This is an introduction to the process of writing for varied media with an emphasis on gathering information, writing styles, editing, and organization of written communication. The course will explore the role of audience and the particular medium in influencing the writing and editing of communication for various media. Students will discuss topics from their readings along with practical editing and writing assignments, including basic newspaper article editing, as well as magazine article writing. Students also will review and write copy targeted for online delivery.
This course is designed to provide students with experience in an array of media writing and editing processes. Additional focus is placed on information research, creating images and graphics to accompany articles, editing for grammar and writing mechanics, and writing headlines and cutlines.
The Bible itself is the medium that God inspired man to write. It is provided for our guidance. God used stone as the medium to deliver the ten to guide the Israelites towards a godly way of life. In the commandments given to Moses as they wandered the desert. God's directives are also written in a particular style and interpreted thousands of times the world over by many contributors. Yet there is a clearly discernable format to these writings in the Bible, it is amazing to see that all of the writing follows a unique style.
The focus for messaging is the quality of the content and finding the appropriate mode of delivery, including the technical structure and medium used. The Holy Scriptures, or the Bible, as we more often refer to it today, follows its own standards of style. Media writing is also steeped in standards of format and style.
The scribes were the first writers of the world. They were key to the mission of the gospel of the times. Scribes became the interpreters and copyists of God's law. The goal was to support scriptural orality. Spreading the good news of salvation is at the core of the Christian life. Today we do some of it through media outlets,
Writers are the preservers of history and information, they are guardians of law, and analysts of culture. This pursuit was as true for the early scribes as it is in the role for the media writer today. Their quest was to preserve oral tradition, as archivists and evaluators, their influence often superseded the law of the land in a similar way that the power of the fourth estate is owned by media writers today - as a fourth branch of government and one that is important to a functioning democracy in modern times.
A writer working in an international setting must establish a good knowledge base on the projected location, before setting out for field work. They must learn their destination. Read up on its history and the latest goings on. The Web is integral for pre-trip research: look for the kinds of stories being filed from the place that interests you and what neighboring areas produce news in case of a lull in your neck of the woods.
I have many friends and family who will more readily read an entire book, or newspaper over spending more than 2 minutes on a computer, or using a phone or mobile device for information. Though dwindling, there is still a committed market for written messaging. In response to dwindling readership, traditional print media has converged with new media platforms, integrating web or online news to stay viable in the changing landscape of the journalism profession. Adaptability is key in media. Adaptability is a benefit on many different levels in the work of the missional leader.
Building relationships is an asset to media writers, and all people immersing within a community for their work. Working in media means that one must open doors and find sources and maintain lines of communication. This is a hard balance since often people from whom a journalist seeks information try to get something in return. This is where ethics must guide the interactions in maintaining these relationships.