260 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    260 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Thoroughly revised and updated, the fourth edition of Writing for Journalists focuses on the craft of journalistic writing, offering invaluable insight on how to hook readers and keep them to the end of your article.

    The book offers a systematic approach to news and feature writing that starts with the basics and builds to more complex and longer pieces. The authors give the reader the tools they need to deliver engaging and authoritative writing that works across print and digital. Drawing on professional insight from writers across the industry, the book guides readers through the essential elements needed to write powerful and effective news stories, from hard news pieces to features on business, science, travel and entertainment reviews. New to this edition are hands-on writing exercises accompanying each chapter to help reinforce key points; chapters on how to build a professional profile, pitch stories and get commissioned; and a section on online writing, SEO, analytics and writing for social media.

    This is an essential guide for all journalism students and early-career journalists. It also has much to offer established journalists looking to develop their writing and lead editorial teams.


    1. How to read like a journalist

    How purposeful reading can develop your journalistic instinct and sharpen your writing

    2. The news intro

    Understand news values and learn how to construct a compelling opening paragraph

    3. The first three paragraphs

    A fail-safe formula to write the opening three paragraphs to any news story

    4. News structure and style

    How to structure longer news pieces and deal with more complex stories in style

    5. Writing for the web

    How to write for online; understand analytics and SEO and make social media work for you

    Gavin Allen

    6. Developing feature ideas

    Understand your readers and learn how to develop news-driven feature ideas they will want to read

    7. Starting your feature

    Why ‘Showing, Telling and Quoting’ are a writer’s building blocks and the key to dynamic intros

    8. Structure and quotes

    How to use quotes and understand the three interviewee types essential to your writing

    9. Storytelling and travel writing

    Discover what storytelling does to your brain and how to use that in any piece of writing

    10. Interview features

    Professional writers explain how to research, structure and write the perfect interview

    11. Writing reviews

    How to write reviews on anything from literature and the arts to bicycles and fast cars

    Harriett Gilbert

    12. Making complex ideas accessible

    Business and science journalists explain how to make complex stories accessible to all

    Matt Swaine, Aiden O'Donnell and Nigel Stephenson

    13. Boxouts, design and multimedia

    How to write boxouts and plan multimedia content to deliver strong feature packages

    14. The professional writer

    Build your professional profile, hit deadlines, edit your work and develop a unique voice


    Key terms you may come across in the world of journalism

    Recommended reading

    Books on journalism, politics, business, science and the environment and Twitter lists to follow

    Suggested answers

    Appendix with answers to exercises in chapters 2, 3 and 5



    Matt Swaine is the Course Director for the MA in International Journalism at Cardiff University, where he teaches multimedia news and long-form feature writing. As a journalist he edited BBC Wildlife and Trail magazines and launched websites and magazines such as Trail Running and Outdoor Fitness. He spent two years as Lonely Planet’s Editorial and Product Development Director, and has written for titles as diverse as Mother and Baby, Sunday Times Travel, Guitarist, The Telegraph and Cycling Plus. @MattSwaine

    Harriett Gilbert is a broadcaster, journalist and novelist. She was literary editor of the New Statesman and has reviewed the arts for, among others, Time Out, the Listener, the Independent and the BBC. She presents A Good Read on BBC Radio 4 and World Book Club on BBC World Service Radio. She was for many years a senior lecturer in the Department of Journalism at City University London.  @HarriettSG

    Gavin Allen is a Digital Journalism Lecturer at Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Culture. He has been a journalist for 20 years, latterly as Associate Editor of Mirror.co.uk, having previously worked at MailOnline, MSN and WalesOnline.  @Gavinallen

    "This is an outstanding practical introduction to writing for journalists of all kinds - news, features, print, online. Starting with first principles, it buildsability through exercises at each stage and a structured progression to more complex issues like interviews, data, science and business. With contributions from leading journalism teachers and professional journalists it is a timely update of previous introductions taking full account of the digital transition in newsrooms and the expectations from employers of multimedia competence. At a time when journalists are under scrutiny for their professionalism and high standards are at a premium it offers an excellent introduction to key skills for those entering the business."

    Richard Sambrook, Professor of Journalism and Director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff Univeristy, formerly Director of Global News at the BBC


    "In the summer of 2018, when we, a group of mainly print and TV journalists at The Telegraph India and other brands of India’s top media group ABP were struggling to adjust to a native digital newsroom, Matt came to our rescue. His clear vision of how to approach a multimedia story was immensely beneficial. This book is an extension of those practical tips. A much needed book for both journalists and journalism educators. I have used many of Matt’s tips like how to approach a feature, decide on multimedia content among others in my class and my students found them interesting. The real-life examples and exercises through out the book adds much value to it. It also covers a wide spectrum of journalistic writing which sets the principles of journalism straight."

    Sambit Pal, Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Mass Communications, formerly journalist at The Telegraph India


    "Early in my career I would have loved to be able to draw on the diverse, rigorous advice you’ll find in these pages, and even now I found so much in here to challenge and encourage."

    Peter Grunert, Group Editor, Magazines for Lonely Planet