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Journalism and Journalistic Writing: Introduction

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Journalism is the practice of gathering, recording, verifying, and reporting on information of public importance. Though these general duties have been historically consistent, the particulars of the journalistic process have evolved as the ways information is collected, disseminated, and consumed have changed. Things like the invention of the printing press in the 15 th century, the ratification of the First Amendment in 1791, the completion of the first transatlantic telegraph cable in 1858,   the first televised presidential debates in 1960, and more have broadened the ways that journalists write (as well as the ways that their readers read). Today, journalists may perform a number of different roles. They still write traditional text-based pieces, but they may also film documentaries, record podcasts, create photo essays, help run 24-hour TV broadcasts, and keep the news at our fingertips via social media and the internet. Collectively, these various journalistic media help members of the public learn what is happening in the world so they may make informed decisions.

The most important difference between journalism and other forms of non-fiction writing is the idea of objectivity. Journalists are expected to keep an objective mindset at all times as they interview sources, research events, and write and report their stories. Their stories should not aim to persuade their readers but instead to inform. That is not to say you will never find an opinion in a newspaper—rather, journalists must be incredibly mindful of keeping subjectivity to pieces like editorials, columns, and other opinion-based content.

Similarly, journalists devote most of their efforts to working with primary sources, whereas a research paper or another non-fiction piece of writing might frequently consult an encyclopedia, a scholarly article, or another secondary or tertiary source. When a journalist is researching and writing their story, they will often interview a number of individuals—from politicians to the average citizen—to gain insight into what people have experienced, and the quotes journalists collect drive and shape their stories. 

The pages in this section aim to provide a brief overview of journalistic practices and standards, such as the ethics of collecting and reporting on information; writing conventions like the inverted pyramid and using Associated Press (AP) Style; and formatting and drafting journalistic content like press releases.

Journalism and Journalistic Writing

These resources provide an overview of journalistic writing with explanations of the most important and most often used elements of journalism and the Associated Press style. This resource, revised according to The Associated Press Stylebook 2012 , offers examples for the general format of AP style. For more information, please consult The Associated Press Stylebook 2012 , 47 th edition.

15 News Writing Rules for Beginning Journalism Students

The goal is to provide information clearly in common language

  • Writing Essays
  • Writing Research Papers
  • English Grammar
  • M.S., Journalism, Columbia University
  • B.A., Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Gathering information for a news article is vitally important, of course, but so is writing the story. The best information, put together in an overly intricate construction using SAT words and dense writing, can be difficult to digest for readers looking for a quick news fix.

There are rules for news writing that result in a clear, direct presentation, providing information efficiently and accessibly to a variety of readers. Some of these rules conflict with what you might have learned in English Lit.

Here's a list of 15 rules for beginning news writers, based on the problems that crop most frequently:

Tips for News Writing

  • Generally speaking, the lede , or introduction to the story, should be a single sentence of 35 to 45 words that summarizes the main points of the story, not a seven-sentence monstrosity that looks like it's out of a Jane Austen novel.
  • The lede should summarize the story from start to finish. So if you're writing about a fire that destroyed a building and left 18 people homeless, that must be in the lede. Writing something like "A fire started in a building last night" doesn't have enough vital information.
  • Paragraphs in news stories should generally be no more than one or two sentences each, not the seven or eight sentences you probably wrote for freshman English. Short paragraphs are easier to cut when editors are working on a tight deadline, and they look less imposing on the page.
  • Sentences should be kept relatively short, and whenever possible use the subject-verb-object formula. Backward constructions are harder to read.
  • Always cut unnecessary words. For example, "Firefighters arrived at the blaze and were able to put it out within about 30 minutes" can be shortened to "Firefighters doused the blaze in 30 minutes."
  • Don't use complicated-sounding words when simpler ones will do. A laceration is a cut; a contusion is a bruise; an abrasion is a scrape. A news story should be understandable to everyone.
  • Don't use the first-person "I" in news stories. 
  • In Associated Press style, punctuation almost always goes inside quotation marks. Example: "We arrested the suspect," Detective John Jones said. (Note the placement of the comma.)
  • News stories are generally written in the past tense.
  • Avoid the use of too many adjectives. There's no need to write "the white-hot blaze" or "the brutal murder." We know fire is hot and that killing someone is generally pretty brutal. Those adjectives are unnecessary.
  • Don't use phrases such as "thankfully, everyone escaped the fire unhurt." Obviously, it's good that people weren't hurt. Your readers can figure that out for themselves.
  • Never inject your opinions into a hard-news story. Save your thoughts for a review or editorial.
  • When you first refer to someone in a story, use the full name and job title if applicable. On all subsequent references, use just the last name. So it would be "Lt. Jane Jones" when you first mention her in your story, but after that, it would simply be "Jones." The only exception is if two people with the same last name are in your story, in which case you could use their full names. Reporters generally don't use honorifics such as "Mr." or "Mrs." in AP style. (A notable exception is The New York Times .)
  • Don't repeat information.
  • Don't summarize the story at the end by repeating what's already been said. Try to find information for the conclusion that advances the story. 
  • Avoid the Common Mistakes That Beginning Reporters Make
  • Learn to Write News Stories
  • Six Tips for Writing News Stories That Will Grab a Reader
  • 5 Key Ingredients for Great Feature Stories
  • 10 News Writing Exercises for Journalism Students
  • How to Avoid Burying the Lede of Your News Story
  • 10 Important Steps for Producing a Quality News Story
  • How to Write Feature Stories
  • Use Verbs and Adjectives to Brighten up Your News Stories
  • How to Write a News Article That's Effective
  • Constructing News Stories with the Inverted Pyramid
  • Tips for Writing Broadcast News Copy
  • These Are Frequently Used Journalism Terms You Need to Know
  • Writing a Lead or Lede to an Article
  • The Great Chicago Fire of 1871
  • How to Write a Personal Narrative

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How to Write a Report: A Guide

Matt Ellis

A report is a nonfiction account that presents and/or summarizes the facts about a particular event, topic, or issue. The idea is that people who are unfamiliar with the subject can find everything they need to know from a good report. 

Reports make it easy to catch someone up to speed on a subject, but actually writing a report is anything but easy. So to help you understand what to do, below we present a little report of our own, all about report writing. 

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What is a report? 

In technical terms, the definition of a report is pretty vague: any account, spoken or written, of the matters concerning a particular topic. This could refer to anything from a courtroom testimony to a grade schooler’s book report. 

Really, when people talk about “reports,” they’re usually referring to official documents outlining the facts of a topic, typically written by an expert on the subject or someone assigned to investigate it. There are different types of reports, explained in the next section, but they mostly fit this description. 

What kind of information is shared in reports? Although all facts are welcome, reports, in particular, tend to feature these types of content: 

  • Details of an event or situation
  • The consequences or ongoing effect of an event or situation
  • Evaluation of statistical data or analytics
  • Interpretations from the information in the report
  • Predictions or recommendations based on the information in the report
  • How the information relates to other events or reports

Reports are closely related to essay writing , although there are some clear distinctions. While both rely on facts, essays add the personal opinions and arguments of the authors. Reports typically stick only to the facts, although they may include some of the author’s interpretation of these facts, most likely in the conclusion. 

Moreover, reports are heavily organized, commonly with tables of contents and copious headings and subheadings. This makes it easier for readers to scan reports for the information they’re looking for. Essays, on the other hand, are meant to be read start to finish, not browsed for specific insights. 

Types of reports

There are a few different types of reports, depending on the purpose and to whom you present your report. Here’s a quick list of the common types of reports:

  • Academic report: Tests a student’s comprehension of the subject matter, such as book reports, reports on historical events, and biographies 
  • Business reports: Identifies information useful in business strategy, such as marketing reports, internal memos, SWOT analysis, and feasibility reports
  • Scientific reports: Shares research findings, such as research papers and case studies, typically in science journals

Reports can be further divided into categories based on how they are written. For example, a report could be formal or informal, short or long, and internal or external. In business, a vertical report shares information with people on different levels of the hierarchy (i.e., people who work above you and below you), while a lateral report is for people on the author’s same level, but in different departments. 

There are as many types of reports as there are writing styles, but in this guide, we focus on academic reports, which tend to be formal and informational. 

>>Read More: What Is Academic Writing?

What is the structure of a report?

