Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Journalism

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I found this approach way to busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last two times I did the conventional approach, will be writing genres.

This genre:



the activity or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines, news websites, or preparing news or investigative stories to be broadcast


  1. Write a headline that pulls readers in.
  2. Write a first line that grabs the reader’s attention.
  3. Sum up information quickly and concisely at the article’s end.
  4. Find a unique angle for your story that will interest readers.
  5. Include the 5 W’s–who, what, when, where, and why.
  6. Make your sentences concise but pithy.
  7. Include quotes and references in these articles as well as linkbacks.
  8. Don’t include too much technical language or jargon that readers will struggle to understand.

Popular Outlets that Display Journalism

  1. newspapers
  2. magazines
  3. ezines
  4. blogs
  5. vlogs
  6. podcasts
  7. op-eds

Click for complete list of these 26 genres

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

More Genres:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Fall 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

51 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Journalism

  1. Lots of problems here. Let’s put some of these requirements in context consistent with what “journalists” are actually doing.
    – Find a unique angle for your story that will interest readers. The less true that angle the better
    – Include the 5 W’s–who, what, when, where, and why, but never reveal a name that is relevant, unbiased, or who may have true information to share.
    -Make your sentences concise but pithy. Very hard because that requires skill, so copy Rachel Maddow and everyone on CNN.
    – Include quotes and references in these articles as well as linkbacks, but never cite a source that can actually support the lies you are telling.

    There. That’s more like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I think of strict journalism, I leave out columns and editorials because, although the work is slanted, it is all facts. Still, I do like writing editorial and column pieces and I do consider them part of journalism.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree though I like the fact-based stories. I tried to teach a journalism class to MS students and they roundly rejected my idea that they should leave their opinions out. I didn’t continue with the class.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jacqui, I read A to Z in the title and panicked. Were we already into the 2020 Challenge? Then, I clicked – and saw Journalism. My profession for many years, although I had others – like selling organic produce. Anyway, back in the UK I was a magazine sub-editor in my early twenties and wrote short filler pieces, plus my first feature piece. This was back when editing was on galley paper proofs and the magazine was printed from hot metal plates.

    I also wrote features for a Canadian journal. However, it was a few decades – and advances in technology – before I regularly wrote reports and articles for various equestrian magazines, and dozens of local papers. Your points are relevant for both periods. However, the career ended too early as I retired through ill health.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jacqui, a trade within which I started my working life and you encapsulate it perfectly here. Journalism is such an underrated profession and its value in our society sadly not recognised. From the local level describing fetes, school awards to county level and then national and international. The principles remain the same. I recall on one of my first days at a local paper being severely told never to get names wrong … not only the person who was misspelt will ring up but also all the relatives and friends!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. An interesting approach to the A to z Challenge! I might have stuck with it, doing it this way. 🙂 Journalism is getting a bad rap these days, what with all the “fake news” floating about. That said, reputable sources still are just that. I studied journalism in college, back in the 1970s. There were no blogs, vlogs or ezines in those days. We continue to get a printed copy of the daily paper delivered to the house, though. It’s gotten more expensive in recent years, but some habits are hard to break!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Very nice, Jacqui. I agree that posting every day (or close) is very tiring. And nonfiction definitely has its own conventions. The adage: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them is death in fiction. But for nonfiction, it’s simply best practices.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Jacqui – taking your time suits us … and is probably a good idea – the freneticism of April is ‘interesting’!! But I miss it if I don’t do it.

    When I think of journalism now-a-days … I think about Prime Ministers … and wonder how many other leaders were originally journalists … eg for us Winston Churchill and Boris Johnson … there might have been others!

    Lots of ideas from you for this subject – as too the others! Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

What do you think? Leave a comment and I'll reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.