Tag Archive | "NewsPaper"

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Difference Between A News Report and A Feature

Posted on 09 August 2012 by Milana Rao (Contributing Writer)

A newspaper is like a treasure house. It is one document that has all types and kinds of content in it, from fresh news updates to sports news, from page 3 gossips to political/city news. It even has the entertainment section which includes game puzzles, Sudoku, comic strips, zodiac predictions, etc. For the sake of this article, we will be dealing with two sections of the newspaper, namely: news report and a feature report.

Both the news report and the feature are news stories that contain facts and information and yet both of them are different. What exactly is the difference between a news report and a feature report then?

A news report is basically a general reporting of an event that has occurred. The report is filled with facts and information. It usually contains answers to all the “5 W’s” i.e. Why, Where, What, Who and How. The event that is covered in a news report is fresh and current.  News reports include certain beats such as crime, politics, education, sports, etc.

The main purpose of a news story is to inform the people what is happening around them. It generally follows a pattern known as ‘The Inverted Pyramid’ which means writing the facts and information in the order of its importance. The main information at the beginning of the article means people can get the gist of the news report at a quick glance, thus ensuring good use of their time.

Also, with the increasing need and demand of advertisements in the newspaper, there is hardly any space available to accommodate many. Sometimes in order to accommodate an advertisement, there is always the danger of the news article being chopped from the bottom. Hence, ‘The Inverted Pyramid’ format is followed.

The news report has a headline, an introducing paragraph, the body of the news covering the main questions pertaining to the “5 W’s” and the tail paragraph. The average words range between 700 to 1200 words. News stories also contain at least one of the following important characteristics relative to the intended audience: proximity, prominence, timeliness, human interest, oddity, or consequence. The personal opinion of the writer or reporter is not expressed in the news report.

Feature news on the other hand also contains factual information like that of news report. However the feature news is not necessarily fresh or current news. A good feature goes deeper than just a press release as it thoroughly explores an issue from all direction. The feature news consists of quotes from important people pertaining to the story of the feature news. It analyses the events, ask pertinent questions and seeks answers. It does not merely report, it ponders. The writer  or reporter gives his opinions in a feature piece. Different writers follow different styles of writing news features. This very difference in every news feature makes it unique in its own way. The average words in a feature news range between 2000 to 2500 words.

Both, news report and features complete the newspaper copy that is delivered to your doorstep daily. One is quite handicapped without the other

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Various Beats Of A Newspaper

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Anandi Darpel

Newspapers are a tool used to gain insight and information into the happenings around the world. Be it in any language, newspapers are a tried and tested source of information that have survived the test of time. In the day and age of social media and live-time news, one may argue that newspapers are losing relevance. But let’s be honest, one’s day is not complete till the morning papers have been read!

A newspaper contains several beats. Crime, City, Politics, Science and Technology, Business, Entertainment, Sports, Travel, Education etc. are examples of such beats.  Politics, Crime and City are beats that are fill up majority of the space in a daily. Now, let’s take a look at each section and get to know what it covers.

Politics: There can never be a day when there is nothing substantial to report on politics. Therefore, it only follows that a newspaper dedicates substantial space and columns to this topic. Right from party politics, to complete election coverage, to political under-currents in the country, a newspaper covers them all.

City: The city section of any newspaper is of utmost relevance to the people who reside in that particular city. This section covers *everything* that is happening in the city: from local travel problems, to crime, to infrastructure issues, lifestyle concerns and so on.

Crime: This particular beat showcases the victims and perpetrators of all kinds of crimes. Be it city crimes, or ones that capture the imagination of the nation (like the Aarushi Talwar murder case), the crime beat reports them all. It also focuses on what the police/community are doing to combat crime and to rid the city of it.

Science and Technology: This beat includes research work and contribution of scientists to the field of science and technology. This beat covers less space as it does not excite the layman much. However, there are regular columns on technological and scientific developments that have the potential to change the world.

Business:  An extremely important beat, the business section provides us with news on the stock markets, world economies, and the general on-goings in the world of business. It also publishes interviews with business leaders and their expert take on all that is happening in the business world. While there are business newspapers which everyone in the business community subscribes to, the dailies give substantial space and importance to this beat.

Entertainment: Given India’s obsession with entertainment and sensationalism, most newspapers are succumbing to the demands of the customer and feeding them exaggerated news. Newspapers that offer ‘spiced up’ news are quite in demand. Since, not all news can be packaged as gossip, newspapers give ‘free’ supplements along with the main copy that are filled with ad-hoc gossip, rumours and popcorn information. Bombay Times is the best example of such a supplement.

Sports: This beat covers the last pages of any newspaper and will mostly be filled with cricket news (that is if India is playing). However, with the increased interest in different sports, more space is being dedicated to football, tennis, F1 and so on. Newspapers are now making sure there is something for every sports lover!

Editorial: This is the page in a newspaper that is read by almost everyone. The editorial contains opinions by various experts, the editor and people of knowledge on a variety of current issues. These steer away from merely reporting and go on to give opinions and advice on a particular topic of concern.

While a newspaper may choose to cover some beats and ignore a couple of others, the above mentioned ones are sure to find a place in all dailies.

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Media – Society’s Gatekeeper

Posted on 07 August 2011 by Cheryl Joy

A morning cup of tea, followed by a daily dose of the current happenings thanks to the newspaper that gets dropped at your door step. This sounds like an average day for anyone of us doesn’t it? But then have you ever wondered what power that cup of tea can hold. While it may sound out of this world that the cup of morning ‘chai’ could have any significance, apart from the obvious ones, this is not entirely the case. For, it is possible that many a times that cup of tea is making you think about things that you would never associate it with, things of importance, things that can start revolutions. Thinking all this sounds impossible? I have two words for you- Jaago Re. And quite literally as well!