The structure of a report depends on the type of report and the requirements of the assignment. While reports can use their own unique structure, most follow this basic template:

  • Executive summary: Just like an abstract in an academic paper, an executive summary is a standalone section that summarizes the findings in your report so readers know what to expect. These are mostly for official reports and less so for school reports. 
  • Introduction: Setting up the body of the report, your introduction explains the overall topic that you’re about to discuss, with your thesis statement and any need-to-know background information before you get into your own findings. 
  • Body: The body of the report explains all your major discoveries, broken up into headings and subheadings. The body makes up the majority of the entire report; whereas the introduction and conclusion are just a few paragraphs each, the body can go on for pages. 
  • Conclusion: The conclusion is where you bring together all the information in your report and come to a definitive interpretation or judgment. This is usually where the author inputs their own personal opinions or inferences.  

If you’re familiar with how to write a research paper , you’ll notice that report writing follows the same introduction-body-conclusion structure, sometimes adding an executive summary. Reports usually have their own additional requirements as well, such as title pages and tables of content, which we explain in the next section. 

What should be included in a report?

There are no firm requirements for what’s included in a report. Every school, company, laboratory, task manager, and teacher can make their own format, depending on their unique needs. In general, though, be on the lookout for these particular requirements—they tend to crop up a lot: 

  • Title page: Official reports often use a title page to keep things organized; if a person has to read multiple reports, title pages make them easier to keep track of. 
  • Table of contents: Just like in books, the table of contents helps readers go directly to the section they’re interested in, allowing for faster browsing. 
  • Page numbering: A common courtesy if you’re writing a longer report, page numbering makes sure the pages are in order in the case of mix-ups or misprints.
  • Headings and subheadings: Reports are typically broken up into sections, divided by headings and subheadings, to facilitate browsing and scanning. 
  • Citations: If you’re citing information from another source, the citations guidelines tell you the recommended format.
  • Works cited page: A bibliography at the end of the report lists credits and the legal information for the other sources you got information from. 

As always, refer to the assignment for the specific guidelines on each of these. The people who read the report should tell you which style guides or formatting they require. 

How to write a report in 7 steps

Now let’s get into the specifics of how to write a report. Follow the seven steps on report writing below to take you from an idea to a completed paper. 

1 Choose a topic based on the assignment

Before you start writing, you need to pick the topic of your report. Often, the topic is assigned for you, as with most business reports, or predetermined by the nature of your work, as with scientific reports. If that’s the case, you can ignore this step and move on. 

If you’re in charge of choosing your own topic, as with a lot of academic reports, then this is one of the most important steps in the whole writing process. Try to pick a topic that fits these two criteria: 

  • There’s adequate information: Choose a topic that’s not too general but not too specific, with enough information to fill your report without padding, but not too much that you can’t cover everything. 
  • It’s something you’re interested in: Although this isn’t a strict requirement, it does help the quality of a report if you’re engaged by the subject matter. 

Of course, don’t forget the instructions of the assignment, including length, so keep those in the back of your head when deciding. 

2 Conduct research

With business and scientific reports, the research is usually your own or provided by the company—although there’s still plenty of digging for external sources in both. 

For academic papers, you’re largely on your own for research, unless you’re required to use class materials. That’s one of the reasons why choosing the right topic is so crucial; you won’t go far if the topic you picked doesn’t have enough available research. 

The key is to search only for reputable sources: official documents, other reports, research papers, case studies, books from respected authors, etc. Feel free to use research cited in other similar reports. You can often find a lot of information online through search engines, but a quick trip to the library can also help in a pinch. 

3 Write a thesis statement

Before you go any further, write a thesis statement to help you conceptualize the main theme of your report. Just like the topic sentence of a paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes the main point of your writing, in this case, the report. 

Once you’ve collected enough research, you should notice some trends and patterns in the information. If these patterns all infer or lead up to a bigger, overarching point, that’s your thesis statement. 

For example, if you were writing a report on the wages of fast-food employees, your thesis might be something like, “Although wages used to be commensurate with living expenses, after years of stagnation they are no longer adequate.” From there, the rest of your report will elaborate on that thesis, with ample evidence and supporting arguments. 

It’s good to include your thesis statement in both the executive summary and introduction of your report, but you still want to figure it out early so you know which direction to go when you work on your outline next. 

4 Prepare an outline

Writing an outline is recommended for all kinds of writing, but it’s especially useful for reports given their emphasis on organization. Because reports are often separated by headings and subheadings, a solid outline makes sure you stay on track while writing without missing anything. 

Really, you should start thinking about your outline during the research phase, when you start to notice patterns and trends. If you’re stuck, try making a list of all the key points, details, and evidence you want to mention. See if you can fit them into general and specific categories, which you can turn into headings and subheadings respectively. 

5 Write a rough draft

Actually writing the rough draft , or first draft, is usually the most time-consuming step. Here’s where you take all the information from your research and put it into words. To avoid getting overwhelmed, simply follow your outline step by step to make sure you don’t accidentally leave out anything. 

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; that’s the number one rule for writing a rough draft. Expecting your first draft to be perfect adds a lot of pressure. Instead, write in a natural and relaxed way, and worry about the specific details like word choice and correcting mistakes later. That’s what the last two steps are for, anyway. 

6 Revise and edit your report

Once your rough draft is finished, it’s time to go back and start fixing the mistakes you ignored the first time around. (Before you dive right back in, though, it helps to sleep on it to start editing fresh, or at least take a small break to unwind from writing the rough draft.) 

We recommend first rereading your report for any major issues, such as cutting or moving around entire sentences and paragraphs. Sometimes you’ll find your data doesn’t line up, or that you misinterpreted a key piece of evidence. This is the right time to fix the “big picture” mistakes and rewrite any longer sections as needed. 

If you’re unfamiliar with what to look for when editing, you can read our previous guide with some more advanced self-editing tips . 

7 Proofread and check for mistakes

Last, it pays to go over your report one final time, just to optimize your wording and check for grammatical or spelling mistakes. In the previous step you checked for “big picture” mistakes, but here you’re looking for specific, even nitpicky problems. 

A writing assistant like Grammarly flags those issues for you. Grammarly’s free version points out any spelling and grammatical mistakes while you write, with suggestions to improve your writing that you can apply with just one click. The Premium version offers even more advanced features, such as tone adjustments and word choice recommendations for taking your writing to the next level. 

writing journalism reports

UCLA Extension

Reporting and Writing I: Fundamentals of Journalism

An introduction to multiple topics in journalism, including news judgment, analysis, and ethics, as well as basic best practices of writing, research, and reporting. 

What you can learn.

  • Acquire a basic understanding of the inner workings of journalism
  • Gain an introduction to news judgment, analysis, and ethics
  • Study best practices of journalism writing, research, and reporting
  • Set personal goals for a career in media
  • Prepare for a more hands-on approach to practicing journalism in Reporting and Writing II

About this course:

Fall 2023 schedule.

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Required course in the Journalism Certificate.

Enrollment limited; early enrollment highly advised/recommended. Enrollment deadline: October 12, 2023. Internet access required. Materials required.


This course applies towards the following certificates & specializations…

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How journalists write

Journalists usually refer to what they write as stories. Not articles or reports, occasionally pieces, but stories. This does not apply only to reporters but to everybody in the editorial chain, from desk editors, copy editors, specialist and sports writers to the editor him or herself. Words published in newspapers, on air or online are stories.

Stories sound interesting; reports sound dull. To some, stories mean fiction: "Tell me a story, mummy". Stories are tall and short, made up and true. True stories are about what happened. We tell stories in conversation, recounting experiences and events in which we took part or observed. The crucial thing about a story is that other people want to hear it, because it is interesting or entertaining. Otherwise the storyteller is a bore.

So journalists write stories for their readers to tell them what is going on, to inform them, engage them, entertain them, shock them, amuse them, disturb them, uplift them. The subject matter will vary according to the nature of the publication and the intended audience. The good newspaper editor will have a clear idea of the sort of people who are reading it, and cater to their interests and preoccupations, sometimes their prejudices. And the paper will include that vital ingredient serendipity - the story you didn't expect, the "just fancy that", the absurdities as well as the travails of the human condition.

