Module JT030

Journalistic Writing

Module author

Kathryn Quigley

Rowan University

Learning objectives

After you have completed this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify and apply the basics of journalistic writing and story forms;
  • Examine and synthesize the core principles of journalistic writing;
  • Become familiar with the similarities and differences between news writing, features and opinion writing;
  • Find information and conduct interviews;
  • Distinguish the components of journalistic writing in the mediums of print, online and broadcast news..

Chapter 1: The Basics
1.1 The main elements of a story
1.2 News values
1.3 What journalistic writing is NOT

Chapter 2: Essence of Journalistic Writing
2.1 Leads, nutgraphs, kickers
2.2 Story forms
2.3 A quick guide to proper punctuation

Chapter 3: News, Features and Opinion Journalism
3.1 News
3.2 Features
3.3 Opinion writing

Chapter 4: Reporting and Interviewing
4.1 Who and what are source
4.2 Where to find information
4.3 How to conduct an interview

Chapter 5: Print, Online and Broadcast Writing
5.1 Writing for print
5.2 Writing for online
5.3 Writing for broadcast

Study points 2
Preview Journalistic Writing


Why journalistic writing is one of the most important skills for journalists

Often individuals who want to begin careers in journalistic writing recognize the value of attaining a formal education in the subject. In this article, we'll provide you with a brief yet thorough overview of the journalistic writing field as well as our module that will provide you with the information and experience necessary to excel in this vocational sector.

In this contemporary era, more and more individuals are expressing interest in journalistic writing. Although defined broadly, journalistic writing is basically a form of writing that is geared towards covering news stories. Typically, there are several elements indigenous to journalistic writing that set it apart from other forms of writing. Specifically, journalistic writing involves locating stories that are relevant, timely, easily simplified, predictable, unexpected, continuous, and oftentimes negative. Once these stories are located, writers will mold and shape them with simple, easily digestible language that people from all walks of life can read.


Why study journalistic writing?

As many journalism experts know, the subject of journalistic writing is immensely important. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that news journalists are responsible for providing the public with detailed, balanced information regarding events that transpire at the local, national, and global level. Because news journalists play such a primary role in shaping the world view of people all across the world, it is critically important that they operate in integrity and excellence.

Many cultural theorists and academicians argue that journalistic writing is more important now than ever as a result of the rise of globalism, multiculturalism, and technological advances that have made it possible for people across the globe to easily communicate with one another. As a result of these sociocultural realities and the assessments made about them, many people are paying careful attention to the way that the media (including news journalists) represent events as they unfold on the global stage.


Overview on the module

In recognizing the importance of ensuring that individuals who opt for a career in journalistic writing gain the knowledge and experience necessary to operate in excellence, we are pleased to offer a module geared towards helping students realize this objective. To help facilitate the learning process, we have established a plethora of results-driven objectives to ensure that students can excel in their chosen vocation. Some of the skills that you will master after completing this module include the ability to identify and utilize basic journalistic writing and story forms and analyze and subsequently synthesize the primary principles of journalistic writing.

Throughout this journalistic writing module, you will also gain the ability to distinguish between news writing, feature writing, and opinion writing. Recognizing the similarities and differences between the form and content of these writing styles will be professionally advantageous as students learn which style they prefer as well as whether they have greater aptitude for one or the other. This module will also afford students the opportunity to learn where they can find information. This skill will be immensely advantageous throughout the course of one's career in journalism, as compiling data and facts pertaining to a story will play an integral role in generating the news writer's credibility in the mind of the reading public.

Yet another skill that students will acquire throughout the course of the module is the ability to conduct interviews. This skill is of great value in the world of journalistic writing insomuch as asking pertinent questions and being sensitive to the needs and values of the person being interviewed will empower the student to compile thorough, detailed information that will contribute to the formation of an excellent article or news story.

Another skill that students will attain through completion of this journalistic writing module is the ability to distinguish the elements of journalistic writing as they manifest through print, online and broadcast news. This skill will provide students with a competitive edge resulting from their ability to note the oftentimes minute yet significant differentiating factors that give specific forms of journalistic writing their unique edge and import.

To help you gain an even more thorough understanding of the subject matter you can expect to encounter and master by taking this journalistic writing module, we will provide a brief overview of the topics that will be covered therein. We will begin with a basic overview of the journalistic writing sector, covering foundational topics such as the main elements of the story and news values. We will also provide students with a comprehensive understanding of what journalistic writing is as well as what it is not.

Once students have mastered some basic principles pertaining to journalistic writing, we will move forward by getting into the essence of journalistic writing. Topics to be covered in this section of the module will include leads, nutgraphs, and kickers. We will also cover story forms and provide students with a quick, concise guide to proper punctuation.

The third component of the module will pertain to news, features and opinion journalism. Each of these topics is important because they will provide the student with a basic yet thorough, detailed understanding of how the act of journalistic writing gives shape and substance to the news world. This element of the module will also provide students with an understanding of the different types of news writing and their distinct role and significance within the world of journalistic writing.

The fourth component of this journalistic writing module will cover the subjects of reporting and interviewing. Topics covered will include identifying who and what are the sources, determining where to find information, and learning how to conduct an interview. Individuals who master these skill sets will typically find that they are able to excel in the journalistic writing sector.

The fifth and final component of the journalistic writing course unit will cover print, online and broadcast writing. Some of the topics discussed will include writing for print, writing for online, and writing for broadcast. This section of the class is important because it will provide the student with detailed information regarding the different writing styles that one should be able to identify and emulate in the world of journalistic writing.