Volume 1: Basic techniques

Volume 1: Basic Techniques


Volume 1 CoverIn the first volume of ‘The News Manual’ we concentrate on the basic skills of journalism.

We start with a chapter describing in simple terms what news is, then take you step-by-step through the process of structuring and writing a news story.

In the middle chapters we give guidance on writing styles for journalism and the correct ways of presenting what you have written. We also discuss some useful books and other resources for journalists.

Finally we introduce basic reporting skills such as interviewing and reporting speeches, skills which every good journalist needs.

The first six chapters are the most important for journalists new to the profession. Spend some time on them. Read them thoroughly - several times if necessary - until you are confident that you can recognise a possible news story and then write it in a simple straightforward style. The best way to learn any skill is through practice, so take every opportunity you can to write news stories. Write and write and write again until your skills are as sharp as a razor.

Chapters 7 to 15 cover the basic techniques of researching and presenting news while Chapters 16 to 24 cover basic reporting skills, which you must practise too. They lay the foundations for most reporting tasks you are likely to encounter as a journalist.

The structure of this volume of 'The News Manual' has changed slightly from the book version. To save you having to scroll down too much text on-screen, some chapters in the book have been split into several web pages for this online edition. If you are new to 'The News Manual', you might like to read these 'linked' chapters together, e.g. Chapters 10 to 13 on Language & style. To make it easier to read these whole topics from start to finish, links have been provided at the bottom of each page to take you to the next instalment in that series.

There are two ways of finding things in The Manuals. You can either go to the main Index by clicking on the link on the right of this page, or you can follow the 'QuickLink to the News Manual volumes' (also on the right) to see a list of chapters for each of the three volumes.


Chapters in Volume 1
  1. What is news?
  2. What is a journalist?
  3. The shape of the news story
  4. Writing the intro in simple steps
  5. Writing the Intro, the golden rules
  6. Writing the news story in simple steps
  7. Writing the news story - clear writing
  9. Attribution
  10. Language & style basics
  11. Language & style - words
  12. Language & style - grammar
  13. Language & style - translation
  14. Copy presentation
  15. Newsroom books
  16. Interviewing basics
  17. Telephone interviewing
  18. Media releases
  19. Speeches & meetings basics
  20. Reporting speeches & meetings
  21. Press & media conferences
  22. Vox pops - what are they?
  23. Conducting vox pops
  24. Follow-ups
Looking for something?

A quick way to find what you're looking for in The News Manual is through the Index. It has more than 1,000 links to concepts throughout the manuals. Click here:IndexLink0

QuickLink to The News Manual volumes

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