Journalism is basically a simple game. It is about finding things out and telling other people about them. The finding out requires a variety of skills because those in power often prefer that we know only so much. Journalism is about holding such people to account, exposing their humbug and hypocrisy, the abuse of their power. This includes the control it gives them over the flow of information, the ability to bury the bad news, to spin and obfuscate. Good journalists must ask the awkward questions and question the answers, must dig to unearth and then explain, making comprehensible that which authority, by intent or verbal inadequacy, has left confused, incomplete or plain mendacious. Incomprehensible journalism is quite simply bad journalism, and therefore pointless.

Ultimately there is only one purpose: to make the reader read the story. If they don't, what was the point of finding it out and telling it? This booklet picks up the story when the reader has reached the stage of deciding to address the story. That is not the same as reading it, or even reading a certain amount of it. They have just reached the first word, perhaps attracted by the picture, the extracted quote, or any of the other presentational devices used to drag the reader to the story. We have reached the stage where the reader is going to subject the story to the final test, reading some or all of it. This is about writing.

Newspaper reading is different from reading a book. It is selective, does not involve commitment to the whole. Relatively little time is spent reading a daily newspaper. The newspaper reader, unlike the reader of the more literary novel, does not expect to invest effort in the endeavour. He or she will not read a sentence or paragraph a second time to be clear about what is being said. Confusion, more often than not, will mean abandoning the story altogether and moving on. Many newspaper readers skim, sample or get a flavour of a story rather than reading it through.

So journalistic writing is different from creative writing. Many young people think they would like to be journalists because they have "always loved writing" or started writing poems when they were eight. It is certainly not enough and may well be a barrier to success in journalism. The late Nicholas Tomalin famously wrote that "the only qualities essential for real success in journalism are rat-like cunning, a plausible manner, and a little literary ability." He included writing, but he placed it third and prefaced it with a diminutive. The writing matters; but don't think of it as art. Think of it as working writing, writing doing a job, writing that puts across information in a way that makes readers want to absorb it.

At a time when the vast majority of entrants to journalism have degrees - welcome because journalism in a complex world is an intellectual pursuit - it is worth pointing out that writing for newspapers is also very different from the academic writing of student essays. No time to produce a route map for the essay and reach the point somewhere near the end; the journalist must grab the attention at once.

It is difficult to write simply and engagingly, so that readers will keep reading; to explain so that all the readers understand, and want to. This is the task the writing journalist has.

About the tutor

Peter Cole is professor of journalism at the University of Sheffield. Before re-entering higher education he was editor of the Sunday Correspondent, deputy editor and news editor of the Guardian, News Review editor of the Sunday Times and Londoner's Diary editor on the Evening Standard.

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How to Write a News Report

Last Updated: October 10, 2022 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 26 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 952,994 times.

A news report is similar to a news article. It is the basic facts of a story that is currently happening or that just happened. Writing a news report is easy if you report on the subject clearly, conduct good interviews, and write in a style that is clear, concise, and active.

Sample News Reports

writing journalism reports

Collecting Information for the Report

Image titled Write a News Report Step 1

  • Ask around for story ideas, especially government officials and public relations representatives. [1] X Research source
  • Scan the news to see what is already happening. This could lead to you finding other story ideas that are related.
  • Search your city or county's website or directory for local events that are coming up.
  • Attend city council meetings to find out if there are any local issues happening in your area.
  • Sit in on trials at the courthouse and see if anything interesting happens that you could report on.

Image titled Write a News Report Step 2

  • Write down everything you see and everything that takes place.
  • Record and take notes of any speeches that occur at events. Make sure to get the names of the speakers.

Image titled Write a News Report Step 3

  • If the story is controversial or political, make sure to get both sides of the issue.
  • Prepare sample questions, but don't necessarily stick to them. [2] X Research source
  • Think of an interview as a conversation. [3] X Research source
  • Record the interview.
  • Make sure to get the full names (spelled correctly) of anyone you interviewed.

Image titled Write a News Report Step 4

  • Make sure you review your transcriptions to make sure they're accurate. You don't want to misquote someone.

Image titled Write a News Report Step 5

Writing the News Report

Image titled Write a News Report Step 6

  • The headline should be attention grabbing, but not exaggerate or mislead.
  • Capitalize the first word of the headline and any proper nouns after that.
  • If you're having trouble coming up with a headline, you might try writing it last instead. It may be easier to think of a headline after you've finished your article.
  • For example, your headline might read: "Armed robbery at Portland farmer's market"

Image titled Write a News Report Step 7

  • An example of a byline: Sue Smith, Staff Reporter
  • An example of a placeline: EUGENE, ORE. [5] X Research source

Image titled Write a News Report Step 8

  • Don't include people's names in the lead (save that information for later), unless everyone knows who they are (i.e. President Obama).
  • For example: A Seattle man was caught selling stolen cars at his auto shop on Tuesday when a police officer posed as a customer.

Image titled Write a News Report Step 9

  • For example: Mary Quibble has been the director of the children's theater for six years. “I love the children and how much they care about these performances,” Quibble said. “There are 76 kids in the programs. They range in age from 7 to 16 years old.”

Image titled Write a News Report Step 11

  • For example: The woman ran out of the house at 11 p.m. when she heard the burglar enter, police said.

Image titled Write a News Report Step 12

  • Speak in past tense when writing a news report.
  • Start a new paragraph whenever there is a new thought (this might mean you have paragraphs that are as short as a sentence or two)
  • Write your news report in AP Style. [7] X Research source

Expert Q&A

Christopher Taylor, PhD

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  • Keep your writing short and clear. Thanks Helpful 69 Not Helpful 16
  • Write what happened, not your opinion. Thanks Helpful 53 Not Helpful 24
  • Always include attributions. Thanks Helpful 44 Not Helpful 22

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About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a news report, first use key words about your story to write a clear, accurate headline that’s easy to understand. Then, write your byline, which includes your name and title and the date of your report. Put the location of your story on the following line, written all in caps. Next, summarize the who, what, where, when, and why of your report in a couple of sentences. Finally, provide more detailed information from the scene and your interviews with witnesses and key players. Be sure to include quotes and attributions in your report. To learn how to collect information from the scene of your news report, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Journalism Reports Samples That Help You Write Better, Faster & with Gusto

When you require a little spank to develop a good Journalism Report, nothing does the job better than a top-notch sample you can use for inspiration or as a template to follow. And hardly can you find a finer place with so many first-class Report samples than WePapers.com open-access directory of Journalism papers. Each Journalism Reports example you find here can do one or several of these elements for you: give you a tip about a striking topic; motivate you to come up with a creative angle on a well-examined problem; showcase the best writing techniques you can exploit; and/or present you with proper structure patterns. Apply this precious wisdom to develop an impressive paper of your own or use our professional writers' assistance to get an original Journalism Report sample sent right to your email inbox.

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3+ Journalistic Report Examples – PDF

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Journalistic Reporting

journalistic reporting 1

Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth

1. its first loyalty is to citizens, 2. its essence is a discipline of verification, 3. its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover, 4. it must serve as an independent monitor of power, 5. it must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise, 6. it must strive to keep the significant interesting and relevant, 7. its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.

journalistic reporting

Basic Story Structure

2. sourcing, editable journalistic reporting.

editable journalistic reporting1

4. Growing The Story

  • Expand and elaborate on the items, events, data, themes in your intro sequentially.
  • List down at least 2 to 3 subheads to create the building blocks. Subheads give the readers an idea as to the section that he or she is currently at.
  • What aspects are changing and what is not?
  • Who are the parties in conflict and why?
  • What is at risk politically, economically, financially?
  • Have you been fair to all parties and points of view? Have we given all relevant parties a chance to respond to each and every claim we make?

Quotes can also be used to:

  • Catch distinctions and nuances in important passages of speeches and convey some of the flavor of the speaker’s language. You might be interested in investigation report samples and examples .
  • Document and support statements made in the lead and elsewhere.
  • Set off controversial material, where the precise wording can be an issue, as in legal contexts.

old newspaper 350376

1. Structuring the Body of the Story

  • In addition to ensuring your story leads with the main facts, or leads with the main argument and quickly answers the questions why? and so what ? also make it easy on the reader’s brain by ensuring your story follows logically. You may also like what should be in an executive summary of a report?
  • Usually this is best done by building your story in blocks that follow sequentially. Try to group all the information relating to one element of your story in one group of sentences or paragraphs. Touching on an issue in the first couple of paragraphs and then only returning to it way down the story often confuses readers.
  • Each sentence should connect to the next like a link in a chain.
  • Don’t leave holes or gaps in the logic. Connect the dots and don’t assume the read can always make the leap of fact or logic with you. You may also check out medical report examples & samples .
  • Using “cross-heads” to break up the story about every 300 words can help the reader to follow your thinking.

