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Essential Reporting
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Essential Reporting
The NCTJ Guide for Trainee Journalists


Other Titles in:
Journalism

September 2007 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"If you want a book that instructs you about all the technical skills you need to pass the examinations set by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and embark on a career in journalism, then this is the book for you. It outlines the basic knowledge required to succeed as a trainee reporter. Shorthand, intros, writing styles, subbing, layout, the way newsrooms work and how to find things out are among the range of skills described."
- Times Higher Education

"Precisely what it says on the cover - a down-to-earth essential handbook for anyone embarking on a career in journalism. All you need to know about avoiding newsroom minefields and attracting the editor's attention for the right reasons. If only it had been around in my day!'
- Bob Satchwell, Executive Director, Society of Editors

This is a book for everyone who wants to be a journalist: a practical guide to all you need to know, learn and do to succeed as a trainee reporter in today's newsroom.

Although the world of journalism is changing fast, as technology blurs the boundaries between newspapers, radio, television and web-based media, the reporter's core role remains the same: to recognise news, communicate with people, gather information, and create accurate, balanced and readable stories. Essential Reporting, written by an experienced NCTJ examiner, explains how to do this. Contents include:

  • what makes a good reporter
  • what is news, and how to find it
  • how newsrooms work
  • day-to-day life as a reporter
  • key reporting tasks
  • covering courts and councils
  • successful interviewing
  • writing news stories
  • specialist reporting
  • handling sound, pictures and the web

It also contains a wealth of advice, tips and warnings from working journalists, a guide to NCTJ training and examinations, a glossary and a guide to further reading.

It will be invaluable to anyone embarking on a career in journalism and is the NCTJ's recommended introductory text for all students on college and university courses preparing them to become successful reporters.

 
What you Need
Character, Attitude, Knowledge, Skills, Equipment

 
 
What's News?
What News Stories Have in Common - and Why Some Get Printed

 
 
Finding Out
News and Information Sources

 
 
A Day in the Life
What it's Like Being a Reporter

 
 
First Tasks
Handouts, Calls, Weddings, Anniversaries, Retirements, Deaths

 
 
Out and About
Public events, Speeches, Meetings, Press conferences, Pictures

 
 
Talking to People
Vox pops, Ring-rounds, Surveys, Interviews, Death knocks

 
 
The Unexpected
Major incidents, Weather stories, Human interest

 
 
Shaping the Story
Story length, Structure, Angles, Intros

 
 
Writing the Words
News stories, Writing for pictures, Presentation

 
 
English Matters
Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, Style

 
 
Working Online
Reporting, Writing, Designing, Interacting

 
 
Audio and Video
Multi-media, Audio & Radio, Video & TV

 
 
Court Reporting
Courts, Inquests, Tribunals, Inquiries

 
 
Local Politics
Contacts, Councils, Town halls, Political parties, MPs, Elections

 
 
Specialist Areas
Sport, Crime, Education, Environment, Health, Industry, District reporting

 
 
Features
News backgrounders, Entertainment features, Reviews

 
 
Training
A guide to the NCTJ

 

'Precisely what it says on the cover - a down-to-earth essential handbook for anyone embarking on a career in journalism. All you need to know about avoiding newsroom minefields and attracting the editor's attention for the right reasons. If only it had been around in my day!' - Bob Satchwell, Executive Director, Society of Editors

'... an excellent practical guide to the whole business of reporting.' - Writing Magazine


This book talks you through everything you need to know to be a good journalist, it is what you would expect from the NCTJ and no one can fail as a journalist if they follow the NCTJ

Miss Rachael Rodgers
Digital media , Doncaster College
January 10, 2014

Mixing factual information with witty anecdote, and designed in a very accessible way, this book painstakingly covers all corners of local reporting which, as we know, is the best training you can get.

Ms Louise Byrne
Dept of Humanities & Social Sciences, Richmond, The American Int'l University in London
October 26, 2012

The text in general covers the basic skills in news reporting but was set as an essential text for our MA in Multimedia Journalism students because this is NCTJ-accredited. Otherwise, I'd like to have a text with a more intellectual approach to news research and writing.

Dr An Nguyen
School of Media, Film and Music, Sussex University
December 16, 2011

The book is very relevant to the objectives of the course. It also covers the essential topics in News Writing. It is user-friendly and has a lot of activities for students. A definite YES for my students.

Ms Bevelyn Dube
communication and applied language studies, University of Venda
February 11, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction PDF


Preview this book