The Essentials of Journalism

This collection of guides explains the basic principles and elements of good journalism.

Boring versus engaging stories – what’s the difference?

One way to view a boring story is as an issue of excess. Too long, too rambling, too “into the weeds.”

The problem with this approach is what it implies, that merely cutting down and tightening up a tale will fix it. Often, however, the central weakness of boring stories is not length but the absence of elements common to good storytelling.

This may reflect the reporter’s reluctance to make conscious decisions about the most important elements in the story – the central point, central evidence, central characters, and the central place.

Crafting good journalism

The Elements of Journalism describes journalism as “storytelling with a purpose.”

All Guides

Journalism Essentials: Introduction

What makes journalism different than other forms of communication?

What is the purpose of journalism?

The elements of journalism

What does a journalist do?

The journalist as a ‘committed observer’

The theory of the interlocking public

The lost meaning of ‘objectivity’

Understanding bias

Tools to manage bias

Journalism as a discipline of verification

The Hierarchy of Accuracy

The Hierarchy of Information and concentric circles of sources

The Protess Method of verification

What makes a good story?

Good stories are important and interesting

Boring versus engaging stories – what’s the difference?

Good stories prove their relevance to the audience