Please see the slideshow presentation of my radio and newspaper articles below.
In writing and live reporting for DZBB AM 594 khz and submitting news for Bulgar, I always consider the quality of a news story.
Authenticity and accuracy are the primary objectives. It’s a big no no for us to treat any news as fiction. Sticking to the facts will keep us from losing credibility and legal issues. And having our stories clearly and concisely delivered will make us more authoritative in the information we have gathered.
Both entities which I belong also preferred stories that has mass appeal. Competition in the industry is tough so we have to make our stories that can catch the attention of our readers/listeners easily or with impact, timely and done in good taste.
GMA Network, Inc has a banner of Walang Kinikilingan, Walang Pinuprotektahan, Serbisyong Totoo Lang, and this guide their employees to make sure that any stories are balanced, objective and responsibly delivered.
I basically follow the principles of clear and effective writing:
Think first, then write.
Before writing news, I need to understand first the information (from interviews, records, on-site event) I have gathered. I do a mental outline on how my story will flow.
Use short, simple and familiar words.
There is no sense in writing a news story using unfamiliar words. Reporters/journalists should express the real situation not to impress. The target audience is the public, so write for the public.
Get straight to the point.
Airing news on radio has limited time, unless you were in an ongoing coverage. A tabloid newspaper has a limited space. So, getting straight to the point and stating only the facts will make a story more appealing to the audience.
Use specific, concrete language.
With the short span of attention of readers or listeners nowadays, we need to make the news story as specific and as short as possible. If in the first paragraph I could name the source or the subject of the story, then I should do it.
Avoid using jargon or too many technical terms.
I always use terms that even children can understand when they listen or read my news. Not all audiences love to hear or read highfalutin or technical words, it will just loose their interest and unfollow us.
Keep your sentences or paragraphs short.
I stick to one sentence on paragraph rule. It will make my stories more comprehensive.
Prefer active to the passive voice.
I usually use action word in the first word of my sentences. It creates more impact and drive audience’s attention.
Review and Revise.
When delivering news, there is no room for inaccurate data. As much as possible, do not make mistakes, especially on details.
Of course, no matter how long I have been in the industry, there are still rooms for improvement thus avoiding mediocracy. But basically, practitioners like me need to regularly participate in seminars or training to catch up with the developments and latest technologies.
We also tend to forget some ethics and lost sensitivity because of the eagerness to be the first to get the story. We tend to ignore the risk of our lives just to get the exclusive news but no story is worth dying for. Series of survival training on how to cover conflicts or other unexpected events like disasters would make media practitioners better in their field of expertise.