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Journalism basics for everyday writers

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:


Stephanie Dale media coverageNews 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.

As well, it is essential citizen journalists learn how to structure a news story – the same principles apply to media releases! – and be discerning when broadcasting on Twitter.

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.


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Stephanie DaleWritten by Stephanie Dale, author, journalist & traveling writer; founder of The Write Road and Walk and Write.
Stephanie Dale is an award-winning journalist and author with a fondness for walking and writing. She is a passionate advocate for the visibility and voices of everyday people and focuses on supporting new and unpublished writers to write and keep writing. The Write Road is dedicated to empowering people to tell their stories, their way. Walk & Write The Camino