This is a clear indication of the power that the media wields today. It is larger than life, its powers are all encompassing and it influences our lives in ways we could never even fathom a mere decade back. To think about it logically, who would have imagined that tea drinking would be translated into a massive movement to encourage the masses, the youth in particular, in ideas of governance and the social responsibility? And the brilliance of it all lies in the fact that it worked, it worked like a charm. Tata tea got the image of a life time and a record number of people registered themselves to vote. This is media and its power and its gigantic best.

What does all this go to show? Does it mean that the media is manipulating our thoughts, that all around us there is information that is fed to us, information that we might not really need? Quite on the contrary. This means that there is an agency out there that is making a point to remind us of the things that we tend to forget and if it is making some money out of it, what’s the harm in it after all? I was quite intrigued by a recent theory that I read about which spoke about Media as a gatekeeper. It got me thinking. If this was true then it meant that a lot of what we feel strongly about could possibly be the result of a very intelligent media company or channel and if that is the case then are we actually thinking for ourselves or have we out sourced that as well?

All these questions point to one common truth- good or bad the media today is a sieve. It decides what needs to go out there and in what proportion. It decides what is important, what needs to be kept under wraps- each day. There are two sides of looking at this. For those who specialize in doubting every move and intention this could be a curse. To think that the information that we think we are looking for is actually fed to us without even realizing it! Sounds scary doesn’t it? And if this is the case then how legitimate is that source which is making these decisions for us.

However there is a flip side to the argument. Supported by all the proponents of media and its supporters comes the view that there is and never can be any other channel that can mobilize public opinion so quickly and so effectively. This means that there is a lot of power in the hands of the media to bring about a positive difference in society. It can act as a harbinger of change, questioning the injustice and bringing together the voices of a lot of people who would otherwise have no source to get their voices heard. Even if they did, it would never be taken as seriously as it is when all of them come together. This is what was seen when the Jaago Re campaign succeeded and has happened with many brands after that.

The point of this discussion is to understand that the media today might have an upper hand in dispensing information to the masses. This could also mean that the information that is being passed out is lop sided. But that is the cynical point of view and we cannot survive if we turn into a generation of cynics. It would defeat the purpose of public good and social living. What it means is that the media is powerful, it is a channel and it is the only source known that can influence such a large mass at the same time. While this is a big responsibility on its shoulders, it is also a big opportunity for change. It is the only way that positive change can be dispensed and that is the only way that this power can be used responsibly.

While there will always be people who doubt all that comes their way and question the intention of the media, I think quite differently. Realizing that all in life is not white or black but painted shades of grey, this too is not something that can be all good or all bad. There is worth in the idea of media acting as gatekeepers and at the same time there could be its faults, but the point being made is that there too, one always has the choice of which side to take.

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Jargon used in Journalism

Posted on 18 May 2011 by Natasha Tulyani

Certain terms are used in everyday Journalism language. In this article, we list those for you so that when your boss or colleague throws journalism jargon at you, you are not dumbfounded!

1. ABC –  AUDIT BUREAU OF CIRCULATION: There are increasing number of advertisements in newspapers now-a-days. If you are an advertiser you will want your ad to come in the most popular newspaper, one that sells a large number of copies. Because of this some publications lie about their sales to impress the advertisers. Thus, ABC has the responsibility to check the audited circulation number of newspapers and magazines all around India.

2. BY LINE: In the end or beginning of every story the name of the journalist who has written that particular story is mentioned. In the by line, credit is also given to the reporter in the field or if any special / freelance correspondent is involved.

3. CREDIT LINE: Many times with the news article there are pictures attached. Example: when the article is about a minister his picture is printed along with the article or if the news is about garbage at a place then as proof the relevant picture is attached. The credit line will tell you the name of the photographer who has clicked the picture. When graphs are used in articles, the credit line mentions the name of the maker of the graph.

4. CAPTION: Below the photograph there is always a description about the picture or the graph. That statement called  caption.

5. BANNER: Banner is the name given to the headline of the main story on the first page.

6. BINDER: Binder is the headline that is spread across the entire page but not the first page. Mostly it is of the story printed on the second or fourth page.

7. BEAT: aA newspaper has various sections. These sections are called ‘beats’. Example : crime beat, political beat, sports beat etc.

8. BOILED DOWN: It is the summarizing or reducing of the size of the article to meet specific proportions. The person who designs the pages of the paper assigns a certain proportion to every news story.

9. CLEAN COPY: It is the final, edited copy that is ready for publication. It is a copy without errors and is thus called the clean copy.

10. COPY DESK: The place where editor edits the copy is called the copy desk. It is on the copy desk that the headline is finalized and placed.

11. DUMMY:  Dummy is a drawing or designing of the structure of a newspaper. It assigns size and space of advertisements and other news stories.

12. EXCLUSIVE/SCOOP: It is a story that no other newspaper has for that day. Example: sting operations, a research story, etc.

13. FILLER: They are not very necessary news items. They are used to fill spaces in the newspaper. Thus these news items are small in size.

14. LEAD: It is the main paragraph of a story. In this paragraph, the answers to 5Ws and 1H is given. It is the most important paragraph in terms of the details it gives.

15. IMPRINT LINE: It is a statement on the editorial page. It states the details of the newspapers ownership, place of publication, PNI number and editor details. This helps trace the paper. If any one feels that his feelings are insulted in the given news he can file a case against the paper or editor.

16. MORGUE: This is where all the important old news are stored. It is also called the news library.

17. MUST: If this word is used in an article it means that article must be published in the next day’s newspaper.

18. STRINGER: He is a reporter who is not on a regular pay role. Whenever his article is used, he is paid for it.

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