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The Basics of Media Writing
A Strategic Approach

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Journalism | Public Relations

December 2016 | 568 pages | CQ Press

The Basics of Media Writing: A Strategic Approach helps readers develop the essential writing skills and professional habits needed to succeed in 21st-century media careers. This research-driven, strategy-based media writing textbook digs deeply into how media professionals think and write in journalism, public relations, advertising, and other forms of strategic communication. Authors Scott A. Kuehn and Andrew Lingwall have created two comprehensive writing models to help students overcome their problems in finding and developing story topics by giving them “starting points” to begin writing. The Professional Strategy Triangle model shows students how to think critically about the audience, the situation, and the message before starting a news story or persuasive piece and the FAJA four-point model asks students a series of questions about their story type (Fact, Analysis, Judgment, or Action) to guide them to the right angle or organizational structure for their message. Rooted in classical rhetorical methods, this step-by-step technique enables readers to strategically approach each writing task, no matter the format.

 
PREFACE
 
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
 
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
 
SECTION I: MEDIA WRITING FOUNDATIONS
 
CHAPTER 1: YOU AS A WRITER
Welcome to Media Writing!

 
Media Consumption and Production, All at Once

 
Media Responsibilities and Challenges

 
The Role of Skilled Writing

 
Understanding Yourself as a Writer

 
The Media Writer’s Self-Perception (MWSP) Scale

 
The Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation (GSP) Test

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
CHAPTER 2: MEDIA WRITING PROFESSIONS AND STRATEGIES
21st-Century Media: A Rapidly Changing Landscape

 
Overview of the Major Media Professions

 
Professional Media Writing Strategy

 
Using the FAJA Points in Your Writing

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
CHAPTER 3: MEDIA WRITING STYLE AND LANGUAGE CONVENTIONS
Style: Your Audiences Are Counting on It

 
Media Writing Style Conventions

 
The Connection Between Thinking and Writing

 
Style Guides

 
Selected Points of AP Style

 
Additional Language Rules

 
Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
SECTION II: NEWS SETTINGS
 
CHAPTER 4: REPORTING AND INTERVIEWING
Journalism: A Higher Calling

 
The First Amendment Guarantee

 
Professional News Writing Standards

 
The Converged Media Environment

 
Applying the Professional Strategy Triangle to Reporting

 
News Reporting

 
Interviewing

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
CHAPTER 5: HARD NEWS AND FEATURE WRITING
Versatility Is the Key

 
The Multiplatform Story

 
Writing the Hard News Story

 
Using Quotations

 
Writing the Feature Story

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
CHAPTER 6: ELECTRONIC NEWS WRITING: RADIO AND TELEVISION
The Electronic Media Professions

 
What Do Broadcast Journalists Do?

 
The Professional Strategy Triangle for Broadcast News

 
Actualities and Sound Bites: Sound on Tape

 
Television News Copy

 
Promotional and Housekeeping Copy

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
CHAPTER 7: COPYEDITING
Copy Editors: The Critical Link

 
Overview of the Copyediting Profession

 
Copyediting in News and Public Relations Settings

 
Copyediting in the Digital Environment

 
Copyediting Techniques

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
CHAPTER 8: MEDIA LAW AND ETHICS
Media Law and Ethics Work Together

 
The Fundamental Freedoms of the First Amendment

 
Libel: Damage to Reputation Through False Content

 
Privacy Law

 
Copyright and the Law of Intellectual Property

 
Access to Government Information and Government Meetings

 
Ethics in the Media

 
Special Considerations for Public Relations and Advertising

 
Other Approaches to Ethical Decision-Making

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
SECTION III: DIGITAL SETTINGS
 
CHAPTER 9: WRITING FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
It’s Both Personal and Professional

 
The Media Industry and Social Media

 
Planning Social Media Campaigns

 
Social Media Copywriting

 
Key Style Elements for Social Media Copy

 
Social Media Copywriting: Length Matters

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
CHAPTER 10: WEB COPYWRITING
The Omnipresent World Wide Web

