Journalism 1, 2, 3 – Pirateer News Magazine,, and social media

Journalism I, 2, 3 Syllabus

FALL 2018




Ms. Shotts ~ Room 1112

OFFICE HOURS: 2nd hour; before and after school

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Journalism I, 2 and 3 will give training in all the areas of contemporary journalism: media history, law, and ethics; reporting; news, feature, sports, opinion, and entertainment writing; editing; photography; page design and layout; advertising and public relations; and multimedia (broadcast and online) journalism. The course makes you an integral part of the staff for the EHS Pirateer news magazine, and the EHS social media accounts.  Writing, decision-making, creativity, problem solving, and professionalism will be strongly emphasized in this class meant to develop real-world skills for future careers in communications.


COURSE PURPOSE: Real and living, journalism influences every area of life. In essence, journalism is the foundation for our democracy and allows us to exist as we do. I hope this course teaches you what happens behind the scenes in the media-crazy society we know – both good and bad. I hope you become better thinkers – never taking anything at face value. And, I hope you appreciate the awesome responsibility and joy that journalism is.
CLASSROOM RULES: As much as it is an individual endeavor at times, journalism is truly about teamwork. Therefore, Respect all others in what is said and done, especially when viewpoints are different from your own; put Effort into every assignment and every word spoken; take Responsibility for your choices and actions, as well as for achieving and learning at the highest level possible.

Beyond that:

  • No food or drinks – be good to the computers; they are all we have!
  • Adhere to all the EHS MEDIA Handbook rules and discipline system (ex: cell phones, dress, language, etc.)

Press Passes: The atmosphere here will be somewhat relaxed; ongoing discussion will be necessary; movement around the room is encouraged on newsroom days. Through the use of a Press Pass, you will be able to travel the building during the journalism period on course-related business. But remember, any abuse of this privilege will result in loss of this opportunity, hurting your ability to finish assignments.



  • Journalism Today by Donald L. Ferguson, Jim Patten, Bradley Wilson (and workbook), 7th (in class)
  • Reporter’s notebook (1 provided by EHS)
  • One notebook and folder dedicated to journalism note taking and in-class writing/assignments
  • KEEP all class materials and all interview notes!


DEADLINES and LATE WORK: In this class, we will work under the assumption that you are a journalist. Therefore, deadlines will be taken seriously. Meeting deadlines is required in the actual production of a news product; it also prepares you for your future job and/or college.
Unexcused absences do not warrant make-up privileges. For any excused absence, it is your responsibility to ask about missed work. You will be given one day for every day absent to turn work in.
GOING ‘LIVE’: As we learn the pieces of journalism, we will actually do journalism. Journalism 1, 2 and 3 is the real-life, working newspaper staff of the EHS Pirateer. So, throughout the semester, your work has the opportunity to go “live” and be seen by our high school and community. Always have that in mind, and learn well from the newspaper staff nearby.
GRADING: Each week, your grades will be posted on Infinite Campus. Please take note of your score and talk to me about any discrepancies as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to keep track of your progress and grade.

In Journalism, you will be graded on how you apply what you learn, your contributions to the news magazine, website and social media sites. During this semester, your grades will be determined based on the following areas:

  • Skill assignments (individual assessments of types of journalism) – 100 points each
  • News journals and news/skill quizzes (alternating weeks) – 20 points each
  • In-class practice assignments (formative) – 10 points each
  • Final content for news magazine, web and social media – 100 points

EXTRA HELP POLICY: Each of you can get additional, individualized help during class, before school, during lunch, or after school. Especially if you don’t have access to a computer or the Internet at home, feel free to spend extra time in the good ol’ journalism room. It’s a great place to be, and once you are a journalism student, you are ALWAYS welcome here.
PLAGARISM: To submit another’s efforts as your own, or to make up sources or misquote sources, is plagiarism – an unethical act that is a serious offense. It is expected that you will submit only your own work in this course.

Student MUST revise anything plagiarized.

