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Dynamics of Media Writing

Dynamics of Media Writing
Adapt and Connect

Second Edition

August 2018 | 296 pages | CQ Press

This fully updated Second Edition of Dynamics of Media Writing helps students learn transferable skills that can be applied across all media platforms—from traditional mass media formats like news, public relations and advertising, to digital and social media platforms.  Whether writing a story, press release or a tweet, today’s media writers must adapt their message to each specific media format in order to successfully connect with their audience. 

New to the Second Edition:

  • A new chapter on social media discusses the latest developments in this rapidly changing area.
  • New Helpful Hints boxes help students hone their media writing skills.
  • New and updated information on interviewing, dictionary usage, lead structure and more bring the book fully up-to-date.
  • Themes from the former Chapter 14 are now woven through the book to stress the importance of clarity and accuracy, lifelong learning and transferable skills.
  • Fake news is now covered in multiple sections to help students both understand and spot it when reviewing the news.
  • Additional photos and graphics illustrate the various elements of storytelling to make the information easier for students to apply.
  • New "Give It a Try" features at the end of the Adapt and Connect boxes allow students to try out the skills outlined.

Bundle the new edition with the student workbook and save!

Your students save when you bundle this text with a corresponding student workbook.
Order using bundle ISBN 9781544361970

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About the Author
Chapter 1. Know Your Audience
How to Define an Audience

Key Questions to Ask in Serving Your Readers

What Attracts an Audience?

What Audiences Need to Know and How to Make Them Care

The Big Three

Chapter 2. Being Accurate, Relying on the Facts
Why Is Journalism Such a Picky Field?

Why Media Professionals Matter More Than Ever

Making Sure You Are Sure

Examining the Broader Issues

The Big Three

Chapter 3. Grammar, Style and Language Basics
Why Do Grammar and Style Matter?

Sentence Structure

Sentence Length

Read Your Work Aloud

How to Keep Writing Tight and Right

The Big Three

Chapter 4. Basic Media Writing
The Killer “Be’s” of Writing

The Inverted Pyramid

Leads: The Prominence of Importance

Types of Leads

Problematic Leads and Potential Fixes

How to Order the Rest of Your Pyramid

The Big Three

Chapter 5. Interviewing
Interview Preparation

Places to Dig

Getting the Interview

Interacting With Your Source

Interviewing via Email or Text

Interviewing for Multiple Media

The Questions

Interview Flow

Silence as an Ally

The Nonverbal Approach: How to Ask a Question Without Asking

The End of the Interview (Almost)

Follow-Up Interviews

The Big Three

Chapter 6. Writing on the Web
Working on the Web


Best Blogging Practices

Linking and Other Interactive Elements

Engaging Readers

The Big Three

Chapter 7. Social Media
What Is Social Media?

Why Is Social Media Valuable?

A Quick Look at Some Social Media Tools

Building a Social Media Audience

The Big Three

Chapter 8. Law and Ethics in Media Writing
The First Amendment


Legal Defenses Against Libel


How to Avoid Copyright Infringement

Ethics and the Media

Ethical Concerns

How to Work Through Ethical Dilemmas

Determining Your Own Approach to Ethics

The Big Three

Chapter 9. Reporting: The Basics and Beyond
Event Coverage

Preparing for the Event

How to Cover the Event

News Reporting Beyond the Event



Profile Writing



The Big Three

Chapter 10. Writing for Traditional Print News Products
Nuances for Print Writing


Expanding the Inverted Pyramid

The Beginning

The Middle

The End

The Big Three

Chapter 11. Writing for Broadcast
Nuances for Broadcast Writing


Integrating Additional Elements

Types of Stories

Polishing Your Final Piece for Delivery

The Big Three

Chapter 12. Public Relations
Defining PR

Types of PR Writing

Keys to PR

Why the Media Matters

The Big Three

Chapter 13. Advertising
Defining Advertising

The Creative Brief

Message Formation

Writing in Advertising

The Big Three

Chapter 14. Marketing
Brands and Branding

Campaigns Versus Brands

Useful Marketing Platforms and Tools

Copywriting for a Brand

Writing Creatively for Marketing

The Big Three



Instructor Resources
  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer assistance with lecture and review preparation by highlighting essential content, features, and artwork from the book.
  • Chapter learning objectives reinforce the most important material.
Student Resources
  • AP Style Quizzes and Exercises test your students’ knowledge of AP style and provide opportunities for them to practice writing in this style. 
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
  • Carefully selected chapter-by-chapter Video and Multimedia content which enhance classroom-based explorations of key topics.

Vincent F. Filak

Vincent F. Filak, Ph.D., is an award-winning teacher and scholar who serves as a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he primarily teaches courses on media writing and reporting. Prior to his arrival at UWO, he served on the faculty at Ball State University and also taught courses at the University of Missouri and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He also previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal and the Columbia Missourian newspapers. He was also unanimously voted and selected as the next editor of Journalism & Mass Communication Educator by the Association for Education in Journalism and... More About Author

Also available as a South Asia Edition.

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ISBN: 9781506381466