By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Newspaper Reporting and Correspondence - A Manual for Reporters, Correspondents, and Students of Newspaper Writing
Author: Hyde, Grant Milnor, 1889-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Newspaper Reporting and Correspondence - A Manual for Reporters, Correspondents, and Students of Newspaper Writing" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)







    COPYRIGHT, 1912, BY

    Printed in the United States of America



The purpose of this book is to instruct the prospective newspaper
reporter in the way to write those stories which his future paper will
call upon him to write, and to help the young cub reporter and the
struggling correspondent past the perils of the copyreader's pencil by
telling them how to write clean copy that requires a minimum of editing.
It is not concerned with the _why_ of the newspaper business--the editor
may attend to that--but with the _how_ of the reporter's work. And an
ability to write is believed to be the reporter's chief asset. There is
no space in this book to dilate upon newspaper organization, the work of
the business office, the writing of advertisements, the principles of
editorial writing, or the how and why of newspaper policy and practice,
as it is. These things do not concern the reporter during the first few
months of his work, and he will learn them from experience when he needs
them. Until then, his usefulness depends solely upon his ability to get
news and to write it.

There are two phases of the work which every reporter must learn: how to
get the news and how to write it. The first he can pick up easily by
actual newspaper experience--if nature has endowed him with "a nose for
news." The writing of the news he can learn only by hard practice--a
year's hard practice on some papers--and it is generally conceded that
practice in writing news stories can be secured at home or in the
classroom as effectively as practice in writing short stories, plays,
business letters, or any other special form of composition. Newspaper
experience may aid the reporter in learning how to write his stories,
but a newspaper apprenticeship is not absolutely necessary. However,
whether he is studying the trade of newspaper writing in his home, in a
classroom, or in the city room of a daily paper, he needs positive
instruction in the English composition of the newspaper office--rather
than haphazard criticism and a deluge of "don'ts." Hence this book is
concerned primarily with the writing of the news.

Successful newspaper reporting requires both an ability to write good
English and an ability to write good English in the conventional
newspaper form. And there is a conventional form for every kind of
newspaper story. Many editors of the present day are trying to break
away from the conventional form and to evolve a looser and more natural
method of writing news stories. The results are often bizarre and
sometimes very effective. Certainly originality in expression adds much
to the interest of newspaper stories, and many a good piece of news is
ruined by a bald, dry recital of facts. Just as the good reporter is
always one who can give his yarns a distinctive flavor, great newspaper
stories are seldom written under the restriction of rules. But no young
reporter can hope to attain success through originality and defiance of
rules until he has first mastered the fundamental principles of
newspaper writing. He can never expect to write "the story of the year"
until he has learned to handle everyday news without burying the gist of
his stories--any more than an artist can hope to paint a living portrait
until he has learned, with the aid of rules, to draw the face of a
plaster block-head. Hence the emphasis upon form and system in this
book. And, whatever the form may be, the embodiment must be clear,
concise, grammatical English; that is the excuse for the many axioms of
simple English grammar that are introduced side by side with the study
of the newspaper form.

The author offers this book as the result of personal newspaper
experience and of his work as instructor in classes in newspaper writing
at the University of Wisconsin. Every item that is offered is the result
of an attempt to correct the mistakes that have appeared most often in
the papers of students who are trying to do newspaper writing in the
classroom. The seemingly disproportionate emphasis upon certain branches
of the subject and the constant repetition of certain simple principles
are to be excused by the purpose of the book--to be a text-book in the
course of study worked out in this school of journalism. The use of the
fire story as typical of all newspaper stories and as a model for all
newspaper writing is characteristic of this method of instruction. Four
chapters are devoted to the explanation of a single principle which any
reader could grasp in a moment, because experience has shown that an
equivalent of four chapters of study and practice is required to teach
the student the application of this principle and to fix it in his mind
so thoroughly that he will not forget it in his later work of writing
more complicated stories. It is felt that the beginner needs and must
have the detailed explanation, the constant reiteration and some
definite rules to guide him in his practice. Hence the emphasis upon the
conventional form. Since, in the application of the newspaper principle
of beginning with the gist of the story, the structure of the lead is of
greater importance than the rest of the story, this book devotes the
greater part of its discussion to the lead.

The suggestions for practice are attached in an attempt to give the
young newspaper man some _positive_ instruction. Most reporters are
instructed by a system of "don'ts," growled out by busy editors; most
correspondents receive no instruction at all--a positive suggestion now
and then cannot but help them both. Practice is necessary in the study
of any form of writing; these suggestions for practice embody the method
of practice used in this school of journalism. The examples are taken
from representative papers of the entire country to show the student how
the stories are actually written in newspaper offices.

    Madison, Wisconsin,
        June 3, 1912.


    CHAPTER                                          PAGE

          I. GATHERING THE NEWS                         1

         II. NEWS VALUES                               14

        III. NEWSPAPER TERMS                           28

         IV. THE NEWS STORY FORM                       34

          V. THE SIMPLE FIRE STORY                     41

         VI. THE FEATURE FIRE STORY                    50

        VII. FAULTS IN NEWS STORIES                    75

       VIII. OTHER NEWS STORIES                       105

         IX. FOLLOW-UP AND REWRITE STORIES            125

          X. REPORTS OF SPEECHES                      143

         XI. INTERVIEWS                               169

        XII. COURT REPORTING                          192

       XIII. SOCIAL NEWS AND OBITUARIES               204

        XIV. SPORTING NEWS                            219

         XV. HUMAN INTEREST STORIES                   233

        XVI. DRAMATIC REPORTING                       259

       XVII. STYLE BOOK                               276

       APPENDIX I--SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY              294


       INDEX                                          339




Unlike almost any other profession, that of a newspaper reporter
combines two very different activities--the gathering of news and the
writing of news. Part of the work must be done in the office and part of
it outside on the street. At his desk in the office a reporter is
engaged in the literary, or pseudo-literary, occupation of writing news
stories; outside on the street he is a detective gathering news and
hunting for elusive facts to be combined later into stories. Although
the two activities are closely related, each requires a different sort
of ability and a different training. In a newspaper office the two
activities are rarely separated, but a beginner must learn each duty
independent of the other. This book will not attempt to deal with both;
it will confine itself mainly to one phase, the pseudo-literary
activity of writing news stories.

However, introductory to the discussion of the writing of newspaper
stories, we may glance at the other side of the newspaper writer's
work--the gathering of the news. Where the newspaper gets its news and
how it gets its news can be learned only by experience, for it differs
in different cities and with different papers. But an outline of the
background of news-gathering may assist us in writing the news after it
is gathered and ready for us to write.

=1. Reporter vs. Correspondent.=--There are two capacities in which one
may write news stories for a paper. He may work on the staff as a
regular reporter or he may supply news from a distance as a
correspondent. In the one case he works under the personal supervision
of a city editor and spends his entire time at the regular occupation of
gathering and writing news. As a correspondent he works in a distant
city, under the indirect supervision of the city, telegraph, or state
editor, and sends in only the occasional stories that seem to be of
interest to his paper. In either case the same rules apply to his news
gathering and to his news writing. And in either case the length of his
employment depends upon his ability to turn in clean copy in the form
in which his paper wishes to print the news. Both the reporter and the
correspondent must write their stories in the same form and must look at
news and the sources of news from almost the same point of view.
Whatever is said of the reporter applies equally to the correspondent.

=2. Expected and Unexpected News.=--The daily news may be divided into
two classes from the newspaper's point of view: expected and unexpected
news. Expected news includes all stories of which the paper has a
previous knowledge. Into this class fall all meetings, speeches,
sermons, elections, athletic contests, social events, and daily
happenings that do not come unexpectedly. They are the events that are
announced beforehand and tipped off to the paper in time for the editor
to send out a reporter to cover them personally. These events are of
course recorded in the office, and each day the editor has a certain
number of them, a certain amount of news that he is sure of. Each day he
looks over his book to note the events that are to take place during
that day and sends out his reporters to cover them.

The other class includes the stories that break unexpectedly. Accidents,
deaths, fires, storms, and other unexpected happenings come without
warning and the reporting of them cannot be arranged for in advance.
These are the stories that the paper is most anxious to get and the
things for which the whole staff always has its eyes and ears open.
Seldom are they heard of in time for the paper to have them covered
personally, and the reporting of such stories becomes a separate sort of
work--the gathering and sorting of the facts that can be obtained only
from chance witnesses.

=3. News Sources.=--There are certain sources from which the paper gets
most of its tips of expected events and its knowledge of unexpected
events. These every editor knows about. The courts, the public records,
the public offices, the churches, and the schools furnish a great many
of the tips of expected news. The police stations, the fire stations,
the hospitals, and the morgues furnish most of the tips of unexpected
news. Whenever an event is going to happen, or whenever an unexpected
occurrence does happen, a notice of it is to be found in some one of
these sources. Such a notice or a casual word from any one is called a
"tip" and indicates the possibility of securing a story. The securing of
the story is another matter. A would-be reporter may get good practice
from studying the stories in the daily papers and trying to discover or
imagine from what source the original news tip came. He will soon find
that certain classes of stories always come from certain sources and
that there is a perceptible amount of routine evident in the accounts
of the most unexpected occurrences.

=4. Runs and Assignments.=--Between the news tip and the finished copy
for the compositor there is a vast amount of news gathering, which falls
to the lot of the reporter. This is handled by a system of runs and
special assignments. A reporter usually has his own run, or beat, on
which he gathers news. His run may cover a certain number of police
stations or the city hall or any group of regular news sources. Each day
he must visit the various sources of news on his beat and gather the
tips and whatever facts about the stories behind the tips that he can.
The tips that he secures furnish him with clues to the stories, and it
is his business to get the facts behind all of the tips on his beat and
to write them up, unless a tip opens up a story that is too big for him
to handle alone without neglecting his beat.

Assignments are used to cover the stories that do not come in through
the regular sources, and to handle the big stories that are unearthed on
the regular beats. The editor turns over to the reporter the tip that he
has received and instructs him to go out and get the facts. A paper's
best reporters are used almost entirely on assignments, and when they go
out after a story they practically become detectives. They follow every
clue that the tip suggests and every clue that is opened up as they
progress; they hunt down the facts until they are reasonably sure that
they have secured the whole story. The result may not be worth writing,
or it may be worth a place on the front page, but the reporter must get
to the bottom of it. Whether on a beat or on an assignment every
reporter must have his ears open for a tip of some unexpected story and
must secure the facts or inform the editor at once. It is in this way
that a paper gets a scoop, or beat, on its rivals by printing a story
before the other papers have heard of it.

=5. Interviews for Facts.=--To cover an assignment and secure the facts
of a story is not at all easy. If the reporter could be a personal
witness of the happening which he is to report, the task would be
simpler. But, outside the case of expected events, he rarely hears of
the occurrence until after it is past and the excitement has subsided.
Then he must find the persons who witnessed the occurrence or who know
the facts, and get the story from them. Perhaps he has to see a dozen
people to get the information he wants. Getting facts from people in
this way is called interviewing--interviewing for facts, as
distinguished from formal interviewing for the purpose of securing a
statement or an opinion that is to be printed with the name of the man
who utters it. Although a dozen interviews may be necessary for a
single story, not one of them is mentioned in the story, for they are of
no importance except in the facts that they supply.

For example, suppose a reporter is sent out to get the story of a fire
that has started an hour or two before he goes on duty. All that his
editor gives him is the tip from the fire department, or from some other
source, of a fire at such-and-such an address. When he arrives at the
scene there is nothing left but smoldering ruins with perhaps an engine
throwing a stream on the smoking débris and a few by-standers still
loitering about. He can see with his own eyes what kind of building has
burned, and how completely it has been destroyed. A by-stander may be
able to tell him who occupied the building or what it was used for, but
he must hunt for some one else who can give him the exact facts that his
paper wants. Perhaps he can find the tenant and learn from him what his
loss has been. The tenant can give him the name of the owner and may be
able to tell him something about the origin of the fire. He must find
the owner to get the value of the building and the amount of insurance
carried. Perhaps he cannot find any of these people and must ask the
fire chief or some one else to give him what facts and estimates he can.
If the fire is at all serious he must find out who was killed or
injured and get their names and addresses and the nature of their injury
or the manner of their death. Perhaps he can talk to some of the people
who had narrow escapes, or interview the friends or relatives of the
dead. Everywhere he turns new clues open up, and he must follow each one
of them in turn until he is sure that he has all the facts.

=6. Point of View.=--The task would be easy if every one could tell the
reporter just the facts that his paper wants. But in the confusion every
one is excited and fairly bubbling over with rumors and guesses which
may later turn out to be false. Each person who is interested in the
incident sees and tells it only from his own point of view. Obviously
the reporter's paper does not want the facts from many different points
of view, nor even from the point of view of the fire department, of the
owner, or of the woman who was rescued from the third floor. The paper
wants the story from a single point of view--the point of view of an
uninterested spectator. Consequently the reporter must get the facts
through interviews with a dozen different people, discount possible
exaggeration and falsity due to excitement, make allowances for the
different points of view, harmonize conflicting statements, and sift
from the mass what seems to him to be the truth. Then he must write the
story from the uninterested point of view of the public, which wants to
hear the exact facts of the fire told in an unprejudiced way. Never does
the story mention any of the interviews behind it except when the
reporter is afraid of some statement and wants to put the responsibility
upon the person who gave it to him. And so the finished story that we
read in the next morning's paper is the composite story of the fire
chief, the owner, the tenant, the man who discovered the fire, the widow
who was driven from her little flat, the little girl who was carried
down a ladder through the smoke, the man who lost everything he had in
the world, and the cynic who watched the flames from behind the
fireline--all massed together and sifted and retold in an impersonal way
from the point of view of a by-stander who has been everywhere through
the flames and has kept his brain free from the terror and excitement of
it all.

The same is true of every story that is printed in a newspaper. Every
story must be secured in the same way--whether it is the account of a
business transaction, a bank robbery, a political scandal, a murder, a
reception, or a railroad wreck. Seldom is it possible to find any one
person who knows all the facts just as the newspaper wants them, and
many a story that is worth but a stickful in the first edition is the
result of two hours' running about town, half a dozen telephone calls,
and a dozen interviews. That is the way the news is gathered, and that
is the part of the reporter's work that he must learn by experience. But
after all the gathering is finished and he has the facts, the writing of
the story remains. If the reporter knows how to write the facts when he
has them, his troubles are cut in half, for nowadays a reporter who
writes well is considered a more valuable asset than one who cannot
write and simply has a nose for news.

=7. News-Gathering Agencies.=--This account of news gathering is of
course told from the point of view of the reporter. Naturally it assumes
a different aspect in the editor's eyes. Much of the day's news does not
have to be gathered at all. A steady stream of news flows in ready for
use from the great news-gathering agencies, the Associated Press, the
United Press, the City Press, etc., and from correspondents. Many
stories are merely summaries of speeches, bulletins, announcements,
pamphlets and other printed matter that comes to the editorial office,
and many stories come already written. Almost everybody is looking for
publicity in these days and the editor does not always have to hunt the
news with an army of ferrets. Coöperation in news gathering has
simplified the whole matter. But it all has to be written and edited.
That is why great reporters are no longer praised for their cleverness
in worming their way to elusive facts, but for their ability to write a
good story. That is why we no longer hear so much about beats and scoops
but more about clean copy and "literary masterpieces."

=8. How the Correspondent Works.=--The correspondent gathers news very
much as the reporter does, but he does it without the help of a city
editor. He must be his own director and keep his own book of tips, for
he has no one to make out his assignments beforehand. He has to watch
for what news he can get by himself and send it to his paper of his own
accord, except occasionally when his paper instructs him to cover a
particularly large story. But he gets his tips and runs down his facts
just as a reporter does. Just as much alertness and just as much ability
to write are required of him.

The correspondent's work is made more difficult by what is called news
values. Distance affects the importance of the facts that he secures and
the length of the stories he writes. He must weigh every event for its
interest to readers a hundred or a thousand miles away. What may be of
immense importance in his community may have no interest at all for
readers outside that community. He must see everything with the eyes of
a stranger, and this must influence his whole work of news gathering
and news writing. This matter will be taken up at greater length in the
next chapter.

=9. Correspondent's Relation to His Paper.=--The relations of a
correspondent to the paper or news association to which he is sending
news can best be learned by experience. Every paper has different rules
for its correspondents and different directions in regard to the sort of
news it wants. The rules regarding the mailing of copy and the sending
of stories or queries by telegraph are usually sent out in printed form
by each individual paper to its correspondents. But while gathering news
and writing stories for a distant paper, a correspondent must always
regard himself as a reporter and write his stories in the form in which
they are to appear in print if he wishes to remain correspondent for any
length of time. The following rules are taken from the "INSTRUCTIONS TO
CORRESPONDENTS" sent out on a printed card to the correspondents of the
St. Louis _Star_:

    QUERY BY WIRE ON ALL STORIES you consider are worth
    telegraphing, unless you are absolutely certain _The Star_
    wants you to send the story without query, or in case of a big
    story breaking suddenly near edition time. If you have not time
    to query, get a reply and send such matter as might be ordered
    before the next edition time; send the story in the shortest
    possible number of words necessary to tell it, asking if
    additional matter is desired.

    Write your queries so they can be understood. Never send a
    "blind" query. If John Smith, a confirmed bachelor, whose age is
    80 years, elopes with and marries the daughter of the woman who
    jilted him when he was a youth, say so in as few words as
    possible, but be sure to convey the dramatic news worth of the
    story in your query. Do not say, "Bachelor elopes with girl,
    daughter of woman he knew a long time ago." In itself the story
    which this query tells might be worth printing, but it would not
    be half so good a story as the elopement of John Smith, 80,
    bachelor, woman hater, with the daughter of his old sweetheart.

    When a good story breaks close to edition time and the
    circumstances justify it, use the long-distance telephone, but
    first be reasonably certain _The Star_ will not get the story
    from another source.

    Write your stories briefly. _The Star_ desires to remunerate its
    correspondents according to the worth of a story and not for so
    many words. One good story of 200 words with the right "punch"
    in the introduction is worth a dozen strung over as many dozen
    pages of copy paper with the real story in the last paragraph of
    each. Tell your story in simple, every-day conversational words:
    quit when you have finished. Relegate the details. Unless it is
    a case of identification in a murder mystery, or some similar
    big story, no one cares about the color of the man's hair. Get
    the principal facts in the first paragraph--stop soon after.

    Send as much of your stuff as possible by mail, especially if
    you have the story in the late afternoon and are near enough to
    St. Louis to reach _The Star_ by 9 o'clock the next morning. If
    necessary, send the letter special delivery.

    Don't stop working on a good story when you have all the facts;
    if there are photographs to be obtained, get the photographs,
    especially if the principals in the story are persons of
    standing, and more especially if they are women.

    Correspondents will appreciably increase their worth to _The
    Star_ and enhance their earning capacity by observing these



Before any one can hope to write for a newspaper he must know something
about news values--something about the essence of interest that makes
one story worth a column and cuts down another, of equal importance from
other points of view, to a stickful. He must recognize the relative
value of facts so that he can distinguish the significant part of his
story and feature it accordingly. The question is a delicate one and yet
a very reasonable and logical one. The ideal of a newspaper, according
to present-day ethics, is to print news. The daily press is no longer a
golden treasury of contemporary literature, not even, perhaps, an
exponent of political principles. Its primary purpose is to report
contemporary history--to keep us informed concerning the events that are
taking place each day in the world about us.

To this idea is added another. A newspaper must be interesting. In these
days of many newspapers few readers are satisfied with merely being
informed; they want to be informed in a way that interests them. To
this demand every one connected with a newspaper office tries to cater.
It is the defense of the sensational yellow journals and it is the
reason for everything in the daily press. There is so much to read that
people will not read things that do not interest them, and the paper
that succeeds is the paper that interests the greatest number of
readers. Circulation cannot be built up by printing uninteresting stuff
that the majority of readers are not interested in, and circulation is
necessary to success.

This desire to interest readers is behind the whole question of news
values. News is primarily the account of the latest events, but, more
than that, it is the account of the latest events that interest readers
who are not connected with these events. Further than that, it is the
account of the latest events that interest the greatest number of
readers. Susie Brown may have sprained her ankle. The fact is
absorbingly interesting to Susie; it is even rather interesting to her
family and friends, even to her enemies. If she is well known in the
little town in which she lives her accident may be interesting enough to
the townspeople for the local weekly to print a complete account of it.
However, the event is interesting only to people who know Susie, and
after all they do not comprise a very large number. Hence her accident
has no news value outside the local weekly. On the other hand, had Susie
sprained her ankle in some very peculiar manner, the accident might be
of interest to people who do not know Susie. Suppose that she had
tripped on her gown as she was ascending the steps of the altar to be
married. Such an accident would be very unusual, almost unheard of.
People in general are interested in unusual things, and many, many
readers would be interested in reading about Susie's unusual accident
although they did not know Susie or even the town in which she lives.
Such a story would be the report of a late event that would interest
many people; hence it would have a certain amount of news value. Of
course, the reader loses sight of Susie in reading of her accident--it
might as well have been Mary Jones--but that is because Susie has no
news value in herself. That is another matter.

=1. Classes of Readers.=--Realizing that his story must be of interest
to the greatest number of people, the reporter must remember the sort of
people for whom he is writing. That complicates the whole matter. If he
were writing for a single class of readers he could easily give them the
news that would interest them. But he is not; he is writing for many
classes of people, for all classes of people. And he must interest them
all. He is writing for the business man in his office, for the wife in
the home, for the ignorant, for the highly educated, for the rich and
the poor, for the old and the young, for doctors, lawyers, bankers,
laborers, ministers, and women. All of them buy his paper to hear the
latest news told in a way that interests them, and he has to cater to
each and to all of them. If he were simply writing for business men he
would give them many columns of financial news, but that would not
interest tired laborers. An extended account of the doings of a
Presbyterian convention would not attract the great class of men with
sporting inclinations, and a story of a very pretty exhibition of
scientific boxing would not appeal to the wife at home. They all buy the
paper, and they all want to be interested, and the paper must,
therefore, print stories that interest at least the majority of them.
That is the question of news values. The news must be the account of the
latest events that interest the greatest number of readers of all

This search for the universally-interesting news is the reason behind
the sensational papers. Although the interests of any individual differ
in almost every aspect from the interests of his neighbor, there is one
sort of news that interests them both, that interests every human being.
That is the news that appeals to the emotions, to the heart. It is the
news that deals with human life--human nature--human interest news the
papers call it. In it every human being is interested. However trivial
may be the event, if it can be described in a way that will make the
reader feel the point of view of the human beings who suffered or
struggled or died or who were made happy in the event, every other human
being will read it with interest. Human sympathy makes one want to feel
joy and pain from the standpoint of others. Naturally that sort of news
is always read; naturally the paper that devotes itself to such news is
always read and is always successful as far as circulation and profits
go. The papers that have that ideal of news behind them and forsake
every other ideal for it are called sensational papers. Whether they are
good or not is another question.

With this idea of what news values means and the idea that news is worth
while only when it interests the largest number of people of all
classes, we may try to look for the things that make news interesting to
the greatest number of people of all classes. The reporter must know not
only what news is, but what makes it news. He must be able to see the
things in a story that will interest the greatest number of people of
all classes. These are many and intricate.

=2. Timeliness.=--In the first place, news must be new. A story must
have timeliness. Our readers want to know what happened to-day, for
yesterday and last week are past and gone. They want to be up to the
minute in their information on current events. Therefore a story that is
worth printing to-day will not be worth printing to-morrow or, at most,
on the day after to-morrow. Events must be chronicled just as soon as
they happen. Furthermore, the story itself must show that it is new. It
must tell the reader at once that the event which it is chronicling
happened to-day or last night--at least since the last edition of the
paper. That is why the reporter must never fail to put the time in the
introduction of his story. Editors grow gray-headed trying to keep up
with the swift passing of events, and they are always very careful to
tell their readers that the events which they are chronicling are the
latest events. That is the reason why every editor hates the word
"yesterday" and tries to get "to-day" or "this morning" into the lead of
every story. Hence, to the newspaper, everything that happened since
midnight last night is labeled "this morning," and everything that
happened since six o'clock yesterday afternoon is labeled "last night."
Anything before that hour must be labeled "yesterday," but it goes in as
"late yesterday afternoon," if it possibly can. Hence the first
principle of news values is timeliness--news is news only because it
just happened and can be spoken of as one of the events of "to-day" or
of "late yesterday."

=3. Distance.=--Distance is another factor in news values. In spite of
fast trains and electric telegraphs human beings are clannish and local
in their interests. They are interested mainly in things and persons
that they know, and news from outside their ken must be of unusual
significance to attract them. They like to read about things that they
have seen and persons that they know, because they are slow to exert
their imaginations enough to appreciate things that they do not know
personally. Hence every newspaper is primarily local, even though it is
a metropolitan daily, and news from a distance plays a very subordinate
part. It has been said that New York papers cannot see beyond the
Alleghanies; it is equally true that most papers cannot see more than a
hundred miles from the printing office, except in the case of national
news. Any newspaper's range of news sources goes out from the editorial
room in concentric circles. Purely personal news must come from within
the range of the paper's general circulation, because people do not care
to read purely personal news about persons whom they do not know. Other
news is limited ordinarily to the region with which the paper's readers
are personally acquainted--the state, perhaps--because subscribers
unconsciously wish to hear about places with which they are personally
acquainted. Any news that comes from outside this larger circle must be
nation-wide or very unusual in its interest. A story that may be worth a
column in El Paso, Texas, would not be worth printing in New York
because El Paso is hardly more than a name to most New York newspaper
readers. In the same way, the biggest stories in New York are not worth
anything in Texas, because Texas readers are not personally interested
in New York--they cannot say, "Yes, I know that building; I walked down
that street the other day; oh, you can't tell me anything about the
subway." News is primarily local, and the first thing a correspondent
must learn is how to distinguish the stories that are purely local in
their interest from those that would be worth printing a hundred miles
away in a paper read by people who do not know the places or persons
involved in the story. Colonel Smith may be a very big frog in the
little puddle of Smith's Corners, and his doings may be big news to the
weeklies all over his county, but he has to do something very unusual
before his name is worth a line in a paper two counties away. He is
nothing but a name to people who do not know him or know of him, and
therefore they are not interested in him. Every correspondent must watch
for the stories that have something more than a local interest, some
element of news in them that will carry them over the obstacle of
distance and make them interesting to any reader.

It would be impossible to analyze news values to the extent of telling
every conceivable element of interest that will overcome the obstacle of
distance. Yet there are certain elements that always make a newspaper
story interesting to any one.

=4. Loss of life.=--One of these is the loss of human life. For some
strange reason every human being is interested in the thought of death.
Just as soon as a story mentions death it is worth printing, and if it
has a number of deaths to tell about it is worth printing anywhere. Any
fire, any railroad wreck, or any other disaster in which a number of
persons are killed or injured makes a story that is worth sending
anywhere. There seems to be a joy for the reader in the mere number of
fatalities. A story that can begin with "Ten people were killed," or
"Seven men met their death," attracts a reader's interest at once. As a
very natural result, and justly, too, newspapers have been broadly
accused of exaggeration for the sake of a large number. But at present
many papers are inclined to underestimate rather than overestimate,
perhaps to avoid this accusation. In a number of instances in the past
year, among them the Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York, the first
figures were smaller than the official count printed later. That does
not mean, however, that newspapers do not want stories involving loss of
life. Any story which involves a large number of fatalities will carry a
long distance, if for no other reason.

=5. Big Names.=--Another element of news values is the interest in
prominent people. The mere mention of a man or a woman who is known
widely attracts attention. Although Colonel Smith of Smith's Corners has
to do something very unusual to get his name in any paper outside his
county, the slightest thing that President Taft does is printed in every
paper in the country. It is simply because of our interest in the man
himself. Some names give a story news value because the names are widely
known politically or financially, some names because they are simply
notorious. But any name that is recognized at once, for any reason,
gives a story news value.

=6. Property Loss.=--Akin to man's love for any account that involves
large loss of human life, is his love of any story that tells about a
huge loss of property. The mere figures seem to have a charm; any story
that can begin with awesome figures, like "Two million dollars," "One
hundred automobiles," "Ten city blocks," has news value. Hence any story
that involves a large loss that can be expressed in figures has the
power to carry a great distance.

=7. Unusualness.=--It is safe to say that newspaper readers are
interested in anything unusual. It does not matter whether it is a
thing, a person, an action, a misfortune; so long as it is strange and
out of the range of ordinary lives, it is interesting. Many, if not
most, newspaper stories have nothing but the element of strangeness in
them to give them news value, but if they are sufficiently strange and
unusual they may be copied all over the country. An unusual origin or an
unusual rescue will give an unimportant fire great news value. And so
with every other kind of story.

=8. Human Interest.=--Along with the element of the strange and unusual,
goes the human interest element. Any story that will make us laugh or
make us cry has news value. Hundreds of magazines are issued monthly
with nothing in them but fictitious stories that are intended to arouse
our emotions, and newspapers are beginning to realize that they can
interest their readers in the same way. No life is so prosaic that it is
not full of incidents that make one laugh or cry, and when these
stories can be told in a way that will make any reader feel the same
emotions, they have news value that will carry them a long distance.
Obviously their success depends very largely upon the way they are told.

=9. Personal Appeal.=--Another element that may give a story news value
is that of personal appeal or application to the reader's own daily
life. Men are primarily egoistic and selfish and nothing interests them
more than things that affect them personally. They can read complacently
and without interest of the misfortunes and joys of others, but just as
soon as anything affects their own daily lives, even a little, they want
to hear about it. Perhaps the price of butter has gone up a few cents or
the gas company has reduced its rates from eighty cents to
seventy-seven. Every reader is interested at once, for the news affects
his own daily life. Sometimes this personal appeal is due merely to the
reader's familiarity with the persons or places mentioned in the story;
sometimes it is due to the story's application to his business life, his
social or religious activities, or to any phase of his daily existence.
That is the reason why political news interests every one, for we all
feel that the management of the government has an influence on our own
lives. The story of any political maneuver--especially if it is one
that may be looked upon as bad or good--carries farther than any other
story. Show that your story tells of something that has even the
slightest effect on the lives of a large number of people and it needs
no other element to give it news value.

=10. Local Reasons.=--These factors and many others give news stories a
news value that will carry them a long distance and make them
interesting in communities far from their source. Many local reasons may
enhance the value of a story for local papers. A paper's policy or some
campaign that it is waging may give an otherwise unimportant event a
tremendous significance. If an unimportant person is slightly injured
while leaving a trolley car the story is hardly worth a line of type.
But if such an item should come to a newspaper while it is carrying on a
campaign against the local street railway company, the story would
probably be written and printed in great detail. Any slight occurrence
that may be in line with a paper's political beliefs would receive an
amount of space far out of proportion with its ordinary news worth. News
value is a very changeable and indefinite thing, and there are countless
reasons why any given story should be of interest to a large number of
readers. And the possibility of interesting a large number of readers is
the basis of news value.

=11. The Feature.=--In connection with the study of news values the
question of feature is important. In editorial offices one is constantly
hearing the word "feature," and reporters are constantly admonished to
"play up the feature" of their stories. Feature is the word that editors
use to signify the essence of news value. Every story that is printed is
printed because of some fact in it that makes it interesting--gives it
news value. The element in the story that makes it interesting and worth
printing is the feature. The feature may be some prominent name, a large
list of fatalities, a significant amount of property destroyed, or
merely the unusualness of the incident. This feature is the element that
makes the story news; therefore it is used to attract attention to the
story. Every newspaper story displays like a placard in its headlines
the reason why it was printed--the element in it that makes it
interesting. "Playing up the feature" is simply the act of bringing this
feature to the front so that it will attract attention to the story.
Just how this is done we shall see later. But when, as a reporter, you
are looking for a feature to play up in your lead, remember that the
feature to be played up is the thing in the story that gives the story
news value. And few stories have more than one claim to news value, more
than one feature.



The newspaper vernacular that is used in the editorial and press rooms
of any daily paper is a curious mixture of literary abbreviations and
technical printing terms. It is the result of the strange mingling of
the literary trade of writing with the mechanical trade of setting type.
For that reason a green reporter has difficulty in understanding the
instructions that he receives until he has been in the office long
enough to learn the office slang. It would be impossible to list all of
the expressions that might be heard in one day, but a knowledge of the
commonest words will enable a reporter to get the drift of his editor's

When a young man secures a position as reporter for a newspaper he
begins as a _cub reporter_ and is usually said to be on the _staff_ of
his paper. His sphere of activity is confined to the _editorial_ room,
where the news is written; his relations with the _business office_,
where advertising, circulation, and other business matters are handled,
consists of the weekly duty of drawing his pay. His chief enemies are in
the _printing office_ where his literary efforts are _set up_ in type
and printed. His superiors are called _editors_ and exist in varying
numbers, depending upon the size of his paper. The man who directs the
reporters is usually called the _city editor_, or perhaps the _day_ or
_night city editor_; above him there are managing editors and other
persons in authority with whom the cub is not concerned; and the favored
mortals who enjoy a room by themselves and write nothing but editorials
are called editors or _editorial writers_. There may also be a
_telegraph_ editor, a _sporting_ editor, a _Sunday_ editor, and many
other editors; or if the paper is small and poor all of these editors
may be condensed into one very busy man. On a city daily of average size
there are _desk men_, or _copyreaders_, who work under editorial
direction but feel superior to the reporter because they correct his
literary efforts.

The reporter's work consists of gathering and writing news. In the
office this is called _covering_ and writing _stories_. He is ordinarily
put on a _beat_, or _run_; this is simply a daily route or round of news
sources which he follows as regularly as a policeman walks his beat. The
reporter's work on a special story outside his beat is called an
_assignment_. Any hint that he may receive concerning a bit of news is
called a _tip_. Any bit of news that he secures to the exclusion of his
paper's rivals is called a _beat_, or a _scoop_.

Everything that is written for the paper, whether it be a two-line
personal item or a two-column report, is called a _story_, or a _yarn_,
and from the time the story is written until it appears in the printed
paper it is called _copy_. If the story is well written and needs few
corrections it is called _clean copy_. After the story is written it is
turned over to the copyreader to be _edited_. The copyreader corrects it
and writes the headlines or _heads_; then he sends it to the composing
room to be set in type by the _compositor_. The story itself is usually
set up on a linotype machine and the heads are set up by hand. For the
sake of keeping the two parts of the copy together the reporter or the
copyreader ordinarily gives the story a name, such as "Fire No. 2"; the
bit of lead on which the name is printed is called a _slug_ and the
story is said to be _slugged_. If at any time in its journey from the
reporter's pencil to the printed page, the editor decides not to print
the story, he _kills_ it; otherwise he _runs_ it, or allows it to go
into the paper. When the story is in type, an impression, or _proof_, is
taken of it, and this proof, still called copy, comes back to the
copyreader or the proofreader for the correction of typographical
errors. The gathering together of all of the day's stories into the form
of the final printed page is called _making up_ the paper; this is
usually done by some one of the editors. In like manner, the finished
aspect of the paper is called the _make-up_.

Some stories are said to be _big stories_ because of unusual news value.
When any news comes unexpectedly it is said to _break_; and when any
story comes in beforehand and must be held over, it is said to be
_released_ on the day on which it may be printed. The first paragraph of
any story is called the _lead_ (pronounced "leed"); the word _lead_ is
also used to designate several introductory paragraphs that are tacked
on at the beginning of a long story, which may be of the nature of a
_running story_ (as the running story of a football game), or may be
made up of several parts, written by one or more reporters. In general,
that part of a story which presents the gist or summary of the entire
story at the beginning is called the _lead_. The most interesting thing
in the story, the part that gives it news value, is called the
_feature_, and _playing up the feature_ consists in telling the most
interesting thing in the first line of the lead or in the headline. An
entire story is said to be _played up_ if it is given a prominent place
in the paper. A _feature story_ is either a story that is thus played
up or a story that is written for some other reason than news value,
such as human interest. When a story is rewritten to give a new interest
to old facts it is called a _rewrite story_; when it is rewritten to
include new facts or developments, it is called a _follow-up_,
_second-day_, or _follow story_.

Because of the close relation between the editorial room and the
printing office many printing terms are commonly heard about the
editorial room. All copy is measured by the _column_ and by the
_stickful_. A column is usually a little less than 1,500 words and a
stickful is the amount of type that can be set in a compositor's
_stick_, the metal frame used in setting type by hand--about two inches
or 100 words. A bit of copy that is set up with a border or a row of
stars about it is said to be _boxed_. Whenever copy is set with extra
space between the lines it is said to be _leaded_ (pronounced
"leded")--the name is taken from the piece of lead that is placed
between the lines of type. The reporter must gradually learn the names
of the various kinds of type and the various proofreader's signs that
are used to indicate the way in which the type is to be set, for the
whole work of writing the news is governed and limited by the mechanical
possibilities of the printing office. The commonest signs used by the
proofreader or the copyreader, together with instructions for preparing
copy, are given in the Style Book at the end of this volume. (A complete
list of proofreader's signs can be found in the back of any large
dictionary.) _Style_ is a word which editors use to cover a multitude of
rules, arbitrary or otherwise, concerning capitalization, punctuation,
abbreviation, etc. A paper that uses many capital letters is said to
follow an _up_ style, and a paper that uses small letters instead of
capitals whenever there is a choice is said to follow a _down_ style.
Every newspaper has its own style and usually prints its rules in a
Style Book; the Style Book given in this volume has been compiled from
many representative newspaper style books. It sets forth an average
style and the beginner is advised to follow it closely in his practice
writing--for, as editors say, "uniformity is better than a strict
following of style."



When we come to the writing of the news we find that there are many
sorts of stories that must be written. In the newspaper office they are
called simply stories without distinction. For the purpose of study they
may be classified to some extent, but this classification must not be
taken as hard and fast. The commonest kind of story is the simple news
story. Practically all newspaper reports are news stories, but as
distinguished from other kinds of reports the simple news story is the
report of some late event or occurrence. It is usually concerned with
unexpected news, and is the commonest kind of story in any newspaper. It
is to be distinguished from reports of speeches, interview stories,
court reports, social news, dramatic news, sporting news, human-interest
stories, and all the rest. The distinction is largely one of form and
does not exist to any great extent in a newspaper office where all
stories are simply "stories."

The simple news story is probably the most variable part of a newspaper.
Given the same facts, each individual reporter will write the story in
his individual way and each editor will change it to suit his individual
taste. No two newspapers have exactly the same ideal form of news story
and no newspaper is able to live up to its individual ideal in each

But there are general tendencies. Certain things are true of all news
stories; whether the story be the baldest recital of facts or the most
sensational featuring of an imaginary thrill in a commonplace happening,
certain characteristics are always present. And these characteristics
can always be traced to one cause--the effort to catch and hold the
reader's interest. When a busy American glances over his newspaper while
he sips his breakfast coffee or while he clings to a strap on the way to
his office, he reads only the stories that catch his interest--and he
reads down the column in any one story only so long as his interest is
maintained. Hence the ideal news story is one which will catch the
reader's attention by its beginning and hold his interest to the very
end. This is the principle of all newspaper writing.

The interest depends, in a large measure, on the way the facts are
presented. True, certain facts are in themselves more interesting to a
casual reader than others, but just as truly other less interesting
facts may be made as interesting through the reporter's skill. The most
interesting of stories may lose its interest if poorly presented, and
facts of the most commonplace nature may be made attractive enough to
hold the reader to the last word. The aim of every reporter and of every
editor is to make every story so attractive and interesting that the
most casual reader cannot resist reading it.

In the old days news stories were written in the logical order of events
just like any other narrative, but constant change has brought about a
new form, as different and individual as any other form of expression.
Unlike any other imaginable piece of writing, the news story discloses
its most interesting facts first. It does not lead the reader up to a
startling bit of news by a tantalizing suspense in an effort to build up
a surprise for him; it tells its most thrilling content first and trusts
to his interest to lead him on through the details that should logically
precede the real news. Therefore every editor admonishes his reporters
"to give the gist of the news first and the details later."

There are other reasons for this peculiar reversal of the logical order
of narrative. Few readers have time to read the whole of every story,
and yet they want to get the news--in the shortest possible time.
Therefore the newspaper very kindly tells the important part of each
story at the beginning. Then if the reader cares to hear the details he
can read the rest of the story; but he gets the news, anyway. Again, if
the exigencies of making up the stories into a paper of mechanically
limited space require that a story be cut down, the editor may slash off
a paragraph or two at the end without depriving the story of its
interest. Imagine the difficulty of cutting down a story that is told in
its logical order! If the real news of the story were in the last
paragraph it would go in the slashing, and what would be left? Whereas,
if the gist of the story comes first the editor may run any number of
paragraphs or even the first paragraph alone and still have a complete

The arrangement of news stories in American newspapers is thus a very
natural one, resulting from the exigencies of the business. Just how to
fit every story to this arrangement is a difficult task. However, there
are certain rules that the reporter may apply to each story, and these
are very simple.

In the first place, almost every story has a feature--there is some one
thing in it that is out of the ordinary, something that gives it
interest and news value beyond the interest in the incident behind it.
No two stories have the same interesting features; if they had, only
one of them would be worth printing and that would be the first. This
extraordinary feature the reporter must see at once. If a building burns
he must see quickly what incident in the occurrence will be of interest
to readers who are reading of many fires every day. If John Smith falls
off a street car the reporter must discover some interesting fact in
connection with Mr. Smith's misfortune that will be new and attractive
to readers who do not know John and are bored with accounts of other
Smiths' accidents. The accident itself may be interesting, but the part
of the accident that is out of the ordinary--the thing that gives the
accident news value--is the feature of the story, and the reporter must
tell it first.

