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Published On: Mon, Jun 8th, 2015

The Search for News You Can Use as a Writer

You’re a writer, and that means that what you do is write. However, there are about 8 billion other people out there writing as well. A lot of it is good stuff – well written, informed, entertaining, etc. And the rest of it is garbage. So how do you make sure that as a writer, you’re writing about news in the best way possible?

Follow the four following tips to set yourself up to be one of the remarkable ones in the writing industry – get all of your basic preparation done ahead of time, learn to source your information deeply and correctly, keep your output succinct and relevant, and understand that these days, the medium is often the message.

Basic Preparation    

You don’t take a shower without having some soap handy. You don’t gather information and write about the news without your recording devices, knowing when stores are open, having a basic idea what the weather is going to be like. Just keep in mind that you need to get the overall picture of any place or time before you can head too far into the details of whatever story you’re working on. The more prepared you are for anything, the more ready you’ll be for everything. Words to live by as a writer!

Public domain photo/GeorgHH via Wikimedia Commons

Public domain photo/GeorgHH via Wikimedia Commons

Learn To Source Your Information  

​Nothing makes writing worse than having bad sources. Using anonymous sources has benefits, but can be trouble. Using sources that have bad information can be trouble, but as long as you point to them as where you got your information, at least you’ll be set in that regard. It’s amazing how many people just make thing up and then pass it off as fact, so in order to protect your own interests and the interests of your readership, always source your information correctly, and use direct quotes whenever it’s applicable, especially the more dramatic the overall situation is.

Keep Your Output Succinct  

The fewer words you can use to get your point across, the better. In a simple news story, you can shred the basic facts about any situation down to a few paragraph points. An audience with a short attention span will appreciate that you appreciate their time, and they’ll come back to read more of your material later if they find value in your language use.

Understand that the Medium Is the Message

Where is your writing going to be published? Newspaper, magazine, online blog, twitter feed, Facebook group page, etc? It has never been more apparent that the medium that you use to spread your message is more important than ever. Let the phrase “the medium is the message” guide you whenever you’re unsure of the primary audience through a particular communication channel.

Guest Author: Lolita Di

 

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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