  • Student must attend required tutorials or conference with teacher about portions of the essay that need improvement; tutorial may also be assigned for actual revision time.
  • Reflection paper must be completed and turned in with revision.
  • Revision or retake is re-evaluated, and new grade is recorded (including points taken off of rubric for late work).

Sadly, in the last few decades, high-profile journalists have been caught in plagiarism or unethical behavior and have lost much because of it. This issue can become tricky at times, but know you can clarify with me if you feel unsure about something.


Mondays and Wednesdays – Reading news and ethics

Tuesdays – Editing and AP style

Thursdays – News/Skill Quiz or Weekly News Journal DUE (by end of period)

Fridays – Visual journalism
Journalism History, Law, and Ethics

History application interviews

Ethical scenarios and unit test

News Gathering, Writing, and Editing

Interviewing, accuracy, and quotes

News writing and the inverted pyramid

“Shattered Glass”

AP Style and line editing


Taking photos, editing photos, Photoshop

Feature Writing

News features, personality profiles, and human interest

Immersion journalism/literary journalism examples

Entertainment Writing

Reviews and arts features

Layout and Design

Headlines, color & typography, InDesign

Advertising and Public Relations

Target audiences, marketing/PR campaigns, ad creation

Multimedia Journalism

Video/audio capture and editing

Investigative Reporting/Social Justice Media

“All the President’s Men” clips and discussions

Research tips and tools

Mini investigative journalism project

Opinion Writing

Columns, editorials, cartooning

Sports Reporting and Sports Writing

Game coverage and box scores

Infographics and Math

Creating graphics and basic mathematics/statistics

Online Journalism

Nonlinear storytelling/convergence, social media journalism, blogging

Newspaper logo
Newspaper logo
  • Journalism 1, 2, 3

    • Introductions
      • Press Pass
      • Newsroom Rules & Etiquette
      • Interactive Notebook
      • What is journalism/what makes something newsworthy?
        • News tips
      • Production Process/Workflow
    • History, Ethics, & Press Law
      • Shattered Glass Movie
      • Ethics Activity
      • Press Law
      • Peer Editing Expectations
    • Leads, News Writing
      • Covering breaking news
    • AP Style
    • Headline Writing
      • UIL Prompts
    • Investigative Journalism
      • All the President’s Men
    • AP Style
    • Feature Writing
      • Personality Feature
      • Club Feature
      • Informational Feature
      • News Feature (UIL Prompt)
      • Sports Feature
      • Human Interest Feature
    • Opinion Writing
      • Blogging
      • Editorial
      • Column Writing
      • Advice
      • Editorial Cartoon
      • Movie Review – The Lion King (tie-in w Hamlet)
      • Podcast
    • Sports & Broadcast
      • Game Recap
      • Movie Project – news segment
    • Advertising, PR & Multimedia
      • Ad Design Project
      • News Literacy/Advertorials
      • Product Placement
      • Polls & Surveys
      • Social Media Responsibilities
    • Photojournalism, Photoshop and Captions
      • White Balance
      • Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed
      • Capturing emotion and telling a story
      • Composition
      • Uploading, Organizing, and Editing
        • File naming convention
        • Lightroom Basics
      • Light Painting (fun)
      • Captioning
        • Layout Guidelines
          • Color
          • Sizing
          • White Space
        • Typography (painting/lettering)
        • Good vs Bad Design
        • Theme Packet
    • Current Events Quizzes
  • Photojournalism

    • Composition
      • Rules of Composition – notes & shooting practice
    • Camera Settings & Exposure
      • White Balance
      • Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed
        • Camera Sim
        • Portraits
      • Capturing emotion and telling a story
      • Composition
        • Unique Angles
      • Panning/Intentional Motion
      • Lightroom Basics
      • Light Painting (fun)
    • Photography Practice & Photoshop
      • Clones
      • Cut-Outs
      • Magazine Cover
      • Superhero Poster
      • Scavenger Hunt
      • Advertisement Design
      • Stop Motion
    • InDesign
      • Expressions
      • A Day in the Life
      • Design Basics
    • Captions
    • Jobs in Photojournalism
Week Topic
1 Intro to Journalism – History of Journalism

Role of Journalists

Portfolio Review –

What is a journalist?