2. Some checks for error-free copy

  • Are the headline tag and slug correct and appropriate?
  • Ensure information in the story agrees with the headline. You may also see inspection report examples & samples .
  • Does the story make clear how we got the information and when?
  • Make sure there is are quotes or evidence to back up your intro.
  • Confirm all times and dates. Ensure there are time references in the story to the readers knows when the events occurred or what time period the data covers.
  • Check all the numbers – do all the components add up to the total, do individual percentages add up to 100?
  • Watch the spelling of proper names and ensure names are spelled consistently throughout the story. You may also like quality report examples .
  • Check if the story is written fairly and impartially.

Journalistic Reporting Example

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175 Journalism Topics And Excellent Writing Ideas

journalism topics

As a student of mass communication or journalism, you may need journalism research paper topics to fulfill your undergraduate degree requirements. As you already know, journalism involves profound investigative reports centered on an issue affecting the public. It’s all about public life, and this is why you may need different journalism thesis topics and ideas.

If you’re also a college student who needs good journalism topics to write your assignment or essay, there are numerous topics and ideas across different journalism categories in this content. See the following topics for journalism class that can inform your paper or project.

Investigative Journalism Topics

Investive journalism is that category of journalism that embeds profound investigation into a particular subject of interest. This could be political corruption, bank fraud, murder, and other serious crimes in society. These are journalism research topics that could help you develop brilliant ideas:

  • Investigate the role of the US government under Trump in the mismanagement and ignorance of the COVID-19 reality
  • Investigate the part of the radio and newspapers in spreading fake news in the 2020 US election
  • Investigate one of the biggest scams in the history of England
  • Examine the role of the Peaky Blinders gangster in the making of contemporary gangs
  • Account for the activities of the Yakuza gang in Japan within three decades
  • Report for the struggle of the Taliban and Afghanistan in the two-decade war
  • Examine the relativity of the Afghan War and the Vietnam War based on the U.S. involvement
  • Examine the fraud of US officials in the Iraq War
  • Investigate the complexities around US involvement in military and humanitarian aid in the Middle East
  • Assess the role of communist leaders in the creation of personality cult taking clues from Chairman Mao of China and Stalin of the USSR
  • The public believes that Afghan women will suffer in the Taliban government; however, some believe that it is peace and tranquility for the rural men and women who have been plagued by war. Investigate the bitter and sweet side of the war
  • Account for any child abuse scandal involving a government official in recent time in any country of your choice
  • Examine the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and relate it to the growth of the Ebola virus
  • Assess how governments violently quell peaceful protests in any country of your choice
  • Assess the cover-up of the Vatican in the sexual scandal of officials in the Holy Seal
  • Account for the influence of drug use in Mexico and how it influence or affect youths
  • Examine the shows with sexual appeal and how they affect the population
  • Give an account for the influence of extremity in the spread of the gospel of hatred in America
  • Study any corruption scandal of your choice and examine the fault of regulatory bodies
  • Give a comparative analysis of the 2008 economic crisis and the OPEC Oil Price Shock of 1973
  • Investigate the conspiracies in the government of Donald Trump
  • Investigate the bloody situation in Libya before Gaddafi’s death
  • Investigate the challenges facing India’s minority
  • Investigate the crisis in Turkey
  • Account for the political crisis between NATO-Ukraine and Russia

Journalism Topics for High School

You may have been asked to create journalism topics for your essay or contribute to your school’s magazine. There are different custom topics you could write about. You can consider these exciting and easy journalism topics:

  • An assessment of societal Influence of corruption and unaccountability
  • Assess the societal impact of the unaccountable judiciary in the US courts
  • What do you think about the role of the big five countries in rural community development?
  • What do you think the Biden Administration can do better about student loans and mortgages?
  • Assess the impact of mass media in reducing corruption
  • What do you know about drug abuse in the US, and how does it affect kids?
  • Evaluate how drama can be used to promote sensitization of sexual differences
  • Give an overview of how literature can be used to promote sexual orientation for high school kids
  • Why do you think your school needs a radio broadcast channel
  • What are your thoughts on unrestricted access to the internet for college students?
  • Do you think that social media is a good or bad innovation for society?
  • Assess how social media is responsible for depression and anxiety about beauty amongst youths
  • What do you believe are the impact of America Got Talent shows on kids
  • Because of social media, do you think mass media outlets like newspapers, televisions, and radios are no longer needed?
  • What do you understand about climate change and why everyone is scared?
  • What do you understand about Environmental changes and why everyone is scared?
  • Do you think women should take up top leadership roles anywhere in the world?
  • Do you think working from home is the best thing that could ever happen to working-class people?
  • What do you think makes a government legitimate according to your knowledge of Political Science, History, and Philosophy?
  • What do you think are the consequences of choosing entertainment above education and vice versa amongst youths
  • How can your school’s staff improve their relationship with students?
  • What are your ideas about humanitarian aid to Africa?
  • What do you think is the role of science and technology in the contemporary world?
  • Do you think high school students should have an intimate relationship too?
  • What do you believe is the most significant influence on youths and why?
  • What do you think about racism and Semitism in America?
  • What do you think about bullying in schools and the consequences of bullying on academic performance?
  • Do you think newspapers do an excellent job of promoting political sensitization?
  • Do you believe America is the best country in the world, and why?
  • Human and sex trafficking is the cruelest sin in the world: discuss
  • Assess the challenges of pregnancy
  • What do you think are the roles of women in Achieving gender equality in America?
  • Why do people idolize celebrities?
  • What do you think about the imprisonment of R Kelly?
  • Give a review of three songs by Rihanna.

Journalism Research Topics

Your professor may have asked you to develop good journalism research paper topics for your university degree requirements. There are different topics here that could guide you into choosing the perfect subject. Consider:

  • Analyze the failure of CNN in reporting unbiased news
  • Examine the importance of the media in advertising the need for economic development in rural communities
  • Assess the social media as the space to mobilize community support
  • Examine the significance of social media over the mass media like television, radio, and newspapers
  • Examine the campaign for sexual liberty in America
  • Examine the movement for gender equality in any Arab country of your choice
  • Examine the role of social media in the campaign for anti-racial sentiments
  • Account for the sexualizing of women in adverts
  • Account for president Trump’s innate desire to censor information in the media
  • Account for the role of journalists as gatekeepers in any free society
  • Account for the significance of international Journalist groups in protecting Journalists around the world
  • Examine America during the civil wars
  • Account for the sexual behaviors of porn addicts
  • What are the challenges facing three television Companies in the US?
  • Give an appraisal of Aljazeera and its news
  • Rationalize the death of Reuters’ Journalist, Danish Siddiqui, while in Afghanistan
  • Examine the consequences of the Trump administration on America’s domestic policies
  • Account for the consequences of Trump’s Administration on America’s foreign policy
  • Examine the effect of racial discrimination and employability in America
  • What is the role of America in developing ISIS?
  • Is America really the watchdog of the world?
  • Assess China and its rise to global dominance
  • Assess the significance of the Atlantic in world trade
  • Assess the political differences affecting Germany’s Nord Dam construction
  • Examine the need for entrepreneurs in America
  • Has capitalism favored the world so far?
  • Are Trump supporters patriotic or merely loyal to him?
  • Examine how education has promoted liberty in Afghanistan before US withdrawal
  • Assess for the role of journalist brands in reporting terrorism
  • What is the impact of the George Bush administration?
  • What are the impacts of the Obama administration on Libya politics
  • Assess the Israeli alliance with Saudi Arabia and the evil or good involved
  • Assess political or cultural propaganda of your choice
  • Account for the activities of any fraternity in a US campus
  • Consider Iraq’s needs for nuclear weapons as a balance of power or balance or threats

Literary Journalism Topics

As a form of nonfiction writing published in newspapers or magazines, it could cover interviews, research, or any other form of essay of your choice. If you’re required to choose controversial yet good journalism topics, you may want to consider:

