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Dynamics of Media Writing

Dynamics of Media Writing
Adapt and Connect

Second Edition
Additional resources:

August 2018 | 296 pages | CQ Press

This fully updated Second Edition of Dynamics of Media Writing helps students learn transferable skills that can be applied across all media platforms—from traditional mass media formats like news, public relations and advertising, to digital and social media platforms.  Whether writing a story, press release or a tweet, today’s media writers must adapt their message to each specific media format in order to successfully connect with their audience. 

New to the Second Edition:

  • A new chapter on social media discusses the latest developments in this rapidly changing area.
  • New Helpful Hints boxes help students hone their media writing skills.
  • New and updated information on interviewing, dictionary usage, lead structure and more bring the book fully up-to-date.
  • Themes from the former Chapter 14 are now woven through the book to stress the importance of clarity and accuracy, lifelong learning and transferable skills.
  • Fake news is now covered in multiple sections to help students both understand and spot it when reviewing the news.
  • Additional photos and graphics illustrate the various elements of storytelling to make the information easier for students to apply.
  • New "Give It a Try" features at the end of the Adapt and Connect boxes allow students to try out the skills outlined.

Bundle the new edition with the student workbook and save!

Your students save when you bundle this text with a corresponding student workbook.
Order using bundle ISBN 9781544361970

Give your students the SAGE edge!

SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of free tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning. Learn more at

About the Author
Chapter 1. Know Your Audience
How to Define an Audience  
Key Questions to Ask in Serving Your Readers  
What Attracts an Audience?  
What Audiences Need to Know and How to Make Them Care  
The Big Three  
Chapter 2. Being Accurate, Relying on the Facts
Why Is Journalism Such a Picky Field?  
Why Media Professionals Matter More Than Ever  
Making Sure You Are Sure  
Examining the Broader Issues  
The Big Three  
Chapter 3. Grammar, Style and Language Basics
Why Do Grammar and Style Matter?  
Sentence Structure  
Sentence Length  
Read Your Work Aloud  
How to Keep Writing Tight and Right  
The Big Three  
Chapter 4. Basic Media Writing
The Killer “Be’s” of Writing  
The Inverted Pyramid  
Leads: The Prominence of Importance  
Types of Leads  
Problematic Leads and Potential Fixes  
How to Order the Rest of Your Pyramid  
The Big Three  
Chapter 5. Interviewing
Interview Preparation  
Places to Dig  
Getting the Interview  
Interacting With Your Source  
Interviewing via Email or Text  
Interviewing for Multiple Media  
The Questions  
Interview Flow  
Silence as an Ally  
The Nonverbal Approach: How to Ask a Question Without Asking  
The End of the Interview (Almost)  
Follow-Up Interviews  
The Big Three  
Chapter 6. Writing on the Web
Working on the Web  
Best Blogging Practices  
Linking and Other Interactive Elements  
Engaging Readers  
The Big Three  
Chapter 7. Social Media
What Is Social Media?  
Why Is Social Media Valuable?  
A Quick Look at Some Social Media Tools  
Building a Social Media Audience  
The Big Three  
Chapter 8. Law and Ethics in Media Writing
The First Amendment  
Legal Defenses Against Libel  
How to Avoid Copyright Infringement  
Ethics and the Media  
Ethical Concerns  
How to Work Through Ethical Dilemmas  
Determining Your Own Approach to Ethics  
The Big Three  
Chapter 9. Reporting: The Basics and Beyond
Event Coverage  
Preparing for the Event  
How to Cover the Event  
News Reporting Beyond the Event  
Profile Writing  
The Big Three  
Chapter 10. Writing for Traditional Print News Products
Nuances for Print Writing  
Expanding the Inverted Pyramid  
The Beginning  
The Middle  
The End  
The Big Three  
Chapter 11. Writing for Broadcast
Nuances for Broadcast Writing  
Integrating Additional Elements  
Types of Stories  
Polishing Your Final Piece for Delivery  
The Big Three  
Chapter 12. Public Relations
Defining PR  
Types of PR Writing  
Keys to PR  
Why the Media Matters  
The Big Three  
Chapter 13. Advertising
Defining Advertising  
The Creative Brief  
Message Formation  
Writing in Advertising  
The Big Three  
Chapter 14. Marketing
Brands and Branding  
Campaigns Versus Brands  
Useful Marketing Platforms and Tools  
Copywriting for a Brand  
Writing Creatively for Marketing  
The Big Three  


Instructor Resources
  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer assistance with lecture and review preparation by highlighting essential content, features, and artwork from the book.
  • Chapter learning objectives reinforce the most important material.
Student Resources
  • AP Style Quizzes and Exercises test your students’ knowledge of AP style and provide opportunities for them to practice writing in this style. 
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
  • Carefully selected chapter-by-chapter Video and Multimedia content which enhance classroom-based explorations of key topics.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1. Know Your Audience

Chapter 4. Basic Media Writing

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ISBN: 9781506381466