– Current Events

2 Basics of Journalism & vocabulary – What is a newspaper?
3 Ethics of news- News Writing/ Workshops 1 and 2
4 News Writing assignment & article review
5 Reporting Basics/ Workshops
6 Reporting assignment & article review
7 The Art of Interviewing
8 Writing assignment & article review
9 Newspaper critique/Internet Critique
10 Workshops/Layout/Newspaper Design
11 Shattered Glass
12 Editorial Writing assignment & article review
13 Sports Reporting/ Layout/Beats/News ideas
14 Sports Writing assignment & article review
15 All the Presidents Men
16 Newspaper Critique & article review/ Workshops
17 Link Journalism

Photojournalism/Business of newspaper (sales)

18 Finals Review & Final Test

American Press Institute


History of Journalism:

The story of journalism

Highlights from the history of journalism, from Mark Twain and Lois Lane to … Welcome to the world of journalism!!

Before you begin learning how to report and write stories, take a tour of the heroes and history that brought us this far.


6 Newsroom heroes, legends and folklore
Highlights from the history of journalism, from Mark Twain and Lois Lane to “Citizen Kane.”

8 The birth of journalism
How newspapers were established in America — and how the fight for a free press led to war.

10 News in the 19th century Mass media dominated city streets, while yellow journalism gave reporters a bad name.

12 News in the 20th century Radio and television threaten the media monopoly newspapers enjoyed for centuries.

14 Today’s changing media landscape
The availability of news online has created new opportunities and challenges for journalists.

16 The student journalists’ news attitude survey
Compare your news consumption habits to those of hundreds of other students nationwide.


Pick 1 History of American History quizlet

Functions of Mass Media

Learn Trello/web parts

How do I get to the Pirateer page layouts?

Images-Cut lines and more!!

Story Selection

What are current events?

Pick Assignments for teams

Start group assignment: Overhaul

  1. newspaper
  2. website
  3. social media

Posting for social media: (Ethics) Rules of the road

Writing Solid Leads:

Curating a complete news story:

Ethics in Journalism!

We will take the Student Press Law quiz at the end of this module!

Let’s talk about copyright and other big journalism rules!

When you think you know what all this is about… please take this short copyright quiz!

We also want to talk about something cool called “Creative Commons”

So look for the logos listed on this page before you use something from the internet!

Critique stories and other content

Grammar Check

Monday (WK3 Critique)
Critique 2 (Here is a link for news critiques for journalism)
Do ALL three:
Stateman-Journal story)

Fill out story idea sheet to turn inStory Idea Sheet

    Story ideasIDEAS:Check local and daily newspapers
  • Check Internet sites of teen interest and schools
  • Check online student newspapers
  • Talk with the school’s public relations person
  • Talk with coaches, guidance counselors, secretaries and the principal
  • Talk with the principal’s advisory group or cabinet
  • Talk with student council members and the sponsor
  • Survey teachers about unusual assignments, clubs they sponsor, students in their classes who are involved in interesting activities.
  • “Beat Letters” for all clubs, organizations, teams, department heads, PTA, custodian or maintenance works, librarians.
  • Contact parent groups, such as athletic boosters or band boosters
  • Walk around the school and take note of posted fliers
  • Look at the sports calendar, district calendar and school calendar
  • Ask your friends what they would like to see in the paper
  • Survey students in the school newspaper or as a class assignment
  • Contact cafeteria workers, bus drivers, maintenance personnel, etc.
  • Watch local and national news programs for stories that might interest your audience
  • Exchange newspapers with other schools
  • Brainstorm in class
  • Seek out students, coaches, teachers, staff, alumni or clubs to profile
  • Contact the alunni group
  • Check out other media for new releases, such as CDs, movies or books
  • “Play Detective” — ask questions about things that have sparked your curiosity
  • Ask your peers to write letters to the editor, columns, editorial cartoons or to participate in “man-on-the-street” columnns
  • Check out school policies or the code of conduct
  • Attend school board meetings

Story ideas
1 How to find story ideas – Read
2 Developing Story Ideas – Read
3 Formula for a Well written article – Read –


Write your story!!!