  • Thoughts about Chimamanda Adichie’s “Danger of a Single Story” and how it could shape the literary scene
  • How fake news convince people about COVID-19 myths
  • The ethical challenges of journalism in any media company of your choice
  • The impact of photojournalists in the Afghan war
  • The scam in humanitarian intervention in any conflict of your choice
  • How French imperialism guides its role in French West African countries
  • The murder of Patrice Lumumba: thoughts on why America wants him dead
  • Philosophize on the brutality of King Leopold II.
  • How contestants arouse public sympathy in getting votes on America’s Got Talent
  • How pop culture ruin actual cultural developments
  • How journalism has evolved into business for financial gains
  • How journalism has evolved into a means of entertainment
  • Why does Aljazeera only tell sad, sad stories
  • Write a story about a mysterious heist of your choice
  • Attempt a short biography of Danish Siddiqui
  • Attempt a 7000 essay on everything about Vatican City and the politics
  • Document the invention of Isaac Newton and its Influence on technology
  • Lessons from the exploration of Amerigo Vespucci
  • Key points and lessons from Richard Nixon’s scandal
  • The mistakes of communism and capitalism in today’s world
  • What could be considered the impacts of Toni Morrison on literature?
  • Evaluate the works of Chinua Achebe in African literature
  • Evaluate the outcomes of Garcia Marquez in fiction and journalism
  • Opinions on the results of the Paris Review on literature
  • Opinions on the role of Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic in the media
  • Ideas on the death of democracy during Trump
  • A comparative analysis of presidents Trump and Richard Nixon
  • A comparative study of Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama
  • An overview of Trump’s economic policies
  • An overview of Trump’s businesses’ economic scandals

Research Topics in Mass Communication and Journalism Topics

As a journalism section that deals with exchanging information through the media, different topics can be developed to wow your professor. With interest in advertisement and dissemination of information, these are various journalism topics for you:

  • Embark on a comparative analysis of two media companies in the US
  • Account for the scandals of corruption in the practice of journalism
  • Assess the role of the media in the proceedings of Donald Trump’s impeachment
  • Report on the use of social media in triggering the White House protest on Trump’s behalf
  • Report on the use of Twitter during Trump’s Administration
  • What could be said to be good communication habits in Journalism?
  • Local newspapers and their usefulness in American public life
  • Has the use of radio negated modernity in America?
  • What are the challenges and prospects of smartphones during environmental disasters?
  • How has social media propagated the cancel culture?
  • How can the mass media be used for effective social change?
  • Drawing from the Watergate Scandal, what is the role of the mass media?
  • How do music choices influence the promotion of morality in traditional media?
  • Account for a radio show and its influence on the American public
  • Assess the consequences of airing extreme conservative ideas on radio
  • Social media and censorship: does it make sense?
  • How does the mass media contribute to racial disintegration?
  • Account for the radio show that promotes cultural diversity in America
  • Assess the subject of television addiction amongst youths
  • Evaluate the role of reporters and reporting highly sensitive cases
  • Identify how social media is wielded to propagate fake news
  • How Chairman Mao authored his propaganda with the media
  • The part of information dissemination before the Bolshevik Revolution
  • The role of the press in silencing threats in Russia
  • The thin line between truth and conspiracy in journalism

Middle School Journalism Topics

You may have been told to contribute to your school’s magazine or submit an essay in school. It would be best if you had easy and enjoyable journalism essay topics for your level. You can ask intriguing questions in your articles or essay through these journalism topics:

  • What are the powers you’ll execute if you have magical powers?
  • Who would you say are the best characters you’ve ever enjoyed?
  • What are your favorite movies, and why?
  • If you were an actor, which role would you never take?
  • Peer pressure and alcohol, do you think you can be influenced into social vices?
  • What are the campus secrets you think everyone should know about?
  • Review the last album of Beyonce
  • Review three songs of Kendrick Lamar and their Influence on the Black community
  • Review any book of your choice and its influence on people
  • Review any movie of your choice
  • Examine the need for active sport representations in school
  • Account for the need for Political student activists
  • Which of the school policies do you think must change?
  • If you’ll do anything to bullies, what would it be?
  • What are your thoughts about the foods in your cafeteria?
  • Would you attend a protest against the school authorities, and why?
  • Do you think everyone should like sports in school, and why?
  • Do you think school elections should be as competitive as senatorial or gubernatorial elections?
  • Do you think rivalries are suitable for school elections?
  • Who is your favorite philosopher, and why should everyone read Philosophy?
  • Which event of history should be told over and over again?
  • What are the achievements of your school’s basketball team?
  • What are the achievements of your school’s gymnastic team?
  • What are your opinions on Biden’s academic loans?
  • What are your opinions on racial diversity in classrooms?

Journalism Research Paper May Be Easy With Us

With these journalism research paper topics and essay ideas, you can conveniently start research for your next project. However, you may need online research paper writing services for cheap yet fast essays. For high grades and top-notch papers, you may reach out to ENL as a professional online writing help brand. These expert writers request cheap rates in return for one of the best submissions.

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133 Excellent Journalism Topics You Can Use Today

journalism topics

It is no longer a secret that essay writing is both a tedious and tiring process. To begin with, you have to sit down for hours and brainstorm for an ideal topic that is easy to write about and support with multiple relevant sources.

Coming up with an essay topic that is out of the box is equally tricky. It might explain why most students have a hard time putting together a high-scoring paper. On the bright side, we understand the plight of many college or university students, and we have a solution to part of the puzzle.

We have carefully sorted out over a hundred journalism topics to give you the inspiration you require to get the writing process underway.

The Best Journalism Research Paper Topics

  • What is the subsequent impact of media on the growth of an economy?
  • Discuss the negative implications of media in influencing violence
  • Investigate how the media industry has evolved because of technological advancement
  • What are your thoughts on denying an operational license to partisan media outlets
  • Elaborate the potential beneficiaries of media versus society influenced violence
  • Discuss the likely implications of partisan advertisement outlets
  • Examine how media has impacted your living over the last ten years
  • What is the role of the media in reducing crime?
  • What is the link between media and the growth of the fashion industry?
  • What are your thoughts on Noam Chamky’s manufacturing consent? Is it propaganda in itself?

Topics For Journalism Class From Expert Writers

  • The relationship between media and politics: Are there any media outlets that are politically neutral?
  • Explain the implications of a one-sided media and why it might be dangerous to society
  • Discuss how the media was during the Obama vs the Trump administration
  • Investigate the Black Lives Matter movement and analyze the role of media in advancing it
  • What are the positive or negative impacts of media on war
  • Analyze the link between crime and media
  • Examine how media affects the diminishing of traditions and culture
  • Explain the role of media in the growth of the music industry
  • Analyze the influence of media on innovations
  • Explain the role of social media in promoting hostility and violence
  • Analyze the advantages of non-partisan advertisement outlets
  • Why is the press essential in spreading political rivalry among the political subject and class?

Good Journalism Topics

  • Define media propaganda and look into how it influences hatred in society
  • What is the role of social media in society
  • Explain the impact of mass media in promoting war against crime
  • What role does mass media play in promoting learning activities?
  • Explain how mass media originates from political rivalry
  • Analyze the media violations of a person’s freedom and rights
  • Examine the role of mass media on the political class of America in the 18 th century
  • What is the role of mass media in spreading awareness?
  • Discuss the relevance of media in the growth of a steadfast country
  • What are the components of an ideal media outlet
  • Investigate how the government regulates the media
  • What is the difference between modern and new error journalism

Middle School Journalism Topics

  • Elaborate the skills, knowledge and training one needs to become a good journalist.
  • Explain how readers can confirm the truth and credibility of news articles
  • Examine countries need to control their media sites
  • Determine whether governments should have exclusive power to censor news reporters and journalists
  • Explain how social media has impacted the reporting of police brutality cases
  • Determine whether a journalist can be objective when reporting on a war
  • Explain how news coverage has changed with the arrival of social media
  • What was the impact of mass media on the scope of the Vietnam War

Research Topics In Mass Communication And Journalism

  • Explain how journalists altered the coverage of news relating to WWII
  • Investigate why radio still commands a huge following
  • Explain different types of media and differ according to audience
  • How effective are social media marketing campaigns
  • Define media downshifting and discuss why people are reverting to newspapers again
  • What are the benefits of international journalism?
  • Investigate terrorism in media and highlight examples in the world today
  • Define journalism ethics and highlight its importance in news coverage
  • Highlight some relevant media disasters and explain how to prevent them
  • Discuss mass communication laws in the U.S.

