TIPS FOR FRESH ENGLISH JOURNALISTS
English as an international language is the first language in the press. If you are willing to be a successful English journalist, you need to learn some issues that are important to be successful. English is a language that has different styles in different contexts; therefore, the first thing that you should remember is to know what journalistic language is. Follow these tips to find the answer to this question.
Characteristics of journalistic language
Some websites or newspapers expect journalists to write in a limited word count. To follow this rule, the journalist has to report the news in a way that not only matches the word count but also it should be expressive, too. Hence, the report should be brief and concise to fit the related layout. If it is going to be reported on TV, the length of the report should match the time limit.
Using colloquial and everyday language is not a good idea. Since you want to report an issue, your language has to be formal. This is the style of language that is taught at school and everyone can completely understand it. Using slang is not acceptable, because some readers or listeners may not know their meaning and they cannot get the issue or it may cause misunderstanding, too.
Since the journalist is responsible to report the issues in a way that everyone can understand, you should know how to simplify the subject. To do so, the first thing that should be done is to examine and understand the issue carefully, then translate it into a simple language that the readers could get the points. Therefore, your writing needs to be exact, short, and brief.
Grammar rules and spelling
Since you are reporting an issue, any grammatical error can change the meaning of the sentence. Spelling is very important when you are reporting about special people, places, or facts. You should be exact in reporting the right information to your audience. Here are some grammatical structures that are very useful for you as a journalist:
To report what someone has said, you can use either direct speech or indirect speech. Using direct speech, you put the speaker’s exact sentence in quotation marks, but to use indirect speech the tenses should be changed. For example, Kevin Parker says: I am resigning. The sentences could be reported like: Kevin Parker says he is resigning (present); or, Kevin Parker has said he is resigning (present perfect); or, Kevin Parker said he was resigning (past tense).
Singular and plural nouns
The nouns such as companies or governments are considered singular nouns, so the verb should match the noun; for example, The government has been slow to react to the crisis. Here the verb (has been) is used in singular form.