What are you having problems with?
What is going well?
What is the next step?
Everyone will be in a different spot in the project so please ask me questions…..

Sports Writing


When writing a sports article, it is your job to obtain the statistics.


The headline should be an abbreviated sentence summarizing the game. Who’d we beat?


The lead paragraph should tell who, what, when, where. Set the score off with commas in your first sentence.


The how and why will probably be the top players’ statistics and the coach’s comments. The top players’ statistics should be the second paragraph. Have the coach’s comments be the last paragraph.


Use strong action verbs!


Here is a brief example of a basketball template:


The Andes Central Eagles soared past the (opponent), 85-34, (date) at (town/home).


     (WHO)                             (WHAT)                                 (WHEN)           (WHERE)


Leading scorers were _____________ with ___; _____________, ________; and ___________, ____.

player                 points     player             points.                 player             points


Top rebounders were _____________ with ___; _____________, ________; and ___________, ____.

player                 points     player             points.                 player             points


_________________ had _________ assists, while _________________ had ____________.


Coach _____________ commented, “______________________________________ .”


Below is an article from the September 11, 2007, Daily Republic:


                              Andes-Central Beats Bridgewater-Emery, 3-1


Jenna Winckler had eight kills to pace Andes Central in its 3-1 victory over Bridgewater-Emery Monday night.

The Eagles won by scores of 15-25, 25-7, 25-20, and 25-15.

Amy Chykta had four service aces and 10 set assists, and Danielle Walder had 13 digs for Andes Central.

Jessie VanLeur led the Huskies with five service aces, seven kills, and three blocks.

Robbie Letcher had nine kills, and Kayla Olinger paced the defense with 16 digs.

The Eagles are now 4-7 and host Scotland today.

Bridgewater-Emery is 2-3 and hosts Freeman tonight in Emery.

Andes Central’s junior varsity also won its match over the Huskies by scores of 25-17 and 15-15.


You may want to use the above article as a guideline for future volleyball stories. Notice that the leading players’ kills, service aces, set assists, and blocks are mentioned.

Since our paper comes out only once a month, we won’t worry about the next game or the record because these probably wouldn’t be accurate by the time people read the paper.


Below are some action verbs that will make your sports headlines and articles livelier:


Smash                          Score                           Shave                           Earn

Trounce                       Fly by                         Battle with                  Squeak Past

Pulverize                     Soar Above                 Slide by                       Blast

Trample                      Sail Past                      Sneak Past                   Shatter


Write 10 synonyms for the word beat that could be used in the following headline:

Eagles Beat the Hawks.






Write 3 better versions of the following sentence: Jenna had 11 rebounds, Chrissie had 9, and Casandra had 7. Strive for strong, vivid words and variety.









Write 3 better versions of the following sentence: Derrick had 22 points, Colter had 21 points, and Colten had 20 points. Strive for strong, vivid words and variety.








Write 3 better versions of the following sentence: The Eagles lost to the Hawks. (Feel free to change the subject order, if desired. Hopefully, we will never need to use one of these sentences, but if we do, we want to be as tactful as possible.)








Number the typical order of how facts are written in a sports article. Which should come first, second, etc. (Hint: The date should never be first!)

_____ when               _____ who                 _____ what        _____ coach’s comments


_____ where              _____ how                  _____ why

Sports Article Template


Before you can successfully write a sports article, you must be able to dissect one. Select a

short article that interests you from the sports section of your local newspaper. Read it

carefully and label it using the following categories.