Journalism Thesis Topics

  • Define fanfiction and fandom in the media
  • A case study of social networks is the key to modern-day communication
  • Discuss the peculiarities of children media
  • Explain why video blogs are the new diaries
  • Why is it important for media to censor controversial topics and violence
  • Elaborate media and communication psychology
  • How effective are media companies as compared to single bloggers with regards to news coverage
  • Explain the critical attributes of communication

Literary Journalism Topics

  • Analyze why media agencies should cease using metaphors in headlines
  • Explain why it is essential to ban all fake news from social media sites
  • Elaborate the main drawbacks facing journalism
  • Does the U.S. media treat its global enemies fairly?
  • Discus whether media outlets are responsible for the spread of unverified stories

Journalism Essay Topics For High Grades

  • Explain the limitations and challenges of the Bennet news model
  • Define stylized writing and elaborate whether it is acceptable in today’s internet-reliant world
  • Explain the U.S. media portrays enemies and competitors from around the world
  • Is it true that the internet makes people read less about current events?
  • Explain how the internet has affected news reporting
  • Examine some of the most significant anticipated changes to journalism in days to come
  • Explain the main reasons why we cannot do without media
  • How the media helps in the advancement of technology
  • Elaborate different ways by which mass media outlets benefit from advertisements and product promotions
  • Discuss the critical negative influence mass media may have on students
  • Discuss the advantages of mass media in preempting a situation
  • What are the implications of mass media to the ethical well-being of society?
  • Examine media and its influence in the articulation of social matters like racism
  • Investigate media addiction and elaborate its effects on the economy
  • Explain whether video games should be media today

Journalism Topics For High School

  • Discuss the origin of school name and how it augers among students
  • Explain the source of the sports team name in your school
  • Elaborate how the pandemic has impacted student recruitment and enrollment numbers
  • Explain how the decision to cancel in-person classes affected high school students
  • Examine the resources your school provides for needy students
  • Investigate the impact of new media on digital learning budgets
  • Look into what is happening to local businesses around your high school
  • Discuss how your high school staff is adapting to cover time lost during the pandemic
  • Explain the media policy and culture in your school
  • What are the causes and impacts of media addiction
  • Explain the potential effects of mass media on children
  • Discuss the effect of mass media on one’s emotional and psychological well being
  • Discuss the effect of media on relationship expectations
  • Investigate different types of mass media that have become obsolete in recent times
  • Explain the influence of mass media on political attitudes
  • Discuss the representation of women journalists in the media fraternity
  • Examine if journalism can seek the truth without breaking the journalism code
  • Discuss why we should trust the media to deliver accurate news
  • Examine whether the media is responsible for the deterioration in moral standards in society

Journalism Research Topics From ENL Writers

  • Discuss why it is not appropriate for celebrities and superstars to undergo trial by media
  • Discuss why radio is still an essential form of media in the 21 st century
  • Explain how to regulate mass media to ensure minimal exposure of students to unsuitable content
  • Elaborate why televisions need to stop showing sexual content
  • Outline possible impacts of misdirection and misinformation by the media
  • What is the effect of media on diplomacy
  • Discuss the use of women and their sexuality in mass media advertisement
  • Discuss the positive and negative impact of racism in media
  • A case study of pollution as a social issue and the media’s role in combating it
  • Highlight the representation of African Americans in today’s media
  • Investigate the impact of fear created by media reporting crimes
  • Elaborate the flaws representation of black women in media
  • Discuss the role of media as an agenda-setting tool
  • What is the state of mass media in the Middle East
  • Examine media study and its advantages to students
  • Discuss same-sex marriage representation in American media

Investigative Journalism Topics

  • Highlight how disabled people are represented by the media today
  • Discuss the representation of Muslim women and Islam by women
  • What are the historical development and cultural impact of media in the U.S.?
  • What is the role of transculturation in media translation
  • Examine how the image of the Arab woman appears in Arab media
  • What is the role of print media in the advancement of pop culture?
  • What are the negative impacts of television advertisements on children?
  • Conduct a comparative analysis of news reports between FOX and BBC news
  • Discuss the objectification of women and its adverse psychological impacts
  • Elaborate why media channels tend to focus a lot on celebrity gossip instead of vital media
  • Explain why social media is more relevant in modern days as compared to traditional media
  • Discuss whether politicians depend on media to retain their power
  • What is the truth of the statement that the media has been corrupted by money?
  • Do large media companies have too much influence and power? Do they need to be disintegrated into smaller units?
  • Explain why the media should not include graphic images depicting violence or war brutality
  • Investigate why the media should be accountable for any misconceptions it helps to enforce
  • Elaborate why the media should provide free educational content
  • Explain why mass media is more of a propaganda tool for the government

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Journalism Has Seen a Substantial Rise in Philanthropic Spending Over the Past 5 Years, a Study Says

A study points to a “substantial” increase in philanthropic funding for journalism over the past five years, particularly to outlets that serve poor and minority communities

Associated Press Aug. 24, 2023

Texas A&M Reaches $1 Million Settlement With Black Journalism Professor

Texas A&M University has reached a $1 million settlement Thursday with a Black journalism professor whose hiring was sabotaged by backlash her past work promoting diversity

Associated Press Aug. 3, 2023

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Former Charlotte Observer Publisher Rolfe Neill Dies at Age 90

The publisher of The Charlotte Observer for over two decades has died

Associated Press July 14, 2023

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Fox Ushers Out Geraldo Rivera With Tribute as He Says He Was Fired From 'The Five'

Fox News brought cake, balloons and fake mustaches to the set of “Fox & ”Friends" to pay tribute to Geraldo Rivera on Friday

Associated Press June 30, 2023

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BBC News Effort Tries to Popularize New Reporting Methods, Boost Transparency

The BBC is more aggressively bringing “open source” reporting and efforts to expose disinformation to its day-to-day reporting, a move that signals a potential shift in journalism’s embrace of new technology

Associated Press June 28, 2023

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CBS News Effort Shows the Growth in Solutions Journalism to Combat Bad News Fatigue

Following the news can be relentlessly depressing, so much that some people use that as an excuse for avoiding it

Associated Press June 24, 2023

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Justice Alito Accepted Alaska Resort Vacation From GOP Donors, Report Says

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito accepted a 2008 trip to a luxury fishing lodge in Alaska from two wealthy Republican donors, one of whom repeatedly had interests before the court

Associated Press June 21, 2023

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Washington Post Publisher Fred Ryan Leaves Paper After 9 Years at Helm

Washington Post publisher and chief executive Fred Ryan is leaving the newspaper after nine years in charge

Associated Press June 12, 2023

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California Bill Requiring Big Tech to Pay for News Gains Momentum

A bill that would force Big Tech companies to pay news agencies for using their content passed its first big test in the state Legislature on Thursday

Associated Press June 1, 2023

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Judge Rejects Arizona Sen. Wendy Rogers' Restraining Order Against Reporter

A judge has dismissed Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers’ restraining order against a reporter

Associated Press May 10, 2023

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Small Kansas paper raided by police has a history of hard-hitting reporting

Headshot of Danielle Kaye

Danielle Kaye

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Eric Meyer, publisher and owner of Marion County Record in Kansas, reads the latest edition of his newspaper. John Hanna/AP hide caption

Eric Meyer, publisher and owner of Marion County Record in Kansas, reads the latest edition of his newspaper.

After police raided their newsroom, journalists at the Marion County Record spent all week dealing with its aftermath: interviews with national and international news organizations, conversations with their lawyer about legal action, attempts to get their equipment back.

Last week's raid drew wide condemnation as a press freedom violation — and it diverted the Record 's five full-time staffers and seven part-timers away from their typical reporting.

"The story we should be writing this week is not about us; the story we should be writing is about the budget of the city of Marion," said Eric Meyer, the paper's publisher and owner.

That's how it rolls for Meyer and the Record. Founded in 1869, the paper is known for its hard-hitting coverage of local government decisions and holding people in positions of power accountable.

As the world watches his paper for press freedom violations, publisher is eager to turn his attention to the city's budget

Now, Meyer is eager to look into the city's recent budget proposal, which he said elected officials have not yet discussed. He worries about how taxpayer dollars will be spent.

And if the Record doesn't pay attention, nobody will. The weekly newspaper is the sole publication covering Marion, a city of about 2,000 in south-central Kansas.

