Advanced Newsgathering

Advanced Newsgathering

Advanced Newsgathering

Advanced Newsgathering

Synopsis

Written primarily as a text for the serious student of journalism, the professional journalist will profit as well from this invaluable back-to-basics, nuts-and-bolts approach to news collection and reporting. McIntyre uses his extensive experience as both a professor of journalism and a working journalist for newspapers around the country to present practical information on gathering and writing the news. This book challenges the journalism student with solid, fundamental newswriting techniques and crucial information about the world outside that student's immediate environment.

Excerpt

Today's students are not challenged enough. This is reflected in many textbooks, which are recycled for a few dollars at the end of each term. Students find them too shallow to retain as references in their professions.

Advanced Newsgathering is not one of these throw-away texts. It will serve not only as a solid, fundamental newswriting text, but also as a desk reference for working journalists and other media professionals. Keep it; use it.

I sensed the need for it when I began teaching in 1978, after about six years as a metropolitan daily newspaper reporter and, subsequently, a country editor. Since then, I've taught newswriting 20 to 30 times at 3 universities.

As a journalism professor, I was frankly embarrassed by some of the texts I ordered for my students. Some were better than others, of course, but they all seemed shy on details. Eventually I stopped requiring texts and started teaching from notes. That was about three years ago. One objective was to challenge the students more by teaching more; another was to force myself to rethink common approaches to journalism instruction.

One of my guiding principles was that college journalism students don't need to spend an entire term learning how to write leads and short inverted pyramid pieces from fact-sheets. I learned newswriting on the job at a daily newspaper. in one week I was covering the cops--probably not very well, but at least I was doing it. So in my introductory journalism classes, I teach basic newswriting in five weeks. After that, the bulk of the class is reporting live events in the community--and lots of it. Students never complain about this, even though they work hard and see their cohorts in other sections getting the same number of college credits for doing nothing but readings, quizzes, and rewrites. Rather than complaints, I often hear words of gratitude from students who realize their friends in other sections are being shortchanged.

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