Thoroughly determined to tell the most interesting part, the gist, of
his story in the first paragraph, the reporter must remember that there
are certain other things about the incident that the reader wants to
know just as quickly. There are certain questions which arise in the
reader's mind when the occurrence is suggested, and these questions must
be answered as quickly as they are asked. The questions usually take the
form of _when?_ _where?_ _what?_ _who?_ _how?_ _why?_ If a man falls off
the street car we are eager to know at once who he was, although we
probably do not know him, anyway; where it happened; when it happened;
how he fell; and why he fell. If there is a fire we immediately ask what
burned; where it was; when it burned; how it burned; and what caused it
to burn. And the reporter must answer these questions with the same
breath that tells us that a man fell off the car or that there was any
fire at all.

The effort to answer these questions at once has led to the peculiar
form of introduction characteristic of every newspaper story. Newspaper
people call it the lead. It is really nothing but the statement of the
briefest possible answers to all these questions in one sentence or one
short paragraph. It tells the whole story in its baldest aspects and
aims to satisfy the reader who wants only the gist of the story and does
not care for the details. When all his questions have been answered in
one breath he is ready to read the details one at a time, but he won't
be satisfied if he must read all about how the fire was discovered
before he is told what building burned, when it burned, etc. For

             |  Fire of unknown origin caused the     |
             |practical destruction of the famous old |
             |"Crow's Nest," at Tenth and Cedar       |
             |streets, perhaps the best known and     |
             |oldest landmark in the Second ward,     |
             |yesterday afternoon.--_Milwaukee Free   |
             |Press._                                 |

This is the lead of an ordinary news story--a newspaper report of a
fire. The lead begins with "Fire" because the story has no unusual
feature--no element in it that is more interesting than the fact that
there was a fire. The reporter considers "Fire" the most important part
of his story and begins with it. As soon as we read the word "Fire" we
ask, "When?"--"Where?"--"What?"--"Why?"--"How?" The reporter answers us
in the same sentence with his announcement, "yesterday afternoon"--"at
Tenth and Cedar Streets"--"the famous old 'Crow's Nest,' perhaps the
best known and oldest landmark in the Second ward"--"unknown origin."
_How_ is not worth answering, in this case, beyond the statement that
the destruction was practically complete. Thus the reporter has told us
his bit of news and answered our most obvious questions about it at the
very beginning of his story--in one sentence. According to newspaper
rules this is a good lead. The order of the answers will be considered
later. For the present we are concerned only with the facts that the
lead must contain.



The simplest news story is the story which has no feature--which has no
fact in it more important than the incident which it reports--e.g., the
fire at the end of the last chapter. If we recall the various elements
of news value we note that any incident may be given greater news value
by the presence of some unusual or interesting feature--a great loss of
life, an unusual time, a strikingly large loss of property, or simply a
well-known name. Such a story is called a story with a feature, because
its interest depends not so much on the incident itself as upon the
unusual feature within the incident. On the other hand, many news
stories do not have features. Many stories are worth printing simply
because of the incident which they report, without any unusual feature
within them. For example, a building may burn with no loss of life, no
great loss of property, and no striking occurrence in connection with
the burning. Such a fire is worth reporting, but there is no fact in
the story more interesting than the fact that there was a fire; the
story has no feature.

The leads of these two kinds of stories are different. When a story has
a feature it is customary to play up that feature in the first line of
the lead. If the story has no feature, is simply the record of a
commonplace event, the lead merely announces the incident and answers
the reader's questions about it.

The commonest of featureless stories is the simple fire story in which
nothing out of the ordinary happens, no one is killed, no striking
rescues take place, and no tremendous amount of property is destroyed.
This may be taken as typical of all featureless stories. The reporter,
in writing a report of such a fire, merely answers in the lead the
questions _when_, _where_, _what_, _why_, and perhaps _how_, that the
reader asks concerning the fire. The most striking part of the story is
that there was a fire; hence the story begins with "Fire." For example:

             |  Fire today wrecked the top of the       |
             |six-story warehouse at 393 to 395         |
             |Washington street, used by the United     |
             |States army as a medical supply           |
             |store-room for the Department of the      |
             |East. Capt. Edwin Wolf, who is in charge  |
             |of the warehouse, says the loss on tents, |
             |blankets, cots, and other bedding stored  |
             |on the floors of the building was         |
             |large.--_New York Mail._                  |

As one reads down through the rest of the story he finds nothing more
striking than the fact that there was a fire. Therefore there is no
particular feature. No one was killed; no one was injured; the loss was
not extraordinary for a New York fire--nothing in the story is of
greater interest than the mere fact that there was a fire. Hence the
story begins with the word "Fire." Notice that it does not begin "A
fire" or "The fire"--for the simple reason that the word _fire_ does not
need an article before it. The editor will also tell you that it is not
considered good to begin a story with an article, for the beginning is
the most important part of a story and it is foolish to waste that
advantageous place on unimportant words.

The first word tells the reader that there has been a fire. He
immediately asks where?--what burned?--when?--how much was lost? And the
reporter proceeds to answer his questions in their order of importance.
The reporter who wrote this story apparently thought that the time was
of greatest importance and slipped it in at once--"today." He might just
as well have left the time until the end of the sentence because it is
not of very great interest. He considers the question "_Where_" of next
importance, and answers with "the top of the six-story warehouse at 393
to 395 Washington Street." The question "what?" he answers with a
clause, "used by the United States army as a medical supply store-room
for the Department of the East." He does not try to answer the question
"_why_?" because, as the rest of the story tells us, no one knew exactly
what caused the fire. And as for the "_How_?" there is nothing
extraordinary in the way that it burned beyond the fact that it burned.
Thus, in one sentence, he has answered all four questions about the
fire, except a little query concerning the amount of the loss. That he
considers worth a separate sentence of details.

This is not a perfect lead. Many editors would consider it faulty, but
it illustrates one way of writing the lead of a featureless fire story.
Obviously there are faults; for instance, the time is given an undue
amount of emphasis and the cause is omitted.

Suppose that we construct another lead from the same story--a lead which
would be more in accordance with the logic of newspaper writing. We
shall begin with the word "fire," but after it we shall slip in a little
mention of the cause since to the reader not directly acquainted with
the property that point is always of the greatest importance. Then we
shall tell where the fire was and after that what was burned. And last
of all we shall give the time since that is of least importance to the
average reader. This would be the result:

             |  Fire of unknown origin wrecked the top  |
             |of the six-story warehouse at 393-395     |
             |Washington street, used by the United     |
             |States army as a medical supply           |
             |store-room for the Department of the      |
             |East, destroying a large number of tents, |
             |blankets, cots, and other bedding, today. |

We might as well have put the _what_ before the _where_ or altered the
lead in any other way. But we would always begin with the word "fire"
and answer all the questions that the reader might ask--in one short
simple sentence. This constitutes our lead. We have told the casual
reader what he wants to know about the fire. We give him more details
about the fire if he wants to read them, but after we have stated the
case clearly in the lead we no longer reckon his time so carefully and
allow ourselves some latitude in the telling. After the lead we begin
the story from the beginning and tell it in its logical order from start
to finish, always bearing in mind that the editor may chop off a
paragraph or two at the end.

Hence the second paragraph of the story as it appeared in _The Mail_

             |  John Smith, a man employed in the      |
             |stock-room on the sixth floor, saw smoke |
             |rolling out of one corner and notified   |
             |other employees in the building, while   |
             |Patrolman Hogan turned in an alarm.      |

We are back at the beginning now and telling things as they came. The
next paragraph of the story tells us how they fought the fire, and the
third tells us how they finally brought it under control. The last
paragraph of the story reads:

             |  There are three such warehouses in the  |
             |country, one at St. Louis, another at San |
             |Francisco, but the one in this city is by |
             |far the largest. In it are kept supplies  |
             |for the Departments of the East, Gulf,    |
             |Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines.    |

The editor of _The Mail_ had plenty of space that day and saw fit to run
this last paragraph, but we should not have lost much had he chopped it
off. Perhaps the reporter's copy contained still another paragraph
telling about Captain Wolf, but that did not pass the editorial pencil.
Even more of the story might have been slashed without depriving us of
much of the interesting news.

Judging from the above story a newspaper account is divided into two
separate and independent parts: the lead and the detailed account. The
lead is written for the casual reader and contains all the necessary
facts about the fire; it may stand alone and constitute a story in
itself. The detailed account is written for the reader who wants to hear
more about the incident, and is written in the logical order of
events--with an eye to the danger of the editor's pencil threatening the
last paragraphs. In other words, the reporter tells his story briefly in
one paragraph and then goes back and tells it all over again in a more
detailed way. If the story is of sufficient importance the second
telling may not be sufficient and he may go back a third time to the
beginning and tell it again with still greater detail--but that is
another matter. For the present we shall consider only the lead and the
first detailed account.

There are certain other points to be noticed in the report of a
featureless fire. Under no condition should it begin with the time. Why?
Because, unless the time is of extreme interest, no one cares
particularly when the fire occurred. And if the time is of great
interest--as, for instance, if a church should burn while the
congregation is in it--then the time becomes a feature to be played up
and the story is no longer a featureless story. We are now considering
stories in which nothing is of greater interest than the mere fact that
there was a fire.

The same is true of the location. Who cares what street the fire was on
until he knows more about the fire? If the location were of such
significant importance as to be played up, the story would no longer be
a featureless story.

The paragraphing is also important. Since the lead is in itself a
separate part of the story it should always be paragraphed separately.
Do not let the beginning of the detailed account lap over into the lead,
and do not introduce into the first paragraph any facts which are not
absolutely a part of the lead--that is, facts that are absolutely
essential to a general knowledge of the fire. When once you begin to
tell the story in detail tell it logically and paragraph it logically.
Do not tell us that John Smith discovered the fire and that the loss is
$500 in the same paragraph. Take up each point separately and treat it
fully before you leave it--then begin a new paragraph for the next item.

                  *       *       *       *       *

To take a hypothetical case, suppose that misfortune visits the home of
John H. Jones, who lives at 79 Liberty Street. A defective flue sets his
house on fire and it burns to the ground. By inquiry we find that the
house is worth about $4,000 and is fully insured.

There is nothing particularly striking about the story. We are sorry for
Mr. Jones, but many houses worth $4,000 are set on fire by poor
chimneys and many more houses burn down. No one was hurt, no one was
killed; the most striking part of it all is that there was a fire. We
would begin with the word "Fire." Perhaps our readers would be most
interested in the cause of the fire and we shall tell them that first.
Then we shall tell them what burned, when it burned, and where it stood.
There is nothing else that a casual reader would want to know and the
lead would read:

             |  Fire starting in a defective chimney    |
             |destroyed the residence of John H. Jones, |
             |79 Liberty street, at midnight last       |
             |night, causing a loss of $4,000, covered  |
             |by insurance.                             |

Our casual reader is satisfied. For the reader who wishes to know more
about the fire we add a paragraph or two of detail. First, we may tell
him who discovered the fire; then how the Jones family managed to
escape; and after that how the fire was extinguished, and we might slip
in a paragraph explaining just what trouble in the chimney made a fire
possible. The editor may chop off any number of paragraphs or cut the
story down to the lead, and yet our readers will get the facts and know
just exactly what was the reason for the fire bell and the red sky at
midnight last night.



A fire story without a feature begins with "Fire" because there is
nothing in the story more interesting than the fact that there has been
a fire. Such was the case in the burning of John Jones's house in the
last chapter. But just as soon as any part of the story becomes more
interesting than the fact that there was a fire, the story is no longer
featureless--it is a fire story with a feature, or, for the purposes of
our study, _a feature fire story_. This feature may be related to the
story in one of two ways. In the first place, the answer to some one of
the reader's questions may be the feature--e.g., the answer to _when_,
_where_, _what_, _how_, _why_, _who_. On the other hand, the feature may
be in some unexpected attendant circumstance that the reader would not
think of; for instance, loss of life, an interesting rescue, or
something of that sort. Such a distinction is entirely arbitrary and
would not be considered in a newspaper office, but it will make the
matter simpler for the purposes of study.


(_When_, _Where_, _What_, _How_, _Why_, _Who_).

Suppose that John Jones's house did not burn in the usual way--suppose
that there is some striking incident in the story that makes it
different from other fire stories. The story has a feature. Perhaps the
answer to some one of the reader's customary questions is more
interesting than the answers to the others--so much more interesting
that it supersedes even the fact that there was a fire. Then it would be
foolish to begin with the mere word "fire" when we have something more
interesting to tell. The fire takes a second place and we begin with the
interesting fact that supersedes it. For the present we shall consider
that this interesting fact is the answer to one of the questions that
the reader always asks; for instance, why the house burned or when it

=1. Why.=--Perhaps Mr. Jones's house was set on fire in a very unusual
way. There was a little party in session at the Jones's and some one
decided to take a flash-light picture. The flash-light set fire to a
lace curtain and before any one could stop it the house was afire. Few
fires begin in that way, and our readers would be very interested in
hearing about it. The story has a feature in the answer to the reader's
_Why?_ And so we would begin our lead in this way:

             |  A flashlight setting fire to a lace    |
             |curtain started a fire which destroyed   |
             |the residence of John H. Jones, 79       |
             |Liberty street, at 11 o'clock last night |
             |and caused a loss of $4,000.             |

In this way the feature is played up at the beginning of the sentence,
and yet the rest of the reader's questions are answered in the same
sentence and he knows a great deal about the fire. Or, leaving Mr. Jones
to his fate, we may give another example of an unusual cause taken from
a newspaper. This was a big fire, and yet the unusual cause was of
greater interest than the fire itself or the amount of property

             |  A tiny "joss stick," the lighted end of|
             |which was no larger than a pinhead, is   |
             |thought to have been responsible for a   |
             |fire that destroyed the White City       |
             |Amusement Park at Broad Ripple last      |
             |night. The loss to the amusement company |
             |is $161,000.--_Indianapolis News._       |

=2. Where.=--To return to Mr. Jones, there may have been some other
incident in the burning of his house aside from the cause that was of
exceptional interest. Let us say that his house stood in a part of the
town where a fire was to be feared. Perhaps it stood within twenty feet
of the new First Congregational Church. The burning of Jones's house
would then be insignificant in comparison to the danger to the costly
edifice beside it, and our readers would be more interested in an item
concerning their church. The answer to _Where?_ is more interesting than
the fire itself. Hence we would bury, so to speak, Mr. Jones's
misfortune behind the greater danger, and the story would read:

             |  Fire endangered the new First          |
             |Congregational Church on Liberty street, |
             |erected at a cost of $100,000, when the  |
             |home of J. H. Jones, in the rear of the  |
             |church, was destroyed at midnight last   |
             |night.                                   |


             |  The First Congregational Church,       |
             |recently built at a cost of $100,000, was|
             |seriously threatened by a fire which     |
             |destroyed the residence of John H. Jones,|
             |78 Liberty street, within twenty feet of |
             |the church, at midnight last night.      |

Turning again to the daily papers, we can find many fire stories in
which the location of the burned structure is important enough to take
the first line of the lead. Here is one:

             |  The Plaza Hotel had a few uncomfortable|
             |moments last night when flames from a    |
             |building adjoining at 22 West Fifty-ninth|
             |street were shooting up as high as the   |
             |tenth story of the hotel and the fire    |
             |apparatus which responded to the delayed |
             |alarm was looking for the blaze several  |
             |blocks away.--_New York Sun._            |

=3. When.=--Sometimes the time of the fire is very interesting. John H.
Jones's house may have caught fire from a very insignificant thing and
its location may have been unimportant, but the fire may have come at an
unusual time. Perhaps Mr. Jones's daughter was being married at a quiet
home wedding in her father's house and in the midst of the ceremony the
roof of the house burst into flames. The unusual time would be
interesting; the answer to _When?_ would be the feature. We might write
the lead thus:

             |  During the wedding of Miss Mary Jones  |
             |at the home of her father, John H. Jones,|
             |78 Liberty street, last night, the house |
             |suddenly burst into flames and the bridal|
             |party was compelled to flee into the     |
             |street.                                  |


             |  Fire interrupted the wedding of Miss   |
             |Mary Jones at her father's home, 78      |
             |Liberty street, last night, when the     |
             |house caught fire from a defective       |
             |chimney during the ceremony.             |

The daily papers furnish many illustrations of fires at unusual
times--here is one:

             |When the snowstorm was at its height     |
             |early this morning, a three-story brick  |
             |building at Nos. 4410-18 Third Avenue,   |
             |Brooklyn, caught fire, and the flames    |
             |spread rapidly to an adjoining tenement, |
             |sending a small crowd of shivering       |
             |tenants into the icy street.--_New York  |
             |Post._                                   |

=4. What.=--(_a_) _The Burned Building._--Many fire stories have their
feature in the answer to the reader's _What?_ Not infrequently the
building itself is of great importance. Naturally "The residence of John
H. Jones" would not make a good beginning, if John Jones is not well
known, because people would be more interested in reading about a mere
fire than in reading about the residence of John H. Jones, whom they do
not know. For it must be remembered that it is the first line that
catches the reader's eye and the interest or lack of interest in the
first line determines whether or not the story is to be read. Now,
suppose that a building that is very well known burns--the City Hall,
the Albany State House, the Herald Square Theater--the mere mention of
the building will attract the reader's attention. Therefore the reporter
begins with the answer to _What?_ the name of the building, as in the
following cases:

             |  GLENS FALLS, N. Y., Aug. 17.--The      |
             |Kaatskill House, for many years a popular|
             |Lake George resort, was completely       |
             |destroyed by fire this forenoon.--_New   |
             |York Times._                             |

             |  The First M. E. Church of Chelsea,     |
             |familiarly known as the Cary avenue      |
             |church, was damaged last night to the    |
             |amount of $7,000 by fire.--_Boston       |
             |Herald._                                 |

(_b_) _The Amount of Property Destroyed._--The answer to _What burned?_
is not necessarily a building, for the building itself may not be worth
featuring. The contents of the building may be more interesting,
especially if the amount of property destroyed can be put in striking
terms, such as $2,000,000 worth of property, or two thousand chickens,
or fifty-three automobiles, or 7,000 gallons of whisky. These figures
printed at the beginning of the first paragraph catch the reader's eye,

             |  Five automobiles, valued at $5,800, and|
             |property amounting to $6,200 were        |
             |destroyed last evening when fire broke in|
             |the repair shop of the G. W. Browne Motor|
             |company, 228-232 Wisconsin street, near  |
             |the North-Western station.--_Milwaukee   |
             |Sentinel._                               |

=5. How.=--Very rarely the manner in which a fire burns is quite unique
and deserves featuring. It is inconceivable that John Jones's house
could burn in any very unusual way--"with many explosions," "with a
glare of flames that aroused the whole city," "with vast clouds of oily
smoke"--but some fires do burn in some such a way and are interesting
only for the way they burned. The following story begins with the answer
to _How?_ although the manner might be described more explicitly:

             |  Stubborn fires have been fought in the |
             |past, but one of the hardest blazes to   |
             |conquer that the local department ever   |
             |contended with gutted the plant of N.    |
             |Drucker & Co., manufacturers of trunks   |
             |and valises, at the northwest corner of  |
             |Ninth and Broadway, last                 |
             |night.--_Cincinnati Commercial Tribune._ |

=6. Who.=--Just as it would be foolish to begin with "the residence of
John Jones," since the building is not well known, it would not be
advisable to begin with John Jones's name, no matter what part he
played. John Jones is not well known and so to the newspaper he is just
a man and is treated impersonally regardless of what he does or what
happens to him. Our interest in him is entirely impersonal, and all we
want to know about him is what he has done or what has happened to him.
Therefore few reporters would begin a story with John Jones's name.
However, let some man who is well known do or suffer the slightest thing
and his name immediately lends interest to the story--and therefore
commands first place in the introduction. If John D. Rockefeller should
even witness a fire, or if President Taft should be in the slightest way
connected with a fire, the mere fire story would shrink into
significance behind the name. And so, very often it is advisable to
begin a fire story with a name, if the name is of sufficient prominence.
It is not necessary that the well-known man's property be destroyed or
even endangered for his name to have the first place in the first
sentence of the lead; if the well-known man has anything whatever to do
with the fire his name should be featured because to the average reader
the interest in his name overshadows any interest in the fire. In this
example, the name overshadows a striking loss of property and the story
begins with the answer to _Who?_

             |  NEW YORK, Nov. 6.--While Clendenin J.  |
             |Ryan, son of Thomas F. Ryan, the traction|
             |magnate, and a band of volunteer fire    |
             |fighters--many of them                   |
             |millionaires--fought a blaze which       |
             |started in the garage of young Ryan's    |
             |country estate near Suffern, N. Y., early|
             |in the morning, three valuable           |
             |automobiles, seven thoroughbred horses   |
             |and several outbuildings were totally    |
             |destroyed.--_Milwaukee Sentinel._        |

It will be seen that in each of the above feature fire stories some
incident in the fire, or connected with the fire, overshadows the mere
fact that there was a fire and makes it advisable to begin the story of
the fire with the fact or incident of unusual interest. Furthermore, in
each of these stories the unusual feature in the story is a direct
answer to one of the reader's questions--_when?_ _where?_ _how?_ _what?_
_why?_ _who?_ In other words, the reporter in answering these questions,
as he must in the lead of every story, finds the answer to one question
so much more interesting than the answer to any of the other questions
that he puts it first. In every fire story, however, the feature is not
so easily discovered.


There are other things in the day's fire stories, besides the answers to
the reader's questions, that may overshadow the rest of the story and
deserve to be featured. Very often there are unexpected attendant
circumstances occurring simultaneously with the fire or resulting from
the fire to command our interest. Perhaps a number of people are killed
or injured; then we want to know about them first, and the reporter
neglects to answer our questions for the moment while he tells us the
startling attendant circumstances that we had not expected. Even so,
while giving first place to the feature, he does not forget our
questions but answers them in the same sentence. Hence the introduction
of a fire story with significant attendant circumstances begins with the
startling fact resulting from the fire and then goes on to answer the
reader's questions--in the same sentence.

This is not so difficult as it may sound. Suppose that when John Jones's
house burns there is a stiff breeze blowing and the chances are that all
the other houses in the block will go with it. All of his neighbors
become frightened and work with feverish haste to move their household
goods out into the street. In the end the fire department succeeds in
confining the fire to Mr. Jones's house and his neighbors promptly carry
their chattels back indoors thanking the god of good luck. Now the mere
fact that John Jones's house burned down is rather insignificant beside
the fact that a dozen families were driven from their homes by the fire.
Therefore the reporter would begin thus:

             |  Twelve families were driven from their |
             |homes by a fire which destroyed the      |
             |residence of John H. Jones, 78 Liberty   |
             |street, at 11 o'clock last night. The    |
             |fire was at length kept from spreading   |
             |and the neighboring residences were      |
             |reoccupied.                              |

Or to take an incident from the daily press in which the neighbors were
not so fortunate; although they might have entirely lost their homes:

             |  Twenty-two families in the six-story   |
             |tenement at 147 Orchard street were      |
             |routed out of the house twice early today|
             |by fires which caused a great deal of    |
             |smoke, but little real damage.--_New York|
             |Mail._                                   |

=1. Death.=--(a) _Number of Dead._--The most usual attendant
circumstances that will come to our notice is death in the fire. Let us
say that Mr. Jones's three children were alone in the house and burned
to death. Their death would be of more interest to us than the burning
of their father's house--and our story would necessarily begin in this

             |  Three children were burned to death in |
             |a fire which destroyed the home of their |
             |father, John H. Jones, 78 Liberty street,|
             |last night.                              |

So common is death in connection with fire that almost every day's paper
contains one or more stories beginning "Ten persons were cremated----"
or "Four firemen were killed----" And in every case the loss of human
life is considered of greater importance than any other incident in the
story, and the number of dead always takes precedence over many another
startling feature. Here are a few examples:

             |  JOHNSTOWN, Pa., Jan. 18.--Seven men    |
             |were cremated in a fire that burned to   |
             |the ground three double houses near      |
             |Berlin, Somerset County, early this      |
             |morning.--_New York Sun._                |

             |  Three children of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard |
             |Lindberg, 3328 Nineteenth avenue south,  |
             |were cremated in a fire which destroyed  |
             |their home shortly after 12 o'clock      |
             |yesterday. The children had been left    |
             |alone in the house, shut up in their     |
             |bedroom, etc.--_St. Paul Pioneer Press._ |

             |  One fireman was killed, another fireman|
             |and a woman were injured and eight people|
             |escaped death by a narrow margin Saturday|
             |night in a fire which destroyed the,     |
             |etc.--_Milwaukee Sentinel._              |

             |  NEW YORK, March 27.--One hundred and   |
             |forty-one persons are dead as a result   |
             |of the fire which on Saturday afternoon  |
             |swept the three upper floors of the      |
             |factory loft building at the northwest   |
             |corner of Washington place and Greene    |
             |street. More than three-quarters of this |
             |number are women and girls, who were     |
             |employed in the Triangle Shirt Waist     |
             |factory, where the fire                  |
             |originated.--_Boston Transcript._        |

(b) _List of Dead._--When the number of dead or injured reaches any very
significant figure it is customary to make a table of dead and injured.
This table is usually set into the story close after the lead, but very
often the list is put in a "box" and slipped in above the story. In
writing the story, however, the reporter disregards the table and begins
his lead as if there were no table: e.g., "Twelve firemen were killed
and fourteen injured in a fire----" The list usually gives the name,
address (or some other identification), and the nature of the injury,

             |            =Injured Firemen:=           |
             |                                         |
             |Capt. Frank Makal, Engine Co. No. 4,     |
             |cut by glass.                            |
             |                                         |
             |Acting Captain W. E. Brown, fire boat    |
             |No. 23, cut by glass.                    |
             |                                         |
             |Peter Ryan, No. 15, flying               |
             |glass.--_Milwaukee Free Press._          |


             |              =The Dead:=                |
             |                                         |
             |Mrs. Charles Smith, 14 W. Gorham         |
             |street.                                  |
             |                                         |
             |John Johnson, 1193 Chatham street.       |
             |                                         |
             |            =The Injured:=               |
             |                                         |
             |Thomas Green, 1111 Grand street; face    |
             |cut by flying glass.                     |
             |                                         |
             |James Brown, 176 Orchard avenue;         |
             |internal injuries; may die.              |

(c) _Manner of Death._--A number of fatalities at the beginning always
attracts attention. Not infrequently the manner or the cause, especially
in the case of a single death, is worth the first place in the lead--not
as "One man killed----" but as "Crushed beneath a falling wall, a man
was killed." If a man burns to death in a very unusual way, or for an
unusual reason, we are more interested in the way he was burned, or the
reason that he burned, than in the mere fact that he was burned to
death. The first line then tells us how or why he was burned. Thus:

             |  To save his money, which he hoped would|
             |some day raise him from the rank of a    |
             |laborer to that of a prosperous merchant,|
             |Hing Lee, a Chinese laundryman, ran back |
             |into his burning laundry at 3031 Nicollet|
             |avenue today, after he was once safe from|
             |the flames, and was so badly burned that |
             |physicians say he cannot                 |
             |live.--_Minneapolis Journal._            |

=2. Injuries.=--Very often no one is killed in a fire but some one is
injured. For example, five firemen are overcome by ammonia fumes or two
men are seriously injured by a falling wall. This then becomes the
feature. Injuries to human beings, if serious or in any considerable
number, take precedence over other features, just as loss of human life
does. Here is an example from the press in which all the injuries are
gathered together at the beginning:

             |  Six firemen and two laborers were      |
             |overcome by smoke, while three other     |
             |firemen received minor injuries by flying|
             |glass in a fire which broke out yesterday|
             |morning at 10:30 o'clock in the          |
             |Wellauer-Hoffman building, at,           |
             |etc.--_Milwaukee Free Press._            |

=3. Rescues.=--(a) _Number of People Rescued._--When people are rescued
from great danger in a fire their escape makes a very good feature. If
many of them are rescued or escape very narrowly, the mere number of
people saved deserves the first place, as:

             |  More than 150 men and women were saved |
             |from death today in a fire at 213-217    |
             |Grand street by toboganning from the roof|
             |of the burning structure on a board chute|
             |to the roof of an adjoining five-story   |
             |building.--_New York Mail._              |

(b) _Manner of Rescue._--But more often the manner of their escape
interests us most. If a man slides down a rope for four stories to
escape death by fire we are more interested in how he saved himself than
in the fact that he didn't burn, and so we tell how he escaped, in the
first line. In the same way, if unusual means are used to save one or
more persons, the means of rescue is usually worth featuring. For

             |  Overcoats used as life nets saved the  |
             |lives of a dozen women and children in a |
             |fire of incendiary origin in the         |
             |three-story frame tenement house at 137  |
             |Havemeyer avenue, Brooklyn, to-day,      |
             |etc.--_New York Mail._                   |

=4. Property Threatened.=--Death and injury are the commonest unexpected
circumstances in fire stories, but they are not the only ones that may
be worth featuring. There is an inconceivable number of things that may
happen at a fire and overshadow all interest in the fire itself. A good
feature may be found in the property that is threatened. Often the fire
in itself is insignificant, but because of a high wind or other
circumstances it threatens to spread to neighboring buildings or to
devastate a large area. In such a case the amount of property threatened
or endangered deserves a place in the very first line, especially if it
exceeds the amount of property actually destroyed and if it can be put
in a striking way; _i. e._, the entire waterfront district, or
twenty-five dwelling houses, or $5,000,000 worth of property. When
contrasted with the small amount of damage actually done, the amount
that is threatened becomes more important. Thus:

             |  Fire that for a time threatened        |
             |$2,000,000 worth of property destroyed   |
             |$15,000 worth of lumber owned by the     |
             |Milwaukee Lumber Company, 725 Clinton    |
             |street, yesterday....                    |
             |                                         |
             |The territory between Mitchell street    |
             |and the Kinnickinnic river and Reed      |
             |street, to the lake, containing          |
             |manufactories, dwellings and stores, was |
             |menaced.--_Milwaukee News._              |

=5. Fire Fighting.=--Not unusually a serious fire results from the fact
that it was not checked for some reason or other during its earlier
stages. Perhaps the whole thing might have been avoided, or, on the
contrary, a big fire may be extinguished with unexpected ease or unusual
skill. In rare cases this matter of very efficient or very inefficient
fire fighting is of sufficient importance to take the first place in the
lead. For example:

             |  Almost total lack of water pressure is |
             |blamed for the big loss in a fire started|
             |by a firebug to-day in the five-story    |
             |factory building of Lamchick Brothers,   |
             |manufacturing company, 400-402 South     |
             |Second street, Williamsburg.--_New York  |
             |Mail._                                   |
             |                                         |
             |  Rotten hose, which burst as fast as it |
             |was put in use, imperiled the lives of   |
             |more than a score of firemen to-day at a |
             |blaze which swept the three-story frame  |
             |flat house at Third avenue and           |
             |Sixty-seventh street, Brooklyn, from     |
             |cellar to roof, etc.--_New York Mail._   |

=6. Crowd.=--Not uncommonly in the city a tremendous crowd gathers to
watch a fire and blocks traffic for hours. In the absence of other
significant incidents--death, great loss, etc.--the reporter may begin
his story with an account of the crowd present or the blockade of
traffic. Such a beginning should always be used only as a last resort
when a fire has no other interesting phase, for crowds always gather at
fires and only a very serious blocking of traffic is worth reporting.

             |  Fully 15,000 persons were attracted to |
             |the scene of the fire in the portion of  |
             |the plant of the Greenwald Packing       |
             |Company, Claremont Stock Yards, which was|
             |discovered at 4:56 yesterday             |
             |afternoon.--_Baltimore American._        |
             |                                         |
             |  Twenty-five thousand people jammed     |
             |Broadway between Bleecker and Bond       |
             |streets yesterday noon and had the       |
             |excitement of watching 250 girls escape  |
             |from a twelve-story loft building which  |
             |was afire.--_New York Sun._              |

=7. Miscellaneous.=--There is an infinite number of things that may
happen at a fire and overshadow the mere fire interest. These are the
things that make one fire different from another, and whenever they are
of sufficient importance they become the feature to be played up in the
first line of the introduction. It would be impossible to enumerate all
the unexpected things that might happen during a fire. It is this
element of unexpected possibilities that makes the reporting of fires
interesting, and an alert reporter is ever on the lookout for a new and
unusual development in the fire to be used as the feature of his story.
Here are the leads of a few fire stories clipped from the daily

             |  With her home on fire and the smoke    |
             |swirling around her head, Mrs. B. B.     |
             |Blank, a well-known leader of the        |
             |social set of Roland Park, bravely       |
             |stood by her telephone and called upon   |
             |the Roland Park Fire Company for aid     |
             |shortly after 8 o'clock this             |
             |morning.--_Baltimore Star._              |
             |                                         |
             |  Four charming young women attired in   |
             |masculine apparel were the unexpected    |
             |and embarrassed hosts of four companies  |
             |of fire department "laddies" last night, |
             |when fire broke out, etc.--_Milwaukee    |
             |Free Press._                             |
             |                                         |
             |  For the first time since its           |
             |installation the high-pressure water     |
             |power system was relied upon solely last |
             |night to fight a Broadway fire, and      |
             |Chief Croker said that he was well       |
             |satisfied with its work. The fire began  |
             |on the third floor of the six-story,     |
             |etc.--_New York Times._                  |


It would appear from the foregoing examples that almost every fire story
has a feature. And so it usually has. The great majority of fires that
are worth reporting at all have some unusual incident connected with
them that overshadows the mere fire itself. Sometimes the features are
not of great significance, but it is only as a last resort that a
reporter begins his story with "Fire"--only when the most ordinary of
fires is to be covered.

Unusual features are so common in connection with fires that very often
a single fire has more than one unusual feature. Perhaps the cause of
the fire is exceptionally striking and at the same time the amount of
property destroyed is of great news value in itself. Or the time and
some unexpected attendant circumstance are both worth the first place.
In that case the reporter has to choose between the two features and
begin with the one that seems to him to be the more striking. The other
feature or features may often be arranged in the order of importance
immediately after the most striking fact at the beginning, provided that
this does not make the lead unduly complicated.

For instance, a cold storage warehouse burns and four firemen are
overcome by the fumes from the ammonia pipes. Next door is a hospital
and the flames frighten the patients almost into a panic. Either one of
these incidents is worth the first line of the story. But which one is
of the greater importance? Naturally the element of danger to human life
must be considered first and the actual disabling of four firemen is of
greater significance than a possible panic in the hospital. Following
that line of logic our story would begin:

             |  Four firemen were overcome by ammonia  |
             |fumes and a panic in the St. Charles     |
             |Hospital was narrowly averted, as a      |
             |result of a fire which destroyed the cold|
             |storage warehouse of, etc.               |

Such a lead would not be too complicated for practical purposes. But
suppose that around the corner from the cold storage warehouse is a
livery in which fifty horses are stabled. The flames frighten the horses
and they break loose and stampede in the streets. The story now has
three features of striking interest. It would be possible to combine
them all in the lead and to begin in this way:

             |  Four firemen were overcome by ammonia  |
             |fumes, a panic was narrowly averted in   |
             |the St. Charles Hospital, and fifty      |
             |frightened horses stampeded in the       |
             |streets as a result of a fire, etc.      |

But see how far from the beginning the fire, the actual cause of it all,
is placed. The fire is buried behind a mass of details and the reader is
confused. The lead is not a happy one. The only thing to do is to break
up the mass of details and put part of them immediately after the lead.
The arrangement is a matter that must be left to the judgment of the

This, however, is an extreme case because the various features are so
disconnected and separate. The reporter would have little trouble if the
several features were more alike. For instance, if one of the walls of
the building had fallen and killed three firemen the case would have
been simpler. The death of these men so far overshadows the other
unusual incidents that it drives them out of the lead altogether. For we
do not care about horses and frightened patients when men are crushed
beneath falling walls. All that we are concerned with in our lead now is
the dead and injured--with a feature like this we can trust our readers
to go into the story far enough to pick up the other interesting
features; we would begin in this way:

             |  Three firemen were killed by falling   |
             |walls and four others were overcome by   |
             |ammonia fumes in a fire which destroyed  |
             |the cold storage, etc.                   |

The combination of dead and injured makes a good beginning, and it is
always advisable to begin with such an enumeration whenever it is
possible. Where the features are not so significant as death and
injuries the matter of arranging more than one striking detail at the
beginning of the lead becomes a greater problem. It must be left to
one's own judgment and common sense. The lead must not be too long or
complicated, and one must hesitate before burying the really important
facts of the story behind several lines of more or less unusual details.
Just as soon as the lead becomes at all confusing take out the details
and put them into the story later.



Before we go on to the consideration of other kinds of news stories it
will be well to consider in greater detail the facts we have learned
from writing up fires. Our fire stories should have taught us a number
of things about the form of the news story. Let us sum them up.

=Paragraph Length.=--We have seen that newspaper writing has a
characteristic style of its own. In the first place notice the length of
a newspaper paragraph. Count the number of words in an average paragraph
and compare it with the number of words in a literary paragraph. We find
that the newspaper paragraph is much shorter. There is a reason for
this. Imagine a 150-word literary paragraph set up in a newspaper. There
are about seven words to the line in a newspaper column and one hundred
and fifty words would make something over twenty lines. Try to picture a
newspaper made up of twenty-line paragraphs; it would be extremely
difficult to read. We glance over a newspaper hastily and our haste
requires many breaks to help us in gathering the facts. Hence the
paragraphs must be short; the very narrowness of the newspaper column
causes them to be shortened. The average lead, you will find, contains
less than fifty words and the paragraphs following it are not much

=Sentence Length.=--Notice sentence lengths as compared with literary
sentences. You will find that newspaper sentences usually fall into two
classes: the sentences in the lead and the sentences in the body of the
story. The first sentence is usually rather long--thirty to sixty words.
But the sentences in the body of the story are much shorter than most
literary sentences. Why is this? It results from exactly the same thing
that makes the newspaper paragraphs short--the need of many breaks.
Thus, after we finish a lead, we must fall into short sentences. They
need not be choppy sentences, but they must be simple and easy to read.


Our study of the fire story has shown that newspaper stories always have
two separate and distinct parts: the lead and the body of the story. In
writing the story a reporter must consider each part separately,
although the reader does not distinguish between the two parts. Before
writing a word the reporter must decide exactly what facts and details
he is to put in the lead and exactly what fact he is going to play up in
the first line, taking care to begin with the most interesting part of
the story. After the lead is finished he writes the main body of the
story in accordance with the rules of ordinary English composition. Each
part must be separate and independent of the other.

=The Lead.=--The lead itself is always paragraphed separately. Usually
it consists of a single sentence, although it is much better to break it
into two than to make the sentence too long and complicated. As we have
said before, the lead must not only tell the most interesting fact or
incident in the story, but it must answer the natural questions that the
reader immediately asks about this matter; i.e., when, where, what, why,
who, and how. These questions must be answered briefly and concisely in
their order of importance, and the most unusual answer or the most
striking part of the story must precede all the rest. Beyond the answers
to these questions there is no space for details in the lead. Every word
must have a purpose and a necessary purpose or it must be cut out and
relegated to the body of the story. No space should be given to
explanations of minor importance. State the content of the news story
as completely, accurately, and concisely as possible so that the reader
may know just what happened, when it happened, where, to whom, and
perhaps how and why it happened. Then begin a new paragraph and start
the body of the story.

Many editors require that the lead consist of one long sentence and yet
it must be grammatical. Many reporters forget all about English grammar
in their attempt to crowd everything they know into one sentence. But
mere quantity does not make the lead good; it must be grammatical and
easy to read. The verb must have a grammatical subject and, if it is an
_active_ verb, it must have a grammatical predicate. Clauses and
modifiers must be attached in a way that cannot be overlooked. Dangling
participles and absolute constructions should be shunned. All of the
modifying clauses must be gathered together either before or after the
principal clause. Everything must be compact and logical. Many papers
disregard this matter, as will be seen in some of the extracts quoted in
this book, but the best papers do not.

Every lead should be so constructed that it may stand alone and be
self-sufficient. Never should a reporter trust to headlines to enlighten
his readers upon the meaning of the lead--the exact reverse of this
must be true. The story is written first and the headlines are written
from the facts contained in the lead--and usually by another man. In
writing the lead disregard the existence of headlines, for many readers
do not read them at all. This is but an amplification of the old rule of
composition that any piece of writing should be independent of its
title. The title may be lost, but the essay must be clear without it.

There are many ways of beginning a lead in order to embody the feature
in the first line. At first glance the operation of putting the emphasis
of a sentence at the beginning, rather than at the end, may seem
difficult, but with a clear idea of the rules of dependence in English
grammar a reporter may transpose any clause to the beginning and thus
play up the content of the clause. For instance, in this lead,

             |  Fire, starting in a moving picture     |
             |theatre, 4418 Third avenue, drove the    |
             |tenants of the building out into the icy |
             |street while the snowstorm was at its    |
             |height shortly before 12 o'clock last    |
             |night.                                   |

the striking feature of the story is buried--we do not get the unusual
picture of a little group of people shivering in the street during a
blinding snowstorm while they watch their homes burn. A simple
transposition of the _while_-clause puts the feature in the first line.

             |  While the snowstorm was at its height  |
             |shortly before 12 o'clock last night,    |
             |fire, starting in a moving picture       |
             |theatre, 4418 Third avenue, drove the    |
             |tenants of the building out into the icy |
             |street.                                  |

The lead is not perfect now; it might be greatly improved, but it is
better than before.