It's this type of reporting that's drawn the ire of local officials — including the city's police chief, whom the paper was investigating before he raided their newsroom.

A police raid of a Kansas newsroom raises alarms about violations of press freedom

A police raid of a Kansas newsroom raises alarms about violations of press freedom

Back in 2004, the Record exposed Marion's city administrator, who is now its mayor, for allowing the city to use a reservoir contaminated with blue-green algae for drinking water, despite a ban on the water due to toxicity concerns.

"You shouldn't ask those questions"

And last year, the Record reported on irregularities in the location of a housing development project supported by the city. Meyer said officials summoned him to a meeting, during which he demanded answers to outstanding concerns about where the houses were being built on agricultural land.

Their response? "You shouldn't ask those questions," according to Meyer.

"We're controversial in the community," Meyer said.

The Record was thrown into the national spotlight last week after Marion police raided its newsroom and his mother's home, seizing computers, cell phones and other reporting materials. The raid prompted national outcry over violations of federal law and First Amendment protections. All the seized material will now be returned, according to the county attorney.

A family-owned publication

The Record has been family-run for almost its entire 150-year history. The Hoch family, known for their prominence in Kansas politics, owned the paper until 1998.

Meyer's father had worked at the Record since the 1940s; his mother, since the 1960s. It was part of their family history and the fabric of their community.

So when the paper's ownership was up in the air, the Meyer family decided to buy it.

"We just couldn't see it falling into the hands of a chain, because we have a very strong belief that local news organizations work when they are run for and by local people," Meyer said.

Meyer's mother, Joan, worked for the paper until she died at age 98, just one day after Marion police raided her home, where he was staying at the time. Meyer believes the stress of the raid contributed to her death.

Meyer, a long-time journalist at The Milwaukee Journal and journalism professor at the University of Illinois, moved back to Marion when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Shortly after, he retired from his teaching job to run the paper full-time.

The Record prints one edition each Wednesday. It has three separate circulation lists with a total press run of about 4,000 that reaches readers across Marion County.

"There's still a need for local news," Meyer said. "I'm kind of doing this to try to prove that."

Kansas newspaper says it investigated local police chief prior to newsroom raid

Kansas newspaper says it investigated local police chief prior to newsroom raid

"it's an increasingly small club".

The Record 's role in the community has put a spotlight on the function of newspapers as local watchdogs. An informed public is at the heart of a strong democracy, but with the disappearance of local news organizations, many small towns have lost the ability to get information about local governance.

The Record is "a little more aggressive" than some daily newspapers in nearby counties, Meyer said. It records every police dispatch, for example, and publishes a column about police activity every week.

Meyer likes to point out that other newspapers committed to accountability journalism in eastern Kansas do still exist, like The Iola Register , about 100 miles south-east of Marion.

"There are others who do it, but it's an increasingly small club," Meyer said.

Emily Bradbury, executive director of the Kansas Press Association, said Kansas has maintained a robust network of local newspapers: 190 papers covering the state's 105 counties. She pointed to The Harvey County Now , just south of Marion, as another example of a locally-owned newspaper.

But the Record , Bradbury added, is "kind of an outlier" in terms of the size of its staff and its investigative focus.

A paper covering a similarly-sized community in Kansas typically has a staff of about three people, Bradbury said. That's compared to the Record 's five full-time staffers and seven part-timers.

According to Bradbury, 82% of Kansans read a local newspaper, in part because of relatively limited internet access in some parts of the state. A 2023 ranking of states' broadband coverage placed Kansas toward the bottom of the list, in 48th place.

Though Kansas has a "strong culture" of family ownership of newspapers, these publications started to decline about a decade ago, Bradbury said. The Kansas Press Association is trying to train Kansans to work at local papers, in recognition of the role local newsrooms play in communities across the state. Pay at small papers is relatively low; according to Salary.com, the average salary for a newspaper reporter in Wichita, Kansas is less than $40,000.

"It is a lack of knowledge and a lack of engagement that happens when a community loses their newspaper," Bradbury said.

Local papers play a vital role in their communities, identifying problems and highlighting solutions

Every week, an average of two newspapers disappear in the United States, according to a 2022 report from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. The country has lost more than a fourth of its newspapers since 2005 and is on track to lose a third by 2025.

Penny Muse Abernathy, a visiting professor at Medill who wrote the study, said weekly papers like The Marion County Record play a vital role in their communities, identifying problems and highlighting solutions.

"When you see the loss of weeklies, that is a loss in quite frankly what has been the lifeblood of our democracy," Abernathy said.

The fate of local news: America's largest newspaper company is creating news deserts

Family-owned newspapers, Abernathy said, often provide stronger accountability than chain-owned publications.

"You've got somebody in the community, eating at the local diner, going to the same church," Abernathy said. "They pick up on things that chain-owned newspapers, who tend to cycle publishers and editors in and out of a market, don't."

Papers like the Record bear witness

Small papers, in Kansas and across the county, offer transparency on day-to-day local government affairs, Abernathy added — including city budgets, which the Record is hoping to cover once the turmoil inflicted by the raid dies down.

Victor Pickard, a professor of media policy at the University of Pennsylvania, said papers like the Record serve the function of bearing witness.

But local newspapers — let alone those with the resources to report in-depth investigations — are increasingly rare, due in large part to the collapse of the advertising revenue model that newspapers have long relied on.

The effects of this decline, Pickard said, are damaging.

"Levels of corruption rise, civic engagement declines, people are less likely to vote. Even taxes go up — there's more financial waste in local communities," Pickard said. "There's so many of these costs that occur whenever we lose a newspaper."

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A very different country: 2060s Australia as seen by the Intergenerational Report

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Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Disclosure statement

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

University of Canberra provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.

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The Australia of the 2060s will be very different from the one we know today. It will be older, with slower economic growth, a big “care” economy, and an export sector that is radically transformed due to the imperatives of climate change.

The Intergenerational Report , released by Treasurer Jim Chalmers, says five main forces will shape Australia’s economy over the coming four decades.

population ageing

expanded use of digital and data technology

climate change and the net zero transformation

rising demand for care and support services

increased geopolitical risk and fragmentation.

These forces will “change how Australians live, work, and engage with the world”.

The economy will be about two and a half times as big, and real incomes are expected to be 50% higher by 2062-63. On the downside, economic growth will be slow – growing at an average pace of 2.2% over the coming four decades, from an average of 3.1% over the previous four decades.

Average annual growth

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Population will also increase more slowly than previously – by an average of just 1.1% annually. The report projects 40.5 million people in the early 2060s. Migration is projected to fall as a share of the population. While the number of people 65 and over will double, Australia is still expected to have a younger population than most advanced countries.

With an ageing population, the rate of participation in the workforce is expected to fall gradually – from 66.6% in 2022-23 to 63.8%. Average hours worked would also fall slightly, from about 32 to about 31 a week. The gender pay gap would continue to narrow.

Productivity growth will remain in the slow lane, although its future path is

not a foregone conclusion and will be influenced by decisions taken by government, business, and investors, and by the big shifts underway in the global and domestic economy.

Changes in Australia’s industrial base will be driven by technology, climate change and the energy transformation, and the growing demand for care and support services, as well as geopolitical uncertainty.

The net zero transformation will hit coal exports, but boost the export of so-called critical minerals.

“Climate change and the net zero transformation will have a significant impact on the structure of the economy and the choices Australian consumers and businesses make,” the report says.

Australia is in a strong position to benefit with some of the world’s largest reserves of critical minerals such as lithium, cobalt and rare earth elements, which are key inputs to clean energy technologies. With abundant wind, sun and open spaces Australia also has the potential to generate green energy more cheaply than many countries.

The report warns that domestically, climate change will affect how we live and work, as well as food and energy security, and the environment.

The ageing population will strengthen the trend towards a service-based economy, with the care and support sector potentially doubling over the coming four decades.

Components of real income growth per capita

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The budget in 40 years will see already-familiar spending pressures – in health, aged care, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, defence, and debt interest.

Collectively, these are projected to increase from about a third to about a half of all government spending.

Total government spending is projected to rise by 3.8 percentage points of GDP over the next 40 years. About 40% of this increase is caused by ageing.

Total income support and education payments are expected to continue to rise in real terms per person but fall as a share of GDP as Australia ages. Spending on age and service pensions will fall as a share of GDP, with superannuation increasingly funding retirement.

