Archive for the ‘M43MC – Multiplatform Journalism 2’ Category


Ahead of our magazine production Andrew felt it was important to look at sub-editing one another’s work found (stretched) this out to 10 points, because as he pointed out ‘there’s ten points to everything good’.

1 – Don’t start at the beginning

When you write a feature introduction you want to write something that has lots of impact, that pulls them in to the story. It is not impossible to do that when starting at the start of the story, but you usually find a better idea to start the story with once you’ve written it. Once you’ve revealed the anecdote, they want to know more and will give you time to read through the rest of your story. Get them excited then start the start of the story.

There are a few tried and tested ways at starting a feature; Reveal an anecdote, state an unusual fact or say something shocking.

This applies to someone else’s article when you’re proofing. Subbing is not just checking for apostrophes, you have to read like a reader. If you need to re-write the intro you re-write the intro, if you want to re-write the whole thing do it.

2 – Don’t accept the first draft

It is a common failure of all writers to write something and its cast in stone. You have to approach everything you write as a draft, you have to write something then come back to it and re-read it, don’t accept the first version you wrote as the best version.

Instead of you doing it and getting credit for it, you end up getting a reputation of people thinking they have to re-write everything you hand in.

3 – Know as much as you can about your reader

There should be a difference in how you write depending on who you are writing for. If you’re writing for an enthusiastic car magazine, you’ll write differently than if it were meant to be for a teenage girl.

It can work to your advantage because you can talk to them in a more personal way. If your reader doesn’t know jargon you have to avoid it. Is your reader someone who is up with the news? The only way to weigh these things up is figuring out who your reader is. NRS, readership surveys, magazine polls.

4 – Have a conversation with a single reader

If you read features and stories they have a conversation with you, it makes you as a reader feel as if you know what’s going on and as if you’re part of the story.

5 – Keep it simple

It’s a great temptation to make things more complicated to use fancy words and write in a professional way, which very often gets interpreted as writing in a complicated way. Write about complicated issues, but write them in a simple way. There’s always a temptation to write and overdo it, sometimes people try to hard because fancy is better but less fancy is better because it allows the story to come through.

6 – Only connect

The reader only knows what you tell them, if you don’t make connections between one fact and another fact then they’ll get lost. Your reader doesn’t know the story you do, you have to guide them.

7 – Don’t rely on crutch phrases.

Things like ‘however’ ‘at this moment in time’ ‘now’ ‘really’ phrases that you use but have no use. The same point could be made should you not use them.

8 – Don’t leave participles dangling

The participle always refers to the object which immediately follows:

‘Having died’                        they                         buried him

Participle                        Object

‘Being lame’                         he                        did not ride the horse

Participle                        Object

You’ve got to pick up the ability to read the sentence you’ve just written.

9 – Keep subordinate clauses under control.

The sentence, which was full of subordinate clauses, was difficult to understand.

10 – Read and analyse good writing

Go away find yourself a feature that you think is good and see if they are subject to any of this.



Comissions—-     —–(might go back —-(goes back to

                                  To contributor)            sub-editor)

Ultimately it will all go back to the editor for a proof check and they will pass the proof to press.

Read Full Post »


Lisa Fitzgibbon

Lisa Fitzgibbon is a veteran of folk music; fronting the Power Folk band for many years, but now she wants to focus on making Something Beautifulas the musical director of her new global fusion band Moonshee.

With my band, The Lisa Fitzgibbon Quartet/Quintet/Trio/whatever the line-up, I’ve been working with my fiddle player, Jane Griffiths for 15 years now, so we’re so ingrained. My bass player is her husband, and his brother is the guitarist, and they’ve been playing together their whole lives. They can do what they want on-stage because they are so in tune with each other. We’ve done tours, productions, gigs, we’ve played on the back of trucks, we’ve played on main stage festivals and the little clubs and bars. Was I bored of it? Maybe. If you eat pie all day, you get bored of pie. You want to change the palette a little bit.

I quite like the contrast of the responsibility from Moonshee to my other projects. I like that I’m not the person at the front, I’m in the engine room. I spend my energy on the band and I let the girls, Amy McAllister and Rachel Button, front Moonshee. It’s quite liberating. Mitel Purohit (sitar) and Jonathan Mayer (tabla) are the sound of the band and Joelle Barker (percussion) had a relationship with the record label and we thought it’d be nice to mix her in. It’s been a natural process.