A few of the possible beginnings for a lead are:

1. _Noun._--The simplest beginning of a lead is of course the use of a
noun as subject of the principal verb. For example, "Fire destroyed the
residence of----" or "A flashlight setting fire to a lace curtain
started a fire----" or "The Plaza Hotel had a few uncomfortable moments
last night----" etc. The subject of the verb may of course have its
modifiers--adjectives and phrases--but it should not be separated too
widely from its verb. One point is to be noted in the use of a simple
noun at the beginning; an article should not precede the noun if it can
be avoided, for the very simple reason that an article is not worth the
important space that it takes at the beginning of the lead. In the case
of fire no article is necessary. In other cases it is usually possible
to put in an adjective or some other word that will take the article's
place. However, never begin a story like this: "Supreme Court of the
United States decided----" or "Young man in evening dress was arrested
last night----" or "House of John Smith was destroyed yesterday----".
Obviously something is lacking and, if no other word will supply the
lack, use the article, _the_ or _a_. When the _noun_-beginning is used
the reporter must never forget that two or more nouns, however
different, if subject of the same verb, require a plural verb. The verb
may be active or passive, whichever is more convenient, but rarely is
the object of an active verb put first--simply because English cannot
bear this transposition of subject and predicate.

2. _Infinitive._--Other parts of speech aside from nouns may be subjects
of verbs and so other parts of speech as subjects of the principal verb
of the lead may be placed at the beginning of the lead. An infinitive
with its object and modifier may occupy the first line as subject of the
main verb; e.g.:

             |  To rescue his own son during the       |
             |burning of his own house was a part of   |
             |yesterday's work for Fireman Michael     |
             |Casey, who, etc.                         |

Here the infinitive "to rescue" and its object are the subject of the
verb "was," and the construction is perfectly grammatical.
Unfortunately the English language has another infinitive which very
much resembles a present participle--the infinitive ending in _-ing_;
e.g., _rescuing_. Without an article this part of speech must, of
course, be used only as an adjective, but with an article it becomes an
infinitive, to be treated as a noun; e.g., _the rescuing of_. It would
be perfectly grammatical to begin the above lead in this way: "The
rescuing of his own son ... was the work, etc." But it would be
ungrammatical to begin it thus: "Rescuing his own son was the work,
etc." For in the second case the word "rescuing," if used with an
object, is not an infinitive but a participle, and must be used only as
an adjective, thus: "Rescuing his own son, Fireman Casey performed his
duty, etc.," or "In rescuing his own son, Fireman Casey performed his
duty." The two uses should never be confused.

3. _Clause._--Another expression that may be used as subject of the
lead's principal verb is a clause--usually a _that_-clause. For
instance, "That the entire wholesale district was not destroyed by fire
last night is due to, etc." Here the _that_-clause is subject of the
verb is and the expression is entirely grammatical as well as very
useful as a beginning.

4. _Prepositional Phrase._--When the feature of a story is an action
rather than a thing, a noun can hardly be used to express it. Very
often this lead may be handled by means of a prepositional phrase at the
beginning. For example, one of the stories in the last chapter begins:
"With her home on fire and with smoke swirling around her head, Mrs.
John, etc." In this case the prepositional phrase modifies the subject
and should not be far from it. Another variation of this is the
prepositional phrase of time, modifying the verb; e.g., "During the
wedding of Miss Mary Jones, last night, the house suddenly caught fire,
etc." This beginning is effective if it is not overworked, but the
reader should never be held back from the real facts of the story by a
string of complicated phrases, intended to build up suspense.

5. _Participial Phrase._--Very much like the prepositional phrase
beginning is the participial beginning. "Sliding down an eighty-foot
extension ladder with a woman in his arms, Fireman John Casey rescued,
etc." It must be borne in mind that the participial phrase must modify a
noun and there should be no doubt in the reader's mind as to the noun
that it modifies. It would of course be absurd to say "Sliding down an
eighty-foot extension ladder, fire seriously burned John Casey----," but
such things are often said. Never should this participial phrase be used
as the subject of a verb, as "Returning home and finding her house in
ashes was the unusual experience of Mrs. James, etc." The phrase must
always modify a noun just like an adjective.

6. _Temporal Clause._--A feature may often be brought to the beginning
of the lead by a simple transposition of clauses. Should the time be
important a subordinate _when_ or _while_ clause may precede the
principal clause of the sentence; i.e., "When the snowstorm was at its
height early this morning, a three-story brick building burned, etc.,"
or "While 15,000 people watched from the street below, 250 girls escaped
from the burning building at, etc."

7. _Causal Clause._--Should the cause of an action or an occurrence be
attractive enough for the first line, a _for_ or a _because_ clause may
begin the lead. "Because a tinsmith upset a pot of molten solder on the
roof of pier No. 19, two steamers were burned, etc."

                  *       *       *       *       *

This does not exhaust the list of possible beginnings. There are a dozen
possible constructions for the beginning of any story; these are merely
the commonest ones. Anything unusual or of doubtful grammar should be
avoided because of the many possible alternatives that present
themselves. And in every lead correct grammar should be considered
above all else. If a lead is ungrammatical no clever arrangement of
details can make it effective or other than ludicrous. For instance,
this lead, taken from a newspaper, illustrates an unfortunate attempt to
crowd too many details into a short lead:

             |  Bitten by a rattlesnake, Myrtle Olson's|
             |leg was slashed with a table knife,      |
             |washed the wound with kerosene, then     |
             |covered the incision with salt by her    |
             |mother. Myrtle still lives.              |

Another paper tried to arrange it more happily, thus:

             |  Bitten by a rattlesnake, Myrtle Olson's|
             |mother slashed her daughter's leg with a |
             |table knife, washed the wound with       |
             |kerosene, then covered the incision with |
             |salt. Myrtle still lives.                |

There is evidently something wrong in this. It would be a good exercise
to try to express the idea grammatically.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Before we go on to the consideration of the body of this story a few
_Don'ts_ in regard to writing leads may be in order.

Don't begin a lead with a person's name unless the person is well known.
We are always interested in anything unusual that a man may do or
anything unusual that he may suffer, but unless we know the man we are
not at all interested in his name. Suppose that a man performs some
thrilling act or suffers some unusual misfortune in a city of 100,000
people. Probably not more than one hundred people know him, and of that
number only one or two will read the story. Then why begin with his name
when his action is of greater interest to all but a few of our readers?
And yet every reader wants to know whether the victim is one of his
friends. Therefore the man's name must be mentioned in the lead,
although it should not come at the beginning. On the other hand, if the
man is prominent in the nation or the community and well known to all
our readers, his name adds interest to the story and we begin with the
name. There is a growing tendency among American newspapers to begin all
of their stories with a name. The tendency appears to be the result of
an attempt to break away from the conventional lead and to begin in a
more natural way--also an easier way. But the name beginning is after
all illogical, and any reporter is safe in following the logical course
in the matter. If the name is not important begin with something that is

Don't waste the main verb of the sentence on a minor action while
expressing the principal action in a subordinate clause. This is a
violation of emphasis. For example, "Fatally burned by an explosion in
his laundry, Hing Lee was taken to the hospital." Naturally he would be
taken to the hospital, but why put the emphasis of the whole sentence on
that point?

Don't resort to the expression "was the unusual experience of----" "was
the fate of----" or any like them. Every word in the lead must count,
and here are five words that say nothing at all. Use their place to tell
what the unusual experience was. For instance, don't say "To stand in a
driving snowstorm and watch their homes burn to the ground was the
unusual experience of two families, living at, etc."; say instead,
"Standing in a driving snowstorm two families watched their homes burn
to the ground." The latter says the same thing more effectively in less
space. The use of this expression--"was the unusual experience of"--is
always the mark of a green reporter.

Don't overwork the expression "Fire broke out." All fires "break out,"
but usually we are more interested in the result of the fire than in its
"breaking out." Try to use some expression that will give more definite

Don't be wordy. Editors are always calling for shorter and more concise
leads. If you can say a thing in two words don't use half a dozen. For
example, "Four members of the local fire department were rendered
unconscious by the deadly fumes from bursting ammonia pipes." This takes
three times as much space as "Four firemen were overcome by ammonia
fumes," and it does not express the idea any more effectively.

Don't introduce minor details into the lead. If the reader wants the
details he may read the rest of the story. Take the following lead as an

             |  Rushing back into his burning laundry, |
             |a one-story brick building, to rescue    |
             |from the flames his savings, amounting to|
             |$437, with which he hoped to raise       |
             |himself from the rank of laborer to that |
             |of a prosperous merchant, and which was  |
             |hidden under the mattress of his bed in  |
             |the back room of the laundry, Hing Lee, a|
             |Chinaman, who lives at 79 Nicollett      |
             |avenue and has been in this country but  |
             |three months, was overcome by smoke and  |
             |so seriously burned that he had to be    |
             |removed to the St. Mary Hospital and may |
             |not live, when his establishment was     |
             |destroyed by a fire which, starting from |
             |the explosion of the tank of the gasolene|
             |stove on which he was cooking his dinner,|
             |gutted his laundry, entailing a loss of  |
             |$1,000, shortly before noon to-day.      |

It is entirely grammatical, but if the reader succeeds in wading through
it there is nothing left to tell about the fire. Why not begin the
story in this way and leave something for the rest of the story?

             |  Because he rushed back into his burning|
             |laundry to rescue his savings, Hing Lee, |
             |a Chinese laundryman, 79 Nicollett       |
             |avenue, was seriously burned to-day.     |

Don't waste the first line of the lead on meaningless generalities. Get
down to the facts at once. For instance, "The presence of mind and
bravery of Fireman David Mullen saved Mrs. Daniel Looker from being
burned to death in her flat, etc." We are willing to grant his bravery
and presence of mind, but we want to know at once what he did: "By
sliding down an eighty-foot extension ladder through flames and smoke
with an unconscious woman in his arms, Fireman David Mullen rescued Mrs.
Daniel, etc." Equally useless is the beginning, "A daring rescue of an
unconscious woman from the fourth story of a blazing flat building was
made by Fireman David Mullen to-day, etc." Tell what the daring rescue
was and let the reader manufacture a fitting eulogy.

Don't exaggerate the facts to make a feature. When a few persons are
frightened don't turn it into a dreadful panic. Every little fire is not
a holocaust and the burning of a small barn does not endanger the
entire city, unless your imagination is strong enough to guess what
might have happened had there been a high wind and no fire engines. A
narrow escape from death does not always excuse the beginning, "Scores
killed and injured would have been the result, _if_----" All beginnings
of this kind give a false impression and do not tell the truth. If a
story has no striking feature be satisfied to tell the truth about it
without trying to make a world-wide disaster out of it for the sake of a
place on the front page. Exaggeration for a feature is one of the bad
elements of sensational journalism. For example, seven lives were lost
in this fire, but this is the way the story was written, for the sake of
a three-column scare-head:

             |  That 500 sleeping babes and 100 more   |
             |who were kneeling in prayer in St.       |
             |Malachi's Home, a Roman Catholic         |
             |institution for the care of orphans at   |
             |Rockaway Park, are alive to-day is due to|
             |the coolness of the nuns in charge and   |
             |the children's remembrance of their      |
             |teacher's fire drills.                   |

The suspense is built up in such a way that at the end of the lead we do
not know what happened and read on with breathless interest to find that
there was a small fire at the Home and seven children were burned.

=The Body of the Story.=--"A good beginning is half done," according to
the proverb. In writing a news story a good beginning is more than half
done--two-thirds at least. The lead is the beginning, and when that has
been written we are ready to go on to the body of the story with a clear

Our lead has told the reader the main facts of the case and the most
unusual feature. If he reads further he is looking for details. In
giving him these we return to the ordinary rules of narration. We start
at the very beginning of the story and tell it logically and in detail
to the end. We tell it as if no lead preceded it and repeat in greater
detail the incidents briefly outlined in the lead. Never should the body
of the story depend upon the lead for clearness. If the feature of the
story is a rescue and you have briefly described the rescue in the lead,
ignore the lead and describe the rescue all over again in the body of
the story in its proper place. The number of details that are to be
introduced into the story is limited only by the space that the story
seems to be worth. But no point should be mentioned in the story unless
space permits of its being made clear.

The ordinary rules of English composition apply to the writing of the
body of the story. The copy must be paragraphed, cut up into paragraphs
that are rather shorter than ordinary literary paragraphs, since the
narrowness of the newspaper column makes the paragraph seem longer.
Heterogeneous details must not be piled together in the same paragraph,
but the facts must be grouped and handled logically. No paragraph should
be noticeably longer than the others, and it is decidedly bad to
paragraph one sentence alone simply because it does not seem to go in
with any other sentence. If the fact is important expand it into a
paragraph by the introduction of further details; if it is unimportant
either cut it out of the story altogether or attach it to the paragraph
to which it seems most logically to belong.

One fact, already stated, must be borne in mind as the body of the story
progresses. The report should be built up in such a way that the editor
can slash off a paragraph or two at the end without injuring the
story--without sacrificing any important facts. To do this the reporter
should bring the important parts of the story as near the beginning as
the logical order will permit. The interest of a perfect news story is
like an inverted cone. The interest is abundant at the beginning and
gradually dwindles out until there is nothing more to say when the end
is reached. Just how far the dwindling should be carried depends upon
the amount of space that the story seems to be worth in the paper.

This may seem difficult. It may be hard to see how a story can be told
in its logical order while at the same time the most interesting facts
are placed at the beginning, even if they logically belong near the end.
For example, we may take the story of an unusual robbery. A well-dressed
man goes into a grocery store to get some butter and tries to rob the
grocer. In the ensuing scuffle the would-be robber escapes. A young
woman who happens to be passing sees the end of the fight and pursues
the robber down the street until he runs into a saloon. She calls a
policeman who is standing on the corner and the officer rushes into the
saloon, up three flights of stairs and finds the robber on the roof
behind a chimney. The officer shouts to another policeman, and together
they arrest the robber.

Now, what is the most interesting thing in the story? Probably the
pursuit--a young woman chasing a robber down the street. Our lead might
be written in this way:

             |  After being chased down Sixth street by|
             |a young woman, a robber, who had         |
             |attempted to rob the grocery store of    |
             |Charles Young, 1345 Sixth street, was    |
             |arrested on the roof of a saloon at 835  |
             |Sixth street, at 7 o'clock last night.   |

The lead might be arranged in a different way, but these are the facts
that it would contain. Before we consider the arrangement of the body of
the story it may be well to go back to the interviews by which we
secured the story. In getting the facts we would probably talk to Young,
the groceryman, and to the saloonkeeper into whose establishment the
robber fled. We could probably interview the policeman who made the
arrest, but let us suppose that the young woman could not be found. The
groceryman would tell us about the attempted robbery and the escape,
with the girl in pursuit. The saloonkeeper would tell us how the man
fled into his saloon and ran up the stairs to the roof; then how two
policemen came and made the arrest. The policeman could tell us how a
young woman ran up to him and told him that a robber had fled into the
saloon; then he would describe the arrest. None of these stories is told
just as we want the newspaper story--each one tells us only a part of
the story. If the finished story were written by a green reporter it
would probably tell the story in the order in which it was obtained.
That is if the reporter saw the policeman first, then the saloonkeeper,
and lastly the groceryman; his story would tell in the first paragraph
what the policeman said, in the second paragraph what the saloonkeeper
said, and in the last paragraph what the grocer said. At least that is
the way in which green reporters in the classroom attempted to write
the story.

But, obviously, that is not the logical way to tell the story. The
finished account should be written in the order in which it happened:
i.e., first the robbery, then the pursuit, and lastly the arrest. This
would be the ideal way to tell the story--according to the rules of
English composition--if we could be sure that the entire story would be
printed. But if it were written in this way and the editor decided to
slash off the last paragraph, what would go? Obviously the arrest would
not be printed; and the arrest was quite interesting. We must find some
way to bring the arrest nearer to the beginning. This may be done by
selecting the most interesting parts of the story--by picking out the
high spots, as it were. In this story the high spots are the attempted
robbery, the pursuit, and the arrest. The details that fill in between
are interesting, but not so interesting as these high spots. Hence these
high spots of interest must be pushed forward toward the beginning.
After the lead the story would begin at the beginning and tell the
affair briefly by high spots in their proper order. It might be
something like this:

             |  As Charles Young was closing his       |
             |grocery last evening a young man came in |
             |and asked for a pound of butter. Young   |
             |turned to get it and his customer struck |
             |him over the head with a chair. The      |
             |grocer grappled with his assailant and   |
             |they fell through the front door. In the |
             |scramble, the robber broke away and ran  |
             |down Sixth street. A young woman who was |
             |passing screamed and ran after him until |
             |he disappeared into a saloon.            |
             |                                         |
             |The young woman called Policeman Smith,  |
             |who was standing nearby on Grand avenue, |
             |and the latter found the would-be robber |
             |on the roof of the saloon. After a       |
             |struggle, Smith arrested the man, with   |
             |the aid of another policeman.            |

The above account tells us briefly the most interesting parts of the
story. A copyreader might not find it perfect, for the assault is
allotted too much space and the pursuit too little, but it tells the
story in its baldest aspect. This, with the lead, could be run alone.
However, perhaps the story is worth more space; at any rate, many
interesting details have been omitted. If so, go back to the most
interesting part of the story--the assault, perhaps, or the pursuit--and
tell it with more details. Then retell some other part with more
details. If your readers are interested enough to read beyond the first
three paragraphs they want details and will not be so particular about
the order--for they already know how the story is going to end.

This is one way of meeting the requirements of logical order and
dwindling interest. This is a particularly hard story to arrange in the
conventional way since we must have the whole story to be interested in
any single part--it has too many striking incidents in it. On the other
hand, a story which contains only one striking incident is much easier
to handle. Suppose that we are reporting a fire which is interesting
only for its cause or for a daring rescue in it. Our lead would suggest
this interesting element and the first part of our story would be
devoted entirely to the cause or to the rescue, as the case might be.
But it is better to sketch briefly, immediately after or very close to
the lead, the entire story, for our readers want to know how it ends
before they can be interested in any particular part. If we sketch the
whole story and show them that there is only one important thing in the
story, they will be satisfied to read about the one striking incident
without wondering if there is not something more interesting further on.
If we leave the conclusion of the story to the end of our copy the
editor may cut it off and leave our story dangling in midair. Every
story must be treated in its own way, according to its own incidents and
difficulties; no two stories are alike in substance or treatment. In
every one our aim must be to keep to the logical order and at the same
time to put the most interesting parts of the story near the beginning.

The construction of the body of a story may be illustrated more clearly
by a fatal fire story--since fire stories are more uniform, and hence
easier to write than other news stories. Let us suppose that the story
is as follows: At four o'clock in the afternoon a fire started from some
unknown cause in the basement of a four-story brick building at 383-385
Sixth Street, occupied by the Incandescent Light Company. Before the
fire company arrived the flames had spread up through the building and
into an adjoining three-story brick building at 381 Sixth Street,
occupied by Isaac Schmidt's second-hand store and home on the first and
second floors and by Mrs. Sarah Jones's boarding house on the third. The
Schmidts were away and Mrs. Jones's lodgers escaped via the fire
escapes. Her cook, Hilda Schultz, was overcome by smoke and had to be
carried out by Jack Sweeney, a lodger. Mrs. Jones fell from the fire
escape and was badly bruised. Meanwhile the firemen were at work on the
roof of the burning four-story building. Blinded by the smoke, one of
them, John MacBane, stepped through a skylight and fell to the fourth
floor. His comrades tried to rescue him by lowering Fireman Henry Bond
into the smoke by the heels; they were unsuccessful and Bond broke his
arm in the attempt. The fire was confined to the lower floors of the two
buildings and extinguished. In searching for MacBane, the firemen found
him suffocated on the fourth floor where he had fallen.

The feature of the story is evidently the one death and the three
injuries. Our lead might be written as follows:

             |  One fireman was suffocated and three   |
             |other persons were injured in a fire in  |
             |the Incandescent Light Company's plant,  |
             |383-385 Sixth street, and an adjoining   |
             |three-story building, late yesterday     |
             |afternoon.                               |

This lead would suggest to the reader many interesting details to come
in the body of the story, and evidently the details are not all of equal
importance. The story could be told in its logical order, but, since the
death is more interesting than the origin of the fire and the injuries
are more significant than how the fire spread, it is obvious that it
would not be best to tell the story in the order in which it is told

Disregarding the lead, we must cover the following details in the body
of our story:

    Description of buildings and occupants.
    Origin of fire.
    Discovery of fire.
    Spread of flames.
    Injury of Mrs. Jones.
    Rescue of Hilda Schultz.
    Death of MacBane.
    Injury of Bond.
    Fire extinguished.

This is the order in which things occurred at the fire. However, in our
lead, we have drawn attention to our story by announcing that it
concerns a fire in which a man was killed; the death therefore should
have first place in the body of the story. Hence, in the second
paragraph immediately after the lead, we must tell how MacBane fell
through the skylight and was suffocated. Along with his death we may as
well tell how Bond broke his arm trying to rescue MacBane. Our lead has
also announced two other injuries and, hence, they must be included
next--that is, our third paragraph must be devoted to the injury of Mrs.
Jones and the rescue of the unconscious Hilda. But as yet our details
are hanging in the air because we have not said anything about the
buildings or the fire itself. In the next paragraph it would be well to
describe the buildings and their occupants and to give a very brief
account of the course of the fire--perhaps in this way:

             |  Flames were first discovered in the    |
             |basement of the Incandescent building and|
             |before the fire department arrived had   |
             |spread through the lower floors and into |
             |the adjoining three-story building. The  |
             |absence of elevator shafts and air-shafts|
             |enabled the firemen to extinguish the    |
             |blaze before it reached the upper floors.|

This tells the main course of the fire, but there are some interesting
details to add: first, the origin of the fire; next, the discovery; then
more about how the fire spread; and lastly, how the fire was
extinguished. Our story by paragraphs would read as follows:

    1st Paragraph--The lead.

    2d Paragraph--Death of MacBane and injury of Bond.

    3d Paragraph--Mrs. Jones's injury and Hilda's rescue.

    4th Paragraph--Buildings, occupants, brief course of fire.

    5th Paragraph--Detailed account of origin of the fire.

    6th Paragraph--How the fire was discovered.

    7th Paragraph--More about the spread and course of the fire.

    8th Paragraph--How the fire was extinguished.

    9th Paragraph--Loss, insurance, extent of damage.

Thus, while telling the story almost in its logical order, we have
picked out the high spots of interest and crowded them to the beginning.
Our readers will get the facts just about as fast as they wish to read
them and in the order in which they wish them. Our story may be run in
nine paragraphs or even more; or the editor may slash off anything after
the fourth paragraph without taking away any of the essential facts of
the fire. This method of telling would fulfill all the requirements of
an ideal news story. A similar outline of the facts that any story must
present will often help a reporter to tell his story as it should be
told. After listing the details he may number them in their order of
importance and check them off as he has told them.

                  *       *       *       *       *

This idea of throwing the emphasis and interest to the beginning applies
to the individual paragraphs and sentences of the story, as well. Each
paragraph must begin strongly and display its most interesting content
in the first line. The emphatic part of each sentence should be the
beginning. A glance at any newspaper column shows why this is necessary.

The body of a news story is the place for the reporter's skill and
style. He is given all the liberties of ordinary narration and should
make the most of every word. His individual style comes into play here.
If the interest can be increased by a bit of dialogue the reporter may
put it in. If the facts can be presented more effectively by means of
direct quotation, the words of any one whom the reporter has interviewed
may be of interest. However, these things must not be overworked because
every trick of writing loses its effectiveness when it is overworked.

Dialogue used only to give facts which might be told more clearly in
simple direct form should seldom be used. Dialogue in a news story is
used only to color the story and not to reproduce the interviews by
which the facts were obtained. In gathering the facts of a story it is
sometimes necessary to interview a number of people, but these
interviews should not be quoted in the resulting story. Many a green
reporter tries to give his story character by telling what the policeman
on the corner, the janitor, and a small boy in the street told him about
the incident. He succeeds only in dragging out the length of his story
and confusing the reader. After all, the purpose of a newspaper is to
give facts--and the clearer and the more direct the method the better
will be the result.

In striving for clearness and interest a reporter must remember that one
of his greatest assets is concreteness of expression. Of all forms of
composition newspaper writing possesses probably the greatest
opportunity for definiteness. Facts and events are its one concern;
theories and abstractions are beyond its range. Hence the more definite
and concrete its presentation of facts, the better will be its effect.
The reporter should never generalize or present his statements hazily
and uncertainly--a fact is a fact and must be presented as such. He must
try to avoid such expressions as "several," "many," "a few"--it is
usually possible to give the exact number. He must continually ask
himself "how many?" "what kind?" "exactly when?" "exactly what?"
Expressions like "about a dozen," "about thirty years old," "about a
week ago," "about a block away," are never so effective as the exact
facts and figures. Definite concrete details make a news story real and
vivid. The real reporter of news is the one who can see a thing clearly
and with every detail and present it as clearly and distinctly.



The fire story is obviously not the only news story that is printed in a
daily newspaper, but a study of its form gives us a working knowledge of
the writing of other news stories. The fire story is probably the
commonest news story, and it is by far the easiest story to handle, for
its form has become somewhat standardized. We know just exactly what our
readers want to know about each fire, and within certain limits all
fires, as well as the reports of them, are very much alike. There is
seldom more than one fact or incident that makes one fire different from
another and that fact we always seize as the feature of our report.
However, the fire story has been taken only as typical of other news
stories. Now we are ready to study the others, using the fire story as
our model in writing the others.

There is a vast number of other stories that we must be able to write,
and they lack the convenient uniformity that fires have. Not only does
every story have a different feature, but it is concerned with a
different kind of happening. One assignment may call for the report of
an explosion, another the report of a business transaction, and another
a murder. In each one we have to get the facts and choose the most
striking fact as our feature. Never can we resort to the simple
beginning "Fire destroyed," but we must find a different beginning for
each assignment.

Just as in the fire story, the lead of any news story is the most
important part. It must begin with the most striking part of the event
and answer the reader's _Where?_ _When?_ _How?_ _Why?_ and _Who?_
concerning it. All the rules that apply to the fire lead apply to the
lead of any story.

It would be impossible to classify all the news stories that a newspaper
must print. The very zest of reporting comes from the changing variety
of the work; no two assignments are ever exactly alike--if they were
only one would be worth printing. Newspapers themselves make no attempt
to classify the ordinary run of news or to work out a systematic
division of labor; a reporter may be called upon to cover a fire, a
political meeting, a murder, a business story, all in the same day. Each
one is simply a story and must be covered in the same way that all the
rest are covered--by many interviews for facts. For our study it may be
well to divide news stories into a few large groups. The groups overlap
and are not entirely distinct, but the stories in each group have some
one thing in common that may aid us in learning how to write them. At
most, the list is only a very incomplete summary of the more important
kinds of news stories and is intended to be merely a suggestive way of
supplying the student with necessary practice.

=1. Accidents.=--Accident stories may be anything from a sprained ankle
to a disastrous railroad wreck, but they all depend upon one element for
their interest. They are all printed because people in general are
interested in the injuries and deaths of other people--physical calamity
is the common ground in all these stories.

The number of possible accidents is infinite, but there are some common
types that recur most often. Among these are: railroad, trolley,
railroad crossing accidents; runaways; electrocutions; explosions;
collapse of buildings; marine disasters; cave-in accidents; elevator,
automobile, aviation accidents.

The feature of any accident story is always, of course, the thing that
made the story worth printing, and that is usually the human life
element. The feature of an accident story is almost always the number of
dead and injured. Most reports of railroad wrecks begin with "Ten
persons were killed and seventeen were injured in a wreck, etc." The
same is true of any accident story; if more than one person is killed it
is usually safe to begin with the number of fatalities. In this
connection it may be noted that the death of railroad employees seldom
makes a story worth printing; they may be included in the total number,
but if no passengers are killed, fatalities among trainmen seldom give a
story any news value.

Accident stories of course have many other possible features; newspapers
report many accidents in which no one is killed. In that case some other
element gives the story news value and that element must be played up as
the feature. Perhaps it is the manner in which the accident happened or
the manner in which a person was killed or injured, as in an automobile
accident. The cause of the accident may be the most interesting part of
the story: train-wreckers or a broken rail in a railroad wreck, or the
cause of an explosion. Very often an accident is reported simply because
some well-known person was connected with it in some way; the name then
becomes the feature and comes into the first line. A story may be worth
printing simply because of the unusual manner of rescue; such a feature
is often played up in stories of marine accidents, cave-ins, etc. Not
infrequently some of the unusual attendant circumstances give a story
news value: e.g., a policeman dragged from his horse and run over by an
automobile while he is trying to stop a runaway.

Here are some accident stories from the newspapers:


             |  Six men were killed and a dozen        |
             |seriously injured early to-day by an     |
             |outbound Panhandle passenger train       |
             |crashing into the rear end of a Chicago, |
             |Milwaukee and St. Paul stock train at    |
             |Twelfth and Rockwell streets.--_Chicago  |
             |Record-Herald._                          |


             |  Run down by her own automobile, which  |
             |she was cranking, at First and G streets,|
             |northwest, Dr. Alma C. Arnold, a         |
             |chiropractic physician, 825 Fifteenth    |
             |street, northwest, was forced against the|
             |wheel of a passing wagon and seriously   |
             |injured this morning.--_Washington       |
             |Times._                                  |


             |  Over-balanced by a granite stone       |
             |weighing four tons, the entire cornice   |
             |over the west portico of the new west    |
             |wing of the capitol fell to the ground   |
             |this afternoon, carrying with it Daniel  |
             |Logan, foreman for the Woodbury Granite  |
             |Company.--_Madison Democrat._            |

Attendant Circumstances:

             |  With a blast that shook the entire city|
             |and was believed by many to be an        |
             |earthquake, three boilers in the new     |
             |engine house of the Pabst brewery on     |
             |Tenth street, between Chestnut street and|
             |Cold Spring avenue, exploded at about 4  |
             |o'clock this morning.--_Milwaukee Free   |
             |Press._                                  |

=2. Robberies.=--Another large class of news stories is concerned with
robberies of various kinds. Unfortunately for the reporter, very few
robberies are alike; beyond the common ground of the interest in the
amount stolen and the cleverness of the robber's work, there is seldom
any one thing that may be looked for as the feature of a robbery story.
The reporter must decide what in the story makes it worth printing.

Robbery stories may include anything from petty thievery to bank
defaulting. Some of the possibilities are horse and automobile stealing,
burglary, hold-ups, train and street-car robbery, embezzlement, fraud,
kidnapping, safe-cracking, shop and bank robbery. It is well for the
reporter who has to cover a story of this class to acquaint himself with
the distinctions that characterize the various kinds of robbery and the
various names applied to the people who commit this sort of crime: e.g.,
robber, thief, bandit, burglar, hold-up man, thug, embezzler, defaulter,
safe-cracker, pick-pocket.

In general the chief interest in robbery stories is in the result of
the work--the amount taken--usually accompanied by a term to designate
the sort of robbery. Just how the crime was committed is often the
feature, as in a train robbery or a clever case of fraud. If the victim
or victims are at all well known their names may become the most
interesting thing in the story--or even the name of a well-known
criminal or band of robbers. In some stories, especially if another
paper has already covered the story, the pursuit or capture of the
criminals is often interesting; the stories of bank robberies often
begin in this way. Other attendant circumstances, such as the number of
persons who witnessed the crime, may be the feature. In hold-ups,
burglaries, and crimes of that sort, the death or wounding of the victim
is often played up. Sometimes the reason for the crime, as in a
kidnapping case, is of great significance. In the case of a robbery of a
bank or any other institution which depends upon credit for its
business, the story usually begins with, or at least mentions near the
beginning, the present condition of the robbed institution. It is safe
to say that in no case is the name of the criminal, the manner of his
arrest (if it is not unusual), the police station to which he was taken,
or the charge preferred against him worth a place in the lead.

Some robbery stories from the daily press:

Amount taken:

             |  Furs worth $40,000 were stolen in the  |
             |early hours of yesterday morning within a|
             |stone's throw of Madison Square.         |
             |Apparently a gang in which there was a   |
             |woman expert in choosing only the best   |
             |furs carried off the costly skins,       |
             |etc.--_New York World._                  |

Manner of hold-up:

             |  Seized by thugs in broad daylight as he|
             |was crossing the railroad tracks at the  |
             |foot of First avenue east, Fred Butzer, a|
             |stonemason of Butler, Minn., was thrown  |
             |to the ground, a gag placed in his mouth,|
             |his pockets were rifled of $36.--_Duluth |
             |News-Tribune._                           |

Unusual sort of pickpocket:

             |  A young man in evening dress, who was  |
             |going down into the subway station at    |
             |Times Square with the theater crowd that |
             |filled the entrance just outside of the  |
             |Hotel Knickerbocker early last night,    |
             |paused, knocked a woman under the chin   |
             |and took away her silver chatelaine purse|
             |containing $20 as deftly as he might have|
             |flicked the ash off his cigarette. Then  |
             |he disappeared.--_New York Times._       |

Unusual thieves:

             |  Two girl thieves not more than twelve  |
             |years old and small in stature for their |
             |age have been operating with great       |
             |success in the different stores in the   |
             |neighborhood of Amsterdam avenue and     |
             |Seventy-ninth street. Five or six thefts,|
             |etc.--_New York Telegram._               |

Pursuit and capture:

             |  After a chase along Forty-second street|
             |and up the steps of the Hotel Manhattan, |
             |a woman, who said she was Sadie Brown,   |
             |thirty-three years old, of No. 215 West  |
             |Forty-sixth street, was arrested early   |
             |today on suspicion of having picked the  |
             |pocket of a man at, etc.--_New York      |
             |Telegram._                               |

Present conditions of robbed bank (second paragraph of an embezzlement

             |  Banking Commissioner Watkins this      |
             |afternoon declared that he found the bank|
             |perfectly sound, that all commercial     |
             |paper was found intact, that none of the |
             |accounts have been juggled and that no   |
             |erasures of any kind were                |
             |discovered.--_Philadelphia Inquirer._    |

Unusual sort of burglar:

             |  Wearing a Salvation Army uniform, a    |
             |burglar was caught early yesterday in the|
             |home of Walter Katte, a vice-president of|
             |the New York Central railroad, at        |
             |Irvington-on-the-Hudson.--_New York      |
             |World._                                  |

=3. Murder.=--The reports of crimes of this sort can hardly be
classified, for there are so many things that may be worth featuring in
any murder case. The story itself is usually of such importance that the
mere fact that a murder has been committed gives it news value even if
there is nothing unusual in the crime--just as in the case of a
featureless fire story that begins with "Fire." The handling of a crime
depends upon the character and circumstances; the reporter must weigh
the facts in each case for himself. However, we usually find a feature
in the number of persons murdered, the manner in which the crime was
committed, the name of the victim, if he or she is well known, the
reason for the deed, or in some of the many attendant circumstances,
such as arrest, pursuit, etc. One rule must always be followed in the
reporting of a murder story: the reporter must confine himself to the
necessary facts and omit as many of the gruesome details as possible. He
must tell it in a cold, hard-hearted way without elaboration, for the
story in itself is gruesome enough. Just as soon as a murder story
begins to expand upon shocking details it becomes the worst sort of a
yellow story.

Examples of murder stories from the newspapers:


             |  After crushing in the head of his      |
             |superior officer with an axe, James      |
             |Layton, boatswain of the Liverpool       |
             |sailing ship Colony, refused to submit to|
             |arrest, and, still waving the bloody     |
             |weapon, committed suicide by jumping into|
             |the sea.--_New York Mail._               |


             |  In revenge for a beating he received   |
             |the day before, Gaetona Ambrifi yesterday|
             |shot and instantly killed Frank          |
             |Ricciliano, a sub-section foreman on the |
             |Pennsylvania Railroad, while they were   |
             |working on the roadbed near Peddle       |
             |street, Newark.--_New York Sun._         |

Prominent name:

             |  Mayor William J. Gaynor of New York    |
             |City was shot and seriously, perhaps     |
             |fatally, wounded on board the steamer    |
             |Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse at 9:30 as he  |
             |was sailing for Europe.                  |

Resulting pursuit:

             |  The police of Brooklyn have another    |
             |murder mystery to unravel through the    |
             |finding early today of the body of Peter |
             |Barilla on Lincoln road, near Nostrand   |
             |avenue, Flatbush. There were two bullet  |
             |wounds in the body and four stab wounds  |
             |in the back.--_Brooklyn Eagle._          |

Attendant circumstances:

             |  A hundred or more persons who were     |
             |about to take trains witnessed the       |
             |shooting to death of a Jersey City       |
             |business man in the Pennsylvania Railroad|
             |station there this afternoon.--_New York |
             |Mail._                                   |

=4. Suicide.=--What is true of murder stories is also true of suicide.
Each individual case has an unusual feature of its own. We ordinarily
find a good beginning in the manner of the suicide, the name of the
person who has killed himself if he is well known, the reason for the
act, or some one of the attendant circumstances--often the manner of
resuscitation if the crime is unsuccessful. For some unexplained reason
many papers do not print accounts of ordinary suicides, except when the
individual is prominent. At any rate the story must be told without
gruesome details and as briefly as possible.

Examples from the press:


             |  William L. Murray of Rockview avenue,  |
             |North Plainfield, paying teller of the   |
             |Empire Trust Company of New York,        |
             |committed suicide at Scotch Plains early |
             |this afternoon by shooting himself in the|
             |head. No reason is assigned for the      |
             |act.--_New York Sun._                    |


             |  Driven insane by continued brooding    |
             |over ill health, Miss Ada Emerson, a     |
             |former teacher in the Beloit city        |
             |schools, killed herself in a crowded     |
             |interurban car Saturday afternoon by     |
             |slashing her throat with a               |
             |razor.--_Beloit Free Press._             |

Here the manner is the feature, but it is not played up in the first
line because it is too horrible.

=5. Big Stories.=--The big stories of catastrophes are usually handled
on a large scale--played up, as the newspaper men say. The story in
itself is of sufficient importance to make it unnecessary to play up any
single feature of the story. However, the reporter, in looking for a
good beginning, often finds it in the most startling fact in the story.
If he is reporting a riot he usually begins with the number of killed
or injured, the amount of property destroyed, the character of the riot,
or the cause, as in this example:

             |  In an effort to bring about the        |
             |reinstatement of one of their number who |
             |had been discharged for non-unionism, a  |
             |hundred or more journeymen bakers wrecked|
             |the bakeshop of Pincus Jacobs, at No.    |
             |1571 Lexington avenue, early this        |
             |morning.--_New York Evening Post._       |

In the case of a storm the human life element is of greatest importance,
then the damage to property, and last, the peculiar circumstances. For

             |  CLEVELAND, Dec. 11.--Fifty-nine lives  |
             |were the cost of a storm which passed    |
             |over Lake Erie Wednesday night and       |
             |Thursday, and more than $1,000,000 worth |
             |of vessel property was destroyed.--_New  |
             |York Evening Post._                      |

If the story is concerned with a flood the human-life element is first,
then the damage, the cause, the freaks of the flood, or the present
situation. For example:

             |  PARKERSBURG, W. Va., March 10.--Three  |
             |persons are known to have perished in a  |
             |flood which swept down upon the city on  |
             |Friday when two water reservoirs on      |
             |Prospect Hill burst without warning.     |
             |Forty houses were destroyed and many     |
             |persons are missing. The property damage |
             |will be nearly $500,000.                 |

=6. Police Court News.=--The ordinary run of police court news is in a
class by itself. Usually the only news value in the story depends upon
some unusual incident or circumstance that attracts the attention of the
reporter. This is of course the source of many of the stories of crime,
mentioned before, but many stories turn up at the police courts which
are not concerned with crime, although in some cases they are concerned
with criminals. In this field of reporting there are many opportunities
for the human-interest story which will be taken up in a later chapter.
When the incident is reported in an ordinary news story the feature is
usually in some attendant circumstance and the story might well be
classed with one of the above groups. Here are two examples from the
daily press:

             |  Because he did not have sufficient     |
             |money to buy flowers for his sweetheart, |
             |Henry Trupke, aged 21 years, forged a    |
             |check for $22.50 on a grocer, J.         |
             |Sieberlich, 781 Third street, and after a|
             |week's chase was caught last night as he |
             |got off a Wisconsin Central              |
             |train.--_Milwaukee Sentinel._            |

             |  But a few hours before receiving a     |
             |sentence of two years in the house of    |
             |correction for stealing furs from the    |
             |store of Lohse Bros., 117 Wisconsin      |
             |street, John Garner, self-confessed      |
             |thief, was married to Rose Strean, one   |
             |of the witnesses in the case, which was  |
             |tried yesterday in the municipal         |
             |court.--_Milwaukee Free Press._          |

=7. Reports of Meetings, Conferences, Decisions, etc.=--This group
includes all reports of meetings, or conferences, of bodies of any sort,
political or otherwise, reports of judicial or legislative hearings or
decisions, or announcements of resolutions passed. Such as:

             |  WASHINGTON, Jan. 15.--Acquisition of   |
             |the telegraph lines by the government and|
             |their operation as a part of the postal  |
             |system is the latest idea of Postmaster  |
             |General Hitchcock. Announcement was made |
             |today that a resolution to this effect   |
             |will be offered to Congress at the       |
             |present session.--_Wisconsin State       |
             |Journal._                                |

There is always one thing in these stories that gives them news
value--the purpose or result of the conference, hearing, or
announcement. This purpose or result, of course, must be played up. The
one point that the reporter should remember is that a well-written lead
begins with the result or purpose of the meeting or announcement rather
than with the name of the meeting or the name of the body that makes the
announcement. Never begin a story thus: "At a meeting of the Press Club
held in the Auditorium last night it was resolved that----" Transpose
the sentence and begin with a statement of what was resolved. In the
following story the order is wrong:

             |  The Supreme Court of the United States,|
             |through the opinion delivered by Justice |
             |Vandevanter, today declared              |
             |constitutional the employers' liability  |
             |law of 1908.                             |

The import of the decision is buried; it should be written thus:

             |  The employers' liability law of 1908   |
             |was today declared constitutional by the |
             |Supreme Court of the United States.      |
             |Justice Vandevanter delivered the opinion|
             |of the court, made in four cases.        |

In these stories, as in all other news stories, the lead must begin with
the fact or statement that gives the story news value. Burying this fact
or statement behind two or three lines of explanation spoils the
effectiveness of the lead. A student of journalism may gain very good
practice in the writing of news stories by looking over the leads that
appear in the daily papers and transposing those leads which bury their
news behind explanations. The first line of type in a lead is like a
shop's show window and it must not be used for the display of packing

=8. Stories on Other Printed Matter.=--A large part of a newspaper's
space, especially in smaller cities, is devoted to stories based on
printed bulletins, announcements, city directories, legislative bills,
and published reports of various kinds. Sometimes a news story is
written upon a pamphlet that was issued for advertising
purposes--because there is some news in it. In all of these stories the
reporter must look through the pamphlet to find something of news value
or something that has a significant relation to other news. Smaller
papers often print stories on the new city directory; the increase or
decrease in population is treated as news and a very interesting story
may be written on a comparison of the names in the directory. In
university towns the appearance of a new university catalog or bulletin
of any sort is the occasion for a story which points out the new
features or compares the new bulletin with a previous one. Reporters and
correspondents in political centers, like state capitals, get out
stories on committee and legislative reports and on new bills that are
proposed or passed by the legislature. The writing of these stories is
very much like the reporting of a speech, which will be discussed later.
The newest or most interesting feature in the report or bill is played
up in the lead as the feature of the story, followed by the source of
the story, the printed bulletin upon which the story is based; thus:

             |  A new plan for placing the control of  |
             |all water power in the state in the hands|
             |of the legislature was proposed in the   |
             |minority report of Senators J. B. Smith  |
             |and L. C. Blake, of the special          |
             |legislative committee on drainage, issued|
             |today.                                   |

These eight classes of news stories do not include all the news stories
that a newspaper prints, but they are in a way typical of all the others
that are not mentioned. It will be noted from these that all news
stories, just like the fire story, are usually written in about the same
way. Each one has a lead which begins with the feature of the
story--i.e., the fact or incident in the story which gives it news value
and makes it of interest--and concludes by answering the reader's
questions, when, where, who, how, why, concerning the feature. Each
story begins again after the lead, and in one or more paragraphs
explains, describes, or narrates the incident in detail and in logical
order. This body of the story which follows the lead, while following in
general the logical order, is so written that its most interesting facts
are near the beginning and its interest dwindles away toward the end.
This is to enable the editor in making up his paper, to take away from
the end of any story, as we have seen before, a paragraph or more
without spoiling the story's continuity or depriving it of any of its
essential facts. The form of the conventional fire story may be used as
a model in the writing of any news story.

