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The Basics of Media Writing
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The Basics of Media Writing
A Strategic Approach

Experience with SAGE edge


March 2017 | 568 pages | CQ Press

The Basics of Media Writing: A Strategic Approach helps readers develop the essential writing skills and professional habits needed to succeed in 21st-century media careers. This research-driven, strategy-based media writing textbook digs deeply into how media professionals think and write in journalism, public relations, advertising, and other forms of strategic communication. Authors Scott A. Kuehn and Andrew Lingwall have created two comprehensive writing models to help students overcome their problems in finding and developing story topics by giving them “starting points” to begin writing. The Professional Strategy Triangle model shows students how to think critically about the audience, the situation, and the message before starting a news story or persuasive piece and the FAJA four-point model asks students a series of questions about their story type (Fact, Analysis, Judgment, or Action) to guide them to the right angle or organizational structure for their message. Rooted in classical rhetorical methods, this step-by-step technique enables readers to strategically approach each writing task, no matter the format.

 
PREFACE
 
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
 
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
 
SECTION I: MEDIA WRITING FOUNDATIONS
 
CHAPTER 1: YOU AS A WRITER
Welcome to Media Writing!  
Media Consumption and Production, All at Once  
Media Responsibilities and Challenges  
The Role of Skilled Writing  
Understanding Yourself as a Writer  
The Media Writer’s Self-Perception (MWSP) Scale  
The Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation (GSP) Test  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
CHAPTER 2: MEDIA WRITING PROFESSIONS AND STRATEGIES
21st-Century Media: A Rapidly Changing Landscape  
Overview of the Major Media Professions  
Professional Media Writing Strategy  
Using the FAJA Points in Your Writing  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
CHAPTER 3: MEDIA WRITING STYLE AND LANGUAGE CONVENTIONS
Style: Your Audiences Are Counting on It  
Media Writing Style Conventions  
The Connection Between Thinking and Writing  
Style Guides  
Selected Points of AP Style  
Additional Language Rules  
Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
SECTION II: NEWS SETTINGS
 
CHAPTER 4: REPORTING AND INTERVIEWING
Journalism: A Higher Calling  
The First Amendment Guarantee  
Professional News Writing Standards  
The Converged Media Environment  
Applying the Professional Strategy Triangle to Reporting  
News Reporting  
Interviewing  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
CHAPTER 5: HARD NEWS AND FEATURE WRITING
Versatility Is the Key  
The Multiplatform Story  
Writing the Hard News Story  
Using Quotations  
Writing the Feature Story  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
CHAPTER 6: ELECTRONIC NEWS WRITING: RADIO AND TELEVISION
The Electronic Media Professions  
What Do Broadcast Journalists Do?  
The Professional Strategy Triangle for Broadcast News  
Actualities and Sound Bites: Sound on Tape  
Television News Copy  
Promotional and Housekeeping Copy  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
CHAPTER 7: COPYEDITING
Copy Editors: The Critical Link  
Overview of the Copyediting Profession  
Copyediting in News and Public Relations Settings  
Copyediting in the Digital Environment  
Copyediting Techniques  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
CHAPTER 8: MEDIA LAW AND ETHICS
Media Law and Ethics Work Together  
The Fundamental Freedoms of the First Amendment  
Libel: Damage to Reputation Through False Content  
Privacy Law  
Copyright and the Law of Intellectual Property  
Access to Government Information and Government Meetings  
Ethics in the Media  
Special Considerations for Public Relations and Advertising  
Other Approaches to Ethical Decision-Making  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
SECTION III: DIGITAL SETTINGS
 
CHAPTER 9: WRITING FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
It’s Both Personal and Professional  
The Media Industry and Social Media  
Planning Social Media Campaigns  
Social Media Copywriting  
Key Style Elements for Social Media Copy  
Social Media Copywriting: Length Matters  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
CHAPTER 10: WEB COPYWRITING
The Omnipresent World Wide Web  
Web Copywriting  
Middle-Form Web Copy: Style  
Long-Form Web Copy: Blogs  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
SECTION IV: PERSUASIVE SETTINGS
 
CHAPTER 11: BASIC PERSUASIVE WRITING
Persuasion: A Timeless Skill  
Key Persuasion Theories  
Persuasion, Ethics, and Professionalism  
Using the FAJA Points for Persuasion  
Example 1: Using Judgment for Public Relations Writing  
Example 2: Using Action for Advertising Writing  
Putting Persuasion Topic Points to Work  
Moving Audiences to Action With Motive Appeals  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
CHAPTER 12: PUBLIC RELATIONS
Public Relations Is Everywhere  
The Three Types of Media: Paid, Earned, and Owned  
Uncontrolled and Controlled Media  
Professional Media Writing Strategy  
Public Relations Writing Tools  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
CHAPTER 13: ADVERTISING
Advertising: A Timeless Enterprise  
The Advertising Profession  
The Art and Science of Copywriting  
Writing the Print Advertisement  
Writing the Online Advertisement  
Writing the Radio Commercial  
Writing the Television Commercial  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
CHAPTER 14: BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
Business Communication: Anything but Boring!  
The Corporate Communication Profession  
Business Communication Flows Four Ways  
Using the Professional Strategy Triangle for Business Communication  
Summary  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter Exercises  
Additional Resources  
 
APPENDIX: MEDIA WRITER’S SELF-PERCEPTION SCALE
 
NOTES
 
INDEX

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site

SAGE edge for Instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • A sample course syllabus provides suggested models for structuring one’s course
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Multimedia content appeals to students with different learning styles
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content. 
  • Lively and stimulating ideas for class activities can be used in class to reinforce active learning. 
Student Study Site

SAGE edge for Students provides an easy-to-use learning environment, featuring:

  • mobile-friendly eFlashcards and quizzes to strengthen your understanding of key terms and concepts;
  • a complete online action plan to keep you on track and enhances your learning experience;
  • learning objectives that reinforce the most important material; and
  • multimedia resources, carefully chosen to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter.

“I really love the layout and design of the text… I have found a lot of the content is what I currently use in Writing for Media, but have to seek out and find on my own… I think the opening chapter sets the tone. I found it to be warm, positive and encouraging. I love the approach of this textbook and would find it a valuable resource not only for the students, but for me as an instructor.”

William Adams
Clarion University of Pennsylvania

This book helps the instructors how to guide students to develop the basics of writing skills for the media across the platforms. Skills are needed to succeed as professionals and choose the best media career in this competitive age of 21st-century--that could be either in basic journalism (print to online), public relations, (media) marketing, advertising, online reporting and other forms of communication/mass communication strategies. The step-by-step technique enables students to approach writing writing tasks for different formats.

Dr Zainul Abedin
Mass Communications Dept, Mississippi Valley State Univ
August 25, 2017

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2

Chapter 9


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ISBN: 9781506308104