Last blog entry of the semester-woooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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"a writer is a reader moved to emulation"- Saul Bellow

Chapter 11, ABNW

We can use their writing as a model, but we have to be careful not to fabricate or plagiarize. It is never okay to make up a source to make your article work, for then it is not news but a short fiction story. Yes, earlier in the semester we did do an exercise during which we made up sources. But Dr Jerz made it very clear that we were only doing so to get basic newswriting techiniques down. He stated that we were never to do so when doing real journalism.

"There is one sacred rule of journalism. The writer must never invent."

Earlier in the year, I wrote a story for the paper about the Griffin Advantage Program. I had not had time in my very busy schedule to conduct 3 interviews, and ended up writing the article using only two sources. Yes, I am aware that the minimum is three, but it would have been much more unprofessional to turn in a story containg a made up source than an ehtical article which just happened to be one source short. My article made the front page.

It is impossible to include all the facts of an event into a newspaper article. There are word limits, and certain facts have to be left out. You feel this is somehow dishonest? Not really. Some of the facts are irrelevant to the story; and besides, it is better to leave out fatcs than make up lies. The public has come to trust the media to report the news as fairly and accurately as possible. We must keep their trust.

Some tips for journalists:

1 Do not be pushy. People will not want to talk to you if you are. Gain access slowly, obtaining people's trust.

2. Anonymous sources are frowned upon unless the news is especially important (i.e. Watergate's "Deep Throat")

3. Do not be quick to judge and assume. "Verify or duck"

4. Respect different points of view. Write with humility.

Plagiarism:

Is more common in newswriting than we thought. Deadlines and pressure can force people to meet their standards and goals at dishonest costs. Always attribute your borrowed information. it is okay to take notes from other stories, but do not use them to write your article. Use them only as an outline or guide. Do not begin to write your article two hours before it is due: bad things can happen when you are in a time crunch. Beware of who your are interviewing: can you be sure they are reliable? You don't want another Heywood Jablome.

and always proof-read before submitting !!!!!!

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