URN News Digest Vol 008: Habits of Effective News Writers

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Stick to the issue: breathe life into the issue, show how it impacts your reader and let the readers give their opinions.
• Example: “the current debate on the public order bill is likely to affect the way people meet and deliberate pertinent issues….

• The influx of wild animals in the game park could soon spiral out of control and cause chaos in the villages neighboring the national park.

Avoid the Passive Voice: the passive voice kills the pace and flow of the story
• The decision to halt parliamentary proceedings was made by the speaker.

• The speaker decided to halt parliamentary proceedings.

Strip your story of Adverbs: adverbs are the pillar of weak writing. And as an editor I must confess I am sometimes guilty of allowing them pass, but that too out of laziness. These are word that end with –ly and many stories tend to be cluttered with such words.
• The robber fled quickly from the scene should instead be- the Robber fled the scene.

• He walked slowly out of the meeting – He sneaked out of the room.

Avoid Redundancy: if you ever said; “they want to replace the broken down culverts, you are redundant, unless you have broken up culverts.
• Sued instead of dragged to court.

• Will appear in court instead of will face the law

Finally read your story aloud to get a sense of how it sounds to the ear.

Quote of the week: The road to death is all paved with adverbs…slowly, painfully, heartily, tearfully …

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