In writing the body of a story to explain, describe, or narrate the
incident mentioned in the lead, every effort should be directed toward
clearness. This is particularly true of stories which are in the main
narrations of action. The number of facts that may be included must
depend upon the length of the story; if all of the facts cannot be
included without overburdening the story, cut out some of the details of
lesser importance, but treat those that are included in a clear readable
way. Short sentences are always much better in newspaper writing than
long involved sentences. Pronouns should always be used in such a way
that there can be no doubt in regard to their antecedents. If a
relative clause or participial expression sounds awkward make a separate
sentence of it. In other words, be simple, concise, and clear--that is
better in a newspaper than much fine writing.



The terms "rewrite story" and "follow-up, or follow, story," are names
which newspaper men apply to the rehashed or revised versions of other
news stories. A large newspaper office employs one or more rewrite men
who spend their entire time rewriting stories. To be sure, a part of
their work consists of rewriting, or simply recasting, poorly written
copy prepared by the reporters. But the major part of their work, the
part that interests us, involves something more than that. It involves
the rejuvenation of stories that have been printed in a previous edition
or in another paper, with the purpose of bringing the news up to the
present moment.

News ages very rapidly. What may be news for one edition is no longer
news when another edition goes to press an hour later. A feature that
may be worth playing up in a morning paper would not have the same news
value in an evening paper of the same day. The news grows stale so
quickly because new things are continually happening and new
developments are continually changing the aspect of previous stories.
If a story has been run through two or three editions and new
developments have changed it, the story is turned over to a rewrite man
for consequent alteration. A story in a morning paper is no longer news
for an evening paper of the same date, but a clever rewrite man, with or
without new developments added to the story, can recast it so that it
will appear to contain more recent news than the original story. The
story of an arrest in a morning paper begins with the particulars of the
arrest; but when the evening paper's rewrite man has rearranged it for
his paper it has become the story of the trial or the police court
hearing which followed the arrest. Perhaps the evening paper sends a man
to get the later developments in the case, but every rewrite man knows
the steps that always follow an arrest and he can rewrite the original
story without additional information. His account of the later
developments is called either a rewrite or a follow-up story, depending
upon the method employed. The same fundamental idea of rejuvenating the
former story governs the preparation of both the rewrite and the
follow-up story, but while the rewrite story contains no additional
news, the follow-up presents later facts in addition to the old news.

=1. The Rewrite Story.=--The rewrite story is primarily a rehashing of a
previous news story without additional facts. It attempts to give a new
twist to old facts in order to bring them nearer to the present time.
Without the aid of later facts the rewrite man can only select a new
feature and revise the old facts. For example, suppose that a $100,000
grain elevator burns during the night. The fire would make a big story
in a city of moderate size and the papers next morning would treat it at
length. If no one were killed or injured the story would probably begin
with a simple announcement of the fire in a lead of this kind:

             |  Fire destroyed the grain elevator of   |
             |the H. P. Jones Produce Company, First   |
             |and Water streets, and $50,000 worth of  |
             |wheat at 2 o'clock this morning. The     |
             |total loss is estimated at $150,000.     |

Then the reporter would describe the fire at length, including all
obtainable facts. By afternoon almost every one in the city has read the
story--and yet the afternoon papers must print something about the big
fire. If no new facts can be obtained the previous story must be
rehashed and presented with a new feature that will make it appear to be
a later story. It is useless to begin the evening story with a mere
announcement of the fire, for that is no longer news, and the rewrite
man must find a new beginning to attract the attention of his readers.
Perhaps in looking over the morning story, he finds that the fire was
the result of spontaneous combustion in the grain stored in the
elevator. In the morning story this fact was rather insignificant in the
face of the huge loss, and most readers passed over it hastily. The
rewrite man, however, who has no later facts at his command, may seize
it as a new feature. Instead of beginning his story with the fact of the
fire, which is already known, he begins with the cause, which appears to
be later news. His lead may be as follows:

             |  Spontaneous combustion in the wheat    |
             |bins of the H. P. Jones Produce Company's|
             |elevator, First and Water streets,       |
             |started the fire which destroyed the     |
             |entire structure with a loss of $150,000 |
             |this morning.                            |

Or if the rewrite man is not so fortunate as to discover a new feature
as good as this, he may have to resort to beginning with a picture of
the present results of the fire--thus:

             |  Smouldering ruins and a tangled mass of|
             |steel beams are all that remain of the H.|
             |P. Jones Produce Company's $100,000      |
             |grain elevator, First and Water streets, |
             |which was destroyed by fire this morning.|

It will be noticed that, while these new rewrite leads begin with a new
feature, each new lead contains all the facts presented in the previous
lead and is told with an eye to the man who has not read the earlier
account. After the lead the rewrite man retells the whole story for the
benefit of readers who did not see the morning papers and rearranges the
facts so that they appear new to those who read the previous stories.
Facts which the other papers buried he unearths and displays; details
which appear to be later developments he crowds to the beginning. The
whole story is sorted and rewritten in a new order and with a new
emphasis. The result is a rewrite story which appears to be later,
although it contains no new facts at all. It is seldom, of course, that
such a rewrite story is used for local news, for very rarely is it
impossible for a later paper to discover new facts. But in the case of
news from the outside world, from other cities, the simple method of
rehashing old facts must often be resorted to. If the story is based
upon a single dispatch announcing an earthquake in Hawaii or a shipwreck
in mid-ocean, many rewrite stories must be printed on the same facts
before another message brings later news and additional details. An
example of this is the treatment of the first few stories of the wreck
of the White Star liner _Titanic_. The story was a big one, but the
first dispatches were very meager and many rehashings of these few facts
had to be printed before later and more definite news could be obtained.

The simple rewriting of an old story ordinarily involves a condensation
of the facts. If a morning paper printed two thousand words on the grain
elevator fire above, an afternoon paper of the same day would hardly
treat the story at such length. For the story is no longer big news. If
a story has run through the first editions of a morning paper it would
be cut down, as well as rehashed, in the later editions of the same
paper. The story of the fire loses its initial burst of interest after
the first printing, and only the essential facts and the facts that can
be rejuvenated can be reprinted. The 2,000-word version in the morning
paper may be worth only five hundred words or less four hours later.

=2. The Follow-up Story.=--If new facts are added to a story between
editions the new version is no longer a simple rewrite story. It becomes
a follow-up story, for it follows up the subsequent developments in the
previous story and corresponds to the second or succeeding installments
of a serial novel in which each installment begins with a synopsis of
previous chapters. For example, if, in the grain elevator fire story,
the body of a watchman were found in the ruins after the morning papers
have gone to press, the story would immediately have a different news
value for the evening papers. The story of the big fire is old, but the
discovery of the body is new. Hence the rewrite man would begin with the
later development--perhaps thus:

             |  The body of a watchman was found this  |
             |afternoon in the ruins of the H. P. Jones|
             |Produce elevator, which burned to the    |
             |ground this morning with a loss of       |
             |$150,000.                                |

The new story, while retelling the principal facts in the previous
account, would give prominence to the latest news, the discovery of the
body. As an example from a newspaper, let us take the follow-up of a
murder mystery. The first stories on this murder simply said that a
grocer had been found dead in the cellar of his store and murder had
been suggested. The follow-up on the next day (printed here) deals with
a new development--has a new feature--and carries the story one step
further in the attempt to unravel the mystery:

             |  Developments yesterday in the story of |
             |the killing of James White, the Park     |
             |street grocer, tended to support the     |
             |contention of Coroner Donalds and the    |
             |police that White was not murdered, but  |
             |died by his own hand.                    |

=3. Analysis.=--So far we have treated the rewrite story and the
follow-up story separately, but for the purposes of analysis and study
they may be treated together, because the same fundamental idea governs
both. Dissection of the follow-up story will also show us what the
rewrite story is made of.

From the above clippings it will be seen that the lead of the follow-up
story is very much like that of any news story. The lead has its feature
in the first line and answers the reader's questions concerning that
feature. It is simply a new story written on an old subject which has
been given a new feature to make it appear new. Furthermore, it will be
noticed that the lead of the follow-up story is complete in itself,
without the original story that preceded it. Although the whole idea of
the follow story is based on the supposition that all readers have read
every edition of the paper and are therefore acquainted with the
original story, yet for the benefit of those readers who have not read
the previous story, the follow-up must be complete and clear in itself.
New facts are introduced into the follow story, but its lead tells the
main facts of the original story so that no reader will be at loss to
understand what it is all about--in other words, it gives a synopsis of
previous chapters. In many follow-up stories the new developments are
supplemented by an entire retelling of the original story. This is
especially true when one paper is rewriting a story which broke too late
for its preceding edition and was covered by a rival paper. At any rate,
every follow-up story, like every other news story, must be so
constructed as to stand by itself without previous explanation.

             |  Of the 142 bodies of victims of the    |
             |Triangle Waist Company's fire on         |
             |Saturday, that had been taken to the     |
             |morgue up to noon yesterday when it was  |
             |decided that all the dead had been       |
             |recovered, all but 45 had been identified|
             |today.                                   |

This is a follow-up of a story two days before. Every reader of the
paper probably knew everything that had been printed previously about
the fire, and yet this lead very carefully recalls the fire to the
reader's mind. Later in the story the principal facts of the original
story are retold as if they were new and unknown.

It is interesting to see what in any given newspaper story can be
followed up for a later story. The would-be reporter may get good
practice in writing follow-up stories from the mere attempt to study out
the next step in any given new story. With this next step as his feature
he may try to write a follow-up story without additional information,
and then compare it with other follow-up stories. For every news story
contains within it clues to what may be expected to follow.

When any serious fire occurs certain additional facts may always be
expected to follow. The finding of more dead, the unravelling of a
mysterious origin, the re-statement of the loss, and the present
condition of the injured are some of the possibilities that a rewrite
man considers when he tries to prepare a follow-up story on a fire. The
Washington Place fire in New York on March 25, 1911, furnished admirable
material for the study of the rewriting of fire stories. The fire
occurred on Saturday afternoon too late for anything but the Sunday
editions. The original story as it appeared in the Sunday papers and the
Monday issues, of papers which had no Sunday editions, began like this:

             |  One hundred and forty-one persons are  |
             |dead as a result of a fire which on      |
             |Saturday afternoon swept the three upper |
             |floors of the factory loft building at   |
             |the northwest corner of Washington place |
             |and Greene street. More than             |
             |three-quarters of this number are women  |
             |and girls, who were employed in the      |
             |Triangle Shirt Waist factory, where the  |
             |fire originated.--_Boston Transcript,    |
             |Monday._                                 |

The Monday stories on the fire followed up various phases as shown in
the following. Each one while indicating that the story was a follow-up
retold the principal incidents in the fire.

             |  The death list in the Washington place |
             |and Greene street fire was swelled today |
             |to 145, a majority of the victims being  |
             |young girls.--_Monday morning--second    |
             |story._                                  |

             |  At dawn today it was estimated that    |
             |25,000 persons had visited the temporary |
             |morgue on the covered pier at the foot of|
             |East Twenty-sixth street, set aside to   |
             |receive the bodies of those who perished |
             |in the Washington place fire on Saturday |
             |afternoon.--_Monday morning--second      |
             |story._                                  |

             |  The horror of the fire in the ten-story|
             |loft building at Washington place and    |
             |Greene street late Saturday afternoon,   |
             |with its heavy toll of human lives, grows|
             |blacker each succeeding hour.--_Monday   |
             |afternoon._                              |

             |  Of the 142 bodies in the morgue as a   |
             |result of the Triangle Shirt Waist       |
             |factory fire, all but fifty had been     |
             |identified this morning.--_Monday        |
             |afternoon._                              |

On Tuesday other lines opened up for the rewrite man:

             |  Sifting down the great mass of         |
             |testimony at their disposal, city and    |
             |county officials hoped today to draw     |
             |closer to the source of responsibility   |
             |for Saturday's factory fire horror in    |
             |which 142 persons lost their lives.      |
             |Investigations started                   |
             |yesterday.--_Tuesday afternoon._         |

             |  With all but twenty-eight of the       |
             |victims of the Triangle Shirt Waist      |
             |factory horror identified, District      |
             |Attorney Whitman continues steadily      |
             |compiling evidence. Funerals for scores  |
             |of victims are being held today, while   |
             |the relief fund, etc.--_Tuesday          |
             |afternoon._                              |

             |  Borough President McAneny of Manhattan,|
             |the district attorney's staff, the fire  |
             |marshal, the coroner and the state labor |
             |department are bending every energy      |
             |toward fixing the blame for the loss of  |
             |the 142 lives in the, etc.--_Tuesday     |
             |afternoon._                              |

             |  Union labor, horrified by the full     |
             |realization that the waste of human life |
             |in the Triangle Waist factory fire might |
             |have been saved had existing laws been   |
             |enforced, today arranged for a monster   |
             |demonstration of protest, etc.--_Tuesday |
             |afternoon._                              |

And so the stories ran for many days until newspaper readers had lost
all interest in the fire. Most of the stories were simply retellings of
the original story with a new bit of information in the lead. People
were ravenous for more details about the fire and the follow stories
supplied them until they were satisfied. Rarely is a fire worth so many

A serious accident is often followed up in one or more editions. If many
people are killed or injured, the revised list of dead or the present
condition of the injured always furnishes material for a follow-up.
Sometimes the fixing of the blame, as in a railroad accident, or other
resulting features are used as the basis of the rewriting.

In the case of a robbery the commonest material for a follow-up story is
the resulting pursuit or capture. Very often a final report of the loss,
the present condition of a robbed bank or public institution, or perhaps
the regaining of the booty, makes a feature for a new story. But usually
the follow-up is concerned with the pursuit, capture, or trial. This is
especially true if the original story has been told by an earlier paper
and another later paper wishes to print a more up-to-date story on the
robbery, such as:

             |  MINOCQUA, Wis., Oct. 22.--It now begins|
             |to look as if the bandits who robbed the |
             |State Bank of Minocqua early Tuesday     |
             |morning would make their escape with the |
             |booty. (This is followed by a re-telling |
             |of the entire story of the robbery and an|
             |account of the pursuit.)                 |

The most usual follow-up of a murder story is interested in the pursuit,
capture, or trial of the perpetrator of the deed. For example:

             |  Following the discovery of the body of |
             |Pietro Barilla, an Italian, of Woodhaven,|
             |Long Island, who was stabbed to death by |
             |four men, presumably Black Hand members, |
             |in Lincoln Road, near Flatbush, early    |
             |yesterday morning, the police arrested   |
             |three men yesterday.                     |

Very often the present condition of the victim of an attempted murder
calls for a new story. The stories following the attempted murder of
Mayor Gaynor of New York are good examples of the latter. If a mystery
surrounds the crime a possible solution is grounds for a new story. The
stories which might follow the unraveling of the mystery surrounding the
fictitious death of the grocer, mentioned at the beginning of this
chapter, would be second-day murder stories. The original story, let us
say, was something like this:

             |  James White, a groceryman, was found   |
             |dying yesterday with a bullet wound in   |
             |his abdomen, in the cellar of his grocery|
             |store at 1236 Park street.               |

The next story on the murder would be concerned with the unraveling of
the mystery, thus:

             |  The preliminary inquiry yesterday by   |
             |Coroner John F. Donalds, into the        |
             |mysterious death of James White, the Park|
             |street grocer, resulted in the conclusion|
             |that White was murdered.                 |

And so the stories might run on day after day following the solution of
the case like the succeeding chapters of a continued novel, and each one
gives the synopsis of the preceding chapters in its lead, as every good
follow-up story should do.

Suicide stories seldom offer material for follow-up stories unless there
is some mystery surrounding the case. Sometimes the present condition of
a resuscitated victim of attempted suicide or the disposition of the
estate of a suicide offers material for rewriting.

Serious storms and floods are usually followed up for several days.
Readers are always interested in the present condition of the devastated
region. Very often the list of dead and injured is revised from day to
day, and any attempt to lend aid to the unfortunate victims is always a
reason for a later story.

Any meetings, conferences, trials, conventions, or the like must be
followed up day by day with succeeding stories. Each story is complete
in itself, but each one adds one more chapter to the report of the
meeting. This method of following a continued proceeding calls for a
series of follow-up stories; examples of the stories that follow a
continued legal trial will be given later under Court Reporting.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Many other illustrations might be given of follow-up stories that appear
daily in the newspapers. In the last analysis, the follow-up or the
rewrite story is nothing more than an ordinary news story, and as such
must be written in the same way. It begins with a lead which plays up a
feature and answers the reader's questions about the subject; the body
of the story runs along like the body of any news story. But it is
different in being a later chapter of a previous account; while complete
in itself, it must not only indicate the previous story, but must tell
its most important facts for readers who may have missed the previous
story. It is simply a news story which is tied to a previous story by a
string of cause and effect.

=4. Following Up Related Subjects.=--In this connection it may be well
to mention another kind of follow-up story that is usually written in
connection with big news events. It is written to develop and follow up
side lines of interest growing out of the main story. In its most usual
form it is a statistical summary of events similar to the great event of
the day--such as similar fires, similar railroad wrecks, etc., in the
past. Any big story attracts so much attention among newspaper readers
that the facts at hand are usually not sufficient to supply the public's
demand for information on the subject. To satisfy these demands editors
develop lines of interest growing out of the main event. They interview
people concerning the event and concerning similar events; they describe
similar events that have taken place in the past; they summarize and
compare similar events in the past--in short, they follow up every line
of interest opened up by the big story and write stories on the result.
These stories are of the nature of follow-up stories in that they grow
out of, and develop, the main story in its greatest extent.

For example, the wreck of the ocean liner _Titanic_ called for
innumerable side stories because the public's interest demanded more
facts than the newspapers had at hand to supply. Hence, the papers wrote
up similar shipwrecks in the past, gathered together summaries of the
world's greatest shipwrecks, interviewed people who had been in any way
connected with shipwrecks or with any phase of this shipwreck, described
glaciers and icebergs, estimated the depth of the ocean where the
_Titanic_ sank, described the White Star liner and other liners,
pictured real or imaginary shipwrecks, and developed every other related
subject. The real news in all this mass of material was very meager, but
the related stories satisfied the greedy public and helped newspaper
readers to understand and to picture the real significance of the meager

In the same way a disastrous fire, like the burning of the Iroquois
Theater, calls for innumerable outgrowing stories. Even when the event
reported in the main news story is not sufficiently important to call
for related stories, it is often accompanied by a list (usually put in a
box at the head of the story) of other similar events and their results.
These follow-up stories of related subjects are, in form, very much like
feature stories, although they usually conform to the follow-up idea of
mentioning in their leads the main news event to which they are



Every profession has its disagreeable tasks; journalism has perhaps more
disagreeable tasks than any other profession. All of a reporter's work
is not concerned with running down thrilling stories and writing them up
in a whirl of breathless interest. Our readers demand other kinds of
news, and it is the reporter's task to satisfy them faithfully. There is
probably no phase of the work that is quite so irksome as the reporting
of speeches, lectures, sermons, etc., and there is probably no phase of
the work about which most reporters have fewer definite rules or ideas.
Read the reports of the same speech in two different papers and note the
difference. They seldom contain the same things and more seldom do they
tell what the speaker said, in the way and the spirit in which he said
it. It is irksome work and difficult work to condense an hour's talk
into three stickfuls, and few reporters know exactly how to go about

The report of a speech or a sermon or a lecture may come to a newspaper
office in one of two ways. A copy of it may be sent to the paper or the
reporter may have to go to hear the address and take notes on it. Very
often the speaker kindly sends a printed or typewritten copy of his
speech to the editor a few days in advance with the permission to
release it--or print it--on a certain date, after the speech has been
delivered in public. If the speech is to be printed in full, the task is
a mere matter of editing and does not trouble the reporter. Very few
speeches receive so much space. The others must be condensed and put in
shape for printing.

After all, the usual way to get a speech is to go to the public delivery
of the speech and bring back a report of it. At first sight this is a
difficult task and green reporters come back with a very poor resumé.
However, a word or two of advice from the editor or some bitter
experience eases the way. Some advice may be given here to prepare the
would-be reporter beforehand.

Some reporters who know shorthand prefer to make a stenographic report
of the entire speech and rearrange and condense it in the office. This
method is advisable only in the case of speeches of the greatest
importance; it is too laborious for ordinary purposes, since the account
includes at most only a part of the speech. The best way, doubtless, to
get a speech is to take notes on it. And yet this must be done properly
or there is a danger of misinterpretation of statements or of undue
emphasis upon any single part of the speech. The report of a speech
should be as well balanced and logical as the speech itself, differing
from the original only in length and the omission of details. The speech
report must be accurate and truthful or the speaker may appear at the
office in a day or two with blood in his eye. A few rules may be
suggested as an aid to accuracy and truthfulness.

In the first place, do not try to get all the speech; do not try to get
more than a small part of it--the important part. There are two ways of
doing this. If the speech is well arranged and orderly it is easy to
tell when the speaker has finished one sub-division and is beginning
another. Each division and subdivision will naturally contain a topic
sentence. Watch for the topic sentences and get them down with the
briefest necessary explanation to make them clear. Political speeches or
impromptu talks are, on the other hand, not always so logically
arranged. Sometimes it is possible to get the topic sentences, but more
often it is not. Then watch for the interesting or striking statements.
You will be aided in this by the audience about you. Whenever the
speaker says anything unusually striking or of more than ordinary
interest the audience will show it by signs of assent or dissent. Watch
for these signs, even for applause--and take down the statement that was
the cause. If the statement interested the original audience it will
interest your readers. Naturally, mere oratorical trivialities must not
be mistaken for striking statements.

When you get back to the office to write up the report of the speech you
will feel the need of direct quotations--in fact, the length of your
report will be determined by the number of direct quotations that you
have to use in it--as well as by editorial dictum. It would be entirely
wrong to quote any expressions of your own because they are somewhat
like the speaker's statements, and it is impossible to quote anything
less than a complete sentence in the report of a speech. Hence you will
need complete sentences taken down verbatim in the exact words of the
speaker. Make it a point to get complete sentences as you listen to the
speech. Whenever a striking statement or an interesting part of the
speech seems worth putting in your story get it down completely. You
will find yourself writing most of the time because, while you are
writing down one important sentence, the speaker will be uttering
several more in explanation and may say something else of interest
before you have finished writing down his first statement. Strict
attention, a quick pencil, and a good memory are needed for this kind of
work, but the reporting of speeches will lose its terrors after you have
had a very small amount of practice.

Just as any news story begins with a lead and plays up its most striking
fact in the first line, the report of a speech usually begins with the
speaker's most striking or most important statement. As you are
listening to his words watch for something striking for the
lead--something that will catch the reader's eye and interest him. But
you must exercise great care in selecting the statement for the lead.
Theoretically and practically it must be something in strict accordance
with the entire content of the speech and, if possible, it should be the
one statement that sums up the whole speech in the most concise way.
Somewhere in the discourse, at the beginning, at the end, or in some
emphatic place, the speaker will usually sum up his complete ideas on
the subject in a striking, concise way. Watch for this summary and get
it down for the lead. However, there may be times when this summary,
though concise, will be of little interest to the average reader and you
will be forced to use some other striking statement. Then it is
perfectly permissible to take any striking statement in the speech and
use it for the lead, provided that the statement is directly connected
with the rest of the discourse. But be fair to the speaker. Do not play
up some chance remark as illustrative of the entire utterance; don't
bring in an aside as the most interesting thing in his speech. If a
preacher forgets himself to the extent of expressing a chance political
opinion, it would obviously be unfair to him for you to play up that
remark as the summary of his sermon. Your readers would get a false
impression and the preacher would be angry. If he considers the chance
remark of real importance in his sermon he will back it up with other
statements that will give you an excuse for using it. In brief, watch
for the most interesting and most striking statement in the entire
speech, and in selecting this statement be fair and just and try to
avoid giving a false impression of the speaker or of the speech. If you
follow this rule you will never be in any danger of getting your paper
into difficulties.

Another rule in reporting lectures, speeches, etc., applies to the
writing of all newspaper stories. Write your report at once while the
speech is still fresh in your mind. Your report must preserve the logic
and continuity of the speech--it must be a fair resumé. Your notes will
be at best mere jottings of chance sentences here and there. Do not
allow them to get cold and lose their continuity. Write the report at

                  *       *       *       *       *

The writing of the report of a speech, lecture, or sermon is the same
whether it is taken from a printed or stenographic copy of the discourse
or from notes. It is perhaps easier to write from your notes because you
have the important parts of the speech picked out, ready for use, by the
aid of the rest of the audience. Before you can resumé a printed copy of
the speech you must go through it and pick out the important sentences
which you wish to quote and decide upon the most striking statement for
the lead. There is no definite rule that can be followed in this except
to take the topic sentences whenever they are stated with sufficient
clearness. When you have decided on the statements that you wish to
quote you have really reduced the speech to a form practically identical
with the notes taken from verbal utterance, and the writing in either
case is the same.

The lead of the report is very much like the lead of any other news
story--for the report of a speech is really a news story. As soon as the
speech is mentioned, the reader unconsciously asks a number of questions
about it and the reporter must answer them in the first sentence. As in
any other news story the questions are: _What?_ _Who?_ _Where?_ _When?_
and perhaps _How?_ and _Why?_ Reduced to the case of the speech report,
they amount to what did he say, who said it, where did he say it, when,
and perhaps how and why did he say it. You may answer the _what_ by
giving the subject of the discourse or by giving a striking statement in
it. In every report the answer to some one of the questions is of
greater interest and must be placed in the first line. If the speaker is
of more than ordinary prominence his name makes a good beginning. If an
ordinary person makes a speech at some meeting of prominence the _when_
or _where_ takes precedence over his name. But in most cases the
reporter will find that none of these things is of sufficient importance
for the beginning. Most public utterances that he will be called upon to
report will be made by ordinary men in ordinary places and at ordinary
times, and the most interesting part of the story will be what was said.
Sometimes it suffices to give the title of the speech, but more often a
striking statement from the speech makes the best beginning. However,
although the speaker, the time, the place, etc., are overshadowed in
importance by the subject or content of what the speaker says, they must
be included in the same sentence with the title or striking statement.
That is, in short, we catch the reader's interest with a striking
statement from the speech and then delay the rest of the report while we
tell who said it, when, where, etc. The necessity of this is obvious.

In accordance with the foregoing there are several possible ways in
which to begin the lead of the report of any speech. It would be wrong
to say that any one is more common or better than the others; the choice
of the beginning must rest with the reporter. And yet there are various
things to be noted in connection with each of these beginnings.

=1. Direct Quotation Beginning.--Sentence.=--The quotation that is to
have the first line must of course be the most striking or the most
interesting statement in the speech. If it consists of a single
sentence--and it cannot be less than a sentence--the report may begin

             |  "Participation in government is not    |
             |only the privilege, but the right, of    |
             |every American citizen and should be     |
             |considered a duty," said the Rev.        |
             |Frederick W. Hamilton, president of Tufts|
             |College, who spoke on "The Political     |
             |Duties of the American Citizen" at the   |
             |monthly men's neighborhood meeting in the|
             |Roxbury Neighborhood House last          |
             |night.--_Boston Herald._                 |

Here the reporter has given us a sentence that is practically a summary
of the speech, has told us who said it, when and where, and has
completed the paragraph with the title of the speech. Sometimes the
title of the speech is not of great importance and its place in the lead
may be given to a little summary as in the following:

             |  "The modern man isn't afraid of hell," |
             |was the concise explanation which W.     |
             |Lathrop Meaker gave in Franklin Union    |
             |Hall yesterday afternoon and evening of  |
             |the fact that the churches are losing    |
             |their grip on the average man.--_New York|
             |Sun._                                    |

A question which embodies the content of a speech may often be quoted at
the beginning; thus:

             |  "Will the Baptist church continue to   |
             |maintain an attitude of timidity when    |
             |John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil is   |
             |mentioned?" asked the Rev. R. A. Bateman,|
             |from East Jaffrey, N. H., of the         |
             |ministers assembled in Ford Hall last    |
             |evening at the New England Baptist       |
             |conference.--_Boston Herald._            |

The opening quotation may sometimes be made an excuse for a brief
description of the speaker or his gestures as in the following. This is
good at times but it may easily be overworked or become "yellow" in

             |  "There is no fire escape," remarked    |
             |Gypsy Smith, the famous English          |
             |evangelist, yesterday before the         |
             |fashionable audience of the Fifth Avenue |
             |Baptist Church. He held aloft a Bible as |
             |he made this declaration during an       |
             |eloquent sermon on the possibility of    |
             |losing faith and wandering from the      |
             |narrow way.--_New York World._           |

=2. Direct Quotation Beginning.--Paragraph.=--You notice that in each of
the foregoing the quoted sentence is incorporated grammatically into the
first sentence of the lead. It is followed by a comma and the words
"said Mr. ----," "was the statement of ----," "declared Mr. ----," etc.
This construction is possible only when the quoted sentence is short and
simple. When it is long or complex, it is well to paragraph it
separately and to put the explanations in a separate paragraph, thus:

             |  "If the United States had possessed in |
             |1898 a single dirigible balloon, even of |
             |the size of the one now at Fort Myer,    |
             |Virginia, which cost less than $10,000,  |
             |the American army and navy would not have|
             |long remained in doubt of the presence of|
             |Cervera's fleet in Santiago harbor."     |
             |                                         |
             |This statement was made today by Major   |
             |G. O. Squier, assistant chief signal     |
             |officer of the army, in an address on    |
             |aëronautics delivered before the American|
             |Society of Mechanical Engineers at 29    |
             |West Thirty-ninth street.--_New York     |
             | Mail._                                  |

This same construction must _always_ be used when the statement quoted
in the lead consists of more than one sentence, as in the following:

             |  "The climate of Wisconsin is as good   |
             |for recovery from tuberculosis as that of|
             |any state in the union. It is not the    |
             |climate, but the out-of-doors air that   |
             |works the cure."                         |
             |                                         |
             |So said Harvey Dee Brown in his          |
             |tuberculosis crusade lecture in Kilbourn |
             |park last night.--_Milwaukee Free Press._|

It is to be noted that the statement quoted in the lead is never split
into two parts, separated by explanation. The quotation is always
gathered together at the beginning and followed by the explanation.

=3. Indirect Quotation Beginning.=--This method is best adapted to the
playing up of a brief resumé of the content of the speech. It is
sometimes called the "_that_-clause beginning" because it always begins
with a _that_-clause which is the subject of the principal verb of the
sentence--"was the statement of," "was the declaration of," etc. The
_that_-clause may contain a resumé of the entire speech or only the most
striking statement in it. Here is one of the latter:

             |  That the cruise of the battleship fleet|
             |around the world has taught the citizens |
             |of the United States that a powerful     |
             |fleet is needed in the Pacific was the   |
             |statement of Rear Admiral R. C. Hollyday,|
             |chief of the bureau of yards and docks of|
             |the navy, at a luncheon given to him by  |
             |the board of trustees of the Chamber of  |
             |Commerce at the Fairmont Hotel           |
             |yesterday.--_San Francisco Examiner._    |

It is not always necessary to use the phrase "was the statement of." A
variation from it is often very good:

             |  That it is the urgent mission of the   |
             |white people of America, through their   |
             |churches and Sunday-schools, to educate  |
             |the American negro morally and           |
             |religiously, was the sentiment of the    |
             |twelfth session of the International     |
             |Sunday-school Convention last night,     |
             |voiced with special power and eloquence  |
             |by Dr. Booker T. Washington, the chief   |
             |speaker of the evening.--_Louisville     |
             |Courier-Journal._                        |

             |  That the Irish race has a great destiny|
             |to fulfill, one greater than it has      |
             |achieved in its glorious past, was the   |
             |prophecy of Prof. Charles Johnston of    |
             |Dublin university in his lecture at the  |
             |city library Sunday                      |
             |afternoon.--_Wisconsin State Journal._   |

It is perfectly good usage to begin such a lead with two _that_-clauses
or even with three. The two clauses in this case are of course treated
as a singular subject and take a singular verb. It is usually best not
to have more than three clauses at the beginning and even three must be
handled with great care. Three clauses at the beginning, if at all long,
bury the speaker's name too deeply and may become too complicated.
Unless the clauses are very closely related in idea, it is usually
better not to use more than two. Naturally when more than one
_that_-clause is used in the lead, all of the clauses must be gathered
together at the beginning; never should one precede and one follow the
principal verb. Here is an example of good usage:

             |  NEW YORK, Feb. 25.--That America is    |
             |entering upon a new era of civic and     |
             |business rectitude and that this is due  |
             |to the awakening of the moral conscience |
             |of the whole people was the prophecy made|
             |here tonight by Governor Joseph W. Folk  |
             |of Missouri.--_Chicago Record-Herald._   |

=4. Summary Beginning.=--This is a less formal way of treating the
indirect quotation beginning. It is simply a different grammatical
construction. Whereas in the _that_-clause beginning the principal verb
of the sentence is outside the summary (e. g., "That ... was the
statement of"), in the summary beginning the principal verb of the
sentence is the verb of the summary and the speaker is brought in by
means of a modifying phrase; thus:

             |  MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 1.--Both the free    |
             |trader and the stand-patter are back     |
             |numbers, according to Senator Albert J.  |
             |Beveridge of Indiana, who delivered a    |
             |tariff speech here tonight.--_Milwaukee  |
             |Free Press._                             |

             |  Federal control of the capitalization  |
             |of railroads is the solution of the      |
             |railroad problem suggested by E. L.      |
             |Phillipp, the well-known Milwaukee       |
             |railroad expert, in the course of a      |
             |speech at the third annual banquet of,   |
             |etc.--_Milwaukee Free Press._            |

The summary beginning may be handled in many different ways and allows
perhaps more grammatical liberty than any other beginning. The summary
may even be given a sentence by itself as in the following. This kind of
treatment may easily be overdone and should be handled with great

             |  If you have acute mania, it is the     |
             |proper thing to take the music cure. Miss|
             |Jessie A. Fowler says so, and she knows. |
             |Miss Fowler discussed "Music             |
             |Hygienically" before the "Rainy Daisies" |
             |at the Hotel Astor yesterday and         |
             |prescribed musical treatment for various |
             |brands of mania.--_New York World._      |

=5. Keynote Beginning.=--Very closely related to the summary beginning
is the keynote beginning, in which the subject of the main verb is an
indirect presentation of the content of the speech. Whereas the summary
beginning displays its resumé in a complete sentence, the keynote
beginning puts the content of the speech in a single noun and its
modifiers. Thus:

             |  The ideal state university was the     |
             |theme of a speech delivered by, etc.     |

             |  The mission of the newspaper to tell   |
             |the truth, to stand for high ideals, and |
             |to strive to have those ideals adopted by|
             |the public was the keynote of an address |
             |delivered by, etc.                       |

=6. Participial Beginning.=--This is less common than the other kinds of
indirect quotation beginnings but it is often very effective. The
summary of the speech or the most striking statement is put into a
participial phrase at the beginning and is made to modify the subject of
the sentence (the speaker). It must of course be remembered that such a
participial phrase can be used only to modify a noun, as an adjective
modifies a noun, and can never be made the subject of a verb. Here is an
example of good use of this beginning:

             |  Upholding the right of public criticism|
             |of the courts on the theory that there   |
             |can be no impropriety in investigating   |
             |any act of a public official, Judge      |
             |Kennesaw M. Landis last night addressed  |
             |the students of Marquette College of Law |
             |and many members of the Milwaukee        |
             |bar.--_Milwaukee Free Press._            |

Just as it is perfectly possible to begin an indirect quotation lead
with two _that_-clauses instead of one, it is also possible to use two
participial phrases in the participial beginning; as:

             |  Pleading for justice and human         |
             |affection in dealing with the delinquent |
             |child, and urging the vital need of      |
             |legislation which shall enforce parental |
             |responsibility, Mrs. Nellie Duncan made  |
             |an address yesterday which stirred the   |
             |sympathies of an attentive audience in   |
             |the First Presbyterian Church.--_San     |
             |Francisco Examiner._                     |

Although the participial phrase usually gives the summary of the speech,
not infrequently the participial construction is used to play up the
name of the speech or some other fact and the summary comes after the
principal verb of the lead; thus:

             |  Paying tribute to the memory of        |
             |President William McKinley last night at |
             |the Metropolitan Temple, where exercises |
             |were held to dedicate the McKinley       |
             |memorial organ, Judge Taft told in detail|
             |of his commission to the Philippine      |
             |service and his subsequent intimate      |
             |connection with the President.--_New York|
             |Tribune._                                |

=7. Title Beginning.=--There are two reasons for beginning the report of
a public utterance with the speaker's subject or title. The title itself
may be so broad that it makes a good summary of the speech, or it may be
so striking in itself that it attracts interest at once. In the
following examples the title is really a summary of the speech:

             |  NEW YORK, Dec. 15.--"The Compensation  |
             |of Employes for Injuries Received While  |
             |at Work" was taken by J. D. Beck,        |
             |commissioner of labor of Wisconsin, as   |
             |the theme of his address before the      |
             |National Civic Federation here           |
             |today.--_Milwaukee Free Press._          |

             |  "The Emmanuel Movement" was the subject|
             |of an address by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of|
             |the Free Synagogue yesterday             |
             |morning.--_New York Evening Post._       |

In the following stories the reporter began with the title evidently
because it was so strikingly unusual and also because it was the title
of a strikingly unusual speech by an unusual man. This kind of title
beginning is always very effective:

             |  "Booze, or Get on the Water Wagon," was|
             |the subject on which Rev. Billy Sunday,  |
             |the baseball evangelist, addressed an    |
             |audience of over 4,000 persons at the    |
             |Midland Chautauqua yesterday afternoon.  |
             |For two hours Sunday fired volley after  |
             |volley at the liquor traffic.--_Des      |
             |Moines Capital._                         |

             |  "If Christ Came to Milwaukee" was the  |
             |subject of the Rev. Paul B. Jenkin's     |
             |Sunday night in Immanuel Presbyterian    |
             |Church.--_Milwaukee Sentinel._           |

=8. Speaker Beginning.=--It is obvious that this is the easiest
beginning that may be used in the report of a speech. But just as
obviously it is the beginning that should be least used. Just as in
writing news stories a green reporter always attempts to begin every
lead with the name of some person involved, in reporting a public
discourse he has a strong desire to put the name of the speaker before
what the speaker said. But the same tests may be applied to both cases.
Are our readers more interested in what a man does than in the man
himself; do our readers go to hear a given speaker because they wish to
hear what he has to say or because they wish to hear _him_? Whenever the
public is so interested in a man that it does not care what he says,
then you may feel safe in beginning the report of what he says with his
name. This test may be altered, especially in smaller cities, by
previous interest in the speech; if the speech has been expected and
looked forward to with interest, then, no matter if the speaker is the
President himself, his name is not as good news as what he has to say.
Even if the lead does begin with the speaker's name, the reporter
usually tries to bring a summary of the speech or the most striking
statement into the first sentence after the name. For example:

             |  Speaker Joseph G. Cannon placed himself|
             |on record last night in favor of a       |
             |revision of the tariff in accordance with|
             |the promise of the Republican party      |
             |platform and declared that so far as his |
             |vote was concerned he would see to it    |
             |that the announced policy of revision    |
             |would be written in the national laws as |
             |soon as possible. The words of the       |
             |speaker came at a luncheon given to six  |
             |rear admirals of the United States navy  |
             |by Alexander H. Revell of Chicago in the |
             |Union League Club, at which the need of  |
             |more battleships and increased efficiency|
             |of the fighting forces of the republic   |
             |were the principal themes of discussion. |

This example was chosen because, while it is written in accordance with
the rules of the speaker beginning, it is obviously too long and
complicated--over 110 words. It would be better to gather it together
and condense it as in the following:

             |  Chief Forester Gifford Pinchot opened  |
             |the second day's session of the national |
             |conservation congress yesterday by an    |
             |address in which he expressed his entire |
             |satisfaction and his confidence in the   |
             |attitude of President Taft toward        |
             |conservating the national                |
             |resources.--_Milwaukee Sentinel._        |

             |  ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 10.--Booker T.   |
             |Washington of Tuskegee, Ala., in an      |
             |address at the People's Church tonight   |
             |predicted that within two years the      |
             |liquor traffic would be driven out of all|
             |the southern states but two.--_Milwaukee |
             |Sentinel._                               |

There are obviously other beginnings that cannot be classed under any of
the above heads. Some of them, much like the "freak" leads that may be
seen in many newspapers of the present day, may be called free
beginnings for want of a better name. These free beginnings are quite
effective when properly handled but the novice must use them with fear
and trembling. They may be witty or they may be sarcastic, but they are
usually dangerous. The difference in the eight beginnings discussed
above is mainly one of grammatical construction; the same fundamental
ideas govern them all. Their purpose is always to play up a striking
statement or a summary of the speech report and to give at the very
outset the necessary explanation concerning the speech.


