Cliches: Avoid ’em like the plague

A correspondent writes … David Weston of Oxford noted in a letter to the Sunday Telegraph, 24.5.15: SIR – Many media outlets seem to have just two new units of measurement: football pitches (which are variable in size) and Wembley Stadiums. Perhaps I’m too traditional but I find […]

Journalese: Collects

Sometimes Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t oblige. And if you’re a millennial who’s been asked to get a collect, right clicking to desktop just isn’t going to cut it. We’re talking about pictures. Collects are tabloid gold.  And by their definition, they are exclusive. In other words the splash. And […]

Survive Your Newsroom: Picture Editor

It’s not known if it is a contractual obligation but Picture Editors usually have beards. Or motorbikes. Usually both. And we’re including the women on this. Generally, but not always, ex-snappers – and snappers resent this term so feel free to use it freely – Picture Editors spend […]

Lasticle, not listicle

Hey, millennials, turns out you’re last to the party. Because your favourite form of information digestion, the listicle, beloved of buzzfeed and aped into parody is actually a favourite of…er…18th Century newspapers. And just like the the Internet of today, attribution and honesty appear to have fallen by […]

Journalese: Contacts

Favourited tweets aren’t contacts. There, we’ve said it. Time-management gurus are proud (and funnily enough, it’s actually true) that 20 per cent of the effort delivers 80 per cent of the work. Or something like that. We’re too lazy to google it. The same is true of contacts. […]

Survive Your Newsroom: Comment Editor

You might be yoked to the newswheel being broken like a butterfly but occasionally you’ll get a glimpse of someone who thinks for a living: the Comment Editor. Responsible for the intellectual heart of a newspaper – as opposed to the fist-pump of sports or the tub-thump of […]

Journalese: Going viral

At some point in your career, you’re going to get a good story. Until then, there’s the internet. Before you uncover the scandal that will topple the government/the global military industrial complex/the Bilderberg group, you’ll have a chance to write something that people will actually read: a listicle. […]

Survive Your Newsroom: The Lawyer

There’s two types of lawyer. Those who want to keep your best stories out of the paper and those that keep your best stories out of the paper. Lawyers view every piece of copy, every picture caption, every headline as a libel case waiting to happen. And when […]

Journalese: Eccies

Say what you like about made-up stories in tabloids but when it comes to creative writing at the hands of a hack, nothing – and we mean nothing-  beats the the skill deployed when a journo comes to writing up their ‘ecces’. Senior hacks will tell you that […]