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October 4, 2005

AP Guide to News Writing - Ch 5-7

My favorite chapter of the three is Chapter 7 on loaded words and attributed verbs. Dr. Jerz has already told us many times that we should mostly use the word "said" when attributing a quote, but I enjoyed reading about the connotations of different words and what they imply. It made me realize that I really do have different reactions to words that on the surface seem to mean essentially the same thing. For example when something is pointed out, I do usually associate what is said with fact. And pointed out does seem like a phrase used to describe when some new idea is brought up that might have not been thought about before. A journalist should probably use "pointed out" only when a person "brings up a point." Not just when they just simply say something.

Chapter 6 included information that Dr. Jerz also brought up in class about how you can't "hint" at an idea that is not proven to be true, yet you can insert facts that might imply it. But the reporter has to be careful of tone and be sure that the statements aren't linked to closely, or it might still seem like you are trying to push your views on the reader.

And in chapter 5, I enjoyed the end quote from Samuel Johnson: "What is written is without effort is in general read without pleasure." I am going to try to keep this in mind whenever I do news articles from now on because I have a tough time with writing news, it seems so tedious and difficult to me and I have to work at it really hard. But, if I remember this quote, I will remember those who are good journalist also have to work hard to produce good writing. I am not alone.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at October 4, 2005 8:04 PM


Excellent observations, Lorin. Professional journalists do use words other than "said," but I want you to think carefully about what you are saying when you use a different word.

Even if I can't change your mind and make you love news, Lorin, I find it heartening that you are appreciating the hard work that goes into good writing. That will help you in the long run, as a consumer of news and as a writer of other genres.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 4, 2005 9:14 PM

I never realized how careful you had to be. From the examples given in chapter seven, loaded words can be very dangerous.

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at October 12, 2005 10:36 PM

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