Talk BackDon’t Forget the Human TouchWriting with Search Engines in MindWriting for BlogsWide-Ranging Subject MatterProfessional StandardsPromoting News on Facebook and TwitterTomorrow’s ReadersVideo: "Going Viral: Political Campaigns and Video" and "Media Effects Research." 9 Writing News for Radio and TelevisionWhat Radio and Television Do BestCriteria for Selecting Radio and Television NewsTimelinessInformation Rather Than ExplanationAudio or Visual ImpactPeopleWriting Radio and Television NewsCharacteristics of Radio and Television News WritingStory StructureUsing Social Media in Radio and TelevisionBlending Online with On-AirGuidelines for Using Social MediaPreparing Radio and Television CopyFormatNames and TitlesPronunciationAbbreviationsSymbols and NumbersQuotations and AttributionsPunctuationVideo: "Going Visual: Video, Radio, and the Web," "Radio: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow," and "Television Networks Evolve: Cable, Satellite, and Broadband." 10 Writing for Public RelationsThe Making of a PR DisasterThe Importance of Writing SkillsPublic Relations Writing: A Different ApproachA Range of InterestsObjectivity and Public Relations WritingPublic Relations Writing: The Main FocusThe MessageThe AudienceThe MediaPublic Relations Writing: A Matter of PersuasionYour AttitudeCredibility and TrustWriting News Releases That Get AttentionKnow What News Is and How to Write ItKnow the Structure and Operations of NewsroomsKnow the People in the News Media and the Jobs They HoldKnow the Style of Writing That Fits the MediumKnow How to Distribute Information OnlineApproaches to Writing News ReleasesSome Final AdviceVideo: "Give and Take: Public Relations and Journalism." PART V BASIC STORIES 11 Covering a BeatBeat Reporting in the 21st CenturyPrinciples for Reporters on a BeatBe PreparedBe AlertBe PersistentBe ThereBe WaryCovering Important Local BeatsInformation Is PowerThe Budget Is the BlueprintDistributing Power and Money Is PoliticsCity and County Government BeatsSubordinate AdministratorsCouncil MembersPressure GroupsPublic CitizensOpponentsEducation BeatK–12 SchoolsColleges and UniversitiesPolice BeatCourt System BeatCourt RecordsHuman SourcesScientific Beats: Environment, Science and MedicineLearning the Environment BeatFinding Stories in Science and MedicineDealing with Special IssuesSports BeatLooking Beyond the ClichésDeveloping ContactsDigging for the Real StoryVideo: "Agenda Setting and Gatekeeping" and "Community Voices: Weekly Newspapers." 12 Speeches, News Conferences and MeetingsPreparationCovering Speeches, News Conferences and MeetingsUnderstanding the MediumGetting the Content CorrectDescribing the ParticipantsBeing ObservantArriving, Positioning Yourself and Staying OnStructuring and Writing Your StoryWriting the Speech StoryWriting the News Conference StoryWriting the Meeting StoryVideo: "What Makes Public Television ‘Public’?" 13 Writing Common Types of StoriesYour PreparationPreparing for the Crime StoryPreparing for Accident and Fire StoriesPreparing for the Court StoryWriting the Crime StoryWriting Accident and Fire StoriesWriting the Court StoryAvoiding Libelous StatementsA Typical First StoryFollow-Up Story: First Court AppearanceFollow-Up Story: Preliminary HearingFollow-Up Story: ArraignmentFollow-Up Story: First Day of the TrialFollow-Up Story: Trial TestimonyFollow-Up Story: VerdictOther Issues in Crime and Court ReportingThe Free Press/Fair Trial ControversyIssues of Taste and EthicsObituaries and Life StoriesCrafting a LeadWriting Life StoriesSources of InformationCause of DeathEmbarrassing InformationVideo: "Fake News/Real News." PART VI RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES 14 LawMedia Law in the Digital AgeFirst Amendment RightsLibelIdentifying LibelLibel Suit DefensesThe Continuing Danger of LibelLibel and the InternetInvasion of PrivacyTrespassingPortraying in a "False Light"Causing Unwanted Publicity Offensive to a Person of Ordinary SensibilitiesProtection of Sources and NotesState Shield LawsProtecting Sources in Federal CourtsPromising Sources ConfidentialityAccess to CourtsCopyright and Fair UseVideo: "Bloggers and Legal Rights," "Net Neutrality," and "Shield Laws and Non-Traditional Journalists." 15 EthicsThe Public Perception of Journalism EthicsBloggers as WatchdogsJournalism Codes of EthicsThree Ethical PhilosophiesThe Ethics of DutyThe Ethics of Final Ends or ConsequencesSituation Ethics: The Ethics of Specific ActsResolving Ethical IssuesEthical Problems for JournalistsDeceitConflicts of InterestAdvertising PressureInvasion of PrivacyWithholding InformationIncorrect and Incomplete InformationPlagiarismTwitter EthicsVideo: "Journalism Ethics: What News Is Fit to Print?", "The Money Behind the Media," and "The Power of Images: Amy Goodman on Emmett Till." Appendix 1 Copy Editing and Proofreading SymbolsAppendix 2 Wire Service Style SummaryAppendix 3 Twenty Common Errors of Grammar and PunctuationGlossary