Home Current issues More about PAGES Newsletter Mentor

 

In The Newsletter Mentor's writing section:

Four steps to effective news writing.

Four major writing errors.

Great stories, some examples.

Rewriting exercise.

How to flesh out a story using interviews.

Sample questions.

Captions or cutlines for photographs.

Writing headlines. Why it matters.

Click here to get the The Newsletter Mentor FREE with a subscription!


Online: Ideas and articles
about publishing

logo-bar.gif (4754 bytes)

 


See how your choice of attributive word changes a simple statement:

Read each statement and consider how the choice of attributive word colors an otherwise simple news statement.

We are opening a new branch office, said XYZ company President Don Smith.

We are opening a new branch office, claimed XYZ company President Don Smith.

We are opening a new branch office, admitted XYZ company President Don Smith.

We are opening a new branch office, confides XYZ company President Don Smith.

We are opening a new branch office, laughs XYZ company President Don Smith.

We are opening a new branch office, hints XYZ company President Don Smith.

We are opening a new branch office, contends XYZ company President Don Smith.

We are opening a new branch office, concludes XYZ company President Don Smith.

In the example above, which words make the Don look sneaky? How about a liar? Note that only one statement is truly free of other implications about Smith's motivation.

Some words are less dangerous than the ones we used above, but whenever they are used, they must be examined for secondary meanings. Words such as "announced" or "released" are in that category.

Fun homework: Open a newspaper news story about politics and count how many times a politician is quoted using value-laden attributive word. In what circumstances are politicians quoted as "warning" or "urging" action? Take note of which people in a news article are quoted as "saying" something. Do you think these people are being used as a sort of truth teller in the article?


2003 Copyright PAGES Editorial Service, Inc. 765-677-0486
Serving editors for 35 years
Email: sales@pagesmag.com