The features and functions of journalistic writing and news

In our last article, we looked at what journalistic write-up is and the ABC principles of journalistic writing. In this article, we will be looking at the features, and functions of journalistic writing and news.

Features Of Journalistic Writing

The previous article talked about the ABC principles and in this article, we will be looking at what qualities should a journalistic write-up possess. The following are the qualities;

Short, Simple, and Direct

 the features, and functions of journalistic writing and news
the features, and functions of journalistic writing and news by

I call this the SSD. A good journalistic write-up should have short, simple, and direct sentences and paragraphs that present objective stones based on facts. In journalistic write-ups, you need not write lengthy just go straight to what you want to tell your readers. You do not need to use big words, proverbs, euphemisms, and others in your writing. You should write in a way that your readers would understand and know what you want to tell them.  Peter King, CBS, Radio, wrote” My rule of thumb is, ‘if it seems awkward and long when you say it aloud, it probably sounds that way to the listener.’ Long sentences can be exhausting to read _ and hear. I try to keep each sentence focused on a single thought, and keep it simple”. When writing your journalistic piece, write so that your piece would not bore your readers.

Quotations to Give Credibility

In writing your journalistic piece, quotations are really important. Without quotes, there is no truth about the story you are writing. You just do not write anything at all. You quote where you get your information to give credibility. In writing your stories remember to quote the person or where you got your information. In print media, we quote and in broadcast media we attribute. We will delve more deeply into this part later.


In writing your journalistic piece, you should have an introductory sentence that lays out the story and prepares the reader for the main story. In our normal writing or whenever you write an essay, the introductory part is very important and this is where you tell us what you are about to say right? Yes, in journalistic writing, the lead is the most important thing and that is where the most important point resides. The lead gives more information on the story and sums up what is going to be about.

The lead is a topic on its own and we will delve much into it in our subsequent articles to know what entails in the lead.

Strong Verbs, Nouns, and Grammatical Usage Of words

In your journalistic writing, your write-ups should possess strong verbs and nouns. What it means is that you should follow the rules of concord. You shouldn’t write because you think it sounds good to you. Use the correct verbs for the correct noun. For instance, She writes well instead of she writes well. Check your spelling and grammar. For example, you are reporting about a disease that has affected someone and you mistakenly wrote a decease meaning a different thing. Some spellings can mean a different thing and it changes the whole story.

Also, the choice of words matters. Avoid the use of metaphors or other figures of speech in your writings. Avoid using the foreign phrase, scientific words, or jargon if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Never use a long word where a short one would do.

This is just the basics, we look at it very well in our subsequent articles.

The features and functions of journalistic writing and news
The features and functions of journalistic writing and news by

Functions of Journalistic Writing

What are some of the purposes of writing journalistic write-ups? The most important thing is to inform the public. The purpose of journalistic writing is to inform the public by reporting on local, national, and global issues and events. Informing the public about what’s going on in our locality, nation, and globally. Issues around us.

Again, another purpose of writing a journalistic piece is to educate the public on issues and government policies. Telling the public about government policies and explaining to the public to their best understanding.

Entertainment: Journalist writes to entertain the public. How are they entertaining the public? If you take a newspaper, you could see jokes, riddles, puzzles and even writing a news story about a musician and the rest.

Last but not the least; journalistic write-ups serve as a reference and record keeping. In our previous article, we discussed writing and we said writing serves as reference and record keeping, that is what journalistic write-up also does.

We have discussed journalistic writing. Let’s look at what news is.

What Is News?

When we say something is new, then it is fresh.

In journalistic writing, the news is the report of a current or recent event unknown. News is a piece of information about something that has just happened. Something we don’t know or was unknown to us. Something that has happened within the past 24 hours that was unknown outside and which is of wide interest to the people and generates some curiosity among readers or listeners. It is said that the letter in the word ‘NEWS’ is derived from the four directions as stated below North, East, West, and South which means news can be gotten from anywhere and everywhere. Let’s list down some news values in journalistic writing.

* Prominence

* Proximity

*Human interest




* Relevance

* Impact

* Conflict

These are some news values you need to consider when writing a journalistic piece and in our subsequent articles, we will explain and look at why these news values are necessary for your journalistic piece.

Thank you for reading this article.

Josephine Amuzu the Journalist

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