T h e F ly e r The magazine fit for the Kingdom
The Style Be concise. No pointlessly protracted stretching out of sentences and using extraneous words to fill the word count, and using commas to extend sentences further, and further, and further. Always look for a fresh, local angle. News affects people, features is about people. People read the magazine. Work can always be trimmed further so aim just above the word count. Otherwise, you are not gathering enough material. There, their and they’re. Your and you’re. It’s and its. If you’re a journalist, there are things you do not get wrong- it’s not that hard. Exclamation marks! They are not exciting! They are not funny! If you have to explain you are joking with an exclamation mark then it is not funny! They just make the writer a joke. Avoid at all costs. Ellipses... Good writing will create suspense... not three full stops... Only use these “when [ethically] editing a quote... mid sentence.” Parenthesis should be avoided because if you cannot fit information logically in the story (no matter how much insight it gives) then it cannot be that important. Especially do not use as a device to speak directly to the reader (sorry). DO NOT USE CAPITAL LETTERS OR BOLD to dramatise aspects of a sentence or story, it is SENSATIONALIST; the subject matter alone should do this. Dates: always use day/ month/date/year i.e. Monday, January 20, 2011. And they’re proper nouns, so no articles about ‘Protestors Marching in march.’ Headlines should tell the story without journalese- so no “probe and quiz”. Puns are allowed, but should be done so intelligently. Never, ever, substitute “Life” and “Fife”. Golden Rule: If in doubt leave it out- reputation is everything.
The F lyer The magazine fit for the Kingdom
The Values NEWS The news is the news. Leave the opinion for the editorial or the readersâ€™ opinion page. Translate what is happening clearly and accurately. Use your Wâ€™s: Who/what/where/why/when/how and you cannot go wrong. Use full name, position, to describe someone. They are Mr/Mrs Surname thereafter. Sources should be named. Only in EXTREME circumstances should an unnamed source be quoted.
Balance is vital. This magazine is not perfect, so lets not preach to others. FEATURES Ask yourself: would I read this? and then, would someone else? Writing should be approached with the same precision as news writing. Just because it is a feature does not give you license to inject your opinion. Writing your own similes is as arrogant as a narcissist reading about narcissus.
PICTURES A picture is worth a thousand words. Images should add to the story, and be a true reflection of what is happening in the text. Pictures should be framed with an idea of how they could be used within the magazine, i.e. for a double page spread starting a feature. Always remember the rule of thirds.