The body of the report of a speech is not so distinct from the lead as
the body of an ordinary news story. In the news story it is safe to
assume that many readers will not go beyond the lead, but in the report
of a speech this is not so true. It is less possible to give the main
facts in the lead of a speech report and the rest of the story is more
necessary. Hence it must be written with as great care as the lead.

The body of the report should consist of direct quotation in so far as
possible. The reader is interested in what the speaker said and it is
impossible to make a summary in indirect discourse as convincing as the
actual quotation of his words. Be sure that the quotations are the
speaker's exact words or very nearly his exact words, so that he cannot
accuse you of misquoting him. The spirit of his words must be in the
quotation, anyway.

In these quotations nothing less than a complete sentence should be
quoted. Do not patch together sentences of indirect and direct
quotation, like the following--He said that some of us are prone to let
things be as they are, "because the philanthropic rich help in our times
of trouble and in sickness." Such quotation is worse than no direct
quotation at all. Of course, this does not mean that one cannot add
"said the speaker" to a direct quotation, but it means that "said the
speaker" can be added only to quotations that are complete sentences.
Furthermore whenever it is necessary to bring in "said the speaker," or
similar expressions, they should be added at the end of the quoted
sentence--the least emphatic part of a newspaper sentence.

Obviously a condensed report of a speech can only quote sentences here
and there throughout the speech--the high spots of interest, as we
called them before. These must not be quoted promiscuously and
disconnectedly. The original speech had a logical order and set forth a
logical train of thought. These should be followed as far as possible in
the report. Bring in the quotations in their true order and fill the
gaps between them with indirect discourse to knit them together and to
give the report the coherence of the original speech. But do not carry
this indirect explanation to the extent of making your copy a report of
the speech in indirect discourse with occasional bits of direct
quotation to illustrate. Remember that, after all, the direct quotation
is the truly effective part of the speech.

Whenever a paragraph contains both direct and indirect quotation, the
direct quotation should always precede the indirect. But it is much
better to paragraph the two kinds of quotation separately, making each
paragraph entirely of direct, or entirely of indirect, quotation. If a
paragraph must contain both, begin it with the direct so that as the
reader glances down the column he will see a quotation mark at the
beginnings of most, if not all, of the paragraphs. By the same sign,
when your notes are lacking in direct quotations, bring in as many of
the quotations as possible at the beginning of the report and let the
indirect summary occupy the end where it may be cut off by the editor if
he does not wish to run it.

Here is a good illustration of a part of the body of a good speech
report--it is the second paragraph of one of the stories quoted under
the "Speaker" beginning above:

             |  "I can not account for the moral       |
             |revolution that is sweeping over the     |
             |South," he continued. "The sentiment     |
             |against whisky is deeper than the mere   |
             |desire to get it away from the black man.|
             |That same sentiment is found in counties |
             |that contain no negro population. People |
             |who say that the law will not be enforced|
             |have not been in the South.--B. T.       |
             |Washington's speech, _Milwaukee          |
             |Sentinel._                               |

You will notice that although the above paragraph is composed entirely
of direct quotation it has no quotation mark at the end. This is, of
course, in accordance with the old rule of rhetoric which says that in a
continuous quotation each paragraph shall begin with a quotation mark
but only the last shall be closed by a quotation mark.

To illustrate the errors that may be made in reporting speeches we might
write the above paragraph as follows:

             |  Mr. Washington continued by saying that|
             |he could not account for the revolution  |
             |that is sweeping over the South. "The    |
             |sentiment against whisky is deeper than  |
             |the mere desire to get it away from the  |
             |black man." He says that "the same       |
             |sentiment is found in counties that      |
             |contain no negro population." People who |
             |say that the law will not be enforced    |
             |"have not been in the South," according  |
             |to Booker T. Washington.                 |

The clumsiness of this mingling of direct and indirect quotation is very
clear, as is the weakness of beginning with an explanation that is
really subordinate.

Much more could be said about the reporting of speeches. Very few things
will make a man so angry as the misquoting of his words. Therefore,
whatever other faults your report of a speech may have, let it be
accurate and truthful.



If you compare any interview story with any speech report in any
representative newspaper, you will readily see how a discussion of
interviews easily becomes an explanation of the differences between
interview stories and speech-reports; that is, how the report of an
interview differs from the report of a public utterance of a more formal
kind. There are few differences in the written reports. Each usually
begins with a summary or a striking statement and consists largely of
direct quotation. Were it not for the line or two of explanation at the
end of the introduction, it would be practically impossible to tell the
one from the other, to tell which of the reports sets forth statements
made in a public discourse and which gives statements made in a more
private way to a reporter.

The difference lies behind the report, in the way the reporter obtained
the statements and quotations. And the whole difference depends upon the
attitude of the man who made the statements--whether his words were a
conscious or an unconscious public utterance. When a man speaks from a
platform he utters every sentence and every word with an idea of
possible quotation--he is not only willing to be quoted but he wants to
be quoted. But when he speaks privately to a reporter he usually dreads
quotation. Of course, he expects that you will print a few of his
remarks but he is constantly hoping that you will not remember and print
them all. He speaks more guardedly, too, since he is not sure of the
interpretation that may be given to his words. Hence it is a very
different matter to report what a man says in public and to get
statements for the press from him in private. Any one can report a
speech but great skill is required to get a good interview--especially
if the victim is unwilling to talk.

The first matter that a reporter has to consider is the means of
retaining the statements until he is able to write his story. It is a
simple matter to get quotations from a speech because it is possible to
sit anywhere in the audience and write down the speaker's words in a
notebook as they are uttered. But the notebook must be left behind when
you try to interview. When a man is not used to being interviewed
nothing will make him reticent so quickly as the appearance of a
notebook and pencil; he realizes that his words are to appear in print
just as he utters them and he immediately becomes frightened. Ordinarily
so long as he feels that what he says is going into the confidential ear
of the reporter--and out of the other ear just as quickly--he is willing
to talk more freely and openly and to say exactly what he thinks. This,
of course, does not apply to prominent men who are used to being
interviewed and prefer to have their remarks taken down verbatim. Such
an interview, however, is little more than a call to secure a statement
for publication.

It might be well to settle the notebook question here and now when it
assumes the greatest importance. The stage has hardened us to seeing a
reporter slinking around the outskirts of every bit of excitement
writing excitedly and hurriedly in a large leather notebook. So hardened
are we to the sight that some new reporters buy a notebook just as soon
as they get a place on a newspaper staff. But real reporters on real
newspapers do not use notebooks. A few sheets of folded copy paper
hidden carefully in an inside pocket ready for names and addresses and
perhaps figures are all that most of them carry. Many people dread
publicity and the appearance of a notebook frightens them into silence
more quickly than the actual appearance of a representative of the
press. This is true in the reporting of any bit of news, in the covering
of any story--and it is ordinarily true in interviewing for statements
that are to be quoted. Of course, an exception to this must be made in
the case of some prominent men who prefer to issue signed written
statements when they are interviewed.

The impossibility of using a notebook or writing down a man's words in
an interview seriously complicates the task of interviewing. Some
reporters train themselves until they are able to remember their
victim's words long enough to get outside and write them down. Others
are satisfied with getting the ideas and the spirit of what is said
together with the man's manner of talking. A few characteristic
mannerisms thrown in with a true report of his ideas will make any
speaker believe that you have quoted him exactly. Whichever method is
pursued, the reporter must always be fair and try to tell the readers of
the paper the man's true ideas. The exigencies of the case give the
reporter greater liberty than in quoting from a speech but he must not
abuse his liberty.

The success of an interview depends very largely upon the way in which a
reporter approaches the man whom he wishes to interview. It is never
well to trust to the inspiration of the moment to start the
conversation. The reporter must know exactly what he wishes to have the
man say before he approaches him and must already have framed his
questions so as to draw out the answers that he wishes. People are never
interviewed except for a purpose and that purpose should suggest the
reporter's first question. No matter how willing the man is to tell what
he thinks he will seldom begin talking until the reporter asks him a
definite question to help him in putting his thoughts into words. All of
this should be considered beforehand. The reporter should have outlined
a definite campaign and have a series of questions which he wishes to
ask. If he has written the questions out beforehand, the task becomes an
easier one--he merely fills in the answers on his list later and has the
interview in better form than if he had tried to trust entirely to his
memory. To be sure, the questions may open up unexpected lines of
thought and he may get more than he went for, but he must have his
questions ready for use as soon as each new line is exhausted. A skilled
reporter frames the interview himself and keeps the result entirely in
his own hands through the campaign that he has outlined beforehand.
Unless he knows exactly what he wants to get, a wary victim may lead him
off upon unimportant facts and in the end tell him nothing that his
paper has sent him to get. A reporter must keep the reins of an
interview in his own possession.

A good reporter takes great care in his manner of addressing a man whom
he is to interview. A well-known newspaper follows the rule of asking
its reporters never to do what a gentleman would not do. A reporter who
is trying to interview must always be a gentleman and must not ask
questions that a gentleman would not ask. If the victim is a prominent
man of great personality it is not hard to follow this rule--in fact, it
is impossible to get the interview by any other method of approach. But
when one is trying to interview a person of humbler station, the case is
different. It is very easy then to fall into a habit of demanding
information and turning the interview into an inquisition. But the
reporter who keeps his attitude as a gentleman gets more real facts even
when his victim is of the most humble social status. Therefore, never
approach your victim as if he were a witness and you a cross-questioning
lawyer. Do not say: "See here, you know more about it than that," and
thus try to force unwilling information from him. Go at him in a more
round-about way and lead him to give you the facts unwittingly perhaps.

A young reporter often feels an impulse to become too personal with the
man whom he is interviewing. He must always remember that he is not
there for a friendly chat but as a representative of a newspaper, sent
to get concise facts or opinions. This attitude must be maintained even
with the humblest persons. Any desire to sympathize, criticize, or
advise must be checked at the very start. The point of view must always
be kept.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Although the main difference between writing interview stories and
reporting speeches lies in the very act of getting the quotations and
words of the speaker, there are certain aspects in which the writing of
an interview story is different. The actual form of the two stories is
almost identical and yet there is a tone in the interview story that is
lacking in the report of a speech. This may be called the personal tone.

The very name of the speaker obviously plays a much larger part in the
interview story than in the speech report. We may be more interested in
what a man says in a public discourse than we are in the man, but when
we interview a man we want his opinions not for themselves so much as
because they are his opinions. An interview with the President on the
tariff is not necessarily interesting in the new ideas that it brings
out, for we have many other ways of knowing the President's opinions on
the tariff question; but the interview is worth printing because every
one is interested in reading anything that the President says, although
he may have read the same thing many times before. A man is seldom
interviewed unless he is of some prominence--that is why he is
interviewed, and so in the resulting story his name plays a very
important part. In fact, his name is usually the feature of the story;
most interview stories begin directly with the name of the man whose
statements are quoted.

Although a man may be interviewed simply because of his prominence and
popularity, there is usually another reason for the interview. We are
interested not only in hearing him say something but we wish to hear him
say something on a certain topic. The interview thus has a timeliness, a
reason for existence. Since this timeliness is the reason for printing a
certain man's statements, the reporter's account must indicate that
timeliness near the beginning. That is, the first sentence of an
interview story must not only tell who was interviewed and the gist of
what he said, but it must tell why he said it. The interview must be
connected with the rest of the day's news. This comes out very
definitely in the custom which many newspapers have of printing the
opinions of many prominent men in connection with any important event.
Perhaps it is because we wish to know their opinions on the subject or
perhaps it is simply because we are glad to have a chance to hear them
talk--at any rate many editors make any great event an excuse for a
series of interviews. This is illustrated by the opinions of the various
labor leaders that were printed with the story of the recent confession
of the McNamara brothers. In such a case, the reporter must make the
reason for the interview his starting point in the report and must
indicate very plainly why the man was interviewed.

This idea of timeliness is very often carried to the extent of making
the interview merely a denial or an assertion from the mouth of a
well-known man. There may be an upheaval in Wall Street. Immediately the
papers print an interview in which some prominent financier denies or
asserts that he is at the bottom of the upheaval. Naturally the report
of the interview begins with the very words of the denial or the
assertion. Very often a man when interviewed refuses to say anything on
the subject. The fact that he has nothing to say does not mean that the
interview is not worth reporting. In fact, that refusal to speak may be
the most effective thing that he could say. The reporter begins by
telling that his man had nothing to say on the subject and ends by
telling what he should have said or what his refusal to speak probably
means,--if the paper is not too scrupulous in such matters. At any rate,
the denial or assertion or refusal to speak becomes the starting point
of the report and furnishes the excuse for the interview story. The
expanded remarks that follow the lead are of course important but they
are not so important as the primary expression of opinion that the
reporter went for.

The personal element in interviewing may be carried to an extreme
extent. The man who is interviewed may so far overshadow the importance
of what he says that the report of the interview becomes almost a sketch
of the man himself. That is, the report is filled with human interest.
The quotations are interspersed with action and description. We are told
how the man acted when he said each individual thing. His appearance,
attitude, expression, and surroundings become as important as his words
and are brought into the report as vividly as possible. Such an
interview may become almost large enough to be used as a special feature
story for the Sunday edition, but when the human interest is limited to
a comparatively subordinate position the report still keeps its
character as an interview news story. Such a thing may be illustrated
from the daily press:

             |  "I would rather have four battleships  |
             |and need only two than to have two and   |
             |need four."                              |
             |                                         |
             |  Seated in the cool library of Colonel  |
             |A. K. McClure's summer home at           |
             |Wallingford, Rear Admiral Winfield Scott |
             |Schley, retired, thus expressed himself  |
             |yesterday on the need of a larger and    |
             |greater navy.                            |

After all has been said about interviewing, the one thing that a
reporter must remember is that an interview story is at best rather dry
and everything that he can do to increase the interest will improve the
interview. But all of this must be done with absolute fairness to the
speaker and great truthfulness in the quotation of his ideas and

                  *       *       *       *       *

To come to the technical form of the interview story, we find that there
are very nearly as many possible beginnings as in the case of the report
of a speech. The interview story must begin with a lead that tells who
was interviewed, when, and where, what he said (in a quotation or an
indirect summary), and why he was interviewed. This is like the lead of
a speech report in every particular except in the timeliness--the
occasion for a speech is seldom mentioned in the lead, but a reporter
usually tells at once why he interviewed the man whose words he quotes.

=1. Speaker Beginning.=--The very purpose behind interviewing makes the
so-called speaker beginning most common. It is almost an invariable rule
that the report of an interview must begin with the man's name unless
what he says is of greater importance than his name--which is seldom.

The simplest form of the speaker beginning is the one in which the
speaker's name is followed directly by a summary of what he said, as:

             |  Dr. David Starr Jordan, president of   |
             |Leland Stanford Junior University, said  |
             |yesterday at the Holland House that in   |
             |the development of American universities |
             |educators must separate the lower two    |
             |classes from the upper two, the present  |
             |freshman and sophomore classes to be     |
             |absorbed by small colleges or            |
             |supplemental high schools, making the    |
             |junior year the first in the university  |
             |training. He said the universities should |
             |receive only men, not boys.--_New York   |
             |Tribune._                                |

Another kind of speaker beginning may devote most of the lead to the
explanation of the reason for the interview, giving the briefest
possible summary of what was said: Thus:

             |  Director Lang of the department of     |
             |public safety is going to place a ban on |
             |the playing of tennis on Sunday. He      |
             |doesn't know just yet how he is going to |
             |accomplish this, but yesterday he        |
             |declared that he would find some law     |
             |applicable to the case.--_Pittsburgh     |
             |Gazette-Times._                          |

One step further brings us to the entire exclusion of the result of the
interview from the lead. In this case the reason for the interview
occupies the entire lead and we must read part of the second paragraph
to find what the man said; thus:

             |  Charles F. Washburn, Richmond Hill's   |
             |wizard of finance, promises to appear at |
             |his broker's office in Newark, N. J.,    |
             |this morning with a fresh bank roll,     |
             |accumulated since the close of the market|
             |on Saturday.                             |
             |                                         |
             |  (The second paragraph tells what it is |
             |all about and the third quotes his       |
             |words.)--_New York World._               |

It is to be noted that in each of the above leads the speaker's name is
always accompanied by a word or two telling who he is and why he was
interviewed. Furthermore the reporter himself has no more place in the
lead than if he were reporting a speech--his existence and the part he
played in getting the interview are strictly ignored.

=2. Summary Beginning.=--There are two common ways of beginning an
interview story with a summary. First, the lead may begin with a
_that_-clause which embodies the gist of the interview; this is like the
_that_-clause beginning of the report of a speech; thus:

             |  That the apparent apathy among the     |
             |voters of the country is merely          |
             |contentment with the present             |
             |administration of affairs by the         |
             |Republican party is the contention of    |
             |ex-Senator John M. Thurston of Nebraska. |
             |Mr. Thurston was at Republican national  |
             |headquarters today, etc.--_New York      |
             |Evening Post._                           |

Secondly the summary beginning is used in the case of an interview that
is a denial or an assertion by the man interviewed. The lead begins with
a clause or a participial phrase embodying the substance of the
interview, and the name of the speaker is made the subject of a verb of
denying or asserting; thus:

             |  Declaring that his office is run as    |
             |economically as possible, Sheriff H. E.  |
             |Franke denied on Sunday that he had      |
             |expended more than $688 for auto hire to |
             |collect $1,409.28 of alleged taxes.      |
             |                                         |
             |  (The second paragraph begins with a    |
             |direct quotation.)--_Milwaukee Sentinel._|
             |  Although he had sharply criticised     |
             |Roosevelt's special message condemning   |
             |some of the uses to which the possessors |
             |of large fortunes are putting their      |
             |wealth, President Jacob Gould Schurman,  |
             |Cornell University, declined to discuss  |
             |Roosevelt or his policies in Milwaukee   |
             |yesterday. He said that he was not       |
             |talking politics.                        |
             |                                         |
             |  (The rest of the report is a quotation |
             |of his views on college                  |
             |athletics.)--_Milwaukee Free Press._     |

=3. Quotation Beginning.=--Many reports of interviews begin with a
direct quotation. The logic of this is that the expression of opinion
is, in some cases, of more interest than the name of the man who
expressed the opinion. Sometimes the name of the speaker is not
considered worth mentioning and in that case a direct quotation is the
only advisable beginning; thus:

             |  "With the prices of food for hogs and  |
             |cattle going up, it is natural that the  |
             |food--beef and pork--for us humans should|
             |keep pace."                              |
             |                                         |
             |  This was the logic of an east-side     |
             |butcher who discussed the probable rise  |
             |in the prices of meat.--_Milwaukee Free  |
             |Press._                                    |

Sometimes a short quotation is used at the beginning of the lead very
much as a title is used in a speech report; thus:

             |  NEW YORK, June 1.--"A business         |
             |proposition which should have been put in|
             |effect nearly twenty years ago," was John|
             |Wanamaker's comment today on the adoption|
             |of 2-cent letter postage between the     |
             |United States and Great Britain and      |
             |Ireland.--_Milwaukee Free Press._        |

If the quotation at the beginning consists of only one sentence the name
of the speaker may be run into the same paragraph; thus:

             |  "Judge McPherson's recent decision     |
             |declaring Missouri's 2-cent fare         |
             |confiscatory is an indication that vested|
             |interests are entitled to some protection|
             |and that legislatures must not go too far|
             |in regulating them," said Sir Thomas     |
             |Shaughnessy, president of the Canadian   |
             |Pacific road, on Sunday.--_Milwaukee     |
             |Sentinel._                               |

However if the quotation at the beginning contains more than one
sentence it is best to paragraph the quotation separately and leave the
name of the speaker until the second paragraph; thus:

             |  "The American Federation of Labor will |
             |enter the national campaign by seeking to|
             |place labor candidates on the tickets of |
             |the old parties. An independent labor    |
             |party is eventually contemplated. But    |
             |there is not time to get results in that |
             |way in the next national campaign."      |
             |                                         |
             |  So said H. C. Raasch, national         |
             |president of the tile-layers, upon his   |
             |return yesterday, etc.--_Milwaukee Free  |
             |Press._                                  |

=4. Human Interest Beginning.=--This is a designation devised to cover a
multitude of beginnings. A human interest interview may begin with a
quotation, a summary, a name, or an action. The aim is necessarily
toward unconventionality and the form of the lead is left to the
originality of the reporter. A few examples may illustrate what is meant
by the human interest beginning:

             |  "There goes another string. Drat those |
             |strings!" Only Joseph Caluder didn't say |
             |"Drat."                                  |
             |                                         |
             |  "Say, do you know that I have spent    |
             |pretty nearly $1,000 for strings for that|
             |violin? Well, it's a fact. Listen."      |
             |Etc.--_Milwaukee Sentinel._              |

             |  Fire Marshal James Horan never bought a|
             |firecracker, but for many years he has   |
             |celebrated Independence day in the thick |
             |of fires. He never owned a gun or        |
             |revolver. His last prayer before trying  |
             |to snatch a little needed sleep Friday   |
             |night will be of the twofold form,       |
             |etc.--_Chicago Post._                    |

After what has been said about the body of a speech report, there is
little more to be said about the body of an interview story. The same
rules apply in both cases. The body of the report should contain as much
direct quotation as possible. However nothing less than a sentence
should be quoted--that is, every quotation should be a complete
sentence, with indirect explanation. Whenever "Said the speaker" or "Mr.
Brown continued" or any similar expression is worked into the direct
quotation it should always be placed at the end of the sentence; never
begin a quotation in this way:--Mr. Jones continued, "Furthermore I
would say, etc." In the same way, when a paragraph contains both direct
and indirect quotation, the direct quotation should be placed at the
beginning. Whenever it is possible, construct solid paragraphs of
quotation, and solid paragraphs of summary. The report as a whole must
have coherence and a logical sequence; for this a limited amount of
indirect quotation may be used to fill in the gaps in the logic of the
direct quotation.

According to the usage of the best newspapers of to-day the reporter
must never be brought into the report of an interview. His existence
must never be mentioned although every reader knows that some reporter
secured the interview. In the old days reporters delighted in bringing
themselves into their stories as "representatives of the press" or "a
reporter for the Dispatch," but that practice has gone the way of the
reporter's leather-bound notebook. The interview may be told
satisfactorily without a mention of the reporter; hence newspaper usage
has put a ban on his appearance in his story.


We have said that a man is seldom interviewed without a reason; there is
always a timeliness in interviewing. Any unusual event of broad
importance becomes an excuse for the editor to print the opinion of some
prominent man on some phase of the event. Sometimes the event is of such
importance that the editor wishes to print the opinions of several men
on the subject; or more than one prominent man may be involved in the
affair and the public may wish to hear the opinions of every one
involved. In such a case when several men are interviewed in regard to
the same event it is considered rather useless and ineffective to print
their interviews separately and the several interview stories are
gathered together into one story and arranged in such a way that they
may be compared. There are several ways of doing this.

If the case or event is very well known, a lead or summary of the
several interviews is considered unnecessary and the words of the
various men are grouped together under a single headline. This may be
illustrated by the interviews that were printed after the confessions of
the McNamara brothers of Los Angeles in the recent dynamiting case. The
_Wisconsin State Journal_ may be taken as representative. This paper
printed the statements of twelve prominent men interested in the case in
a three-column box under a long head; thus:

             |        =Leaders Discuss the Case=         |
             |                                           |
             |  Samuel Gompers, president American       |
             |Federation of Labor--I am astounded; I am  |
             |astounded; my credulity has been imposed   |
             |upon. It is a bolt out of a clear sky.     |
             |                                           |
             |    *       *       *       *       *      |
             |                                           |
             |  John T. Smith, president Missouri        |
             |Federation of Labor--I can not believe it. |
             |But if the McNamaras blew up the Times     |
             |building they should be fully punished.    |
             |                                           |
             |     *       *       *       *       *     |
             |                                           |
             |  Gen. Harrison Grey Otis, publisher of    |
             |the Times--The result may be and ought to  |
             |be, etc.                                   |

If the case had not been of such broad interest a lead embodying a
summary of the interviews might have preceded the individual statements.
It might have been done in this way:

             |  Great surprise has been expressed by     |
             |the prominent labor leaders of the         |
             |country at the confession of the           |
             |McNamara brothers in Los Angeles           |
             |yesterday. That organized labor had no     |
             |connection with the work of these men and  |
             |that they should be fully punished is the  |
             |consensus of opinion.                      |
             |                                           |
             |  Samuel Gompers, president American       |
             |Federation of Labor--I am astounded; I am  |
             |astounded; my credulity has been imposed   |
             |upon. It is a bolt out of a clear sky.     |
             |                                           |
             |  John T. Smith, president Missouri        |
             |Federation of Labor--I can not believe it. |
             |Etc.                                       |

In such a story as the above, the statements are usually printed without
quotation marks; each paragraph begins with a man's name, followed by a
dash and what he said. The grouping together of several interviews is
often done less formally. The whole thing may be written as a running
story, and sometimes the names of the persons interviewed are omitted;

             |  Proprietors of the big flower shops,    |
             |the places from which blossoms are        |
             |delivered in highly polished and ornate   |
             |wagons, drawn by horses that might win    |
             |blue ribbons, and where, in the proper    |
             |season, a single rose costs three         |
             |dollars, do not approve of the comments   |
             |made by a dealer who recently failed.     |
             |Among these sayings was one to the effect |
             |that young millionaires spend a thousand  |
             |dollars a week on flowers for chorus      |
             |girls who earn twelve dollars a week, and |
             |who sometimes take the flowers back to    |
             |the shop to exchange them for money to    |
             |buy food and clothes.                     |
             |                                          |
             |  "That's all nonsense," said one dealer. |
             |(This paragraph is devoted to his opinion |
             |on the matter.)                           |
             |                                          |
             |  "We have enough trouble in this         |
             |business," said another dealer, "without  |
             |having this silly talk given to the       |
             |public." (This paragraph gives this       |
             |dealer's opinion)--_New York Evening      |
             |Post._                                    |

(Each paragraph is devoted to a single interview.)

The same paragraph may be done with more local color as in the

             |  Chinatown feels deeply its bereavement   |
             |in the deaths of the Empress Dowager and   |
             |the Emperor of China. Chinatown mourns,    |
             |but it does so in such an unobtrusive      |
             |Oriental way that the casual visitor on    |
             |sympathy bent may feel that his words of   |
             |condolence would be misplaced.             |
             |                                           |
             |  A reporter from this paper was assigned  |
             |yesterday to go up to Chinatown and in as  |
             |delicate a way as possible to gather some  |
             |of the sentiments of appreciation of the   |
             |merits of Kuang-hsu and his lamented aunt, |
             |Tzu-hsi. He was told that he might write a |
             |little about the picturesque though        |
             |nevertheless sincere expressions of        |
             |mourning that he might observe in Pell     |
             |and Mott streets.                          |
             |                                           |
             |  Mr. Jaw Gum, senior partner in the firm  |
             |of Jaw Gum & Co., importers of cigars,     |
             |cigarettes, dead duck's eggs and Chinese   |
             |delicatessen, of 7 Pell street, was at     |
             |home. Mr. Gum was approached.              |
             |                                           |
             |  "We would like to learn a little about   |
             |the arrangements that are being made by    |
             |the Chinese to indicate their sorrow at    |
             |the deaths of their beloved rulers."       |
             |                                           |
             |  "What number?" queried Mr. Gum. The      |
             |question was repeated.                     |
             |                                           |
             |  "P'licyman, he know," remarked Mr. Gum   |
             |sagely.                                    |
             |                                           |
             |  (So on for a column with interviews and  |
             |statements from several of Mr. Gum's       |
             |neighbors.)--_New York Sun._               |

But this is very much like a human interest story--the reporter takes
part in it--and we shall discuss that later.



Probably few classes of news stories present such a lack of uniformity
and such a variety of treatments as the reports of court news. Legal
stories belong to one of the few sorts of stories that do not tend to
become systematized. But there is a reason for almost everything in a
newspaper and there is also a reason for the freedom that reporters are
allowed in reporting testimony. The reason in this case is probably in
the fact that very rarely do two court stories possess the same sort of
interest or the same news value.

We have seen that reports of speeches are printed in the daily press
because our readers are interested in the content of the speech or in
the man who uttered it. In the same way, our readers are interested in
interviews because of the man who was interviewed, because of their
content, or because of their bearing on some current event. On the other
hand there is an infinite number of reasons why a court story is worth
printing or why it may not be worth a line. Sometimes the interest is
in the persons involved; sometimes in the significance of the decision.
People may also be interested in a case because of its political or
legal significance or merely because of the sensational testimony that
is given. And again a very trivial case may be worth a large amount of
space in the daily paper just because of its human interest--because of
the pathos or humor that the reporter can bring into it. Thus the
resulting reports are hard to classify. Each one depends on a different
factor for its interest and each must be written in a different way so
that its individual interest may be most effective. However there are
general tendencies in the reporting of court news.

The news itself is comparatively easy to get. In a large city every
court is watched every day by a representative of the press, either a
reporter for an individual paper or for a city news gathering
association. In some cities where there is no independent news gathering
agency papers sometimes club together to keep one reporter at each
court. The man who is on duty must watch all day long for cases that are
of interest for one reason or another. Even with all this safeguarding
sometimes an important case slips by the papers; often the reporter on
duty considers of little interest a case that is worth columns when
some paper digs into it. Every reporter however who is trying to do
court reporting should learn the ordinary routine of legal proceedings;
for example, the place and purpose of the pleas, the direct and cross
examination of witnesses, and other legal business.

As we shall see when we begin to write court reports, it is necessary to
exercise every possible trick to put interest into the story. In the
actual court room all that relieves the dreary monotony of legal
proceedings is an occasional bit of interesting testimony. And when the
reporter tries to report a case he sometimes finds that interesting
testimony is all that will lighten up the dull monotony of his story.
Therefore while he is listening to a case he tries to get down verbatim
a large number of the interesting questions and answers. Or if he is
unable to be present he tries to get hold of the court stenographer's
record to copy out bits of testimony for his account. Beyond this
recording of testimony there is really little difficulty in court
reporting except the difficulty of separating the interesting from the
great mass of uninteresting matter.

As to the actual writing of the report of a legal trial, the one thing
that the reporter must remember is that a case is seldom reported for
the public's interest in the case itself. There is usually some other
reason why the editor wants a half a column of it. That reason is the
thing that the reporter must watch for and when he finds it he must make
it the feature of his report to be embodied in the first line of the

When we try to play up the most interesting feature of a court report we
find that we must fall back upon the same beginnings that we used in
reporting speeches and interviews. There are several possible ways of
beginning such a story, depending upon the phase of the case or its
testimony that is of greatest importance.

=1. Name Beginning.=--The proper name beginning is very common. It is
always used when any one of prominence is involved in the story or when
the name, although unknown, can be made interesting in itself--as in a
human interest story. The name is usually made the subject of the verb
testified, as in this lead:

             |  A. F. Law, secretary of the Temple Iron |
             |Company, a subsidiary company of the      |
             |Reading Coal and Iron Company, called     |
             |before the government investigation of    |
             |the alleged combination of coal carrying  |
             |roads, testified today in the Federal     |
             |building that four roads had contributed  |
             |$488,000 to make up the deficit of the    |
             |Temple company during three years of coal |
             |strikes.--_New York Sun._                 |

The name of a well-known company often makes a good beginning:

             |  The Standard Oil Company sent a         |
             |sweeping broadside into the Government's  |
             |case yesterday at the hearing in the suit |
             |seeking to dissolve the Standard Oil      |
             |Company of New Jersey under the Sherman   |
             |anti-trust law, when witnesses began to   |
             |tell of the character of a number of men  |
             |the Government had placed upon the        |
             |witness stand.--_New York Times._         |

The name of the judge himself may be used in the first line:

             |  Judge Mulqueen of General Sessions      |
             |explained today why he had sentenced two  |
             |prisoners to "go home and serve time with |
             |the families." This punishment was        |
             |imposed yesterday when both men pleaded   |
             |drunkenness as their excuse for trivial   |
             |offenses.--_New York Evening Post._       |

=2. Continued Case Beginning.=--Many court reports begin with the name
of the case when the case has been running for some time and is well
known. Each individual story on such a case is just a continuation of a
sort of serial story that has been running for some time and in the lead
each day the reporter tries to summarize the progress that has been
made in the case during the day's hearing. However each story, like a
follow-up story, is written in such a way that a knowledge of previous
stories is not necessary to a clear understanding:

             |  The hearing yesterday in the            |
             |Government's suit to dissolve the         |
             |Standard Oil Company ended with a         |
             |dramatic incident. Mr. Kellogg sought to  |
             |show that the Standard compelled a widow, |
             |Mrs. Jones, of Mobile, Ala., to sell out  |
             |her little oil business at a ruinous      |
             |sacrifice.--_New York World._             |

In some cases this sort of a lead begins with the mere mention of the
continuing of the trial:

             |  At the opening of the defence today in  |
             |the sugar trials before Judge Martin of   |
             |the United States Circuit Court, James F. |
             |Bendernagal took the witness chair in his |
             |own behalf, etc.--_New York Evening       |
             |Post._                                    |

=3. Summary Beginning.=--The lead of a court report often begins with a
brief summary of the result of the trial or of the day's hearing:

             |  What the Government has characterized  |
             |as "unfair competition and               |
             |discrimination" on the part of the       |
             |Standard Oil Company continued to be the |
             |subject of the investigation of that     |
             |corporation today before Franklin Ferris |
             |of St. Louis, referee, in the Custom     |
             |House.--_New York Evening Post._         |

The summary may be presented in as formal a way as the _that_-clause
beginning which we used in reports of speeches:

             |  That the Adams' Express Company's       |
             |business in New England in 1909 yielded a |
             |profit representing 45 per cent. on the   |
             |investment, including real estate and,    |
             |excepting real estate, a net income of    |
             |more than 83 per cent., came out in the   |
             |course of the hearing before the          |
             |Interstate Commerce Commission,           |
             |etc.--_New York Evening Post._            |

=4. Direct Quotation Beginning.=--A direct quotation of some striking
statement made by the judge, by a lawyer, by a witness, or by any one
connected with the trial may be used at the beginning of the lead. Here
is a lead beginning with a quotation from the title of a case:

             |  "Captain Dick and Captain Lewis,        |
             |Indians, for and on behalf of the Yokayo  |
             |tribe of Indians, vs. F. C. Albertson, T. |
             |J. Weldon, as administrator of the estate |
             |of Charley, Indian, deceased, Minnehaha,  |
             |Ollagoola, Hiawatha, Wanahana,            |
             |Pocahontas, etc."                         |
             |                                          |
             |  So runs the title of as unusual a case  |
             |as jurists, etc.--_San Francisco          |
             |Examiner._                                |

=5. Human Interest Beginning.=--The human interest beginning is a more
or less free beginning which may be used in the reporting of rather
insignificant cases which are of value only for the human interest in
them. The beginning is capable of almost any treatment so long as it
brings out the humor, beauty, or pathos of the situation. Sometimes the
story begins with a rather striking summary of the unusual things that
came out in the testimony, as in this case:

             |  How suddenly and how radically a woman  |
             |can exercise her inalienable prerogative  |
             |and change her mind is shown in the       |
             |testamentary disposition made of her      |
             |estate by Mrs. Jennie L. Ramsay. She made |
             |a will on July 4 last, at 3 o'clock in    |
             |the afternoon, leaving her property to    |
             |her husband, and at 7 o'clock in the      |
             |evening of the same day she made another  |
             |will in which she took the property away  |
             |from her husband.--_New York Times._      |

Here is an interesting illustration of the use of a trivial incident as
the basis for a humorous lead:

             |  Bang, an English setter dog, accused of |
             |biting 11-year-old Sophie Kahn, made an   |
             |excellent witness in the City Court today |
             |when his owner, Hirman L. Phelps, a real  |
             |estate dealer of the Bronx, appeared as   |
             |defendant in a damage suit brought by the |
             |girl for $2,000.--_New York Evening       |
             |Post._                                    |

The lead of a report of legal proceedings is very much like the lead of
a report of a speech or an interview. It always begins with the most
interesting fact in the case and briefly summarizes the result of the
trial or the day's hearing. It is to be noted that the lead of such a
story always includes a designation of the court in which the hearing
was held and usually the name of the judge and of the case.

After the lead is finished a court report usually turns into a running
story of the evidence as it was presented. This may be condensed into a
paragraph, giving the reader merely the point of the day's hearing, or
it may be expanded into several columns following the testimony more or
less closely. In form, it is very much like the summary paragraphs in
the body of a speech report. The result is usually more or less dry and
reporters often resort to a means, similar to dialogue in fiction, to
lighten it up. Some of the more important testimony is given verbatim
interspersed with indirect summaries of the longer or less important
speeches. Its presentation usually follows the ordinary rules of
dialogue. Here is an extract from such a story:

             |  After describing himself as a breeder   |
             |of horses, Gideon said that he was a      |
             |member of the Metropolitan Turf           |
             |Association, the bookmakers'              |
             |organization, but had never been engaged  |
             |in bookmaking. He did not know where      |
             |"Eddie" Burke, "Tim" Sullivan (not the    |
             |politician), or any of the other missing  |
             |"bookies" could be found.                 |
             |                                          |
             |  "You are a member of the executive      |
             |committee of the Metropolitan Turf        |
             |Association?" asked Isidor J. Kresel,     |
             |assistant counsel of the committee.       |
             |                                          |
             |  "Yes."                                  |
             |                                          |
             |  "Now, what did your committee do in     |
             |1908, when the anti-race track legislation|
             |was pending?"                             |
             |                                          |
             |  "I don't know."                         |
             |                                          |
             |    *       *       *       *       *     |
             |                                          |
             |  "How much did you pay in 1908?"         |
             |                                          |
             |  "Two hundred and fifty dollars."        |
             |                                          |
             |  "To whom?"                              |
             |                                          |
             |  "Mr. Sullivan."                         |
             |                                          |
             |  "What for?"                             |
             |                                          |
             |  "Death assessments."                    |
             |                                          |
             |  Gideon said that the little he knew of  |
             |the doings of the "Mets" was from         |
             |conversation with the bookies. Etc.,      |
             |etc.--_New York Evening Post._            |

Sometimes this direct testimony is given, not in the dialogue form, but
as questions and answers. Thus:

             |  In reply to other questions,            |
             |Bendernagel said he ordered the office    |
             |supplies, looked after the insurance on   |
             |the sugar, and was responsible for the    |
             |fuel, some 700 tons of coal a day.        |
             |                                          |
             |  Question.--How much money was paid      |
             |through your office in the course of a    |
             |year? Answer.--Four million dollars.      |
             |                                          |
             |  Q.--So yours was a busy office?         |
             |  A.--Exceedingly so.                     |
             |                                          |
             |  Q.--How long were the raw sugar clerks  |
             |in your office? A.--About twenty years.   |
             |Etc., etc.--_New York Evening Post._      |

Some papers would arrange these questions and answers differently,
paragraphing each speech separately as in dialogue:

             |  Question.--Did you regulate their       |
             |duties in any way?                        |
             |                                          |
             |  Answer.--No.                            |
             |                                          |
             |  Q.--Were you connected with the docks?  |
             |                                          |
             |  A.--No; that was a separate department. |
             |It had its own forces, and they worked    |
             |under Mr. Spitzer. He had entire charge.  |
             |Etc., etc.                                |

The court records take cognizance only of the actual words uttered in
the testimony, but a newspaper reporter never fails to record any action
or movement that indicates something beyond the words. Very often action
is brought in merely for its human interest; thus:

             |  "How long has it been since you have    |
             |had a maid?" asked Mr. Shearn sadly.      |
             |                                          |
             |  "Not for some time," she said. "Away    |
             |back in 1907, I think."                   |
             |                                          |
             |  "What did it cost you for two rooms and |
             |bath at the Hotel Belmont, where you lived|
             |last year?"                               |
             |                                          |
             |  "About $300 a week altogether. The rooms|
             |cost $20 a day."                          |
             |                                          |
             |  There were tears in her eyes when she   |
             |explained that she could no longer afford |
             |to keep up her own automobile. Etc., etc. |
             |--_Milwaukee Free Press._                 |

This sort of dialogue is dangerous and may easily be overworked, but it
is very often extremely effective. One word like "sadly," above, may
convey more meaning than many lines of explanation.

