Sunday , September 25 2022

Writing For The Mass Media II, Course Outline

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University



2018/2019 Academic Session


Faculty: Social Sciences                                       Department: Mass Communication

Course Code: MAC 112                                      Unit(s): 2             Semester: Second

Course Title: Writing For The Mass Media II

Lecturer: Dr. Chinenye Nwabueze              Programme: B.Sc.



This course is designed to train students on how to write for the various mass media – newspapers, magazines, radio, television, online news platforms. It provides practical and informative knowledge on various forms of mass media writing – straight news report, features, editorial, opinion articles, etc. but focuses on developing the skills of students on how to write news from various key sources – personal, stored and observation sources. It further develops the skills of students on how to source for and write hard and soft news, headline and lead writing, including knowledge of elements of journalistic style.



By the end of this course, students will have learned:

  1. Meaning of news, news values and elements
  2. Various forms of mass media writing
  3. How to write straight news report for various mass media
  4. Elements of journalistic style
  5. Key sources of news –personal, stored and observation source
  6. Basic interview skills and how to write stories from interviews and press release




  1. Lectures
  2. Indoor Quizzes
  3. Outdoor Quizzes (Assignments)
  4. Practical Classroom Sessions



  1. Introduction

Definition of concepts (news, news writing, news reporting, mass media)

Kinds of news

News values

News elements

Identifying elements in a news story


  1. Sources of News





  1. Attributing Information to Sources

How to attribute

When to Attribute

Types of Attribution (On the record, off record, Background, On deep background)


  1. Inverted Pyramid Style

What is inverted pyramid style of writing?

How to write a story using inverted pyramid style


  1. Forms of Mass Media Writing

Straight news report

Feature story


Opinion article


  1. Headline Writing

Defining headline

Principles of headline writing for straight news reports

Writing the headline (practical exercise)


  1. Writing the lead

What is lead?

Kinds of lead

How to write the lead


  1. Elements of Journalistic Style

What is writing style?

Kinds of writing style

Factors that influence writing style

Difference between house style and personal style


  1. Basic interviewing skill

What is interview?

Kinds of interview

How to write news from an interview


  1. Writing Exercise continues

Writing headlines

Writing the lead

Writing news



Scanlan, C. (2014). News Writing and Reporting: The Complete Guide for Today’s Journalist. Oxford: University Press.


Nwabueze, C. (2015). Reporting: Principles, Approaches, Special Beats (2nd Edition). Owerri: Topshelve.



Click on the following links to read articles;

News Writing Fundamentals

How to write a news story

How to use attribution correctly as a reporter

How to write broadcast news stories





About Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a writer with passion for cutting-edge news

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