Label              Definition/Example


LEAD             The lead of a sports article is creative and interesting. It grabs the reader’s attention by describing a scene, introducing a player, or using a quote. It should transport you to the game.

Example: A heavy hush blanketed Fenway Park in Boston. The fans in the packed stadium stood silently, shoulder to shoulder under a charcoal-gray sky, as Manny Ramirez, the home run hitting Red Sox outfielder, stepped up to the plate. There were two outs and two men on base. The Sox were losing by one run.


NUT         The nut of a sports article is the paragraph that summarizes the main conflict and story. It is the place for vital information that doesn’t appear in the first paragraph—and if a reader wanted to stop reading at this point, they should walk away with all the necessary answers.

Example: This was the last game of the 2003 American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and their archrival, the New York Yankees. Not since 1918 had the Red Sox advanced to the World Series—and fans were watching with bated breath to see whether the curse would be broken. This was not to be.


INFORMATION         The body of a sports article sounds like a real news (Who, What, When,         article. It includes complete information and details

Where, Why, How)           about a game, in logical order.

Example: Who was the star player? How did the game end?

What was the final play? The winning score?


CONCLUSION     The conclusion lets the reader know what will happen as a result

of the events described. It does so in a creative and interesting way.

Example: Everyone was surprised when the ball landed in Bernie Williams’s glove. A collective groan rose up from the Red Sox fans. Their team had lost. The Yankees had won again.

 Blogging (News)

Workshop 1 – BLOG

What Makes News or What Makes News
3 Reporters Style Guide

Attribution- The use of said.

Journalism News Definitions (PPT)

news writing vocabulary for web

Interviewing Skills

Interviewing Tips:

  1. Leave subject in natural environment that fits story
  2. Make it a conversation
  3. Don’t be afraid of silence
  4. The power of the open-ended question
  5. Do a pre-interview (make them comfortable)
  6. Don’t cut it short
  7. If they’ve dodged a question, re-phrase it
  8. Ask, “is there anything you would like to add?”


Oct 1, 2010 – Editor’s note: Interviewing is the cornerstone of good journalism, andthestories you tell are only as good as the information you get. Eight CNN …


Dec 6, 2013 – The Art of Interviewing is part of our ‘This Is How We Do It Series’. This is for you if you want to undertake interviews that give you rich insight …


Pachter main points:

  1. Figure out how you encounter people and what you want to find out about them
  2. A good interview is never about intellect, it’s about their energy, their life force
  3. Modest people make poor interviewees
  4. How do you get through barriers
  5. Get them to open up-What is the key that allows it to proceed?
  6. Affectionate arm wrestling
  7. Empathy-feel what they want to say
  8. Everybody is waiting to be asked about their story

Marc Pachter has conducted live interviews with some of the most intriguing characters in recent American history. 


Next, because this class is called “Journalism” we need to look at Digital Photography!

Walsworth yearbooks is the foremost authority in teaching students how to use a camera properly.

They have kindly given us permission to use the lessons they developed just for you!

Here are the five lessons and exercises, plus the glossary:

Photo Lesson Plan 1 – Digital camera basics

Photo Lesson Plan 2 – Photo composition

Photo Lesson Plan 3 – Visual storytelling

Photo Lesson Plan 4 – Viewing and critiquing

Photo Lesson Plan 5 – Photo ethics

Photo Lesson Plan – Glossary of photo terms


Link Journalism

Once your story is in the newspaper, we want to promote it on the website. But it is not enough to just post it in its original form. We use Link Journalism (with the internet and social media) to enhance, complement, source or add content to stories.

Let’s go through this lesson:

We start with the history of Links

And some of the details

Count off into groups and lets highlight words or phrases that we could use to link content.

(give one, get one) Groups move to next story.

Now we add social media and other elements

and now we figure out if we learned anything!


Why the Newspaper Industry is Thriving…In India!

 iPhone – What are your thoughts? Are iPhones/Smart phones saving the newspaper industry? Why or why not.

Off The Record?