                  *       *       *       *       *

These quotations are usually interspersed with paragraphs which
summarize the unimportant intervening testimony. The running story
attempts to follow the progress of the hearing in greater or less
detail, depending upon the space given to the story, just as a speech
report attempts to follow a public discourse. Dry and unimportant facts
are briefly summarized, interesting parts of the testimony are quoted in
full. The running story is usually written while the hearing is in
session or taken from a stenographic report of the hearing. After the
running story has been completed, the reporter prepares a lead for the
beginning to summarize the results or to play up the most significant
part of the story. If the running story is short a lead of one paragraph
is sufficient, but if it is long, the lead may be expanded into several



The study of newspaper treatment of social news is a broad one. Every
newspaper has its own system of handling social news and the general
tendencies that are to be noted deal rather with the facts that are
printed than with the manner of treatment. Every newspaper gives
practically the same facts about a wedding but each individual newspaper
has a method of its own of writing up those facts. One thing that is
always true of social news reporting is that the amount of space given
to social items varies inversely with the importance of the newspaper
and the size of the city in which it is printed. A little country weekly
or semi-weekly in a small town does not hesitate to run two columns or
more on Sadie Smith's wedding. The report runs into minute details and
anecdotes that all of the "Weekly's" readers know before the paper
arrives. But the editor prints everything he can find or invent simply
because all of his readers are more or less personally connected with
the affair and are anxious to see their names in print and to read about
themselves. The liberty that such an editor gives himself is of course
impossible in a larger paper.

On the other hand, a daily in a city of average size would reduce such a
story to a stickful and a metropolitan daily would run only a one-line
announcement in the "List of marriages," unless the story was especially
interesting. The same thing applies to all social stories. Some
metropolitan newspapers do not run social news at all.

All of this is true because social news is governed by the same
principles that regulate all news values. Unless a society event has
some feature that is interesting impersonally--that is, of interest to
readers who do not know the principals of the event--it is of value only
as a larger or smaller number of the paper's readers are personally
connected with the event. Hence in a small town where every one knows
every one else, society news is of great value. In a large city a very
small proportion of the readers are connected with the social items that
the paper has to print and are therefore not interested in
them--accordingly the newspaper either cuts them down to a minimum of
space or does not run them at all.

Therefore in our study society news falls into two classes: social items
that are of interest only in themselves to persons connected with the
events; and big society stories or unusual social events that are of
interest to readers who are not acquainted with the principals.

=1. Weddings.=--The wedding story reduced to its lowest terms in a
metropolitan paper consists of a one-line announcement in the list of
"Marriages" or "Marriage Licenses"; thus:

             |  SMITH-JONES--Feb. 14, Katherine Jones   |
             |to Charles C. Smith.--_New York Times._   |

If the paper runs a few columns of social news and the persons concerned
in the wedding are of any importance socially, the wedding may be given
a stickful. Such an account would confine itself entirely to names and
facts and would be characterized by very decided simplicity and brevity.
Usually nothing more would be given than the names and address of the
bride's parents, the bride's first name, the groom's name, the place,
and the name of the minister who officiated. Occasionally the name of
the best man and a few other details are added, but never does the story
become personal. It is interesting only to those who know or know of the
persons concerned.

For example:

             |                SMITH-JONES               |
             |                                          |
             |The marriage of Miss Katherine M. Jones,  |
             |elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Randolph   |
             |Jones, 253 Ninth street, and Charles C.   |
             |Smith was celebrated at 4 o'clock         |
             |yesterday afternoon at the First Methodist|
             |Church, 736 Grand avenue. Rev. William    |
             |Brown, rector of the church, performed the|
             |ceremony.                                 |

It will be noted that in the above story the name of the bride is
written out in full, "Miss Katherine M. Jones." Many newspapers,
however, would simply give her first name, thus: "Katherine, elder
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Randolph Jones."

If the above wedding were of greater importance more details might be
given. These would include the attendants, descriptions of the gowns of
the bride and her attendants, the guests from out of town, music,
decorations, the reception, and perhaps some of the presents. Sometimes
the wedding trip and an announcement of when and where the couple will
be at home are added. The above story might run on into detail something
like this:

             |  Miss Jones, who was given in marriage   |
             |by her father, wore a white satin gown    |
             |trimmed with Venetian point lace, and her |
             |point lace veil, a family heirloom, was   |
             |caught with orange blossoms. She carried  |
             |a bouquet of white sweet peas and lilies  |
             |of the valley. Miss Dorothy Jones, a      |
             |sister of the bride, who was maid of      |
             |honor, wore a gown of green chiffon over  |
             |satin, with lingerie hat, and carried     |
             |sweet peas. Douglas Jackson was the best  |
             |man and the ushers were Dr. John B.       |
             |Smith, Samuel Smith, Gordon Hunt, Rodney  |
             |Dexter, Norris Kenny, and Arthur          |
             |Johnston. A reception followed the        |
             |ceremony at the home of the bride's       |
             |parents.                                  |

This is probably as long a story as any average paper would run on any
wedding, unless the wedding had some striking feature that would make
the story of interest to readers who did not know the principals. Note
in the foregoing story the simplicity and impersonal tone. There is a
wealth of facts but there is no coloring. This tone should characterize
every society story. A list of out-of-town guests might have been added,
but as often that would be omitted. In some cases the last sentence
might be followed by an announcement like this:

             |  The bride and bridegroom have gone on a |
             |wedding tour of the West; after April 1   |
             |they will be at home at 76 Kimbark        |
             |avenue.                                   |

In this connection the young reporter should note the distinctions in
meaning of the various words used in a wedding story. For instance, he
should consult the dictionary for the exact use of the verbs "to marry"
and "to wed"--he should know who "is married," who "is married to," and
who "is given in marriage," etc. He should also know the difference
between a "marriage" and a "wedding."

=2. Wedding Announcements.=--Wedding announcements are run in the social
columns of many papers. These items contain practically the same facts
that we find in the story written after the wedding, except, of course,
that the reporter cannot dilate on decorations, and must stick to facts.
These facts usually consist of the names of the couple, the names of the
bride's parents, and the time and the place of the wedding. Additionally
the reporter may give the minister's name, the names of the maid of
honor and of the best man, the reception or breakfast to follow, and
where the couple will be at home.

             |  The wedding of Miss Gladys Jones and   |
             |Richard Smith will take place on         |
             |Wednesday evening in All Angels' Church. |
             |The bride is a daughter of Mrs. Charles  |
             |Jones, who will give a bridal supper and |
             |reception afterward at her home.         |

There are of course many other ways to begin the announcement. "Miss
Mary E. MacGuire, daughter of, etc."; "Invitations have been issued for
the wedding of Miss, etc."; "One of the weddings on for Tuesday is that
of Miss, etc."; "Cards are out for the wedding on Saturday of Miss,
etc."; and many others. In each case the bride's name has the place of

=3. Announcements of Engagements.=--Announcements of engagements are
usually even briefer than wedding announcements. The item consists
merely of one sentence in which the young lady's mother or parents make
the announcement with the name of the prospective groom.

             |  Mrs. Russell D. Jones of 45 Ninth      |
             |street announces the engagement of her   |
             |daughter, Natalie, to John MacBaine      |
             |Smith.                                   |

The item may also begin "Mr. and Mrs. X. X. So-and-So announce, etc.,"
or simply "Announcement is made of the engagement of Miss Stella Blank,
daughter of, etc."

=4. Receptions and Other Entertainments.=--If a paper is to keep up in
society news, it must report many social entertainments. However, such
events are treated by large dailies as simply, briefly, and impersonally
as possible. Such a story, like the report of a wedding, consists merely
of certain usual facts. The name of the host or hostess, the place, the
time, and the special entertainments are of course always included.
Sometimes the occasion for the event, the guests of honor, and a
description of the decorations are added,--also the names of those who
assisted the hostess.

             |  Mrs. James Harris Jones gave a          |
             |reception yesterday at her home, 136      |
             |Fifth street, for her daughter, Miss      |
             |Dorothy Jones. In the receiving line were |
             |Miss Marjorie Smith, Miss, etc. * * The   |
             |reception was followed by an informal     |
             |dance.                                    |

If the event is held especially for débutantes, the fact is noted at the
very start. "A number of débutantes assisted in receiving at a tea given
by, etc."; "The débutantes of the winter were out in force, etc."

Such a story is usually followed by a list of guests, a list of
out-of-town guests, a list of subscribers, or something of the sort.
Ordinarily the list is not tabulated but is run in solid, thus:

             |  The guests were: Miss Kathleen Smith,  |
             |Miss Georgia Brown, etc.                 |

Very often the names are grouped together, thus:

             |  The guests were: The Misses Kathleen   |
             |Smith, Georgia Brown; Mesdames Robert R. |
             |Green, John R. Jones; and the Messrs.    |
             |George Hamilton, Francis Bragg, etc.     |

The number of variations in such stories is limited only by the
ingenuity of the people who are giving such entertainments. But in each
case the reporter learns to give the same facts in much the same order.
And he gives them in an uncolored, impersonal way that makes the items
interesting only to those who are directly connected with them. The
story may vary from a single sentence to half a column, but it always
begins in the same way and elaborates only the same details. Before
trying to write up social entertainments, a reporter should always be
sure of the use of the various words he employs--"chaperon,"
"patroness," etc. For instance, can we say that "Mr. and Mrs. Smith
acted as chaperons"?

=5. Social Announcements.=--Social announcements of any kind are
usually, like the wedding and engagement announcements, confined to a
single sentence. They tell only the name of the host and hostess, the
name of the guest of honor or the occasion for the event, the time, and
the place. Thus:

             |  Mrs. Charles P. Jones will give a dance|
             |this evening at her home, 181 Nineteenth |
             |street, to introduce her sister, Miss    |
             |Elsie Holt.                              |

A study of the foregoing sections on society stories shows how
definitely a reporter is restricted in the facts that he may include in
his social items--how conventional social stories have become. This very
restraint in the matter of facts makes it the more necessary for a
reporter to exercise his originality in the diction of social items. He
must guard against the use of certain set expressions, like
"officiating," "performed the ceremony," and "solemnized." While
restricted in the facts that he may give, he must try to present the
same old facts in new and interesting ways--he may even resort to a
moderate use of "fine writing," if he does not become florid or

=6. Unusual Social Stories.=--Just as soon as any of these stories
contains a feature that is of interest to the general public in an
impersonal way it leaves the general class of social news and becomes a
news story to be written with the usual lead. Even the presence of a
very prominent name will make a news story out of a social item. For
instance, the wedding of Miss Ethel Barrymore was written by many papers
as a news story. On the other hand, an unusual marriage, an unusual
elopement, or anything unusual and interesting in a wedding gives
occasion for a news story. Here is one:

             |  Because their 15-year-old daughter,    |
             |Sarah, married a man other than the one  |
             |they had chosen, who is wealthy, Mr. and |
             |Mrs. Markovits of 3128 Cedar street have |
             |gone into deep mourning, draped their    |
             |home in crepe and announced to their     |
             |friends that Sarah is                    |
             |dead.--_Philadelphia Ledger._            |

Or the story may be handled in a more humorous way, thus:

             |  There is really no objection to him,   |
             |and she is quite a nice young woman, but |
             |to be married so young, and to go on a   |
             |wedding journey with $18 in their        |
             |purses--but Wallace Jones, student of the|
             |Western University, and Ruth Smith,      |
             |student in the McKinley High School,     |
             |decided it was too long a time to wait,  |
             |and a nice old pastor gentleman in St.   |
             |Joe has made them one.--_Milwaukee Free  |
             |Press._                                  |

=7. Obituaries.=--Like many other classes of newspaper stories, the
obituary has developed a conventional form which is followed more or
less rigidly by all the papers of the land. Every obituary follows the
same order and tells the same sort of facts about its subject. It begins
with a brief account of the deceased man's death, runs on through a very
condensed account of the professional side of his life and ends with the
announcement of his funeral or a list of his surviving relatives.

The lead is concerned only with his death, answering the usual
questions about _where_, _how_, and _why_, and is written to stand alone
if necessary. It ordinarily begins with the man's full name, because of
course the name is the most important thing in the story, and then tells
who he was and where he lived. This is followed, perhaps in the same
sentence, by the time of his death, the cause, and perhaps the
circumstances. Thus:

             |  CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 25.--Dr. John H.|
             |Blank, professor of Greek at Harvard     |
             |since 1887 and dean of the Graduate      |
             |School since 1895, died at his home in   |
             |Quincy street today from heart trouble.  |
             |Professor Blank was an authority on      |
             |classical subjects.--_New York Tribune._ |

This, as you see, might stand alone and be complete in itself. Many
obituaries, however, add another paragraph after the lead in which the
circumstances of the death are discussed in greater detail. Here is the
second paragraph of another obituary:

             |  At 8:30 tonight Mr. Blank was walking  |
             |with his wife on the veranda of the      |
             |Delmonte Hotel, when he suddenly gasped  |
             |as if in great pain and fell to the      |
             |floor. He was carried inside, but was    |
             |dead before the physicians reached his   |
             |bedside. Apoplexy is said to have been   |
             |the cause.                               |

Next comes the account of the deceased man's life. It is told very
briefly and impersonally and concerns itself chiefly with the events of
his business or professional activities. It is but a catalogue of his
achievements and the dates of those achievements. These facts are
usually obtained from the file of biographies--called the morgue--which
most newspapers keep. The account first tells when and where he was born
and perhaps who his parents were. Next his education is briefly
discussed. Then the chief events of his professional or business life.
The date of his marriage and the maiden name of his wife are included
somewhere in or at the end of this account. Usually a list of the
organizations of which the man was a member and a list of the books
which he had written are attached to this account. One of the foregoing
obituaries continues as follows:

             |  He was born in Urumiah, Persia, on     |
             |February 4, 1852, being the son of the   |
             |Rev. Austin H. Blank, a missionary. He   |
             |was graduated from Dartmouth in 1873, and|
             |that college awarded him the degrees of  |
             |A. M. in 1876 and LL.D. in 1901. From    |
             |1876 to 1878 he studied at Leipzig       |
             |University. He was assistant professor of|
             |ancient languages at the Ohio            |
             |Agricultural and Mechanical College from |
             |1873 to 1876, associate professor of     |
             |Greek at Dartmouth from 1878 to 1880,    |
             |and dean of the collegiate board and     |
             |professor of classical philology at Johns|
             |Hopkins in 1886 and 1887. In 1906 and    |
             |1907 he served as professor in the       |
             |American School of Classical Studies in  |
             |Athens.                                  |
             |                                         |
             |  (Then follows a list of the            |
             |organizations of which he was a member   |
             |and the periodicals with which he was    |
             |connected.)                              |
             |                                         |
             |  He married Miss Mary Blank, daughter of|
             |the president of Blank College, in 1879, |
             |and she survives him.                    |
             |--_New York Tribune._                    |

The obituary usually ends with a list of surviving relatives--especially
children and very often the funeral arrangements are included. This is
the last paragraph of another obituary:

             |  His first wife, Mary V. Blank, died in |
             |1872. Three years later he married Mrs.  |
             |Sarah A. Blank, of Hightstown, N. J., who|
             |with four daughters, survives him. The   |
             |funeral will be held tomorrow at 11:30   |
             |o'clock. The burial will be in the family|
             |plot in Greenwood Cemetery.              |

This is the standard form of the obituary which is followed by most
daily newspapers in fair-sized cities. The form is characterized by an
extreme conciseness and brevity and an absolutely impersonal tone. Very
rightly, an obituary is handled with a sense of the sanctified
character of its subject It offers no opportunity for fine writing or
human interest; it simply gives the facts as briefly and impersonally as



Division of labor on the larger American newspapers has made the
reporting of athletic and sporting events into a separate department
under a separate editor. The pink or green sporting sheets of the big
papers have become separate little newspapers in themselves handled by a
sporting editor and his staff and entirely devoted to athletic news,
except when padded out with left-over stories from other pages. Although
on smaller papers any reporter may be called upon to cover an athletic
event, in the cities such news is handled entirely by experts who are
thoroughly acquainted with all phases of the athletic sports about which
they write. The stories on the pink sheet enjoy the greatest
unconventionality of form to be seen anywhere in the paper except on the
editorial page. And yet, because athletic reporters are usually men
taken from regular reporting and because the same ideas and necessities
of news values govern the sporting pages, athletic stories follow, in
general, the usual news story form.

One may expect to find under the head of sports almost any news that is
any way connected with college, amateur, or professional athletics. The
stories include accounts of baseball and football games, rowing, horse
racing, track meets, boxing, and many other forms of sport, as well as
any discussions or movements growing out of these sports. Many of the
stories are only a few lines in length while others may cover a column
or more. But in general each one has a lead which answers the questions
_when?_ _where?_ _how?_ _who?_ and _why?_ and runs along much like an
ordinary news story. For, after all, even athletic stories are written
to attract and to hold the reader's interest whether or not he is
directly interested in the sport under discussion. Any reporter who is
called upon to cover an athletic event is safe in writing his story in
the usual news story form.

As it would be impossible to discuss all the various stories that come
under the head of athletic news, the reporting of college football games
will be taken as typical of the others. The rules that are suggested for
the reporting of football games may be applied to baseball games, track
meets, and other sporting events. The same principles govern all of
them and the stories usually summarize results in about the same way.
Football stories may be divided into three general classes: the brief
summary story of a stickful or a trifle more; the usual football story
of a half column or less; and the long story that may be run through a
column or more, depending upon the importance of the game.

All three of these stories are alike in the general facts which they
contain; they differ only in the number of minor details which they
include in the elaboration of these general facts. Each one tells in the
first sentence what teams were competing, the final score, when and
where the game was played, and perhaps some striking feature of the
game--the weather, the conditions of the field, the star players, or a
sensational score. After that, with more or less expansion, each of the
stories gives the essential things that the reader wants to know about
the game. These consist usually of the way in which the scoring was
done, a comparison of the playing of the teams, a list of the star
players, the weather conditions, and the crowd. If the writing of the
story includes a discussion of each of these points in more or less
detail, the game will be covered in all of its essential phases. The
three kinds of stories differ, from one another, not in the facts that
they include, but in the length at which they expand upon these facts.
One rule should be noted in the writing of all these stories or of any
athletic story--avoid superlatives. To a green reporter almost every
game seems to be "the most spectacular," "the most thrilling," "the
hardest fought," "the most closely matched," but a broad experience is
necessary to defend the use of any superlative about the game.

=1. The Brief Summary Story.=--This is the little story of a stickful or
less, which merely announces the result of some distant or unimportant
game. Taken in its shortest form it gives only the names of the teams,
the score, the time and place of the game, and perhaps a word or two of
general characterization. As it is allowed to expand in length it takes
up as briefly as possible the following facts in the order in which they
are given: the scoring, the comparison of play, the star players or
plays. It is a mere announcement of the result of the game and no more,
for that is all the reader wants. The line-ups and other tables are
usually omitted, and nothing is included that goes beyond this narrow
purpose. Here are a few examples:

             |  IOWA CITY, Ia., Nov. 25.--Sensational  |
             |end runs by McGinnis and Curry near the  |
             |end of the final quarter of play gave    |
             |Iowa a 6-to-0 victory over Northwestern  |
             |here this afternoon.                     |
             |                                         |
             |  Fort Atkinson High School defeated     |
             |Madison High today in the final moments  |
             |of play when a punt by Davy, fullback    |
             |for Madison, was blocked and the ball    |
             |recovered behind the line, giving Fort   |
             |Atkinson the game, 2 to 0.               |

             |  INDIANAPOLIS, June 3.--Indianapolis    |
             |started its at-home series today by      |
             |defeating Kansas City, 3 to 2. Robertson |
             |was in fine form, striking out five men, |
             |permitting no one to walk and allowing   |
             |only six hits. Score: (Tables.)          |

             |  LAFAYETTE, Ind., June 1.--With the     |
             |score 41 1-3 points, athletes            |
             |representing the University of California|
             |won the twelfth annual meet of the       |
             |Western Intercollegiate Athletic         |
             |Conference Association today.            |
             |                                         |
             |Missouri was second with 29 1-3 points,  |
             |Illinois third with 26, Chicago fourth   |
             |with 15 and Wisconsin fifth with 12 1-2. |

=2. The Usual Football Story.=--The usual report of a game is a story of
a half column or less which is longer than the brief summary story and
not so detailed as the long football story. This is the story that a
correspondent would usually send to his paper. It is like them both in
the facts that it includes and differs only in length and in manner of
treatment. This story is usually divided into two parts: the
introduction and the running account. The introduction, or lead, is
very much like the brief summary story; in fact, the entire brief
summary story might be used as the introduction of a story of this type.
The second part, the running account, corresponds to the running account
of the game as it will be taken up with the long football story.

The introduction of the usual athletic story always contains certain
facts. The first sentence, corresponding to the lead of a news story,
always gives the names of the teams, the score, the time, the place, and
the most striking feature of the game. After this the plays that
resulted in scores are described and the star plays or players are
enumerated. Usually a comparison of the two teams, as to weight, speed,
and playing, follows, and the opinion of the captain or of some coach
may be included. The rest of the introduction may be devoted to the
picturesque side of the game: the crowd, the cheering, the celebration,
etc. All of this must be told briefly in 200 words or less. The
introduction is simply the brief summary story slightly expanded. Here
is a fair example (the paragraph containing the scoring has been

             |  Purdue triumphed over Indiana today, 12|
             |to 5, recording the first victory for the|
             |Boilermakers over the Crimson in five    |
             |years.                                   |
             |                                         |
             |  (Omitted paragraph on scoring belongs  |
             |here.)                                   |
             |                                         |
             |  Purdue played a great game at all      |
             |times Oliphant, right half-back on the   |
             |Boilermaker eleven, played remarkably    |
             |well and was the hardest man for the     |
             |locals to handle. Baugh, Miller, Winston |
             |and Capt. Tavey also starred for Coach   |
             |Hoit's men.                              |             |
             |                                         |
             |  The Lafayette rooters, 1,500 strong,   |
             |rushed on the field at the close of the  |
             |struggle and carried their players off   |
             |the field.                               |

This is ordinarily followed by a brief running account of the game. It
does not attempt to follow every play or to trace the course of the ball
throughout the entire game, as a complete running account would do. It
is usually made from the detailed running account by a process of
elimination so that nothing but the "high spots" of the game is left.
Such an account may run from 200 to 300 words in length. At the end
tables are usually printed to give the line-up and the tabulated results
of the game, but these may sometimes be omitted. The following is an
extract from a condensed running account:

             |  Again the cadets fought their way to   |
             |the 10-yard line, runs by Rose and       |
             |Patterson helping materially, but again  |
             |Wayland held. The half ended after       |
             |Wayland had kicked out of danger.        |
             |                                         |
             |  In the second half St. John's outplayed|
             |Wayland throughout. The cadets by a      |
             |succession of line plunges took the ball |
             |within striking distance several times,  |
             |only to be held for downs or lose it on a|
             |fumble.                                  |
             |                                         |
             |  Patterson electrified the crowd just   |
             |before the third quarter ended by twice  |
             |dodging through for 20-yard runs, placing|
             |the ball on the 15-yard line, where the  |
             |cadets were held for downs.              |

=3. Long Football Story.=--The third class of football story is the long
detailed account. This is all that is left of the elaborate write-ups of
the season's big games that were printed a few years ago and may be seen
occasionally now. Ten or twenty years ago it was not unusual for an
editor to run several pages, profusely illustrated, on a big eastern
football game. The story was written up from every possible
aspect--athletic, social, picturesque, etc. Every play was described in
detail and sometimes a graphic diagram of the play was inserted. Each
phase was handled by a different reporter and the whole thing was given
a prominence in the paper out of all proportion with its real
importance. Such a treatment of athletic news has now been very largely

The outgrowth of this elaborate treatment is the common one- or
two-column account in the pink or green sporting pages. All of the
various aspects of the big game are still to be seen, condensed to the
smallest amount of space; and this brief account of the different
aspects of the game is arranged as an introduction of a half column or
less to head the running account of the game. This is the sort of story
that is used to report the Yale-Harvard games and the more important
middle western games. Its form has become very definitely settled and a
correspondent can almost write his story of the big game by rule.

The first part of the story, called the introduction, consists of five
or six general paragraphs. The material in this introduction is
arranged, paragraph by paragraph, in the order of its importance.
Following this is a running account of the game which may occupy a
column or more, depending upon the importance of the contest. At the end
is a table showing the line-up and a summary of the results.

The introduction of the big football or baseball story usually follows a
very definite order. There are certain things which it must always
contain: the result of the game; how the scoring was done; a
characterization of the playing; the stars; the condition of the weather
and the field; the crowd; etc. The reader always wishes to know these
things about the game even if he does not care to read the running
account. It is equally evident that the scoring is of greater interest
than the crowd, and that a comparison of the teams is more important
than the cheering. And so a reporter may almost follow a stereotyped
outline in writing his account. A possible outline would be something
like this:

    First Paragraph.--The names of the teams, the score, when and
      where the game was played, and perhaps some striking feature
      of the game. The weather may have been a significant factor,
      or the condition of the field; the crowd may have been
      exceptionally large or small, enthusiastic or uninterested;
      or the game may have decided a championship; some star may
      have been unusually prominent, or the scoring may have been
      done in an extraordinary way. Any of these factors, if of
      sufficient significance, would be played up in the first line
      just as the feature of an ordinary news story is played up.
      This paragraph corresponds to the lead of a news story and is
      so written. For example:

             |  Playing ankle-deep in mud before a     |
             |wildly enthusiastic gathering of football|
             |rooters, the gridiron warriors of Siwash |
             |College defeated the Tigers this         |
             |afternoon on Siwash athletic field by the|
             |score of 5 to 0.                         |

    Second Paragraph.--Here the reporter usually tells how the
      scoring was done, what players made the scores, and how.

    Third Paragraph.--The next thing of importance is a comparison
      of the two teams. The reader wants to know how they compared
      in weight, speed, and skill, and how each one rose to the
      fight. A general characterization of the playing or a
      criticism may not be out of place here.

    Fourth Paragraph.--Now we are ready to tell about the individual
      players. Our readers want to know who the stars were and how
      they starred.

    Fifth Paragraph.--This brings us down near the tag end of the
      introduction. Very often this paragraph is devoted to the
      opinions of the captains and coaches on the game. Their
      statements, if significant, may be boxed and run anywhere in
      the report.

    Sixth Paragraph.--The picturesque and social side of the game
      comes in here. The size of the crowd, the enthusiasm, the
      celebration between halves or before or after the game, are
      usually told. This material may be of enough importance to
      occupy several paragraphs, but the reporter must always
      remember that he is writing a sporting account and not a
      picturesque description of a social event.

    Seventh Paragraph.--This paragraph usually begins the running
      account of the game.

                            *       *       *

    N-th Paragraph.--This space at the end of the entire report is
      given to the line-ups and tabulated results of the game.

This arrangement may of course be varied, and any of the foregoing
factors of the game may be of sufficient importance to be placed earlier
in the story. Never, however, should the various factors be mixed
together heterogeneously and written in a confused mass. Each element
must be taken up separately and occupy a paragraph by itself.

The running account of the game, which follows the introduction,
requires little rhetorical skill. Each play is described in its proper
place and order and should be so clear that a reader could make a
diagram of the game from it. It must also be accurate in names and
distances as well as in plays.

Probably every individual sporting correspondent has a different way of
distinguishing the players and the plays and of writing his running
account. It is not an easy matter to watch a game from the press stand
far up in the bleachers and be able to tell who has the ball in each
play and how many yards were gained or lost. Familiarity with the teams
and the individual players makes the task easier but few reporters are
so favored by circumstances. They must get the names from the cheering
or from other reporters about them unless they have some method of their

There is one method that may be followed with some success. Before the
game the reporter equips himself with a table of the players showing
them in their respective places as the two teams line up. It is usually
impossible to tell who has the ball during any single play because the
eye cannot follow the rapid passing, but it is always possible to tell
who has the ball when it is downed. At the end of each play as the
players line up, the reporter keeps his eye on the man who had the ball
when it was downed and watches to see the position he takes in the new
line-up. Then a glance at the table will tell him the man's name.

The running account is written as simply and briefly as possible. It
follows each play, telling what play was made, who had the ball, and
what the result was. It keeps a record of all the time taken out, the
changes in players, the injuries, etc. A typical running account reads
something like this:

             |  Siwash advanced the ball two yards by a|
             |line plunge. Kelley carried the ball     |
             |around left end for five yards to the    |
             |Tigers' 50-yard line. The Tigers gained  |
             |the ball on a fumble after a fake punt   |
             |and lined up on their own 45-yard line.  |
             |Time called. Score at end of first half, |
             |0 to 0.                                  |

At the end of the running account are tables, usually set in smaller
type, giving the line-up of the two teams and the tabulated results of
the game. Some papers arrange the tables as follows:

             |Siwash:                         Tigers:  |
             |                                         |
             |Smith...........left end.......Jones     |
             |                                         |
             |Brown.........left tackle......Green-Wood|
             |                                         |
             |McCarthy.......left guard......Connor    |
             |                                         |
             |Hall (Capt.).....centre........Jacobs    |
             |                                         |
             |Etc.                                     |

Other papers use this system which brings the opposing players together:

             |Siwash:                         Tigers:  |
             |                                         |
             |l. e........Smith : Williams.......r. e. |
             |                                         |
             |l. t........Brown : Jackson........r. t. |
             |                                         |
             |l. g.....McCarthy : Cook (Capt.)...r. g. |
             |                                         |
             |c....(Capt.) Hall : Jacobs............c. |
             |                                         |
             |Etc.                                     |

The tabulated results at the end may be something like this:

             |Score by periods:                        |
             |                                         |
             |Tigers....................0  2  1  3--6  |
             |                                         |
             |Siwash....................0  0  0  0--0  |
             |                                         |
             |Touchdown--Brown. Goal from touchdown--  |
             |O'Brien. Umpire--Enslley, Purdue.        |
             |Referee--Holt, Lehigh. Field             |
             |judge--Hackensaa, Chicago. Head          |
             |linesman--Seymour, Delaware. Time of     |
             |periods--fifteen minutes.                |

Dispatches and stories on baseball games and track meets are usually
accompanied by tables of results, similar to the above but arranged in a
slightly different way. The form may be learned from any reputable
sporting sheet.



In our study of newspaper writing up to this point we have been entirely
concerned with forms, rules, and formulas; every kind of story which we
have studied has had a definite form which we have been charged to
follow. We have been commanded always to put the gist of the story in
the first sentence and to answer the reader's customary questions in the
same breath. Now we have come to a class of newspaper stories in which
we are given absolute freedom from conventional formulas. In fact, the
human interest story is different from other newspaper stories largely
because of its lack of forms and rules. It does not begin with the gist
of its news--perhaps because it rarely has any real news--and it answers
no customary questions in the first paragraph; its method is the natural
order of narrative. The human interest story stands alone as the only
literary attempt in the entire newspaper and, as such, a discussion of
it can hardly tell more than what it is, without any great attempt to
tell how to write it. For our purposes, the distinguishing marks of the
human interest story are its lack of real news value and of conventional
form, and its appeal to human emotions.

The human interest story has grown out of a number of causes. Up to a
very recent time newspapers have been content with printing news in its
barest possible form--facts and nothing but facts. Their appeal has been
only to the brain. But gradually editors have come to realize that, if
many monthly magazines can exist on a diet of fiction that appeals only
to the emotions, a newspaper may well make use of some of the material
for true stories of emotion that comes to its office. They have realized
that newsiness is not the only essential, that a story does not always
have to possess true news value to be worth printing--it may be
interesting because it appeals to the reader's sympathy or simply
because it entertains him. Hence they began to print stories that had
little value as news but, however trivial their subject, were so well
written that they presented the humor and pathos of everyday life in a
very entertaining way. The sensational newspapers took advantage of the
opportunity but they shocked their readers in that they tried to appeal
to the emotions through the kind of facts that they printed, rather
than through the presentation of the facts. They did not see that the
effectiveness of the emotional appeal depends upon the way in which a
human interest story is written, rather than upon the story itself.
Therefore they shocked their readers with extremely pathetic facts
presented in the usual newspaper way, while the journals which stood for
high literary excellence were able to handle trivial human interest
material very effectively. Now all the newspapers of the land have
learned the form and are printing effective human interest stories
every day.

Another reason behind the growth of the human interest story is the
curse of cynicism which newspaper work imprints upon so many of its
followers. Every editor knows that no ordinary reporter can work a
police court or hospital run day after day for any length of time
without losing his sensibilities and becoming hardened to the sterner
facts in human life. Misfortune and bitterness become so common to him
that he no longer looks upon them as misfortune and misery, but just as
news. Gradually his stories lose all sympathy and kindliness and he
writes of suffering men as of so many wooden ten-pins. When he has
reached this attitude of cynicism, his usefulness to his paper is almost
gone, for a reporter must always see and write the news from the
reader's sympathetic point of view. To keep their reporters'
sensibilities awake editors have tried various expedients which have
been more or less successful. One of these is the "up-lift run" for cub
reporters--a round of philanthropic news sources to teach them the
business of reporting before they become cynical. Another is the human
interest story. If a reporter knows that his paper is always ready and
glad to print human interest stories full of kindliness and human
sympathy, he is ever on the watch for human interest subjects and
consequently forces himself to see things in a sympathetic way. Thus he
unconsciously wards off cynicism. The search for human interest material
is a modification of the "sob squad" work of the sensational papers, on
more delicate lines.

A human interest story is primarily an attempt to portray human
feeling--to talk about men as men and not as names or things. It is an
attempt to look upon life with sympathetic human eyes and to put living
people into the reports of the day's news. If a man falls and breaks his
neck, a bald recital of the facts deals with him only as an animal or an
inanimate name. The fact is interesting as one item in the list of human
misfortunes, but no more. And yet there are many people to whom this
man's accident is more than an interesting incident--it is a very
serious matter, perhaps a calamity. To his family he was everything in
the world; more than a mere means of support, he was a living human
being whom they loved. The bald report of his death does not consider
them; it does not consider the man's own previous existence. But if we
could get into the hearts of his wife and his mother and his children,
we could feel something of the real significance of the accident. This
is what the human interest story tries to do. It does not necessarily
strive for any effect, pathetic or otherwise, but tries simply to treat
the victim of the misfortune as a human being. The reporter endeavors to
see what in the story made people cry and then tries to reproduce it. In
the same way in another minor occurrence, he attempts to reproduce the
side of an incident that made people laugh. Either incident may or may
not have had news value in its baldest aspect, but the sympathetic
treatment makes the resulting human interest story worth printing.

There are various kinds of human interest stories. The common ground in
them all is usually their lack of any intrinsic news value. Many a
successful human interest story has been printed although it contained
no one of the elements of news values that were outlined earlier in this
book. In fact, one of the uses of the human interest story is to
utilize newspaper by-products that have no news value in themselves.
Hence the human interest story has no news feature to be played up and,
since it does not contain any real news, it does not have to answer any
customary questions. In form it is much like a short story of fiction,
since it depends on style and the ordinary rules of narration. The
absence of a lead, more than any other characteristic, distinguishes the
human interest story from the news story, in form. We have worked hard
to learn to play up the gist of the news in our news stories; now we
come to a story which makes no attempt to play up its news--in fact, it
may leave its most interesting content until the end and spring it as a
surprise in the last line. To be sure, most human interest stories have
and indicate a timeliness. The story may have no news value but it is
always concerned with a recent event and usually tells at the outset
when the event occurred. Almost without exception, the examples quoted
in this chapter show their timeliness by telling in the first sentence
when the event occurred. So much for the outward form of the human
interest story.

=1. Pathetic Story.=--One of the many kinds of human interest stories is
the pathetic story. Although it does not openly strive for pathos, it is
pathetic in that it tells the story of a human misfortune, simply and
clearly, with all the details that made the incident sad. It is the
story that attempts to put the reader into the very reality of the pain
and sorrow of every human life. Sometimes it makes him cry, sometimes it
makes him shudder, and sometimes it disgusts him, but it always shows
him misfortune as it really is. It looks down behind the outward actions
and words into the hearts of its actors and shows us motives and
feelings rather than facts. But just as soon as any attempt at pathos
becomes evident, the story loses its effectiveness. Its only means are
clear perception and absolute truthfulness. Here is an example of a
pathetic human interest story taken from a daily paper:

             |  Rissa Sachs' child mind yesterday        |
             |evolved a tragic answer to the question,   |
             |"What shall be done with the children of   |
             |divorced parents?"                         |
             |                                           |
             |  She took her life.                       |
             |                                           |
             |  Rissa was 14 years old. The divorce      |
             |decree that robbed her of a home was less  |
             |than a week old. It was granted to her     |
             |mother, Mrs. Mellisa Sachs, by Judge       |
             |Brentano last Saturday.                    |
             |                                           |
             |  When the divorce case was called for     |
             |trial Rissa found that she would be        |
             |compelled to testify. Reluctantly she      |
             |corroborated her mother's story that her   |
             |father, Benjamin Sachs, had struck Mrs.    |
             |Sachs. It was largely due to this          |
             |testimony that the decree was granted and  |
             |the custody of the child awarded to Mrs.   |
             |Sachs.                                     |
             |                                           |
             |  Then the troubles of the girl began in   |
             |real earnest. She loved her mother dearly. |
             |But her father, who had been a companion   |
             |to her as well as a parent, was equally    |
             |dear to her.                               |
             |                                           |
             |  Both parents pleaded with her. Mrs.      |
             |Sachs told Rissa she could not live        |
             |without her. The father told the girl, in  |
             |a conversation in a downtown hotel several |
             |days ago, that he would disown her unless  |
             |she went to live with him.                 |
             |                                           |
             |  Every hour increased the perplexities of |
             |the situation for the child. She could not |
             |decide to give up either of her parents    |
             |for fear of offending the other. So she    |
             |sacrificed her own life and gave up both.  |
             |                                           |
             |  Thursday evening, on returning from      |
             |school to the Sachs home at 4529 Racine    |
             |avenue, Rissa talked long and earnestly    |
             |with her mother. Then she retired to her   |
             |room, turned on the gas and, clothed, lay  |
             |down upon her bed to await death and       |
             |relief from troubles that have driven      |
             |older heads to despair.                    |
             |                                           |
             |  At the inquest yesterday afternoon the   |
             |grief-stricken mother told the story of    |
             |her daughter's difficulties. She said that |
             |Rissa had declared she could not live if   |
             |compelled to give up either of her         |
             |parents, but added that she never had      |
             |believed it.--_Chicago Record-Herald._     |

This is a pathetic human interest story in that it attempts to give the
human significance of an incident which in itself would have little news
value. Perhaps, in the matter of words, there is a slight straining for
pathos. The form, it will be noted, is decidedly different from that of
a news story on the same incident and, although the timeliness is given
in the first line, there is no attempt to present the gist of the story
in a formal lead. The source of the news is indicated in the last

=2. Humorous Story.=--Another kind of human interest story is the
humorous story. Its humor, like the pathos of a pathetic story, does not
come from an attempt to be funny, but from the truthful presentation of
a humorous incident, from the incongruity and ludicrousness of the
incident itself. The writer tries to see what elements in a given
incident made him laugh and then portrays them so clearly and truthfully
that his readers cannot help laughing with him. The subject may be the
most trivial thing in the world, not worth a line as a news story, and
yet it may be told in such a way that it is worth a half-column write-up
that will stand out as the gem of the whole edition. But after all the
effectiveness depends upon the humor in the original subject and the
truthfulness of the telling. The following humorous human interest
story, which occupied a place on the front page, was built up out of an
incident almost devoid of news value:

             |  One of Johnnie Wilt's original ideas     |
             |for entertaining his twin sister           |
             |Charlotte is to build a big bonfire on     |
             |the floor of their playroom.               |
             |                                           |
             |  Johnnie, who is 4 years old, carried his |
             |plan into execution at the Wilt home, 2474 |
             |Lake View avenue, for the first time       |
             |yesterday afternoon, with results that     |
             |made a lasting impression upon his mind    |
             |and the finishings of the interior of the  |
             |house.                                     |
             |                                           |
             |  The thing was suggested to him by a      |
             |bonfire he saw a man build in the street.  |
             |Charlotte hadn't seen the other fire. For  |
             |some reason Charlotte's feminine mind      |
             |refused to understand just what the fire   |
             |was like.                                  |
             |                                           |
             |  Consequently nothing remained for        |
             |Johnnie to do but build a fire of his own. |
             |He piled all of the newspapers and         |
             |playthings that could be found in the      |
             |middle of the room and then applied a      |
             |match.                                     |
             |                                           |
             |  When the flames leaped to the ceiling,   |
             |however, and a cloud of smoke filled the   |
             |room, Johnnie began to doubt the wisdom of |
             |the move. While Charlotte ran to tell a    |
             |maid he retreated to that haven of         |
             |youthful fugitives--the space beneath a    |
             |couch.                                     |
             |                                           |
             |  The frightened maid summoned the fire    |
             |engines and the fire was soon              |
             |extinguished. But Mrs. Wilt discovered     |
             |that Johnnie had disappeared. She          |
             |telephoned to Charles T. Wilt, president   |
             |of the trunk company that bears his name,  |
             |and half hysterically told of the fire and |
             |the disappearance of Johnnie.              |
             |                                           |
             |  Just then there was a scrambling sound   |
             |from beneath the couch. Johnnie, looking   |
             |as serious as a 4-year-old face can look,  |
             |walked out.                                |
             |                                           |
             |  Mrs. Wilt seized him and, to an          |
             |accompaniment of "I-won't-do-it-agains,"   |
             |crushed him to her bosom. Last reports     |
             |from the Wilt home were that Johnnie had   |
             |not yet been punished for his              |
             |deed.--_Chicago Record-Herald._            |

The student will notice how all the facts of the story and the answers
to the reader's questions are worked in here and there, how the content
of a news story lead is scattered throughout the entire account.

