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Reporting & Editing / Types of Writing

TYPES OF WRITING

Media writing is the process of writing content for mass publication through particular media outlets. This may include newspapers, magazines, popular websites, blogs, social media and other publications. Many professionals from all backgrounds use media writing, but they also require specific skills to communicate effectively with readers. This type of writing includes specific rules and categories that provide audiences with specific types of information. Audiences often interact with mass media to inform, entertain and interact socially with themselves and others.

 The types of media writing include news, feature, reviews, columns, investigative, digital, sports and editorial.

News

News writing is a straightforward type of writing that presents facts, events and other information to readers in an accurate manner. People may use news writing for newspapers, websites or broadcasting. Most news writing follows the inverted pyramid structure, meaning that writers communicate the most important information first. News writing also typically answers the five W’s about a piece of information, which include who, what, when, where, why and how.

This type of media writing usually uses a direct, unbiased and precise perspective when communicating information. News writing often requires a formal approach to sharing facts. This means writers use little to no jargon, idioms and other informal mechanisms of speech. Writers also typically use shorter words and avoid repetition to improve the conciseness and readability of their piece.

 Feature

Feature writing is a type of writing meant to entertain while also providing insight, scope, depth and interpretation into newsworthy information and events. This may include topics such as popular trends and people. Unlike news writing, feature writers often use their creativity and subjectivity to provide different or interesting perspectives. This also typically helps them connect emotionally with readers. For example, you may find feature writing about sports, art, entertainment and lifestyle topics. Writers also may conduct interviews with various experts on the topic or people involved in the event.

Review

Reviews offer opinions and recommendations about many topics to readers. Many people read reviews to learn more about new or upcoming pieces of entertainment media such as films and books. This type of media writing also allows writers to use more of an informal tone to build an emotional connection or rapport with readers. This often helps them earn credibility among audiences.

Although reviewers can use an informal tone, this type of writing still requires them to accurately describe the subject, perform research and present an informed, well-presented opinion about it. Review writing even covers multiple topics such as restaurants, concerts and various consumer products. Some publishing platforms specialize exclusively in reviews about various events, trends and societal concepts.

Column

Columns are recurring pieces published weekly that you can typically find in magazines, newspapers and sections of websites. Writers of columns usually write on the same subject or theme every time. They may provide expertise in their field, share their own experiences or use a humorous approach to discuss special topics. In a column, a writer uses their space to freely express their opinion in their own recognizable, personal style.

Columns exist for a variety of topics, including fashion, sports, music, food and advice. While columnists may use their own personal style, they still typically use follow grammar, punctuation and English rules. This also includes general media writing rules. Columns usually don’t allow for much space, so these writers may avoid specific detail or extra material.

Investigative

Investigative writing is usually a much more complex form of media writing because it investigates instances of corruption, crime, corporate misdeeds and secrets. This type of journalism aims to present the truth about specific people, events and subjects. Writers often spend weeks or months researching and verifying facts. They may even work tirelessly to retrieve information from uncooperative sources. Due to the often sensitive subjects that writers cover, they ensure that the pieces maintain the highest possible degree of accuracy by verifying their claims with real evidence.

Digital

Digital media writing involves publishing pieces for consumption through online methods, such as social media and news websites. This type of writing still employs the standards of media writing, including accuracy and proper grammar. As digital media consumption increases in popularity, many digital media writers alter their writing styles or methods to match the needs and preferences of both audiences and search engines.

For example, writers for online news outlets often optimize their articles for search engine optimization (SEO), which affects how the article may appear in search engine results about the subject. Digital writers also typically emphasize conciseness for online readers. Readers on social media usually prefer content they can quickly and easily digest. This means that the construction of headlines has also become more important. Direct headlines often contribute to clarity and SEO rankings.

Sports

Sports writing often doesn’t cover subjects often deemed serious by news outlets, but the increasingly prevalent interest, power and wealth related to sports has increased the desire for sports writing. Sports media writers often write about current events, players, team news and events in specific types of sports. Many publishing platforms possess their own sports department just for this type of writing. Writers who cover sports topics may also publish exclusive interviews with players, provide their opinions about a team’s performance or collaborate with other writers about game predictions and other events.

Editorial

Editorial writing usually involves the senior editors or other staff members of a publication’s editorial team. These articles provide both facts and opinions about various topics. Editorials often cover issues within society or current events and offer verifiable evidence that backs up the writer’s claims. Many editorials require expertise and passion for a specific subject to increase the credibility of the article, which is why senior staff members often write the news instead of less experienced writers.

Characteristics of news writing

 As a result of these various conditions and influences news writing has come to have certain well marked characteristics. It must be (1) concise, (2) clear, (3) comparatively simple, (4) easily read, and (5) attractive to all classes.

Conciseness requires that needless words be omitted, that only such details be given as are necessary for effective presentation of the subject, and that the length of the story be proportionate to the importance of the material. In order to be concise, however, news writing does not have to be bald and unattractive.

Clearness is secured in journalistic style by comparative simplicity of diction, of sentence construction, and of paragraph structure. Learned diction, elaborate figures of speech, and involved sentences have no place in news writing intended to appeal to all classes of readers.

To be attractive to the average rapid reader newspaper style must be easy to read. It is made easy, as has been pointed out, by placing the important points in conspicuous positions at the beginnings of sentences and paragraphs. To satisfy the popular taste newspaper writing must also be interesting in form and in style. It sometimes adopts the more or less striking devices of fiction in order to add to its effectiveness. Furthermore, attractiveness is secured by such typographical means as the use of a frame, or “box,” and bold-face type, for facts of especial importance.

Akshitha Beljies, 22MCP001.                                                                    

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