Reaching Audiences : A Guide to Media Writing

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
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Reaching Audiences provides a brief yet thorough guide to correct, clear writing for the media. This book sets up the writing process and shows the reader how to accomplish each task in a mass media context. The importance of the audience in considering media and messages is stressed throughout the book. The book covers specific skills related to spelling, grammar, accuracy, word usage, bias, research, interviewing, and other important topics. The book covers a wide range of media fields such as print, electronic media, public relations, and advertising and illuminates the differences and similarities in writing styles among them. For anyone interested in media and news writing.

Table of Contents

Most chapters conclude with "Exercises" and "References."


1. Writing for Today's Audiences.
Reaching Audiences.
Knowing Audiences.
The Writing Process Explained.
Considering Audiences.

2. Tools for Writers: Spelling, Grammar, Style, and Math.
Spelling in the Computer Age.
Grammar To the Rescue.
Grammar Problems Up Close.
Watching Style.
Copyediting Symbols.
Math for Journalists.
Suggested Readings.

3. Guidelines for Good Writing.
Watchwords of Writing.
Keys to Good Writing.
Paragraphs-Short Paragraphs.
Where We Are.
The Way to Clearer Writing.
Editing, Editing, Editing.
Putting the Rules in Practice.

4. Getting to the Point.
What's the Point?
In the Beginning Comes the Lead.
News Elements.
News Values.
General Rules for Leads.
Summary Leads.
Other Lead Formats.
Choosing a Lead Type.

5. Beyond the Lead: Writing the Message.
The Inverted Pyramid.
Organizing a Story.
News Peg and Nut Graph.
Other Organizational Styles.
Unifying Writing.
News versus Feature.
Moving on with Writing.


6. Recognizing Bias and Stereotypes.
The Bias Habit.
Considering Specific Groups.
Overcoming Bias in Writing.

7. Research and Observation.
Getting Started in Research.
Government Sources.
Online Research.

8. Legal and Ethical Issues.
Copyright and Plagiarism.
Ethics in Gathering Information.
Other Newsgathering Dilemmas.

9. Interviewing, Quotations, and Attribution.
Interviewing as a Challenge.
Research Before Interviewing.
Getting the Interview.
Writing the Questions.
Conducting an Interview.
Selecting and Using Quotes.
More on Attribution.
Covering Speeches.


10. Electronic Media.
Print and Electronic Media Writing.
Leads and Structure.
Writing Guidelines.
Style in Copy.
Broadcast Formats.
Online Writing
Trends in Electronic Media.
Other Trends.

11. Public Relations Writing.
What Is Public Relations?
The Role of Good Writing.
The Media as a Public.
Communications Tools.
Public Relations and Advertising.
Communications Planning.

12. Advertising.
Advertising in the Information Age.
Advertising and Today's Audiences.
Advertising on the Internet.
Tips for Ad Copy That Sells.
All Writers Can Learn from Advertising.

Appendix A. The Abused Words List.

Appendix B. Keys to Grammar and Style Quizzes.

Appendix C. Key to Math Test.


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