30 Dec Journalism basics for everyday writers
If you’re writing for social media, and/or you want news media coverage for your work or campaign or idea: the principles of journalism apply equally to your posts and media releases.
Some years ago I was involved in the No Fibs citizen journalism project, becoming the editor of the coal seam gas (CSG) campaign.
What follows are links to journalism basics I wrote for No Fibs’ citizen journalists:
News and online media are powerful forces for getting your ideas and opinions heard. The following tips are important for anyone who wants to write a great media release to promote their ideas, business, group or organisation in mainstream media and social media – as well as anyone who wants to be a credible citizen journalist.
In order to be a successful media operator, it’s vital that you understand, respect and recognise the importance of the following basic principles:
* know the difference between fact and opinion
* everyone has an agenda (This is neither a positive or negative statement. It’s vital you are aware of the subtle – or not so subtle – influences on your work.)
* accuracy is fundamental to your credibility and your reputation
* assumptions are the greatest danger to your reporting/media strategy
* newsrooms have a presentation ‘style’ – copy it!
For basic training on each of the above, click on the live links.
If you want to develop respectful relationships with your local newsroom, or become an influential citizen journalist, it’s a good idea to read the MEAA code of ethics.