Monday, 14 November 2011

To show, not tell.

When journalists use unfavourable analysis, it often proves harder to read and offensive to some of the audience. Adjectives demonstrate one of the reasons journalistic skills can struggle. Often adjectives are classed as a lazy and ineffective way of describing, also generally overused. An irritation within the text is the bad usage of adjectives especially when hyphenating. The correct way in practicing this is to hyphenate when using an adjective and a past participle of a verb together for example ‘sapphire-tinted glasses’. Furthermore, the second way of hyphenating correctly is when using an adjective and a noun together for instance ‘blue-chip share’. Lastly always hyphenate if the adverb and the adjective produce a new adjective ‘well-known artist’.

An infamous quote in the writing business is “to show, not tell”. May this be a lesson to knowing the difference of adjectives in column writing and news story writing. News journalists often keep their writing short and sweet, due to the limited amount of space they have to write (sometimes known as ‘writing tight’). On the other hand, column writers habitually use passages of descriptions to evoke an image in the readers head. Although indifferently they are both just as effective in transmitting feelings.

A trouble within writing with adjectives is that it can go two ways, one, it can frequently hinder a journalist’s opinion by showing their bias. Two, over usage of adjectives can cover up a journalist’s lack of hard facts. Moreover this leads to the audience losing confidence in what they’re reading creating an unsuccessful piece of work.

In the past, a cub reporter wrote “The National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority had a remarkable record for April- it provided water all day round”. The editor sent back the report with a note: “Remarkable is not a reporting word. Leave the adjectives to the columnist. We just tell the facts. Write your story so that the readers will say: ‘That is remarkable!’ For adjectives then, the rule is: “Do not use any – if possible. People will understand you better without them.” This conveys the moral “to show, not tell”.

Within Fashion Journalism, adjectives still play a big part. In some conditions you could say writing for fashion is tougher for the reason that there is a certain amount of expressing words for fashion and finding new ones can be tricky. Alike to news writing, there are a limited bunch of adjectives that are over used and overall just should not really be there and an amount that are crucial. Some adjectives that have shaped and formed the journalistic world of fashion are “Boho Chick, Preppy, Retro and Working girl”.

In assumption, adjectives are far more affective to keep short within news writing and reporting whereas in column writing, adjectives are key to arouse an image within the readers head. Finally inside Fashion Journalism, adjectives have played such a vast part in the audience understanding fashion fully. Therefore adjectives are a hard Reuters to get right but used correctly, they can create a very successful and lesson able piece of writing.


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