Increase in payments across the five main spending pressures Per cent of GDP, 2022–23 to 2062–63

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There will be pressure in the coming 40 years on the revenue base, which will be eroded by the decarbonisation of transport and also a hit to tobacco excise.

Australia’s gross debt as a share of GDP is set to decline over coming decades, but there will be deficits. The budget is currently in surplus but the report says “deficits are projected to remain over the long term”. Initially narrow. they will widen from the 2040s because of spending pressures.

Launching the report at the National Press Club Chalmers said the government’s immediate obligation was to do what it could to ease cost-of-living pressures without adding to inflation.

“But the critics out there who say that we need to wait before engaging with our long-term prospects just don’t seem to get it,” he said.

“There will never be a quiet time to think about the future. There will always be competing pressures and urgent calls on our attention.

"The best leaders can focus on more than one thing, more than one horizon, more than one set of opportunities.”

Answering questions, Chalmers acknowledged the uncertainty in long-term projections.

“There’s always an element of uncertainty; there will always be things like global financial crises and pandemics that will knock a country off course and make us think about the starting point differently and, therefore, the end destination differently as well. So none of it is preordained.”

Read more: Slower ageing, but slower economic growth: the Intergenerational Report in 7 charts

  • Intergenerational Report
  • Jim Chalmers
  • Treasurer Jim Chalmers

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Indigenous Internship - Indigenous Data Network

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Professor, School of Law

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Dean, Faculty of Education

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Lecturer or Senior Lecturer, Cyber and Network Security

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Lecturer in Sociology


  1. Writing A Newspaper Article Template

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  2. News Magazine Article Examples / Newspaper Article Example For Students

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  3. This posting offers a sample journalism syllabus and much more. Click

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  6. FREE 10+ Broadcast Journalism Samples in PDF

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  1. How to Write an Essay in 40 Minutes

  2. How Journalists Write News

  3. NSAA Journalism: #7 Newspaper Feature Writing

  4. Essay on role of a Journalist in society

  5. Get Started as a Journalist!

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  1. Introduction

    The pages in this section aim to provide a brief overview of journalistic practices and standards, such as the ethics of collecting and reporting on information; writing conventions like the inverted pyramid and using Associated Press (AP) Style; and formatting and drafting journalistic content like press releases.

  2. PDF News writing

    The opening paragraph of a news report is the most important. It contains the key information and most recent facts about the story. The opening should answer the following questions, known as the 5Ws of journalism: • Who is the story about? • What happened? • Where did the story happen? • When did the story take place? • Why did it happen?

  3. News Writing: Tips and Examples for Better Reporting

    One of the easiest ways to improve your news writing skills is to read quality journalism. Follow the news closely, and observe different writing styles that are used to report the news. Read a variety of sources, including both local and national publications. Take note of how reporters pull from multiple and diverse sources to report facts ...

  4. Journalistic Writing

    Inverted Pyramid. In summary, here are tips to remember: Use short, simple words that most will understand. Use short sentences and short paragraphs. Eliminate unnecessary words that create redundancy. Use active voice sentences. State facts, NOT opinions. Do NOT stereotype: sexism, ageism, racism, etc. Arrange information from most important ...

  5. The Writing Center

    Journalists commonly use six values to determine how newsworthy a story or elements of a story are. Knowing the news values can help a journalist make many decisions, including: What information to give first in a news article, and in the lede. Timeliness- Recent events have a higher news value than less recent ones.

  6. 15 News Writing Rules for Beginning Journalism Students

    15 News Writing Rules for Beginning Journalism Students The goal is to provide information clearly in common language gremlin / Getty Images By Tony Rogers Updated on July 15, 2019 Gathering information for a news article is vitally important, of course, but so is writing the story.

  7. How to Write a Report: A Guide

    How to Write a Report: A Guide Matt Ellis Updated on May 10, 2023 Students A report is a nonfiction account that presents and/or summarizes the facts about a particular event, topic, or issue. The idea is that people who are unfamiliar with the subject can find everything they need to know from a good report.

  8. Reporting and Writing I: Fundamentals of Journalism

    About this course: An introduction to and survey of multiple topics in journalism, including news judgment, analysis, and ethics, as well as some basic best practices of writing, research, and reporting. Students leave the course with a basic understanding of the inner workings of journalism and some goals for a career in media.

  9. How to Write Like a Journalist: 8 Tips

    1. Gather the information. Gather the information you need to construct your story. In non-fiction, like in journalism, this may require visiting the location where the story takes place, interviewing witnesses and people involved in the event, and using online search engines for further research. 2. Find your angle.

  10. Tips on Writing a News Report: Making It Solid and Trustworthy

    Do you need a news report example to be able to write your own successful one? Understandable. Find some useful tips to get your news report done right here. ... Engage your readership and showcase your journalism skills by focusing on the facts and the impact you want your story to have. Start With a Good Lead. The lead (also called the ...

  11. How journalists write

    Journalists usually refer to what they write as stories. Not articles or reports, occasionally pieces, but stories. This does not apply only to reporters but to everybody in the editorial chain ...

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    News journalism reports facts, as they emerge. It aims to provide people with objective information about current events, in straightforward terms. Feature writing provides a deeper look at events, people or topics, and offer a new perspective.

  13. PDF 'The Elements of Journalism'

    Vol. 55 No. 2 Summer 2001 (Abridged SpeciAl iSSue) Digital Reprint NiemaN RepoRts The NiemAN FouNdATioN For JourNAliSm AT hArVArd uNiVerSiTy "… to promote and elevate the standards of journalism" —Agnes Wahl Nieman, the benefactor of the Nieman Foundation 5 'The Elements of Journalism' 6 'The News Has Become the News' By Michael Getler 9 Chapter One: Journalism's First ...

  14. 3 Clear and Easy Ways to Write a News Report

    Use the information you collected and gathered at the scene and in interviews. Write your report in third person and from a neutral perspective. Make sure your story conveys information and not an opinion. 5. Include quotes in the news report. Quotes can be included in your news report to convey information.

  15. Journalistic Writing: Characteristics & Functions

    Journalistic writing is the style of writing used to report news stories in newspapers, television broadcasts, on radio and on the Internet. Unlike other styles of writing, which can be...

  16. Reporting and Multimedia Journalism

    Reporting and multimedia journalism inform the public about important issues and events. By using written, oral and visual communication skills, multimedia journalists tell stories that matter to the audiences they serve. The reporting track prepares students for careers in print, broadcast, and digital news, investigative journalism, magazine ...

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    Here are the most common journalism career paths: 1. Broadcast journalism: Broadcast journalism is an umbrella term that refers to any reporting that is broadcast on television, radio, or the internet. Common types of broadcast journalism include day-to-day breaking news stories, entertainment, investigative, opinion, and sports journalism. 2.

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  21. Journalistic Report

    1. Its first loyalty is to citizens Do journalists actually write for themselves or for the public? Do they write for politicians and corrupt scumbags or do they write for the common people and the voiceless who sometimes are always being shut up? As a reporter and a journalist, your job is to keep the public informed of society's happenings.

  22. 175 Journalism Topics For Excellent Grades

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  24. Journalism

    Texas A&M Reaches $1 Million Settlement With Black Journalism Professor. Texas A&M University has reached a $1 million settlement Thursday with a Black journalism professor whose hiring was ...

  25. Kansas paper raided by police has a history of hard-hitting reporting

    Meyer, a long-time journalist at The Milwaukee Journal and journalism professor at the University of Illinois, moved back to Marion when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Shortly after, he retired from ...

  26. Dispatch pauses AI sports writing program

    The Columbus Dispatch paused use of an artificial intelligence sports writing tool after a Westerville football recap faced criticism on social media that went viral last week. ... "The future is now: Journalism without journalists," University of Maine journalism professor Michael Socolow posted on X above a list of AI-generated high school ...

  27. A very different country: 2060s Australia as seen by the

    The report projects 40.5 million people in the early 2060s. Migration is projected to fall as a share of the population. ... Write an article and join a growing community of more than 169,400 ...

  28. Texas National Guard member fires across Rio Grande, wounds Mexican

    A National Guard member on duty at the Texas-Mexico border in El Paso fired across the Rio Grande, injuring a 37-year-old Mexican man in Ciudad Juárez on Saturday night, according to the Texas ...