Newswriting as Practice for Academic and Literary Writing

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From this reading, I gained new insights as to how news writing and academic or literary writing can be so closely intertwined. This idea came to me because of two of the listed characteristics of the language of journalism: that it is concrete and specific, and that it is active. These characteristics reminded me of what I learned in my Writing of Fiction class last year with Dr. Arnzen. In Fiction, a writer should be concrete, as should the characters be as well as dynamic. The same goes for essay writing because I also learned about the strong importance of specificity and concrete details in my Writing about Literature and American Literature course with Dr. Patterson. The difference, I believe, is that in news writing, the reporter should also be concise and must follow a stricter word limit.

Another reason I thought about the connection between news writing and essay writing is because Clark and Scanlon mentioned fiction writers such as George Orwell, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and John Steinbeck. It made me feel like they were trying to show this connection to readers by including ideas and quotes from these fine writers.

2 Comments

April Minerd said:

By mentioning Steinbeck and others, Clark & Scanlan were emphasizing that news writing doesn't have to be bland because it is direct. A simple sentence can be powerful if worded just right, and a complex sentence can be direct when the subject initiates action at the beginning.

Aja Hannah said:

I wish Arnzen taught more classes. Now, I completely agree. Writing clearly and simply, yet powerfully is possible, but so difficult. What do you add and what do you cut? What's the most signifigant? Especially when reporting and you only have so much space for words, facts, quotes. What goes and what stays? You can't throw in everything because then it seems sloppy, but leave out something important and you seem like a careless reporter and another paper gets the big lead/read.

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