You are being interviewed by a major news publication, and you tell the reporter something that is “off the record.”
You use a slightly vulgar word to describe someone else’s recent actions. A reporter from a news department overhears what you said, and he tweets that statement to the world.
After he does, he claims he did not know that what you said was “off the record.”


Social Media Curriculum


Analyze, evaluate, influencer, bounce rate, timeline, infographics, cyberbullying.

New Colorado Law (1/1/2018)

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, a new law in Colorado took effect that addressed teen sexting and changed the legal consequences from a felony offense to the lesser charge of misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. This law came about after a series of sexting controversies around the state in recent years. You could Google those. Kids should probably know about this law. But I also really like this reporter’s deeper perspective on the topic as well.


Rank the following types of people in terms of their trustworthiness:
Teenagers                Teacher                    Financial Adviser
Child under 10         Journalist                  Factory worker
Parent                       Doctor                       Plumber
Grandparent            Real Estate Agent    Poet

  • Why did you rank them as you did?
  • How important was your past experience in shaping your views of these categories of people?
  • Were there any that you categorized as either high or low trust according to second-hand reports?
  • If so, which ones?POST TO BLOG AS WK9 Trustworthy


Watch Shattered Glass

Shattered Glass Activities

NPR Interview (2004)
CNN Interview (2003)
California Case 2014
Glass 2013
Glass 2014
Update on Glass
Update 2
Update 3


Watch All the President’s Men


Watergate handout Exercise 2
5 All the Presidents Men

Writing an Op/Ed (Opinion/Editorial)
Editorial to read 1
Editorial to read  2

1 Editorial
2 Editorial
3 editorial –

Write an Opinion/Editorial – 150-200 words

USA Today


Advertising Unit

We need to learn to sell ads for our school newspaper! This sounds daunting but it is actually quite easy if you believe in the product.

We will use several lessons presented by School

Newspaper Design-InDesign

Writing Editorials

Writing Editorials and Columns

The following information is taken from Writing Effective Editorials by Rod Vahl and Inside High School Journalism.

Responsibilities of the Editorial Writer

  1. Observe: The editorial writer must be aware, concerned, and sensitive. Be alert for reactions like misunderstanding, frustration, indifference, blind acceptance or outright rebellion. Be concerned about interests, problems, and issues and strive to dig out facts and opinions to develop an understanding of the topic. Be sensitive to each and every reader.
  2. Judge: Base your opinion on research and personal interviewing to support a point of view (thesis). Formulate your opinion based upon results of research and backgrounding. Use logical thinking that leads to a reasonable conclusion. Develop a strong sense of honest— separate fact from fiction, cast aside personal prejudices, and strive for fair play.

3. Act: Determine the genuine purpose of the editorial. Organize the content in some sort of sequential pattern that results in a format whereby the reader can easily follow the writer’s line of reasoning in reaching a particular point of view. Identify your audience so that your vocabulary, sentence structure, and organization clearly communicate to your audience.

Six Kinds of Editorials

  1. Editorial of Explanation—Often used when student body fails to understand a particular school policy or a proposed action by a school group, school administration, or school board.The purpose of this editorial is to explain the 5 W’s and H of a particular news event, problem, or concern in order for the readers to gain a clear understanding of the issue or problem.An editorial of explanation should fulfill three basic functions:
    1. An observation of an event, problem, or proposal by noting what has taken place.
    2. An explanation of the causes, reasoning, or features of the topic being discussed and a progress report if possible.

    c. A statement of the importance of the topic and what effects that topic might have

    upon the daily lives of the readers.

