Newsman’s English is a brisk and pungent guide to the use of words as tools of communication. It is written primarily for newspapermen, yet its lessons are of immense value to all who face the problem of giving information, whether to the general public or within business, professional, trade-union or social organizations.
- What makes a good English sentence?
- How should you rewrite a bad one?
- What clichés and other word-traps are to be avoided so that the ‘message’ is not clouded?
- How do you shorten unnecessarily verbose source-material?
- How is the essence of what you have to say to be conveyed, and placed in proper relation to any essential supporting or background information?
- How much knowledge ought to be assumed in the reader – how shall he be given information that he may or may not know but which is essential to his understanding
These are questions for all. In addition the newspaperman has to consider problems raised specifically by his craft: the order of material for effective newsgiving; coping with the chronology of an action story; feeding in necessary attributions of source – of quotes, opinions, facts – without boring the reader stiff with repetitions; varying the writing of news to add to a paper’s individual flavor; above all, letting the news shine through the words.
Newsman’s English uses a wealth of examples, all drawn from newspapers published in Britain and the United States, for illustration and as the subject of close analysis. The book moves on to extensions of the news-story – the news-based feature, the investigation story, Insight-style and Time Magazine reconstructions of news events – and gives advice on accuracy in editing, legal snares, and essential reference material.
A selection of practical exercises concludes a volume essential to learner and experienced newsmen alike – and to all who have to convey information by the written or printed word.