It’s a fusion of the English/ Irish and a bit of Indian folk. The concept is east meets west storytelling that’s been handed down by generation, whether it’s the story, or the music or the style of playing. It definitely comes from an English and Irish folk perspective and its specifically fused with the rhythms and in some respects the harmonies of the Indian sound. Moonshee is still a relatively new project, it’s only a year old but the potential is definitely there. It’s like a cricket team or a football team; you’ve got to play the game to find out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s going to be nice to see that unravel in a more natural way.

Jonathan came up with the name; it has a mystical side to what we do. A Moonshee is a mystical storytelling entity with Hindu and Arabic origins, it has a feminine slant to it and the band is primarily female, which is quite good fun. We don’t have a big enough profile yet to get a call from Amnesty International or play for Oxfam. We’re not really a political sect, more a unite-through-music global band. The point of it is to make something beautiful. To make music as beautiful as possible. That’s what I’d like to achieve.

I still do my own Lisa Fitzgibbon stuff, and I have other writing projects on, I still have my students and run a gardening business with my husband. As creatures, as human beings we need a lot of entertaining. I’m the kind of person who needs to have several things going on or I just get bored. I’m happy with Moonshee and I’ve got a couple of other projects on, so I’m pretty busy really. You have to have your hands in many pies don’t you?

Read Full Post »

Monday evening we looked at how to conduct interviews. Mostly the facts were self-evident but there were important tidbits of advice that may come in handy for the future.



Question 1 – Why do we do interviews?

We want quotes.

Question 2 – Why do we need quotes?

Provide fact in thenewsmakers own words

To absolve the journalist from an endorsement

Asking questions

– Research before you interview

You’ve never got enough time to do interviews. You’ll only have 10 minutes with them so you will need to know everything about them or what they are promoting.

 – Ask questions with a focus

People will measure you and what you know by the way that you ask a question, if you ask a question that’s very general and simplistic, they will give you a simple answer, because they often have to deal with non-specialists who don’t know what they’re talking about.

 – Think about the answer before you ask the question

You should already know the answer, you can think about what you were expecting to here and what you did here.

Different types of questions

Closed questions/Open questions – usually better for an extended interview

Off the record (OTR) – don’t tell anyone it was me that said this

The interviewee must specifically say that something is off the record before they say it.

Chatham House rules – you may report information but not identify the speaker, like reporting what was said at a meeting but not who was there.

Using quotes

People talk about different things at different times on the same theme, arrange the quotes in such a way that it reads like a story.

As long as you don’t change the meaning of what’s being said you can make minor tweaks

Quote exclusive content, there’s no point quoting stuff that’s everywhere else.

Paraphrase what he said in to one sentence/Use direct quotes as full sentences/quote important words like someone thinking its “dangerous”.

Read Full Post »

Why we have to call it the Americanised ‘semester’ is beyond me. Whats wrong with a term? We’ll be saying ‘Fall’ instead of Autumn soon.

Anywho, the second semester started yesterday with a false start. M45MC, still not sure what that class entails, was cancelled because the January starters wouldn’t have enrolled in time. So we picked up in the afternoon with Andrew Noakes and John Lister talking us through print media jargon in M43MC, a.k.a. Multiplatform Journalism 2.

Advertorial – Looks like a feature, paid for by an advertising company. Usually the feature should legally tell the reader this but it doesn’t always happen. It will often be along the lines of ‘best trainers for road running’ or an obvious example is the Philadelphia cheese feature.

Alignment – This is those three boxes in the toolbar on a ‘Word’ document where you can change the writing to be on the left, in the centre, or on the right. You can go in to specifics on Adobe Indesign like “ragged right” which will be explained later.

Ascender – Letters like; b, d and any others that have bits that stand up above a basic shape of the letter.

Baseline – The bottom of the basic letter.

Bleed – Anything that runs of the edge of the page. Often photos or images will run of the edge to ensure that it fills the whole page. If you crop the image at to the edge, it may in fact be too small when the pages are cut at the printing press.

Body Copy – Main Article text, can also be used in reference to style/size/content

Boxout – A box with extra information about the subject of the article that may not have been able to be worked into the narrative of the feature.

CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. The four colours used when printing newspapers and magazines.

Descender – You know ascender? Opposite.

DPI – Dots per inch. Usually for images you’ll have 300 dots per inch (or 288 to be precise), and for online its 72

DPS – Double Page Spread, the even number is usually on the left

Drop capital – Capital letter that starts features, usually takes up 3 or 5 lines of text.

Editorial – Usually the Editors introduction to a magazine, but sometimes its referred to anything that isn’t an advertorial

Em, en, x-height – Width of the letter m, width of the letter n, height of the letter x

Facing editorial/matter – An ad page that’s next to an editorial or matter page.

Flannel Panel – The list of contributors and editors of the magazine, its usually on the first page.

Flatplan – The magazine laid out on a giant piece of paper how it will be read.

Folio – Numbers on the page

Footer – Small text in bottom corners of pages with the magazine name or the section you are currently in.

Full Bleed – Image that bleeds off 3 or more sides

Gatefold – A fold out advert

GSM – Grams per square meter – weight of each page

Gutter – Space between columns

H&J’s – Hyphenation and justification

Imagesetter – Machine that produces the film used in old printing systems, doesn’t really get used in modern printing.

Imposition – Where pages have to be on the flat plan, so when the flat plan is folded up into the magazine sized product, the pages will be in the right place.

Indent – where there is a gap at the start of the text

IBC, IFC – Inside back cover, inside front cover

Justified – The text lining up on a particular side of the copy so it is easier to read.



Kerning – The space between individual characters

Landscape – Wider than it is tall

Leading – The space between each base line underneath the text; like this __

      and this __

Leader – Can be a leading article or;

Lines or dots in between information and data like; John………………. 27

Leading article – Your main magazine story, usually on the front cover

Lede – Introductory paragraph, sometimes called a standfirst

Loose inserts – leaflets that are paid adverts or can often be subscription offers for the magazine

Literals – Spelling mistakes, typos

Litho, lithography – Type of printing process

Masthead – Title and logo of the magazine that should be instantly recognisable to fans, it can occasionally be used to describe the flannel panel.

OBC, OFC – Outside back cover, outside front cover

Orphan, widow – The end of a paragraph where the final word is forced on to a new line or forced to start a new column.

Overmatter – too much text

Page furniture – Stuff on every single page

Pagination – How many pages

Pass – Process which a page is OK’d for printing

Perfect binding – squared off binding, like a paperback book.

Plate – Aluminuium sheet used in printing process with an image of the page in its final draft.

Points – Typeset sizes, one point is 1/72 nd of an inch.

Portrait – Taller than it is wide.

Pre-flighting – high-res PDF of the final copy

Proof – The thing that you check.

pp – Pages rather than page.

Ragged right – Where the text is aligned equally along the left hand side but on the right hand side it is staggered.

Rebate – Little white line if image doesn’t fit into a specified frame size

Registration – Each colour of CMYK being printed in the right position

Repro – Taking the InDesign product and giving it to the printer.

RGB – Red, blue, green. Colours that register on a computer or television moniter.

Roman – Normal weight font as oppose to bold or italic

Rule – a line

Run of paper – When an advert doesn’t have a specific place in the paper

Saddle stitching – A stapled form of binding

Sans – Font type where the edges of letters that are shaped like the rest of the letter like Helvetica font

Screamer – Exclamation point

Section – a section of the magazine like news or feature, but also used in refered to how many pages can be printed together on one flatplan sheet.

Sell – Something that sells the magazine, or something that sells the article.

Serif – Font type where the edges of letters are tipped with stylistic flicks that intend to lead you on to the next letter, common in Times New Roman.

Set Solid – the same point type as the point lead.

Signature – Number of pages printed together

Special position Particular place for adverts like IFC

Spread – often called a double page spread

Standfirst – The first paragraph of an article that is intended to draw the reader in.

Solus – Have only one advert on the page

Stock – Roll of paper

Story – An article, but also the story within the article.

Sub – Someone who edits work, or the process of editing work.

Thwack Factor – How substantial the magazine feels, how much oomph it has as a physical product.

Tracking – Spaces between characters in text.

Typo – mistyping.

Web – Big roll of paper going through the printing press.

WOB – White on black, or light type on dark background.

wp – Whole page


Read Full Post »