=3. Writing the Human Interest Story.=--It is one thing to be able to
distinguish material for a human interest story and another to be able
to write the story. The whole effectiveness of the story, as we have
seen, depends upon the way it is written. Many a poorly written,
ungrammatical news story is printed simply because it contains facts
that are of interest, regardless of the way in which they are presented.
But never is a poorly written human interest story printed; simply
because the facts in it have little interest themselves and the story's
usefulness depends entirely upon the presentation of the facts. Hence,
the human interest story, more than any other newspaper story, must be
well written. And yet there are no rules to assist in the writing of
such a story. In fact, its very nature depends upon originality and
newness in form and treatment.

In the first place, we cannot fall back upon the conventional lead for a
beginning, because a lead would be out of place. As we have said before,
the human interest story does not begin with a lead for the reason that
it has no striking news content to present in the lead. In many cases
the whole story depends upon cleverly arranged suspense; if the content
is given in a lead at the beginning suspense is of course impossible.
The human interest story has no more need of a lead than does a short
story--in some ways a human interest story is very much like a short
story--and a short story that gives its climax in the first paragraph
would hardly be written or read. But, just like the short story, a human
interest story must begin in an attractive way. In the study of short
story writing almost half of the study is devoted to learning how to
begin the story, on the theory that the reader is some sort of a
fugitive animal that must be lassoed by an attractive and interesting
beginning. The theory is of course a true one and it holds good in the
case of human interest stories.

But no rules can be laid down to govern the beginning of human interest
or short stories. Each story must begin in its own way--and each must
begin in a different way. Some writers of short stories begin with
dialogue, others with a clean-cut witticism, others with attractive
explanation or description, others with a clever apology. The list is
endless. This endless list is ready for the reporter who is trying to
write human interest stories. But the choosing must be his own. He must
select the beginning that seems best adapted to his story. As an
inspiration to reporters who are trying to write human interest stories,
a few beginnings clipped from daily papers are given here. Some are good
and some are bad; the goodness or badness in each case depends upon
individual taste. They can hardly be classified in more than a general
way for originality is opposed to all classifications. They are merely

A striking quotation or a bit of apt dialogue is commonly used to
attract attention to a story. Here are some examples:

             |  "Burglars," whispered Mrs. Vermilye to  |
             |herself and she took another furtive peek |
             |out of the windows of her rooms on the    |
             |sixth floor of the, etc.                  |

             |  "Speaking of peanuts," observed the man |
             |with the red whiskers, "they ain't the    |
             |only thing in the world what is small."   |
             |Etc.                                      |

             |  "Ales, Wines, Liquors and Cigars!" You  |
             |see this sign in the windows of every     |
             |corner life-saving station. But what      |
             |would you say if you saw it blazing over  |
             |the entrance to the Colony Club, that     |
             |rendezvous for the little and big sisters |
             |of the rich at Madison avenue and         |
             |Thirtieth street? Etc.                    |

             |WANTED--Bright educated lady as secretary |
             |to business man touring northwest states  |
             |and Alaska: give reference, ability; age, |
             |description. Address E-640, care Bee.     |
             |                                          |
             |                             (7)-680 19x. |
             |  The above innocent appearing want ad in |
             |_The Bee_, although alluring in its       |
             |prospects to a young woman desiring a     |
             |summer vacation, is the principal factor  |
             |in the arrest of one M. W. Williams, etc. |

A well-written first sentence in a human interest story often purports
to tell the whole story, like a news story lead, and really tells only
enough to make you want to read further. Here are a few examples:

             |  His son's suspicions and a can opener   |
             |convinced Andrew Sherrer last Saturday    |
             |that he had been fleeced out of $500 by   |
             |two clever manipulators of an ancient     |
             |"get-something-for-nothing" swindle. So   |
             |strong was the victim's confidence, etc.  |

             |  There's a stubborn, unlaid ghost, a     |
             |gnome, a goblin, a swart fairy at the     |
             |least, who has settled down for the       |
             |winter in a perfectly respectable cellar  |
             |over in Brooklyn and whiles away the      |
             |dismal hours of the night by chopping     |
             |spectral cordwood with a phantom axe.     |
             |Instead of going to board with Mrs.       |
             |Pepper or another medium and being of     |
             |some use in the world and having a        |
             |pleasant, dim-lighted cabinet all its     |
             |own, this unhappy ghost--or ghostess--is  |
             |pestering Marciana Rose of 1496 Bergen    |
             |street, who owns the cellar and the house |
             |over it--over both the ghost and the      |
             |cellar. Etc.                              |

             |  The gowk who calls up 3732 Rector today |
             |will get a splinter in his finger if he   |
             |scratches his head. Nothing doing with    |
             |3732 Rector. From early morn till dewy    |
             |eve Mr. Fish, Mr. C. Horse, Mr. Bass, Mr. |
             |Skate and other inmates of the aquarium   |
             |will be inaccessible by 'phone. Etc.      |

             |  Under all the saffron banners and the   |
             |sprawling dragons clawing at red suns     |
             |over the roofs of Chinatown yesterday     |
             |there was a tension of unrest and of      |
             |speculation. It all had to do with the    |
             |luncheon to be given to his Imperial      |
             |Highness Prince Tsai Tao and the members  |
             |of his staff at the Tuxedo Restaurant, 2  |
             |Doyers street, at noon to-morrow. Etc.    |

             |  Man and wife, sitting side by side as   |
             |pupils, was the interesting spectacle     |
             |which provided the feature of the         |
             |elementary night school opening last      |
             |night. Etc.                               |

             |  Two young Germans of Berlin, neither    |
             |quite 18 years of age, had a perfectly    |
             |uncorking time aboard the White Star      |
             |liner Majestic, in yesterday. They were   |
             |favorites with the smoke-room stewards.   |
             |They learned later that man is born unto  |
             |trouble as the corks fly upward. Etc.     |

             |  It was a long black overcoat with a     |
             |velvet collar, big cuffed sleeves, and    |
             |broad of shoulder, and looked decidedly   |
             |warm and comfy. It stood in one of the    |
             |large display windows of ----, and        |
             |covered the deficiencies of a waxy dummy, |
             |who stared in a surprised sort of manner  |
             |out into the street and appeared to be    |
             |looking at nothing. Etc.                  |

             |  The bellboys put him up to it and then  |
             |Marcus caused a lot of trouble. Marcus is |
             |a parrot who has been spending the winter |
             |in one of the large Broadway hotels. Etc. |

             |  Lame, old, but uncomplaining,           |
             |remembering only his joy when a visitor   |
             |came to him, and forgetting to be bitter  |
             |because of the wrongs done him, meeting   |
             |his rescuer with a wag of the tail meant  |
             |to be joyful, a St. Bernard dog set an    |
             |example, etc.                             |

Some human interest stories begin, and effectively, too, with a direct
personal appeal to the reader; thus:

             |  If you've never seen anybody laugh with |
             |his hands, you should have eased yourself |
             |up against a railing at the Barnum and    |
             |Bailey circus in Madison Square Garden    |
             |yesterday afternoon and watched a band of |
             |250 deaf mute youngsters, all bedecked in |
             |their bestest, signalling all over the    |
             |Garden. Etc.                              |

             |  If you've ever sat in the enemy's camp  |
             |when the Blue eleven lunged its last yard |
             |for a touchdown and had your hair ruffled |
             |by the roar that swept across the         |
             |gridiron, you can guess how 1,500 Yale    |
             |men yelled at the Waldorf last night for  |
             |Bill Taft of '78. Etc.                    |

A question is often used at the beginning of a human interest story:

             |  A near-suicide or an accident. Which?   |
             |Keeper Bean is somewhat puzzled to say    |
             |which, but it is quite certain it will    |
             |not be tried again. At least, Keeper Bean |
             |does not think it will.                   |
             |                                          |
             |  But, it was a sad, sad Sunday for the   |
             |little white-faced monkey. For hours he   |
             |lay as dead, etc.                         |

Many of these stories, animal or otherwise, begin with a name:

             |  Long Tom, a Brahma rooster that had     |
             |been the "bad inmate" of Jacob Meister's  |
             |farm at West Meyersville, N. J., for      |
             |three years, paid the penalty of his      |
             |crimes Christmas morning when he was      |
             |beheaded after his owner had condemned    |
             |him to death. Bad in life, he was good in |
             |a potpie that day, etc.                   |

The beginning of a human interest story is always the most important
part; just like a news story, it must attract attention with its first
line. In the same way, a good beginning is something more than half
done. But here the similarity between the two ends. The news story,
after the lead is written, may slump in technique so that the end is
almost devoid of interest; the human interest story, on the other hand,
must keep up its standard of excellence to the very last sentence and
the last line must have as much snap as the first. It is never in danger
of losing its last paragraph and so it may be more rounded and complete;
it must follow a definite plan to the very end and then stop. In this it
is like the short story, although it seldom has a plot. There are no
rules to help us in writing any part of the human interest story. Each
attempt has a different purpose and must be done in a different way. Yet
the reporter must know before he begins just exactly how he is going to
work out the whole story. He must plan it as carefully as a short
story. A few minutes of careful thought before he begins to write are
better than much reworking and alteration after the thing is done. This
applies to all newspaper writing.

Much of the effectiveness of the human interest story depends upon the
reporter's style. When we try to write human interest stories we are no
longer interested in facts, as much as in words. Our readers are not
following us to be informed, but to be entertained. And we can please
them only by our style and the fineness of our perception. Although we
have been told to write news stories in the common every-day words of
conversation, we are not so limited in the human interest story. The
elegance of our style depends very largely upon the size of our
vocabulary, and elegance is not out of place in this kind of story.
Although we have been told to use dialogue sparingly in news stories,
our human interest story may be composed entirely of dialogue. In fact,
we are hampered by no restrictions except the restrictions of English
grammar and literary composition. Although we have sought simplicity of
expression before, we may now strive for subtlety and for effect; we may
write suggestively and even obscurely. We are dealing with the only part
of the newspaper that makes any effort toward literary excellence and
only our originality and cleverness can guide us.

It is hardly necessary to repeat that one cannot write human interest
stories in a cynical tone. They are a reaction against cynicism. They
require one to feel keenly, as a human being, and to write
sympathetically, as a human being. The reporter must see behind the
facts and get the personal side of the matter--and feel it. Then he must
tell the story just as he sees and feels it. Absolute truthfulness in
the telling is as necessary as keen perception in the seeing. Humor must
be sought through the simple, truthful presentation of an incongruous or
humorous idea or situation; pathos must be sought by the truthful
presentation of a pathetic picture. Just as soon as the reporter tries
to be funny or to be pathetic he fails, for the reader is not looking to
the reporter for fun or pathos--but to the story that the reporter is
telling. That is, the story must be written objectively; the writer must
forget himself in his attempt to impress the story upon his reader's
mind. If the story itself is fundamentally humorous or sad and the story
is clearly and truthfully told with all the details that make it
humorous or sad, it cannot help being effective.

The best way to learn how to write human interest stories is to study
human interest stories. Most papers print them nowadays--they can easily
be distinguished by their lack of news value, and of a lead--and the
finest example is just as likely to crop out in a little weekly as in a
metropolitan daily.

=4. The Animal Story.=--The examples printed earlier in this chapter are
specimens of the truest type of human interest story because they deal
with human beings. They derive their joy or sorrow from things that
happen to men and women. But all the sketches that are classed as human
interest stories are not so carefully confined to the limits of the
title. From the original human interest story the type has grown until
it includes many other things--almost any piece of copy that has no
intrinsic news value. Every possible subject that may suit itself to a
pathetic or humorous treatment and thus be interesting, although it has
no news value, is roughly classed as a human interest story.

One of these outgrowths of the true human interest sketch is the animal
story. In the large cities, the "zoo" and the parks have become a
fruitful source of "news." Anything interesting that may happen to the
monkeys, or the elephant, the sparrows or the squirrels in the parks,
horses or dogs in the street, is used as the excuse for a human interest
story. Sometimes the purpose is pathos and sometimes it is humor, but,
whatever it may be, if it is clever and interesting it gets its place in
the paper, a place entirely out of proportion to its true news value.
The results sometimes verge very close upon nature faking, but after all
they are only the result of the "up-lift" idea of looking at all life in
a more sympathetic way. Several of the beginnings quoted earlier in this
chapter belong to animal stories and the following is a complete one:

             |  Smithy Kain was only a mongrel,          |
             |horsemen will say, but in his equine       |
             |heart there coursed the blood of           |
             |thoroughbreds.                             |
             |                                           |
             |  Smithy Kain was killed yesterday         |
             |afternoon, shot through the head, while    |
             |thousands of Wisconsin fair patrons looked |
             |on in shuddering sympathy.                 |
             |                                           |
             |  It was a tragedy of the track.           |
             |                                           |
             |  Owners, trainers and drivers always are  |
             |quick to declare that no greater courage   |
             |is known than that possessed and           |
             |demonstrated by race horses in hard-fought |
             |battles on the turf, and the truth of this |
             |was never more strikingly brought home     |
             |than in the death of Smithy Kain           |
             |yesterday.                                 |
             |                                           |
             |  With a left hind foot snapped at the     |
             |fetlock, Smithy Kain raced around the      |
             |track, his valiant spirit and unfaltering  |
             |gameness keeping him up until he had       |
             |completed the course in unwavering pursuit |
             |of the flying horses in front. Every jump  |
             |meant intense agony, but he would not      |
             |quit. Not until near the finish did his    |
             |strength give out, and not until then was  |
             |the pitiable truth discovered. Men used to |
             |exhibitions of gameness in tests that try  |
             |the soul looked on in mute admiration as   |
             |Smithy Kain shivered and stumbled from the |
             |pain that rapidly sapped his life. Women   |
             |cried openly.                              |
             |                                           |
             |  Two shots from the pistol of a park      |
             |policeman ended the life and sufferings of |
             |the horse that was only a mongrel, but     |
             |who, in his equine way, was a thoroughbred |
             |of thoroughbreds.                          |
             |                                           |
             |  Smithy Kain gave to his master the best  |
             |that his animal mind and soul possessed.   |
             |No better memorial can be written even of  |
             |man himself.                               |

=5. The Special Feature Story.=--One step beyond the animal story is the
special feature story. This kind of story is classed with the human
interest story because it has no news value and because its only purpose
is to entertain or to inform in a general way; and yet it rarely
contains any human interest. There is no space in this book for a
complete discussion of the special feature story--an entire volume might
be devoted to the subject--but this form of story is often seen in the
news columns of the daily papers and deserves a mention here. Ordinarily
the special feature story is not written by reporters, although there is
no reason why reporters should not use in this way many of the facts
that come to them. The story usually comes from outside the newspaper
office, from a contributor, from a syndicate, or from some other daily,
weekly, or monthly publication; however a word or two here may suggest
to the reporter the possibility of adding to his usefulness by writing
such stories for his paper.

The special feature story may be almost anything. The name is used to
designate timely magazine articles, timely write-ups for the Sunday
edition, and timely squibs for the columns of the daily papers. The last
use is the one that interests us and it interests us because it is very
closely related to the human interest story. The editors usually call it
a feature story because it is worth printing in spite of the fact that
it has no news value. In this and in its timeliness it is like the human
interest story. But it is not written for humor or pathos; its purpose
is to entertain the reader. Its method is largely expository and its
style may be anything; it may explain or it may simply comment in a
witty way. The utilizing of otherwise useless by-products of the news is
its purpose--in this it is very much like the animal story.

Subjects for feature stories may come from anywhere and may be almost
anything. A very common kind of feature story is the weather story that
many newspapers print every day. The weather is taken as the excuse for
two or three stickfuls of print which explain and comment upon weather
conditions, past, present and future. Growing out of this, there is the
season story which deals with any subject that the season may suggest:
the closing of Coney Island, the spring styles in men's hats, the first
fur overcoat, Commencement presents, Easter eggs--anything in season.
Further removed from the human interest story is the timely write-up
which has no other purpose than to explain, in a more or less serious or
sensible way, any interesting subject that comes to hand. The story
purports not only to entertain but to inform as well. It has no news
value and yet it is usually timely. Here are a few subjects selected at
random from the daily papers: "He'll pay no tax on cake," explaining in
a humorous way the customs methods that held up the importation of an
Italian Christmas cake; "Clearing House for Brains," a description of
the new employment bureau of the Princeton Club of New York; "Ideal man
picked by the Barnard girl," a humorous resumé of some Barnard College
class statistics; "Winning a Varsity Letter," telling what a varsity
letter stands for, how it is won, and what the customs of the various
colleges in regard to letters are; "Jerry Moore raises a record corn
crop," telling how a fifteen-year-old boy won prizes with a little patch
of corn.

These are just a few suggestions to open up to the reporter the vast
field for special feature articles. To be sure, many of them are
submitted by outsiders, but there is no reason why a reporter should not
write these stories as well as human interest stories for his paper,
since he is in the best position to get the material. Whenever a special
feature story becomes too large for the daily edition there is always a
possibility of selling it to the Sunday section or to a monthly
magazine. The writing of special feature stories is directly in line
with the reporter's work, because the ordinary method of gathering facts
for a feature article and arranging them in an interesting, newsy way
follows closely the method by which a reporter covers and writes a news
story. Hence almost without exception the most successful magazine
feature writers are, or have been, newspaper reporters.



Dramatic reporting is one of the most misused of the newspaper
reporter's activities. To many reporters, as well as to their editors,
it is just an easy way of getting free admission to the theater in
return for a half column of copy. Hence it is treated in an unjustly
trivial way; the reports of theatrical productions are printed most
often as space fillers or as a small advertisement in return for free
tickets. But after all the work is an important one and should be done
only by skillful and expert hands. Dramatic reporting is included in
this book, not because it is thought possible to give the subject an
adequate treatment, but because theatrical reporting is a branch of the
newspaper trade that may fall to the hands of the youngest reporter. In
mere justice to the stage the reporter who writes up a play should know
something about the real significance of what he is doing. It is much
easier to tell the beginner what not to do than to tell him exactly
what to do. The faults in dramatic reporting are far more evident than
the virtues; and yet there are some positive things that may be said on
the subject.

The first important question in the whole matter is "Who does dramatic
reporting?" One would like to answer, "Skilled critics of broad
knowledge and experience." But unfortunately almost anybody does it--any
one about the office who is willing to give up his evening to go to the
theater. To be sure, many metropolitan papers employ skilled critics to
write their dramatic copy and run the theatrical news over the critic's
name. Some editors of smaller papers have the decency to do the work
themselves. But in most cases the work is given to an ordinary
reporter--and not infrequently to the greenest reporter on the staff.
Worse than that, the work is seldom given to the same reporter
continuously, but is passed around among all the members of the staff.
Even a green cub may learn by experience how to report plays, but if the
work falls to him only once a month his training is very meager. It
would seem in these days of much discussion of the theater that editors
would realize the power which they have over the stage through their
favorable or unfavorable criticism. But they do not, perhaps because
they know little about the stage, and the appeal must be made to their
reporters. Every reporter, except upon the largest papers, has the
opportunity sooner or later to give his opinion on a play. In
anticipation of that opportunity these few words of advice are offered.

The first requisite in dramatic criticism is a background of knowledge
of the drama and the stage. To children, and to some grown people, too,
the stage is a little dream world of absolute realities. Their
imaginations turn the picture that is placed before them into real,
throbbing life. They do not see the unreality of the art, the suggestive
effects, the flimsy delusions; to them the play is real life, the stage
is a real drawing room or a real wood, and they cannot conceive of the
actors existing outside their parts. But the critic must look deeper; he
must understand the machinery that produces the effects and he must
weigh the success of the effects. He must get behind the play and see
the actors outside the cast and the stage without its scenery; the
dramatic art must be to him a highly technical profession. For this
reason, he must know something about dramatic technique; he must have
some background of knowledge. He must study the theater from every point
of view, from an orchestra seat, from behind the scenes, from a peekhole
in the playwright's study, and from the pages of stage history. All the
tricks and effects must be evident to him. The only thing that will
teach him this is constant, intelligent theater-going. He must be
familiar with all of the plays of the season and with all of the
prominent plays of all seasons. A child cannot criticize the first play
that he sees because he has nothing with which to compare it. In the
same way a reporter cannot justly judge any kind of play until he has
seen another of the same kind with which to compare it. Hence he must
know many plays and must know something about the history of the
theater. Dramatic criticism is relative and the critic must have a basis
for his comparison.

This background of knowledge may seem a difficult thing to acquire. It
is; and it can best be acquired by watching many plays with an eye for
the technique of the art. The critic may judge a play from its effect
upon him, but his judgment will be superficial. He must try to see what
the playwright is trying to do, how well he succeeds, what tricks he
employs. He must judge the work of the stage carpenter and of the
costumer. He must try to realize what problem the leading lady has to
face and how well she solves it. The same carefulness of judgment must
be given to each member of the cast. Only when the critic is able to see
past the footlights and to understand the technique of the art, can he
judge intelligently. And as his judgment can be at best only relative,
he must have a background of many plays and much stage knowledge upon
which to base his estimate of any one production.

The ideal criticism, based upon this background of knowledge, would be
absolutely fair and unprejudiced. But unfortunately this ideal cannot
always be followed. Much dramatic criticism is colored by the policy of
the paper that prints it. Very few critics are so fortunate as to be
able to say exactly what they think about a play; they must say what the
editor wants them to say. Some theatrical copy, especially write-ups of
vaudeville shows, is paid for and must contain nothing but praise.
Sometimes it is necessary to praise the poorest production simply
because the paper is receiving so much a column for the praise. In many
other cases, when the copy is not paid for, the editor often considers
it only fair to give the production a little puff in return for the free
press tickets. And so a large share of any reporter's dramatic criticism
is reduced to selecting things that he can praise. Yet, one cannot
praise in a way that is too evident; he cannot simply say "The play was
good; the staging was good; the acting was good; in fact, everything was
good." He must praise more cleverly and give his copy the appearance of
honest criticism. Perhaps the principle is wrong, but nevertheless it
exists and happy is the dramatic critic whose paper allows him to say
exactly what he thinks. However, whether one may say what he thinks or
must say what his editor wants him to say, he must have as his
background a thorough knowledge of the stage upon which he may base a
comparison or a contrast and with which he may make intelligent
statements. The following illustrates what may be done with a paid
report of a mediocre vaudeville show in which every act must be
praised--the report was written on Monday of a week's run and is
intended to induce people to see the show:

             |  This week's bill at ---- Vaudeville     |
             |Theatre is dashed onto the boards by a    |
             |very exciting act, "The Flying Martins,"  |
             |whose thrilling tricks put the audience   |
             |in a proper state of mind for the         |
             |sparkling and laughable program that      |
             |follows--a state of mind that keeps its   |
             |high pitch without a break or let-down to |
             |the very end of Dr. Herman's              |
             |side-splitting electrical pranks. This    |
             |man, who has truly "tamed electricity,"   |
             |does many remarkable things with his big  |
             |coils and high voltage currents and plays |
             |many extremely funny tricks upon his row  |
             |of "unsuspecting-handsome" young          |
             |volunteers.                               |
             |                                          |
             |  The musical little playlet, "The Barn   |
             |Dance," is very jokingly carried off by   |
             |its Jack-of-all-Trades, "Zeke," the       |
             |constable, and its pretty little ensemble |
             |song, "I'll Build a Nest for You." Many a |
             |young husband can get pointers on "home   |
             |rule" from "Baseballitis;" it is a mighty |
             |good presentation of the "My Hero" theme  |
             |in actual life. Hilda Hawthorne gives us  |
             |some high-class ventriloquism with a good |
             |puppet song that is truly wonderful.      |
             |There's a lot of good music, very good    |
             |music in the sketch executed by "The      |
             |Three Vagrants," as well as a lot of fun; |
             |one can hardly realize what an amount of  |
             |melody an old accordion contains. Audrey  |
             |Pringle and George Whiting have a hit     |
             |that is sparkling with quick changes from |
             |Irish love songs to bull frog croaking    |
             |with Italian variations.                  |

For the purpose of a more complete study of the subject, however, we
shall consider only dramatic criticism that is not restricted by
editorial dictum or by the requirements of paid-space. That is, we shall
imagine that we can praise or condemn or say anything we please
concerning the dramatic production which we are to report. When we look
at the subject in this way there are some positive things that may be
said about theatrical reporting, but there are many more negative rules,
that may be reduced to mere "Don'ts." The same principles hold good in
dramatic criticism that is hampered by policy, but to a less degree.

In the first place, the one thing that a dramatic reporter must have
when he begins to write his copy after the performance is some positive
idea about the play, some definite criticism, upon which to base his
whole report. It is impossible to write a coherent report from chance
jottings and to confine the report to saying "This was good; that was
bad, the other was mediocre." The critic must have a positive central
idea upon which to hang his criticism. This central idea plays the same
part in his report as the feature in a news story--it is the feature of
his report which he brings into the first sentence, to which he attaches
every item, and with which he ends his report. To secure this idea, the
reporter must watch the play closely with the purpose of crystallizing
his judgment in a single conception, thought, or impression. Sometimes
this impression comes as an inspiration, sometimes it is the result of
hard thought during or after the play. It may be concerned with the
theme of the play, the playwright's work, the lines, the staging, the
effects, the tricks, the acting as a whole, the acting of single
persons, the music, the dancing, the costumes--anything connected with
the production--but the idea must be big enough to carry the entire
report and to be the gist of what the critic has to say about the play.
It must be his complete, concise opinion of the performance.

When, as the critic watches the play, some idea comes to him for his
report he should jot it down. As the play progresses he should develop
this idea and watch for details that carry it out. There is no reason to
be ashamed of taking notes in the theater and the notes will prove very
useful at the office afterward. Perhaps after the play is over the
critic finds that his jottings contain another idea that is of greater
importance than the first; then he may incorporate the second into the
first or discard the first altogether. Even after one has crystallized
his judgment into a concise opinion he must elaborate and illustrate it
and the program of the play is always of value in enabling one to refer
definitely to the individual actors, characters, and other persons, by
name. But, however complete the final judgment and the notes may be, it
is always well to write the report immediately. When one leaves the
theater his mind is teeming with things to say about the play, thousands
of them, but after a night's sleep it is doubtful if a single full-grown
idea will remain and the jottings will be absolutely lifeless and

This is the positive instruction that may be given to young dramatic
critics. It is so important and is unknown to so many young theatrical
reporters, that it may be well to sum it up again. A dramatic criticism
must be coherent; it must be unified. It must be the embodiment of a
single idea about the play and every detail in the report must be
attached to that idea. It is not sufficient to state the idea in a
clever way; it must be expanded and elaborated with examples and reasons
and must show careful thought. It is well to outline the report before
it is written and to arrange a logical sequence of thought so that the
result may be well-rounded and coherent.

The following is an example of a dramatic criticism in which this course
is followed. It neither praises nor condemns but it points out gently
wherein the play is strong or weak--and every sentence is attached to
one central idea:

             |           A POLITE LITTLE PLAY.          |
             |                                          |
             |  Never raise your voice, my dear Gerald. |
             |That is the only thing left to            |
             |distinguish us from the lower classes.    |
             |_Lord Wynlea in "The Best People"._       |

             |  The new comedy at the Lyric Theatre is  |
             |written in accordance with Lord Wynlea's  |
             |dictum quoted above. It is mannerly, well |
             |poised, ingratiating and deft. As a minor |
             |effort in the high comedy style it is     |
             |welcome, because it affords a respite     |
             |from the "plays with a punch" and the     |
             |prevalent boisterous specimens of the     |
             |work of yeomen who go at the art of       |
             |dramatic writing with main strength.      |
             |                                          |
             |  "The Best People" is by Frederick       |
             |Lonsdale and Frank Curzen, who manifestly |
             |know some of them. It was done at         |
             |Wyndham's Theatre in London, and we think |
             |that in a comfortable English playhouse,  |
             |with tea between acts and leisurely       |
             |persons with whom to visit in the foyer,  |
             |it would make an agreeable matinee.       |
             |Certainly it is admirably acted here, and,|
             |as has been intimated, its quiet drollery |
             |and its polite maneuvering make it a      |
             |relief.                                   |
             |                                          |
             |  Whether American audiences, used to     |
             |stronger fare than tea at the theatre,    |
             |will find it sustaining is a question that|
             |would seem to be answered by the          |
             |announcement, just received from the      |
             |Lyric, that the engagement closes next    |
             |Saturday evening.                         |
             |                                          |
             |  The fable relates how the Honorable Mrs.|
             |Bayle discovered that her husband and Lady|
             |Ensworth had been flirting with peril     |
             |during her absence in Egypt, how she      |
             |blithely threw them much together, with   |
             |the result that they grew intensely weary |
             |of each other, and how at last everybody  |
             |concerned was happily and sensibly        |
             |reconciled.                               |
             |                                          |
             |  The spirit of the piece is sane and     |
             |"nice," the decoration of it whimsical and|
             |graceful.                                 |
             |                                          |
             |  Miss Lucille Watson, embodying the      |
             |spirit of witty mischief, gives a very    |
             |fine performance of the part of Mrs.      |
             |Bayle, a "smart," good woman, and Miss    |
             |Ruth Shepley is excellent in byplay and   |
             |flutter as a silly, good woman.           |
             |                                          |
             |  Cyril Scott is graceful and vigorous as |
             |a philandering husband, Dallas Anderson   |
             |comical as a London clubman with a keener |
             |relish in life than he is willing to      |
             |betray, and William McVey wise, paternal  |
             |and weighty in that kind of a part.       |
             |                                          |
             |  "The Best People" is a pleasant spring  |
             |fillip.                                   |

The first admonition in theatrical reporting is "Don't resumé the plot
or tell the story of the play." This is almost all that many dramatic
reporters try to do, because it is the easiest thing to do and requires
the least thought. But, after all, it is usually valueless. The story of
the play does not interest readers who have already seen the play and it
spoils the enjoyment of the play for those who intend to see it. The
usual purpose of any theatrical report is to criticize, but a report
that simply resumés the story of the play is not a criticism; hence
space devoted to the story is usually wasted. To be sure, this
admonition must be qualified. If the development of the critic's
judgment of the play requires a resumé of the story, there is then a
reason for outlining the action. However, even then, the outline should
be very brief.

The following is a typical example of the usual dramatic reporting
which is satisfied when it has told the story of the play. In this, the
first two sentences are a very bald attempt to repay the manager for his
tickets. The resumé of the story, given very obviously to fill space, is
not of any critical value. The only real criticism is at the end and is
inadequate because the praise is given without reason.

             |  Grace George and her small but          |
             |excellent company of artists added one    |
             |more to their long list of successful     |
             |performances last night in the production |
             |of Geraldine Bonner's clever comedy of    |
             |modern life, "Sauce for the Goose," at    |
             |the ---- Theatre. That the moody and      |
             |sparkling Miss George has a good claim to |
             |the title of America's leading            |
             |comedienne, no one who saw the            |
             |performance last evening could deny. In   |
             |this piece she is cast for the part of    |
             |Kitty Constable, who is in the third year |
             |of her married life and living with her   |
             |husband in New York City. Mr. Constable   |
             |has been engaged in writing a book on the |
             |emancipation of woman and as a result has |
             |come to neglect his pretty little wife    |
             |and seek the companionship of a certain   |
             |woman of great intellect, Mrs. Alloway,   |
             |who leads him on by an affected sympathy  |
             |with his work. He chides his wife for her |
             |seeming negligence of the culture of her  |
             |mind, telling her that she lacks grey     |
             |matter. The climax comes when Mr.         |
             |Constable tries to get away from his wife |
             |on the evening of their wedding           |
             |anniversary to dine with Mrs. Alloway.    |
             |Kitty tries the emancipated woman idea    |
             |and goes to the opera with another man    |
             |and has dinner with him in his            |
             |apartments. She lets her husband know of  |
             |her plans and he comes to the room in a   |
             |rage. By thus playing first on his        |
             |jealousy and then by ridiculing his       |
             |ideas, she wins him back to herself. The  |
             |company was made up of artists and there  |
             |was not a crude spot in the whole         |
             |performance. The part of Harry Travers,   |
             |the friend of Mrs. Constable's, was       |
             |excellently done by Frederick Perry, as   |
             |was that of Mr. Constable by Herbert      |
             |Percy. Probably the most difficult        |
             |character in the play to portray was that |
             |of the "woman's rights" woman, Mrs.       |
             |Alloway, which was most admirably done by |
             |Edith Wakeman.                            |

The word criticism must not lead the reporter to think that, as a
critic, his only function is to find fault. To criticize may mean to
praise as well as to condemn. If the critic is not restricted by the
policy of his paper, he should be as willing to praise as to condemn,
and vice versa. But whichever course he takes he must be ready to defend
his criticism and to tell why he praises or why he condemns. There is
always a tendency to praise a play in return for the free tickets; this
should be put aside absolutely. The critic owes something to the public
as well as to the manager. If the play seems to him to be bad, he must
say so without hesitation and he must tell why it is bad. Too many
really bad plays are immensely advertised by a critic's undefended
statement that they are not fit to be seen. Had the critic given
definite reasons for his condemnation, his criticism might have
accomplished its purpose. In the same way it is useless to say simply
that a play is good. Its good points must be enumerated and the reader
must be told why it is good.

However, criticism must be written with delicacy. If your heart tells
you to praise, praise; if your heart tells you to condemn, condemn with
care. Remember that your condemnation may put the play off the boards or
at least hurt its success, and there must be sufficient reason for such
radical action. The critic's debt to the public is large, but he owes
some consideration to the manager. He must hesitate before he says
anything that may ruin the manager's business. Critics very often
condemn a play for trivial reasons; they feel indisposed, perhaps
because their dinner has not agreed with them, the play does not fit
into their mood and they turn in a half column of ruinous condemnation.
Perhaps they like a certain kind of production--farces, for
instance--and systematically vent their ire on every tragedy and every
musical comedy. They do not use perspective; they do not judge the stage
as a whole. No matter how poor a play is or how much a critic dislikes
it, he must consider what the stage people are trying to do and judge
accordingly. In many cases it is not the individual play that deserves
adverse criticism, but the kind of play. All of these things must be
considered; every dramatic critic must have perspective. He must be fair
to the stage people and to the public; his influence is greater than he
may imagine.

No matter how strong the occasion for condemnation may be, the dramatic
critic is never justified in speaking bitterly. The poor production is
not a personal offense against him nor against the public. It is simply
a bad or an unworthy attempt and his duty is confined to pointing how or
why it is not worthy. That does not mean that he is justified in using
bitter, abusive, or even sarcastic language. It is great sport to make
fun of things and to exercise one's wits at some one's else expense--it
is also easy--but that is not dramatic criticism. The public asks the
critic to tell them calmly and fairly, even coldly, the reasons for or
against a production--the reasons why they should, or should not, spend
their money to see it--bitter sarcasm overreaches the mark. Just as soon
as a critic tries to be personal in his remarks on a play he is
exceeding his prerogative and is open to serious criticism himself.

The necessary attributes of a dramatic reporter, as we have seen, are:
fairness, logical thinking, and a background of stage knowledge. And of
these three, the background is of the greatest importance; it is the
stimulus and the check for the other two. The more a critic can know
about every phase of the theatrical profession, contemporary or
historical, the better will be his criticisms. The more knowledge of the
stage that his copy shows, the more greedily will his readers look for
his "Theatrical News" each day. However clear his idea of a play may be
he cannot express it clearly and readably without a background of other
plays to refer to. And, by the same sign, a wealth of allusions and a
quantity of theatrical lore will often carry a critic past many a play
concerning which he is unable to form a clear opinion. To develop your
ability as a dramatic reporter, watch the theatrical criticisms in
reputable dailies and weeklies and learn from them.



    _Being a copy of the Style Book compiled for the Course in
        Journalism of the University of Wisconsin from the style
        books of many newspapers._

=1. Capitalize:=

    All proper nouns: Smith, Madison, Wisconsin.

    Months and days of the week, but not the seasons of the year: April,
      Monday; but autumn.

    The first word of every quotation, enumerated list, etc., following
      a colon.

    The principal words in the titles of books, plays, lectures,
      pictures, toasts, etc., including the initial "a" or "the": "The
      Merchant of Venice," "Fratres in Urbe." If a preposition is
      attached to or compounded with the verb capitalize the preposition
      also: "Voting _For_ the Right Man."

    The names of national political bodies: House, Senate, Congress, the
      Fifty-first Congress.

    The names of national officers, national departments, etc.:
      President, Vice President, Navy Department, Department of Justice
      (but not bureau of labor), White House, Supreme Court (and all
      courts), the Union, Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, Union Jack,
      United States army, Declaration of Independence, the (U. S.)
      Constitution, United Kingdom, Dominion of Canada.

    All titles preceding a proper noun: President Taft, Governor-elect
      Wilson, ex-President Roosevelt, Policeman O'Connor.

    The entire names of associations, societies, leagues, clubs,
      companies, roads, lines, and incorporated bodies generally: Mason,
      Odd Fellow, Knights Templar, Grand Lodge of Knights of Pythias,
      Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Wisconsin University, First
      National Bank, Schlitz Brewing Company (but the Schlitz brewery),
      Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Chicago and Northwestern
      Railway Company, the Association of Passenger and Ticket Agents of
      the Northwest, Clover Leaf Line, Rock Island Road, Chicago Board
      of Trade, New York Stock Exchange (but the board of trade and the
      stock exchange).

    The names of all religious denominations, etc.: Catholic,
      Protestant, Mormon, Spiritualist, Christian Science, First
      Methodist Church (but a Methodist church), the Bible, the Koran,
      Christian, Vatican, Quirinal, Satan, the pronouns of the Deity.

    The names of all political parties (both domestic and foreign):
      Republican, Socialism, Socialist, Democracy, Populist, Free
      Silverite, Labor party, (but anarchist).

    Sections of the country: the North, the East, South America;
      southern Europe.

    Nicknames of states and cities: The Buckeye State, the Hub, the
      Windy City.

    The names of sections of a city and branches of a river, etc.: the
      East Side, the North Branch.

    The names of stocks in the money market: Superior Copper, Fourth
      Avenue Elevated.

    The names of French streets and places: Rue de la Paix, Place de la

    Names of automobiles: Peerless, the White Steamer, Pierce Arrow.

    Names of holidays: Fourth of July, Christmas, New Year's day,
      Thanksgiving day.

    Names of military organizations: First Wisconsin Volunteers,
      Twenty-third Wisconsin Regiment, Second Army Corps, second
      division Sixth Army Corps, National Guard, Ohio State Militia,
      First Regiment armory, the militia, Grand Army of the Republic.

    The names of all races and nationalities (except negro): American,
      French, Spanish, Chinaman.

    The nicknames of baseball clubs: the White Sox, the Cubs.

    Miscellaneous: la France, Irish potatoes, Enfield rifle, American
      Beauty roses.

=2. Capitalize when following a proper noun:= Bay, block, building,
canal, cape, cemetery, church, city, college, county, court (judicial),
creek, dam, empire, falls, gulf, hall, high school, hospital, hotel,
house, island, isthmus, kindergarten, lake, mountain, ocean, orchestra,
park, pass, peak, peninsula, point, range, republic, river, square,
school, state, strait, shoal, sea, slip, theatre, university, valley,
etc.: South Hall, Park Hotel, Hayes Block, Singer Building, Dewey
School, South Division High School, Superior Court, New York Theatre,
Beloit College, Wisconsin University, Capitol Square.

=3. Do not capitalize when following a proper name:= Addition, avenue,
boulevard, court (a short street), depot, elevator, mine, place,
station, stockyards, street, subdivision, ward, etc.: Northwestern
depot, Pinckney street station, Third ward, Harmony court, Amsterdam
avenue, Broad street, Wingra addition, Washington boulevard, Winchester

=4. Capitalize when preceding a proper noun:=--All titles denoting rank,
occupation, relation, etc. (do not capitalize them when they follow the
noun): alderman, ambassador, archbishop, bishop, brother, captain,
cardinal, conductor, congressman, consul, commissioner, councilman,
count, countess, czar, doctor, duke, duchess, earl, emperor, empress,
engineer, father, fireman, governor, her majesty, his honor, his royal
highness, judge, mayor, motorman, minister, officer, patrolman,
policeman, pope, prince, princess, professor, queen, representative,
right reverend, senator, sheriff, state's attorney, sultan: Alderman
John Smith (but John Smith, alderman), Senator La Follette (but Mr. La
Follette, senator from Wisconsin).

The same rule applies when the following words precede a proper noun as
part of a name: bay, cape, city, college, county, empire, falls, gulf,
island, point, sea, state, university, etc.: City of New York, Gulf of
Mexico, University of Wisconsin, College of the City of New York,
College of Physicians and Surgeons.

=5. Do not capitalize:=

    The names of state bodies, etc.: the senate, house, congress,
      speaker, capitol, executive mansion, revised statutes. (These are
      capitalized only when they refer to the national government:
      e. g., the capitol at Madison, the Capitol at Washington.)

    The names of city boards, departments, buildings, etc.: boards,
      bureaus, commissions, committees, titles of ordinance, acts,
      bills, postoffice, courthouse (unless preceded by proper noun),
      city hall, almshouse, poorhouse, house of correction, county
      hospital, the council, city council, district, precinct: e. g.,
      the fire department, the tax committee.

