Write Like the News

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Lead with the future — not background. That’s the most important of eight journalism skills that will transform your writing. The others: write your readers’ language, be positive (to be both clear and upbeat), lay out logically, be consistent, be precise, be brief, and choose strong verbs. Highlights: communicate in a crisis, correct errors the correct way, choose between raw numbers and a ratio, and write around generic “he.” (Plus a Speak Like the News skill: avoid “uptalk?”) Emulate the vivid news examples you’ll see in this workshop, and you’ll strengthen your writing voice with lively, engaging news style. At 7 sharp, we’ll critique TheWallStreetJournal.com homepage, seeing how to communicate your main point in just a few words. Then we’ll talk our way through the workshop booklet, emphasizing reasons, not just rules, for your writing choices. To cover as much ground as possible, we’ll have just a few writing exercises and most of them will take less than a minute each.

LIVE VIDEO CONFERENCE: This workshop will be held via our online video conferencing platform, Zoom. The dates and times will remain the same. You can view brief tutorials on using the platform here. Shortly before the start date participants will recieve an email with login info. Please check your spam if you don’t see it.

About Hank Wallace

Hank Wallace, a Columbia Law School graduate, was a government reporter for New Jersey's Middletown Courier and Red Bank Daily Register, and the assistant director of law-school publishing for Matthew Bender. He wrote the FCC's plain-language newsletter and newswriting tips for the Radio Television Digital News Association. For more information about Hank Wallace, visit his website at: hankwallace.com.

Teaching style: "'Concise as news, precise as law' is the goal, building on the many values of conventional business writing. We'll focus on reasons, not just rules. I call on volunteers solely and, minus the stereotypical Paper Chase bullying, I train with law school's Socratic method and case method. The cases here are news excerpts from the Web, print, and TV. I ask questions and encourage rigorous reasoning. Yield: Beyond our Writer's Center workshop's eight journalism skills, you'll reason your way, around writer's block if necessary, to an effective writing strategy whatever the situation." Preview more about how you'll learn: hankwallace.com/PDF/TrainLiketheNews.pdf


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