After reading chapter 2 in Mencher’s News Reporting and Writing I have learned that there are several basic components when writing a news story. The first, he discussed was accuracy. He went into detail by describing how and why it was important to make sure the details of a story were accurate. In this part of the chapter he states that any inaccuracies must be corrected and can be corrected in a later edition of the paper by pointing out the mistake and stating the correction. Mencher states that a writer must check and recheck their work for any spelling errors in names or addresses and all of these things must be crossed check in a telephone or city directory. He also states the importance of precise language it must be clear and accurate He begins to lead us into the way news gets filtered by speaking about news filters and first hand observations.
The chapter continues with Mencher writing on the importance of attribution and the difference between a first, second and third hand account (I found the pictures very helpful). In chapter 2 we also learn that we must write stories that are complete which means they must contain evidence to support our written statements, as writers we must present both sides of the arguments and with this we must remain objective writers should not interject their thoughts or feelings in their writings. In this reading it is also reinforced that our writing must be brief and focused. The information about the who, what, when,where, why and how must be presented in the reading early. As all writing, news writing must be clear, concise and well written.
In chapter 3 we begin discussing what news really is. We learn that in order for the news to be “newsworthy” it must be timely, unusual, in proximity and contain conflict. Without these few things, the news would not be helpful to those watching or listening. For example, would people in Massachusetts care what the weather was like in Delaware? People also want to know about conflict, they want to know what is happening around them and how it affects their everyday lives. This also ties into currency, which is a reporter’s ability to give the voiceless a voice. I think this is an important part of news today because there are so many civilian stories that could expose so much to politicians and the “privileged” who watch the news. These stories could be the ultimate game changer in which a donation is made to a good cause or light is shed on a situation that was unknown before.