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A Write Good!: The News report
Write Good!: The News — “All the story, plus lies!

(CHICAGO) In the wake of the Chicago Sun-Times lay off of its entire photography staff as it seeks to reach a more “digitally savvy” audience, the newspaper continued that bold campaign Monday by sacking all of its reporters and eliminating the use of vowels in news stories.

“Just as photography has given way to video content in meeting the demands of our digitally savvy audiences, the rapid pace of news has outstripped the Sun-Times’ need for slow-moving reporters, with all their phone calls and ‘reliable sources’ and fact checking,” according to a statement from the newspaper.

“Plus all their loud typing and the coffee stains everywhere – it drives us crazy!”

To combine news gathering efficiency with enhanced multimedia content, reporters will be replaced with the Sun-Times newspaper delivery staff equipped with iPhones.

“Those kids on their bikes go everywhere. They probably see lots of news. Real stuff, too. Not just politics and all that overseas crap,” said Dolph Flagin, former assistant delivery dispatcher and now Sun-Times managing editor. “They can cover a story, write it, make a video, then fling it at your door all at the same time. They’ll even write those editorials, I’ll bet. They’re always giving me their opinions.

“Bunch’a loudmouths,” Flagin added.

New Sun-Times reporter covering pro-evil conference takes notes, writes story, shoots video, folds newspaper, then flings on doorstep. (Photo courtesy of same reporter.)

New Sun-Times reporter covering pro-evil conference takes notes, writes story, shoots video, folds newspaper, then flings on doorstep. (Photo courtesy of same reporter.)

The move to excise vowels from news stories has long been predicted by media industry analysts, although no other daily has been willing to take such a dramatic step until the Chicago Sun-Times, a multiple award-winning newspaper best known for its ease of page turning.

“How many letters are really needed to convey a thought? Has Wheel of Fortune taught us nothing?” said Derrick Fn of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

While traditional new gathering concerns itself with questions of Who? What? When? Where? and Why?, the Sun-Times fledging reporting staff will bolster efficiency by only focusing on “Who?” and “When?”

Write Good!: The News is a money-losing subsidiary of Write Good!: The Blog.

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, www.davejaffecomm.com is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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Most frequently asked of Write Good! The Blog by small business owners is “Can you teach me how to write a press release?” and “Is my company going into receivership?”

The answer to both is “probably.”

Let us tackle the former and distance ourselves as far as possible from the latter.

Surprisingly, many business professionals, even some with their own office with a door, are unsure how a “press release” differs from a “news release.” In fact, the two are virtually identical, but “press release” harkens back to a time when business announcements were “pressed” into wet adobe bricks, dried in the sun, then hurled through the plate glass window of the local newspaper. On the other hand, news releases are printed on shiny paper.

The purpose of a press release is quite simple: to clearly impart Just read the quote. It's rather catchy.newsworthy information about your company’s products, services and activities to reporters or, as they’re known in developing countries, journalists.

Writing a press release that captures the attention of a reporter is not as easy as it was in the old days when they drank heavily. Shrinking newsroom budgets and staff layoffs have forced remaining reporters to do the work of three – fortunately not three reporters. More like one-and-a-half reporters, three-quarters of an editor, half a custodial worker, and half a delivery boy riding two-thirds of a bicycle. Not sure if that adds up. Better do the math yourselves.

Interestingly, this changed media landscape also offers unprecedented opportunities for the voice of small business to be heard, especially when combined with the Internet’s voracious appetite for information. (Note New York Times Online latest tagline: “All the News that Dogs can Skate!”)

The key to unlocking the marketing potential of the Internet is a well-written news release,Stop wasting time! Read the blog. and the keys to a successful release are brevity, quality and news value. That’s a lot of keys and I’m not sure what those other tarnished ones do, but bring them along just in case we get locked in.

It would take too long to explain “brevity,”* and “news value” is an important enough topic for a later Write Good! The Blog blog. (Proposed title: “What is News? Anyway?”) So you’re stuck with “quality,” which we will explore in our next Write Good!: The Blog blog, titled “Quality is Job Three out of Seven!”

*See “Brevity: A Write Good! The Blog White Paper – Volumes XXII – LXVII

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, Dave Jaffe Communications, Inc., is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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