 
Web Copywriting

 
Middle-Form Web Copy: Style

 
Long-Form Web Copy: Blogs

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
SECTION IV: PERSUASIVE SETTINGS
 
CHAPTER 11: BASIC PERSUASIVE WRITING
Persuasion: A Timeless Skill

 
Key Persuasion Theories

 
Persuasion, Ethics, and Professionalism

 
Using the FAJA Points for Persuasion

 
Example 1: Using Judgment for Public Relations Writing

 
Example 2: Using Action for Advertising Writing

 
Putting Persuasion Topic Points to Work

 
Moving Audiences to Action With Motive Appeals

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
CHAPTER 12: PUBLIC RELATIONS
Public Relations Is Everywhere

 
The Three Types of Media: Paid, Earned, and Owned

 
Uncontrolled and Controlled Media

 
Professional Media Writing Strategy

 
Public Relations Writing Tools

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
CHAPTER 13: ADVERTISING
Advertising: A Timeless Enterprise

 
The Advertising Profession

 
The Art and Science of Copywriting

 
Writing the Print Advertisement

 
Writing the Online Advertisement

 
Writing the Radio Commercial

 
Writing the Television Commercial

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
CHAPTER 14: BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
Business Communication: Anything but Boring!

 
The Corporate Communication Profession

 
Business Communication Flows Four Ways

 
Using the Professional Strategy Triangle for Business Communication

 
Summary

 
Key Terms

 
Discussion Questions

 
Chapter Exercises

 
Additional Resources

 
 
APPENDIX: MEDIA WRITER’S SELF-PERCEPTION SCALE
 
NOTES
 
INDEX

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site

SAGE edge for Instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • A sample course syllabus provides suggested models for structuring one’s course
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Multimedia content appeals to students with different learning styles
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content. 
  • Lively and stimulating ideas for class activities can be used in class to reinforce active learning. 
Student Study Site

SAGE edge for Students provides an easy-to-use learning environment, featuring:

  • mobile-friendly eFlashcards and quizzes to strengthen your understanding of key terms and concepts;
  • a complete online action plan to keep you on track and enhances your learning experience;
  • learning objectives that reinforce the most important material; and
  • multimedia resources, carefully chosen to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter.

“I really love the layout and design of the text… I have found a lot of the content is what I currently use in Writing for Media, but have to seek out and find on my own… I think the opening chapter sets the tone. I found it to be warm, positive and encouraging. I love the approach of this textbook and would find it a valuable resource not only for the students, but for me as an instructor.”

William Adams
Clarion University of Pennsylvania

This book helps the instructors how to guide students to develop the basics of writing skills for the media across the platforms. Skills are needed to succeed as professionals and choose the best media career in this competitive age of 21st-century--that could be either in basic journalism (print to online), public relations, (media) marketing, advertising, online reporting and other forms of communication/mass communication strategies. The step-by-step technique enables students to approach writing writing tasks for different formats.

Dr Zainul Abedin
Mass Communications Dept, Mississippi Valley State Univ
August 25, 2017

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2

Chapter 9


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Scott Andrew Kuehn

Scott Kuehn, Ph.D. - is Professor of Communication at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Ph.D. in Speech Communication at the Pennsylvania State University in 1987. Scott teaches courses in mass communication research, communication law, new media effects, social media for media professions, mass media criticism, and photography. His research focuses on the perceptions of communication skills and communication competence, has been published in Journalism and Mass Communication Educator and Communication Education. He currently serves as advisor for WCUC 91.7 FM, Clarion University's 3800 watt radio station. Scott is an... More About Author

James Andrew Lingwall

Andrew Lingwall, Ed.D. is a Professor of Communication at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He earned his doctorate in Education from the University of Washington in 2002. Lingwall teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in journalism, public relations, and strategic communication. He has more than 25 years of professional media experience as a journalist at daily newspapers and as a public relations practitioner in agency and higher education settings. From 1993 to 2002, Lingwall worked as a freelance features writer with The News Tribune and as a public relations specialist with Tacoma Community College, both in Tacoma, Washington.... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781506308104
$75.00