Commandments for Journalists

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

For beginners to journalism like me, getting the hang of things can be rather difficult. The Guardian editor Tim Radford shared his 25 Commandments for journalists, which I found to be very helpful and easy to use tips. Here are a few that I thought really helped me.

1. Life is complicated, but journalism cannot be complicated. Radford here explains that although events that occur and produce news may be complex and complicated, readers turn to newspapers and other sources in order to get an explanation that they can understand. Readers rely on newspapers to simplify and break down the importance of events.

2. Everytime you sit down at the keyboard, picture a little sign that says "Nobody has to read this crap." Readers are free to choose what it is they want to read. If a story does not grab their interest or is confusing, they will stop reading it. This should encourage writers to write with excitement that holds the reader's attention.

3. A story will only ever say one big thing. One of my problems when writing an article is deciding what I should write about as well as what angle of the story I should write about. Radford insists that just one idea should be discussed out of the story. However, sometimes it is possible to intertwine multiple ideas and make this the big idea, as long as you focus on how they are related.

While you may still be struggling with the whole journalism process, there are plenty of ways to improve. Many experienced journalists, such as Radford, are eager to provide up and coming journalists with tips and advice.

Check around online for tips, or even read through articles to help you improve. To start, check out Radford's commandments on the link above to get started perfecting your journalism skills.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons


Amanda Hintgen February 9, 2011 at 11:40 AM  

I really like #2 because it is true and some people do not think with the view that nobody has to read what they write and that they should write so people want to read it.

T Israel February 9, 2011 at 12:37 PM  

These are some really great tips. I found this very helpful. I do think some people forget about those things. It's important to write something that your readers will actually read.

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