  2. Editorial of Argumentation—Used to persuade readers either to support or reject a proposal presented or an action taken by an administrative official, legislative group, or some other person or group. Such an editorial might be strengthened if the writer offers an alternative. It should include a presentation of views based upon research and reason. Incorporate many facts, examples, and quotes from authoritative sources.The editorial of argumentation should fulfill three requirements:
    a. Contain an introduction which clearly states the proposal or action and a statement showing the need to consider the action.
    b. A list of arguments based upon facts, reasons, quotes that support the acceptanceor rejection of the proposal or act.
    c. A concluding statement emphasizing the importance of the writer’s view. d. [optional, but preferable] a logical alternative to the problem or concern.
  1. Editorial of Criticism—Used to point out a problem or issue in or out of the school. One of the problems with this type of editorial is that it only points out the problem. It should fulfill the following three requirements:
    1. An observation of the problem or issue that confronts the reading audience.
    2. An examination of the causes of that problem or issue.
    3. A recommendation that possibly could alleviate or eliminate that problem. This might include a final plea for action. The tone should be quite professional, straightforward, firm in intent, and clear in content.
  2. Editorial of Commendation [praise]—WRiters often overlook progressive forces and accomplishments within their school community. People appreciate a “pat on the back” and it is the newspaper’s responsibility to point to the positive accomplishments and deeds as well as to the negative events. Structure it as follows:a. An introduction explaining/describing both the particular person or group and the particular action performed.b. An examination of what occurred which serves as a justification for the praise. c. A concluding statement commending the person or group.
  3. Editorial of Commemoration—Consists of a presentation of reasons and ideas that encourage the audience to support and to participate in the celebration of a traditional or newly-organized event, movement, crusade, or particular cause. These events offer the editorial writer an opportunity to be imaginative and creative in their approach to an annual subject. Such an editorial is structured as follows:
    1. An introduction which specifically points to the subject of discussion and two or three lead- in points that serve as a basis of discussion.
    2. A series of thoughts and ideas that serve to motivate the reader to participate in the observation of the event. Include events that students can identify with. Select topics of interest to students.

    c. A conclusion emphasizing the point of commemoration.

  4. Editorial of Entertainment—Written for two basic purposed—to amuse and to stress a serious point. The subject matter is a humorous presentation of information and thoughts in an amusing vein in order to bring out a poignant point concerning an interest, problem, or concern that faces the reading audience. It is structured as follows:a. An introduction that focuses on the specific subject through a light, personal approach. b. A light, entertaining discussion of several points, using one or more of the numerous techniques of humorous writing, such as satire, exaggeration, allusion, anecdotes. c. A conclusion that brings out a serious comment upon a current news event.

NOTE: For the purposes of effective writing, an editorial introduction should include a well-worded thesis that sets the tone of the editorial or column and introduces the subject.

Suggestions for the editorial writer:

  1. Don’t be somber. Nor should you be frivolous.
  2. Don’t rig facts. Don’t conveniently leave out important information. When doing a poll or survey, be sure to include how many of the students participated in the poll.

3. Aim to be fair. Editorials that propose a course of action should acknowledge that opponents of this action have some good arguments—and those arguments should be included.

  1. Offer solutions—Go beyond criticism and condemnation. Offer some proposal for reform. If you have called attention to some problem, but can’t think of a solution, say so. Better yet, find people who do offer solutions and quote their ideas.
  2. Don’t beat dead horses. Don’t write three straight editorials on the same subject.
  3. Skip cheap tactics. Questioning someone’s honesty or calling someone names is shabby and unethical. If opponents of the paper use such tactics; however, it is proper to point out what the opposition is doing.
  4. Watch your attitude. After hours of research and writing, you may feel you are an expert, but avoid sounding superior. Readers should feel they are being informed, not lectured to. people don’t like to be scolded either.
  5. Don’t always look for villains. In most cases, criticize policies, attitudes, decisions, and ideas. True debate is seldom directed at a person or group.
  6. Look for the positive.

10. Strive for variety. Outlined above are six types of editorials. Look for a mix among your issues. Also, consider doing pro/con articles.
11. Seek a news peg. Most editorials should be tied to the news, but not repeat information found elsewhere in the same issue.
12. Have perspective. Don’t get excited about trivial issues, and don’t be casual about important ones.


Journalism Handbook 2017-2018

Available at TEC campus (Journalism office 1112)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s