    Certain other governmental terms: federal, national, and state
      government, armory, navy, army, signal service, custom-house.

    Points of the compass: east, west, north, south, northeast, etc.

    The names of foreign bodies: mansion-house, parliament, reichstag,
      landtag, duma.

    Common religious terms: the word of God, holy writ, scriptures, the
      gospel, heaven, sacred writings, heathen, christendom,
      christianize, papacy, papal see, atheist, high church, church and
      state, etc.

    The court, witness, speaker of the chair, in dialogues.

    Scientific names of plants, animals, and birds: formica rufa.

    a. m., p. m., and m. (meaning a thousand); "ex-" preceding a title.

    The names of college classes: freshman, sophomore.

    College degrees when spelled out: bachelor of arts; but B. A.

    Seasons of the year: spring, autumn, etc.

    Officers in local organizations (election of officers); president,
      secretary, etc.

    Certain common nouns formed from proper nouns: street arab, prussic
      acid, prussian blue, paris green, china cup, india rubber,
      cashmere shawl, half russia, morocco leather, epsom salts,
      japanned ware, plaster of paris, brussels and wilton carpets,
      valenciennes and chantilly lace, vandyke collar, valentine,
      philippic, socratic, herculean, guillotine, derby hat, gatling

=6. Punctuation:=

    Omit periods after nicknames: Tom, Sam, etc.

    Always use a period between dollars and cents and after per cent.,
      but never after c, s, and d, when they represent cents, shillings,
      and pence: $1.23, 10 per cent., 2s 6d.

    Punctuate the votes in balloting thus: Yeas, 2; nays, 3.

    Punctuate lists of names with the cities or states to which the
      individuals belong thus: Messrs. Smith of Illinois, Samson of West
      Virginia, etc. If the list contains more than three names, omit
      the "of" and punctuate thus: Smith, Illinois; Samson, West
      Virginia; etc. Where a number of names occurs with the office
      which they hold, use commas and semicolons, thus: J. S. Hall,
      governor; Henry Overstoltz, mayor; etc.

    Never use a colon after viz., to wit, namely, e. g., etc., except
      when they end a paragraph. Use a colon, dash, or semicolon before
      them and commas after them, thus: This is the man; to wit, the

    "Such as" should follow a comma and have no point after it: "He saw
      many things, such as men, horses, etc."

    Set lists of names thus without points:

            Mesdames--           George V. King
            Charles C. Knapp     Henry A. Lloyd
            John H. Cole Jr.

    Do not use a comma between a man's name and the title "Jr." or "Sr."
      as John Jones Jr.

    Use the apostrophe to mark elision: I've, 'tis, don't, can't, won't,
      canst, couldst, dreamt, don'ts, won'ts, '80s.

    Use the apostrophe in possessives and use it in the proper place:
      the boy's clothes, boys' clothes, Burns' poems, Fox's Martyrs,
      Agassiz's works, ours, yours, theirs, hers, its (but "it's" for it
      is). George and John's father was a good man; Jack's and Samuel's
      fathers were not.

    Do not use the apostrophe when making a plural of figures, etc.: all
      the 3s, the Three Rs.

    Do not use the apostrophe in Frisco, phone, varsity, bus.

    Use an em dash after a man's name when placed at the beginning in
      reports of interviews, speeches, dialogues, etc.: John Jones--I
      have nothing to say. (No quotation marks.)

    In a sentence containing words inclosed in parentheses, punctuate as
      if the part in parentheses were omitted: if there is any point put
      it after the last parenthesis.

    Use brackets to set off any expression or remark thrown into a
      speech or quotation and not originally in it: "The Republican
      party is again in power--[cheers]--and is come to stay."

    Use the conjunction "and" and a comma before the last name in a list
      of names, etc.: John, George, James, and Henry.

    Use no commas in such expressions as 6 feet 3 inches tall, 3 years 6
      months old, 2 yards 4 inches long.

    Punctuate scores as follows: Wisconsin 8, Chicago 0.

    Punctuate times in races, etc.: 100-yard dash--Smith, first; Jones,
      second. Time, 0:10 1-5.

    Peters carried the ball thirty yards to the 10-yard line.

=7. Date lines:=

    Punctuate date lines as follows:

      MADISON, Wis., Jan. 25.--

      Do not use the name of the state after the names of the larger
      cities of the country, such as New York, Chicago, Boston,
      Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Francisco, Seattle. Abbreviate the
      names of months which have more than five letters.

=8. Quoting:=

    Quote all extracts and quotations set in the same type and style as
      the context, but do not quote extracts set in smaller type than
      the context or set solid in separate paragraphs in leaded matter.

    Quote all dialogues and interviews, unless preceded by the name of
      the speaker or by "Question" and "Answer":

      "I have nothing to say," answered Mr. Smith.
      William Smith--I have nothing to say.
      Question--Were you there?
      Answer--I was.

    Quote the names of novels, dramas, paintings, statuary, operas, and
      songs: "The Brass Bowl," "Il Trovatore."

    Quote the subjects of addresses, lectures, sermons, toasts, mottoes,
      articles in newspapers: "The Great Northwest," "Our Interests."

    Be sure to include "The" in the quotation of names of books,
      pictures, plays, etc.: "The Fire King"; not the "Fire King";
      unless the article is not a part of the name.

    Do not quote the names of theatrical companies, as Her Atonement

    Do not quote the names of characters in plays, as Shylock in "The
      Merchant of Venice."

    Do not quote the names of newspapers. In editorials put "The Star"
      in italics, but in "The Kansas City Star" put "Star" in italics
      and use no quotation marks.

    Do not quote the names of vessels, fire engines, balloons, horses,
      cattle, dogs, sleeping cars.

=9. Compounds and Divisions:=

    Omit the hyphen when using an adverb compounded with -ly before a
      participle: a newly built house.

    Use a hyphen after prefixes ending in a vowel (except bi and tri)
      when using them before a vowel: co-exist. When using such a prefix
      before a consonant do not use the hyphen except to distinguish the
      word from a word of the same letters but of different meaning:
      correspondent, but co-respondent (one called to answer a summons);
      recreation, but re-create (to create anew) reform, but re-form (to
      form again); re-enforced; biennial, etc.

    Do not use the hyphen in the names of rooms when the prefix is of
      only one syllable: bedroom, courtroom, bathroom, etc. (except blue
      room, green room, etc.).

    When the prefix is of more than one syllable use the hyphen. Follow
      the same rule in making compounds of house, shop, yard, maker,
      holder, keeper, builder, worker: shipbuilder, doorkeeper.

    In dividing at the end of a line:

      Do not run over a syllable of two letters.
      Do not divide N. Y., M. P., LL. D., M. D., a. m., p. m., etc.
      Do not divide figures thus: 1,-000,000; but thus 1,000,-000.
      Do not divide a word of five letters or less.

=10. Figures:=

    Use figures for numbers of a hundred or over, except when merely a
      large or indefinite number is intended: twenty-three, 123, about
      a thousand, a dollar, a million, millions, a thousand to one,
      from four to five hundred.

    Use figures for numbers of less than 100 when they are used in
      connection with larger numbers: There were 33 boys and 156 girls;
      there were 106 last week and 16 this week.

    Use figures for hours of the day: at 7 p. m.; at 8:30 this morning.

    Use figures for days of the month: April 30, the 22nd of May.

    Use figures for ages: he was 12 years old; little 2-year-old John.
      If the words "2-year-old John" begin a sentence or headline, spell
      out the age.

    Use figures for dimensions, prices, degrees of temperature, per
      cents., dates, votes, times in races, scores in baseball, etc.: 3
      feet long, $3 a yard, 76 degrees, Jan. 14, 1906. Time of

    Use figures for all sums of money: $24, $5.06, 75 cents.

    Use figures for street numbers: 1324 Grand avenue.

    Use figures for numbered streets and avenues above 99th; spell out
      below 100th: 123 Twenty-third avenue, 10 East 126th street.

    Use figures in statistical or tabular matter; never use ditto

    Use figures, period, and en quad for first, second, etc.: 1.--,

    Do not begin a sentence or paragraph with figures; supply a word if
      necessary or spell out: At 10 o'clock; Over 300 men.

    Do not use the apostrophe to form plurals of figures: the 4s, rather
      than the 4's.

    In all texts from the Bible set the chapters in Roman numerals and
      the verses in figures: Matt. xxii. 37-40; I. John v. 1-15. In
      Sunday school lessons say Verse 5.

    Say three-quarters of 1 per cent.; not 3/4 of 1 per cent.

    Set tenths, hundreds, etc., in decimals: 1.1; 2.03.

=11. Abbreviations:=

    Abbreviate the following titles and no others, when they precede a
      name: Rev., Dr., Mme., Mlle., Mr., Mrs., Mgr. (Monsignore), M.

        Do not put Mr. before a name when the Christian name is given
      except in society news and editorials: Mr. Johnson; but Samuel L.

        Supply Mr. in all cases when Rev. is used without the Christian
      name: Rev. Henry W. Beecher; but Rev. Mr. Beecher.

        Never use "Honorable" or the abbreviation thereof except with
      foreign names, in editorials, or in documents.

    Abbreviate thus: Wash., Mont., S. D., N. D., Wyo., Cal., Wis.,
      Colo., Ind., Id., Kan., Ariz., Okla., Me. Do not abbreviate
      Oregon, Iowa, Ohio, Utah, Alaska, or Texas.

    Abbreviate thus: Madison, Dane County, Wis.: but Dane County,

    Use the abbreviations U. S. N. and U. S. A. after a proper name.

    Y. M. C. A., W. C. T. U., M. E. are good abbreviations.

    Abbreviate names of months when preceding date only when the month
      contains more than five letters: Jan. 20; but April 20. When the
      date precedes the month in reading matter spell it out: the 13th
      of January; the 26th inst.

    Abbreviate "Number" before figures: No. 10.

    Abbreviate contract, article, section, question, answer, after the
      first in bills, by-laws, testimony, etc.: Section 1., Sec. 2.;
      Question--, Answer--, Q.--, A.--.

    Do not abbreviate railway, company, the names of streets, wards,
      avenues, districts, etc.: Madison Street Railway Company; State
      street, Monona avenue.

        Street and avenue are sometimes abbreviated in want-ads:
      State-st, Monona-av.

        Spell out numbered streets and avenues up to 100th:
      Thirty-fourth street, 134th street.

    Use & in names of firms, but use the long "and" in names of
      railroads. Use Etc. and not &c.; use Brothers and not Bros.
      (except in ads); use & only when necessary to abbreviate in

    Do not abbreviate the names of political parties except in election
      returns, then: Dem., Rep., Soc., Lab., Ind., Pro., Un. Cit.

    Put in necessary commas in abbreviating railroad names: C., M. & St.
      P. Ry. (Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway); C., C., C. & St.
      L. R. R. (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad).

    Abbreviate without periods in market review and quotations: 25c, bu,
      brls, tcs, pkgs, f o b, p t, etc. Spell out centimes except when
      given thus: 10f 20c.

    Do not abbreviate Fort and Mount: Fort Wayne, Mount Vernon.

=12. Preparation of Copy:=

    Use a typewriter or write legibly; some one must read your copy.

    If you write with a typewriter, double or triple space your copy;
      never use single space.

    Don't write on more than one side of the paper.

    Leave sufficient margin for corrections and leave a space at the top
      of the first page for headlines; leave an inch at the top of each

    Don't put more than one story on a single sheet of paper.

    Don't trust the copy-reader to fill in blanks or to correct
      misspelled names. If you write by hand print out proper names as
      legibly as possible; underscore _u_ and overscore _n_.

    Don't assume that the copy-reader, the proofreader, or the editor
      will punctuate for you, or eliminate all superfluous punctuation.

    Remember that uniformity is more to be desired than a strict
      following of style.

    Don't turn in copy without re-reading carefully and verifying all
      names and addresses.

    Use short paragraphs; always paragraph the lead separately; indent
      paragraphs distinctly.

    Don't write over figures or words; scratch out and rewrite.

    Number your pages; when pages are inserted use letters: pages 2, 3a,
      3b, 4, 5.

    A circle around an abbreviation or a figure indicates that the word
      or number is to be spelled out. A circle around a spelled-out word
      or number indicates that it is to be abbreviated or run in

    Mark the end of your story, thus: # # #

=13. Don'ts:=

    Don't use "Honorable" or abbreviations thereof, except in extracts
      from speeches or documents, in editorials, or before foreign

    Don't add final s to afterward, toward, upward, downward, backward,
      earthward, etc.

    Don't use "signed" before the signature of a letter or document; run
      signature in caps.

    Don't begin a sentence or paragraph with figures; insert a word
      before the figures or spell out.

    Don't use commas in dates or in figures which denote the number of a
      thing, as A. D. 1908, 2324 State street, Policy 33815; in other
      cases use the comma, as $5,289; 1,236,400 people.

    Don't forget that the following are singular and require singular
      verbs: sums of money, as $23 was invested; United States; anybody,
      everybody, somebody, neither, either, none; whereabouts, as "His
      whereabouts is known."

    Don't forget that things OCCUR by chance or accident, and that
      things TAKE PLACE by arrangement.

    Don't "sustain" broken legs and other injuries.

    Don't "administer" punishment.

    Don't confound "audiences," "spectators," and casual "witnesses."

    Don't say "party" for "person."

    Don't use "suicide," "loan," "scare," as verbs.

    Don't use "gotten"; it is questionable; use "got."

    Don't use "burglarize."

    Don't use "transpire" for "occur."

    Don't use "locate" for "find"; to locate a thing is to place it.

    Don't use "stopped" for "stayed": He stayed at the Central Hotel.

    Don't "tender" receptions nor "render" songs; use simply "give" and

    Don't "put in an appearance"; just appear.

    Don't use "don't" for "doesn't."

    Don't use "stated" for "said."

    Don't say "per day" or "per year," but "a day," "a year"; per is a
      Latin word and can be used only before a Latin noun, as "per diem"
      or "per annum."

    Don't say "the meeting convened"; members might convene but a single
      body cannot.

    Don't "claim that" anything is so; you can "claim" a thing,

    Don't say "Mrs. Dr. Smith," just "Mrs. Smith."

    Don't say "between" when more than two are mentioned.

    Don't use "proven" for "proved."

    Don't confound "staid" with "stayed."

    Don't say "different than," but "different from."

    Don't split infinitives or other verbs.

    Don't use "onto."

    Don't use "babe" or "tot" for "baby" or "child."

    Don't use superlatives when you can help it.

    Don't use trite expressions or foreign words and phrases.

    Don't use "corner of" in designating street location.

    Don't say "died from operation," but "died after operation"--to
      avoid danger of libel.

    Don't get the _very_ habit.

    Don't use "couple of" instead of "two."

    Don't use Mr. before a man's full name.

    Don't use slang unless it is fitting--which is seldom.

    Don't mention the reporters, singly or collectively, unless it is
      necessary. It rarely is.

    Don't qualify the word "unique"; a thing may be "unique," but it
      cannot be "very unique," "quite unique," "rather unique," or "more

    Don't use the inverted passive: e. g., "A man was given a dinner,"
      "Smith was awarded a medal."

    Don't concoct long and improper titles: Justice of the Supreme Court
      Smith, Superintendent of the Insurance Department Jones,
      Groceryman Brown. If the title is long put it after the man's
      name; thus: George Smith, justice of the Supreme Court.

    Don't use the verb "occur" with weddings, receptions, etc.; they
      take place by design and never unexpectedly.

    Don't say "a number of," if you can help it. Be specific.

    Don't use the word "lady" for "woman," or "gentleman" for "man."

    Don't say "a man by the name of Smith," but "a man named Smith."

    Don't use "depot" for "station"--railway passenger station.



These Suggestions for Study embody the method used in the course in News
Story Writing in the Course in Journalism of the University of
Wisconsin. The text of the several chapters corresponds to the lectures
that are given in preparation for, and in connection with, the study of
the various kinds of news stories. These Suggestions for Study
correspond to the exercises by which the students learn the application
of the principles embodied in the lectures. Hence these suggestions are
given mainly from the instructor's point of view; however, a slight
alteration will adapt them to home or individual study. Although they
give very little practice in news gathering, they enable the student to
gain practice in the writing of news--in accordance with the purpose of
this book. The reporter who is studying the business in a newspaper
office may use them to advantage in connection with his regular work.


     1. Collect clippings of representative news stories, printed in
        the daily papers, to be used as models.

     2. Keep a book of tips of expected news in your town or city.

     3. Study news stories in your local paper and try to determine from
        what source the original news tip came. Try to discover from the
        story the routine of news gathering which furnished the facts.

     4. In the same stories try to determine what persons were
        interviewed; frame the questions that the reporter might have
        asked to secure the facts. The instructor may impersonate
        various persons in a given news story and have the students
        interview him for the facts; this is to assist the student in
        learning to keep the point of view and to keep him from asking
        ridiculous questions.

     5. Try to discover what stories in any newspaper are the result of
        actual reporting by staff reporters--point out where the others
        come from.

     6. Notice the date line on stories that come from the outside, and
        learn its form.


     1. Watch for local stories that seem to be worth sending out;
        determine what element in them makes them worth sending out;
        calculate how far from their source they would be worth

     2. Study the news value of stories that are printed in the local
        papers; determine why they were printed. Look for the same
        things in stories with date lines in the local papers.

     3. Determine what class of readers any given news story would

     4. Notice the time element (timeliness) in newspaper stories.

     5. Try to determine the radius of your local paper's personal news
        sources: how near the printing office one must live to be worth
        personal mention.

     6. Watch for local stories whose news value depends upon the death
        element, upon a prominent name, a significant loss of property,
        mere unusualness, human interest, or personal appeal; see what
        the local papers do with these stories and whether the local
        correspondents send them out.

     7. Analyze the nature of the personal appeal in stories that are
        printed only for their personal appeal.

     8. Notice how local reasons change the news values of local

     9. In any or all of these stories determine what the feature is.
        Distinguish between the fundamental incident which the story
        reports and the additional significant feature which enhances
        the news value of the fundamental incident.


     1. Run over the Style Book at the end of this book; note the
        essential points in newspaper style.

     2. Give the principal rules for the preparation of copy.

     3. Glance over the "Don'ts" in the Style Book.


     1. Study the form and construction of news stories, especially
        simple fire stories.

     2. Pick out the feature of each story--the additional incident in
        the story which increases the news value of the story
        itself--and see if the striking feature has been played up to
        best advantage.

     3. Notice how the reader's customary questions--what, where, when,
        who, how, and why--are answered in the lead. Make a list of the
        answers in any given story.


     1. Collect good fire stories appearing in the newspapers. Study
        the construction of the lead and the order in which the facts
        are presented in the body of each story.

     2. Write the leads of fire stories. The chances are that actual
        fires will seldom occur at the time when the student wishes to
        study the writing of fire stories, but the instructor may give
        his class, orally or in writing, the facts of a fire story. He
        may use imaginary facts or he may take the facts from a story
        clipped from a newspaper--the latter method is better because it
        enables the instructor to show the students, after they have
        written their stories, just how the original story was written
        in the newspaper office. The facts should be given in the order
        in which a reporter would probably secure them in actual
        reporting so that the student may learn to sort and arrange the
        facts that he wishes to use, and to select the feature. The
        instructor may even impersonate different persons connected with
        the story and have the class interview him for the facts. This
        method is to be followed throughout the whole study of news
        story writing. (In individual study, practice may be secured
        from writing up imaginary or real facts.)

     3. In these first fire stories, use fires that have no interest
        beyond the interest in the fire itself--that is, no feature.
        Begin the story with "Fire" and devote the lead to answering the
        reader's customary questions.

     4. Look for newspaper fire stories that are not correctly written
        and reconstruct the lead according to the logic of the fire
        lead. That is, strive for conciseness and cut out details that
        do not properly belong in the lead.

     5. Make a list of the reader's customary questions concerning any
        fire and write out the briefest possible answers. Then construct
        a lead to embody these answers. Determine which answer should
        come first and which last, according to importance.

     6. Write the bodies of some of these stories. First list the facts
        that are to be presented and determine the order of their

     7. Emphasize the separateness and completeness of the two parts of
        the story--the lead and the body of the story. Test the leads to
        see if they would be clear in themselves without further

     8. Strive for brevity, conciseness and clearness; wage war on all
        attempts at fine writing.


     1. Study fire stories which have features--an interest beyond the
        mere fire itself--and see how the newspapers write them.

     2. In a feature fire story of Class I., make a list of the reader's
        customary questions concerning the fire, as if it were a simple
        fire story, and a list of the answers. See if any answer is more
        interesting than the fire itself, or if its presence makes the
        story more interesting. Show that such an answer is the feature.

     3. Write fire stories with features in some one of the reader's
        customary answers. (Class I.)

     4. Study a simple fire story and try to imagine what
        things--properly answers to the reader's customary
        questions--might happen to give the fire greater news value.
        This will show the student how to look for the feature of a

     5. Write the lead of any fire story in as many different ways as
        possible, striving in each one to play up the same feature.

     6. Study a simple fire story and try to imagine what unexpected
        things might occur in connection with the fire which would be of
        greater interest than the fire itself. Show that these would be
        features and that they do not fall within the answers to the
        reader's customary questions--i. e., they are unexpected.

     7. Write fire stories with features in unexpected attendant

     8. Make up lists of dead and injured; notice how the newspapers
        arrange and punctuate these lists.

     9. Study fire stories with more than one feature. Work out the
        possibilities in any given fire along these lines.

    10. Write fire stories in which there is more than one feature
        worth a place in the lead. Try various combinations in the lead
        to discover the happiest arrangement. Show how one of many
        striking features may be of so much importance as to drive the
        other features entirely out of the lead.


     1. Count the number of words in the sentences and paragraphs of
        representative newspaper stories.

     2. Practice writing fire leads that might be printed alone without
        the rest of the story.

     3. Take a fire lead and experiment with various beginnings to show
        the possibilities:

         a. Noun--experiment with and without articles.
         b. Infinitive--Distinguish infinitives in "to" and
              in "-ing."
         c. _That_ clause.
         d. Prepositional phrase.
         e. Temporal clause.
         f. Causal clause.
         g. Others.

         Show that any of these beginnings may be used in the
         playing up of any one feature.

     4. Study how a name may overshadow an interesting story; determine
        when a name is worth first place in a lead. Study the practice
        of representative papers in this--do not hesitate to show how a
        paper has been illogical in beginning certain stories with an
        unknown name, for everything one sees in a newspaper is not
        ipso facto good usage in newspaper writing.

     5. In students' stories, notice what the principal verb says and
        point out any misplaced emphasis.

     6. Wage war on "was the unusual experience of" and "was the fate
        of" in leads.

     7. Try to avoid "broke out" in fire leads. Devote the space to more
        interesting action.

     8. Cut out all useless words in students' exercises; strive for
        brevity. Go through a student's story and weigh the value of
        each word, phrase, and sentence; cut out the useless ones or try
        to express them more briefly. Do the same to actual newspaper

     9. Weigh the value of every detail introduced into a lead and cut
        out the unnecessary ones; relegate them to the rest of the

    10. Wage war on all meaningless generalities; demand exactness.

    11. Refer the class to the Style Book in this volume and require
        them to follow a uniform style. Point out the differences in
        style of various papers.

    12. See if the bodies of students' stories mean anything without
        the presence of the leads. Require the body of the story to be
        separate and complete in itself. This need not, of course, be
        carried to the point of repeating addresses given in the lead.

    13. Try writing a story by simply elaborating and explaining the
        details mentioned in the lead of the story. Determine what facts
        must be added.

    14. See if any story can stand the loss of its last paragraph.
        Determine how many paragraphs it can lose without sacrificing
        its interest.

    15. In writing the body of a fire story, list the facts that are to
        be told, in their logical order; thus: origin, discovery,
        spread, death of firemen, escapes, injuries, rescues, explosion,
        extinguishing of fire. Number them in the order of their
        importance. Try to build a story out of these by following the
        logical order and at the same time crowding the most interesting
        facts to the beginning.

    16. Practice getting the facts of a story by means of interviews.
        The instructor may have the students determine what persons they
        wish to interview for the facts and the instructor may
        impersonate these persons in turn. The class may then write the
        story from the facts gained in this way without reference to the
        interviews. This is for selecting and arranging facts in their
        logical order.

    17. Practice the use of dialogue in stories. Judge its
        effectiveness and show that in most cases it is well to avoid

    18. Practice rewriting long stories into short press dispatches of
        150 words or less, considering the different news value.


     1. Collect clippings of other kinds of news stories.

     2. In writing these other stories use the fire story as a model;
        the facts may be presented as they were in the fire story.

     3. Study the possible features in accident stories; write accident
        stories with various features; make lists of dead and injured.

     4. Study and write robbery stories with various features;
        distinguish between the various names applied to robbery and to
        the people who rob.

     5. Study and write murder and suicide stories with various
        features, striving in each case to give the facts without
        shocking the reader. Show how the featureless murder or suicide
        story is very much like a featureless fire story.

     6. Study and write riot, storm, flood, and other big stories.

     7. In the study of police court news have the class go to the local
        police courts and report actual cases.

     8. Send the students to report meetings. Report conferences,
        decisions, etc. Insist that the story begin with the gist of the
        report in each case and never with explanations.

     9. Write stories on bulletins, catalogues, city directories, etc.
        Study them with reference to their timeliness and try to
        discover what in them has the most news value. Require the
        student to begin with this element of news value and to give the
        source (the name and date of the bulletin, etc.) in the lead.

    10. Look over the daily papers and pick out news stories which
        bury the gist of their news and have the students rewrite the
        leads to play up the real news or to give greater emphasis to
        buried features.


     1. Collect good examples of the follow-up and the rewrite story;
        follow one important story through several days' editions to
        see how it is rewritten day by day. Examine an afternoon
        paper's version of a story covered in a morning paper.

     2. Take any news story and work out the follow-up possibilities;
        imagine what the next step in the story will be.

     3. On this basis, write follow-up stories and rewrite stories.

     4. Write a follow-up story which, while beginning with a new
        feature, retells the original story.

     5. Study and write follow-up stories involving fires, accidents,
        robberies, murders, suicides, storms (present condition), etc.


     1. Collect good examples of speech reports.

     2. Take notes on oral speeches and write reports of varying
        lengths. Practice taking notes in the proper way and write the
        report at once--perhaps as an impromptu in class. The instructor
        may send his students to public lectures or read representative
        speeches to them in class.

     3. Write reports of speeches from printed copies of the speech;
        that is, edit them in condensed form.

     4. Take one lead and experiment with different beginnings, playing
        up the same idea in each case.

     5. Discuss speeches to determine the newsiest and timeliest thing
        in the speech--the statement to be played up in the lead.

     6. In the body of the report try to use as much direct quotation as
        possible, use complete sentence quotations, do not mix quotation
        and summary in the same paragraph or sentence. Study the rules
        regarding the use of quotation marks.

     7. Have the students write running reports of speeches--that is,
        have them write their report as they listen to the speech and
        submit their report in this form. Naturally the lead must be
        written later.


     1. Collect representative interview stories.

     2. Have students interview various people without the aid of a note
        book; have them bring back quoted statements by the use of their
        memory. Have them interview some one who will criticize their
        manner and method.

     3. Have a definite reason or timeliness for every interview--have
        the student map out a definite campaign beforehand. Try writing
        out the questions beforehand in shape to fill in the answers.

     4. Write interview stories from the results of these attempts.

     5. Begin the same interview story in various ways.

     6. Write an interview story in which the feature is a denial or a
        refusal to speak; tell what should have been said and what the
        denial or refusal signifies.

     7. Study the form of the body of the report (see Speech Reports).

     8. Write stories which are the result of several interviews on the
        same subject; arrange them informally and formally.


     1. Collect examples of good court reports.

     2. Attend and report actual cases in the local courts (preferably
        civil courts).

     3. Determine what is the most interesting thing in each.

     4. From this, write court reports--reports of the cases which the
        students have heard.

     5. Experiment with the various beginnings for the same report.

     6. Try summarizing a case in one paragraph.

     7. Practice getting down testimony verbatim.

     8. Practice summarizing testimony in indirect form.

     9. Practice writing out the testimony in full in the various ways.

    10. Write testimony with action in it for the sake of human

    11. Show how all of these may be combined into one good court


     1. Notice how various newspapers treat social news; study the
        reason in each case; collect examples.

     2. List the facts of a wedding story; write short and long wedding

     3. Write wedding announcements, beginning in various ways.

     4. Write engagement announcements.

     5. Write up receptions, banquets, dinners, etc.; report actual

     6. Write announcements for the same functions.

     7. Write up some unusual social story as a news story.

     8. Practice writing obituaries and simple death stories with
        accompanying obituary. Write sketches of the lives of prominent

     9. In these exercises use actual events as subjects.


     1. Study sporting stories for their material and method.

     2. Report a football game or some other sporting event.

     3. Make a running account of a football or baseball game.

     4. Write a brief summary of the game to be sent out as a dispatch,
        limiting it to 150 words.

     5. Write up the same game in 200-300 words; attach a condensed
        running account of the same length.

     6. Write a long story of the same game, following the outline given
        in the text; attach a detailed running account by periods or
        innings; compile tables of players and results for the end.

     7. The study of sporting news may be taken out of its logical place
        and studied during the baseball or football season.


     1. Collect human interest and newspaper feature stories.

     2. Watch for material for human interest stories; look at the facts
        in your other news stories in a sympathetic way and see how they
        could be made into human interest stories.

     3. Write human interest stories on facts given by the instructor
        and on facts discovered by the students.

     4. Write animal stories, and witty comments on the weather.

     5. Write up some timely local subject as a 1500-word feature story.


     1. Gather good theatrical reports and watch for those in which the
        whole report is written around a single idea.

     2. At the theater watch for things to comment on; try to bring away
        one definite idea about the play--with illustrations.

     3. Write dramatic criticisms that are the embodiment of a single
        idea or criticism on the play.

     4. Try to point out the bad things in a play without being bitter
        or personal.

     5. Write a half-column of copy on a vaudeville show, supposing that
        the copy is paid for and must praise, not only the show as a
        whole, but each individual act.


     1. Notice the form and punctuation of the date line: MADISON,
        Wis., Feb. 29.--

     2. Notice the writing of street addresses: 234 Grand avenue, 4167
        Twenty-sixth street; 3857 138th street; (without "at").

     3. Notice in the use of figures--sums of money, hours of day, ages,
        figures at the beginning of sentence.

     4. Notice use of titles; use of Mr. before a man's name--always
        give a man's initials or first name the first time you mention
        it in any story.



(The following stories have been prepared to illustrate some of the most
usual mistakes in newspaper writing. They may be rewritten or used as
exercises in copy-reading. As a class exercise, the student may revise
and correct these stories _without recopying_, just as a copy-reader
revises poorly written copy.)


              Shortly after 2:30 this morning fire

            broke out in a pile of old papers in the

            basement of the Harmony Flat building,

            at 1356 Congress avenue, a four-story

            eight-apartment structure. Two firemen

            were killed by a falling wall.

              The fire had a good start before the

            janitor, Michael Jones, who sleeps in the

            basement, awoke. He turned in an alarm

            and ran through the halls awakening the

            occupants. The people on the two lower

            floors escaped in their night clothing by

            the stairways, but the fire spread very rap-

            idly, the occupants of the upper floors be-

            ing forced to flee down the fire escapes in

            the rear.

              When the firemen put in an appearance,

            Mrs. Jeanette Huyler appeared at a third

            story window and called for help. An ex-

            tension ladder being hoisted, she was res-

            cued without difficulty. During the fire

            the wall on the east side fell and killed

            Fireman John Casey and Jacob Hughes;

            Fireman Williams Jacobs was hit on the

            head by a brick and seriously injured.

              The fire was extinguished before it

            spread to an adjoining three-story flat

            building on the west.

              The firemen in searching the ruins

            found the body of a man who was later

            identified as Rupert Smithers; he was 70

            and occupied a lower flat by himself. The

            janitor said that he was deaf and prob-

            ably did not hear the warning. The three

            dead and injured firemen belong to Hose

            Co. No. 24.

              Loss $50,000, fully insured.



              The police have arrested John Johnson,

            23 years old, 2367 Sixth Street, charged

            with murdering Mrs. Laura Buckthorn,

            the well-known proprietor of the Duchess

            Restaurant, 438 High street. He is now

            in the county jail.

              Mrs. Buckthorn was sixty years old and

            the widow of one of the oldest settlers in

            the city.

              She lived in her small cottage at 2367

            Sixth Street and supported herself by

            means of the restaurant. John Johnson, a

            street car motorman occupied a room in

            her cottage. Mrs. Buckthorn was found

            dead in her bed, in a pool of blood, with

            two bullet holes in her head this morning.

            Mrs. Grady, the restaurant cook said, "I

            became alarmed when Mrs. Buckthorn did

            not appear as usual at the restaurant this

            morning and went to her home to find


              Inquiry showed that Mrs. Buckthorn

            had drawn $250 from the First National

            Bank yesterday and her daughter, Mrs.

            J. D. Jackson, 1548 Sixth Street, says that

            her mother often kept such sums of money

            at home under the mattress of her bed.

            Mrs. Jackson also says that she often

            warned her mother against such habits.

            The money was not under the mattress

            this morning.

              Further inquiry showed that John Johnson

            did not appear for work as usual this

            morning and was later found by Police-

            man Patrick O'Hara in the railroad yards.

            He had with him $223.67 and a ticket to

            New York. He was known to be hard up

            but refused to account for the money and

            was given a berth in the county jail.

              Samuel Benson, cashier of the First Na-

            tional, is sure that the two 100-dollar

            bills which were found on Johnson are the

            same bills that he gave to Mrs. Buckthorn

            yesterday afternoon. Johnson will be

            given a hearing to-morrow but it is al-

            ready considered certain that he is the

            guilty party, the evidence being so strong.

              (This story may be rewritten for local
            use and for a dispatch.)



              Sparks, resulting from the grounding

            of an electric wire, ignited a bucket of gas-

            olene and fired the shop of the G. W.

            Smith Motor Co., at 228, 232 West street

            last night, five automobiles valued at

            $5,800 being destroyed and the building

            being damaged to the extent of 6,200 dol-

            lars by fire.

              The insulation on the wires of an exten-

            sion light that Edward Flasch, one of the

            repair men was using became cracked, the

            wire grounding as a result. The sparks

            fell into a bucket of gasolene standing

            nearby and in a few minutes the entire

            building was ablaze. G. W. Smith, pro-

            prietor of the garage, said that he was sit-

            ting in his office at the time of the explo-

            sion and tried to put the fire out with sand

            but could not get the blaze under any con-

            trol. He then started to run out as many

            machines as possible.

              Six cars, valued at $9,000 were saved.



              Madison, September 25th, 1912; With

            a loud deafening roar that violently

            aroused hundreds from their beds of slum-

            ber the monster gas holder occuppying

            the southwest corner of South Blount and

            Main Streets at the gasplant of the Madi-

            son Gas and Electric Company collapsed

            very suddenly at 6:sO a. m. this morning,

            and now lies partly submerged in water,

            a total wreck. The damage will be fully

            25,000 dollars, but there will be no inter-

            ruption to the service the company's excel-

            lent reserve equippment being immediately

            brought into action for the emergency.

            The cause of the explosion was at first

            clothed in deep mystery before the officials

            of the company had time to make any in-


              However it was definitely ascertained

            during the morning when Mr. John W.

            Jackson, the secretary and treasurer of the

            company, being interviewed by a Daily

            News correspondent this morning, stated

            that the immense quantities of snow on

            the roof of the holder was primarily re-

            sponsible. The weight of the snow on

            one side of the holder causing it to drop

            down broke the wheel and pushed the

            holder off the foundation on which it was

            standing. There was a momentary blaze

            but when the tank settled down into the

            reservoir below the fire went out and the

            awful peril from this highly dangerous

            source was fortunately averted.

              As it was dozens of windows at the

            planing mill on the opposite side of the

            street were all left intact. In fact no dam-

            age whatsoever outside of the holder re-

            sulted from the unfortunate accident.

            Two workmen, Jacob Casey and Nelson

            Jones, were unfortunately caught beneath

            the wreckage and their bodies were

            removed later in the morning by the fire

            department. The tank was full when it

            collapsed and that it did not scatter de-

            struction and take more innocent lives

            was one of the fortunate features of the

            accident and a great cause for congratula-

            tion among the officials of the company


              (This story illustrates, among other
            things, excessive wordiness.)



              After being chased by a young woman

            for several blocks, a man who gave his

            name as John Weber, was pursued through

            a saloon at 11-97th street by Policeman

            Arthur Brown and captured on the roof of

            a building adjoining the saloon, where the

            man had hidden behind a chimney. Weber

            was arrested by the policeman and is held

            on a charge preferred by Charles Young, a

            grocer at 2145 Sixth avenue, of attempt-

            ing to rob Young's grocery store.

              According to Young, just before he

            closed his store for the night last evening,

            a young man entered the store and asked

            for a pound of butter. "I thought," said

            Young, "that the man was just married

            and might be a possible new customer. I

            started for the back of the store to open a

            new tub but just as I turned to go, he hit

            me over the head with his cane. The

            blow dazed me but I still had sense enough

            to grab him by the collar. In the fight we

            both fell through the glass door at the

            front of the store and the d--n rascal got

            away." A young woman, who was pass-

            ing the store, seeing the fracas, screamed

            and started to run after the young man.

            She followed him until he ran into a sa-

            loon. Then she ran up to Policeman

            Brown, who was standing at the corner of

            97th st. and Sixth-av and told him that a

            robber had gone into the saloon. The po-

            liceman ran into the saloon, but found the

            man had left by the back stairs. The po-

            liceman followed up two flights of stairs

            leading to the roof, on the run, where he

            found Weber hiding behind a chimney.

            Weber refused to give his address.

              After watching until she saw the robber

            taken away in the paddy-wagon, the

            doughty young woman disappeared. Her

            name is unknown.



              A burglar dressed in a Salvation Army

            uniform was arrested for attempting to

            burglarize Walter White's home, 16 West

            62nd st. at about two o'clock last night.

            He gave his name as Julius Woll and his

            address as 129 23rd ave.

              The caretaker at Walter White's said

            he was awakened at 1 o'clock by the noise

            of bureau drawers opening and he at once

            phoned to the station. An officer came

            and found the would-be burglar under the

            bed. After considerable scuffling the man

            was arrested and taken to the station.

              The Salvation Army denied any connec-

            tion with the prisoner but the landlady at

            his address said he had two uniforms and

            always wore one. He also carried a

            prayer book under his arm whenever he

            left his room. She also said that he had

            resided in her house for six weeks and

            owed four weeks board; also that he had

            not been there for two weeks. Inquiry

            proved that he was out regularly until

            three or four in the morning.



              The wedding of Mr. James Henry,

            1463 Seventh Street, and Miss Sarah

            Jones, last night at the home of the bride's

            parents, at 316 North Johnson Street, was

            a brilliant success.

              Fifty guests were present and the pres-

            ents which they brought all but filled the

            parlor. After the ceremony a seven-

            course banquet was served until 11:30

            o'clock. Miss Sadie Jones rendered "The

            Rosary" to the accompaniment of Mr.

            John Field.

              The bride wore a gown of pink taffeta

            and carried sweet peas. The bridesmaid,

            Lily Swenk, was dressed in white muslin.

            The groom and best man, Mr. Arthur

            Howles, wore conventional black. Rev.

            Stone of the First M. E. church officiated.

              The groom is a promising young law-

            yer of this city. His bride is one of the

            city's leading young society woman, being

            deeply interested in the Womans' Suf-

            frage League. There marriage is the re-

            sult of a love affair begun at the univer-

            sity and is the cause of heart-felt congrat-

            ulations from their friends. After a trip

            to the Coast, the happy couple will reside

            in this city.



              "What we need in our universities are

            sportsmen and not sports," said President

            G. E. Gilbert of the Western University,

            in the convocation address yesterday aft-

            ernoon at four o'clock. "The sportsman

            plays for the game, but the sport plays for

            the victory."

              The President continued, "Before the

            battle, and during the battle, the

            sportsman can be told from the sport."

            It is the actions of the man, he

            said, when he is in the test that determine

            to which class he belongs. The President

            summarized the various college

            activities and showed how the two

            classes of men appear in each different

            activity. And in each, as the President

            said, "you can tell the sportsman from the


              "I think that this, the relation between

            the sportsman and the sport, is the truest

            analogy that can be applied to human life.

            Life as a sea, life as a battle, life as a river

            in which you must always paddle your

            own canoe upstream, life as a hill-climbing

            contest--all these analogies have their

            weaknesses. But life as a game is a true


              The President concluded with a glowing

            tribute to our university.



                             FAULTY LEADS

              Evading the police by sliding down a

            rope fire escape from a hotel window, Jo-

            seph Matus, charged with robbing a lum-

            ber jack of $125, escaped the police

            temporily only to be arrested an hour

            later at the Chicago, Milwaukee and St.

            Paul depot.


              Ignited by the breaking of an electric

            lamp, a tank of whiskey containing 7,705

            gallons exploded and threw Francis Tab,

            120 W. 139th St., thirty feet against the

            opposite wall at the E. J. Jimkons Com-

            pany, 40th street this morning.


              Fire of unknown origin started in the

            big lumber yards owned by Charles John-

            son at 763 Clinton Avenue, yesterday aft-

            ernoon. The yards and one million feet

            of lumber were totally destroyed. The

            entire district between Mitchell street and

            the South River was in danger of total

            destruction, according to fire Chief Casey.


              Fire starting in a shed on West street

            caused the total destruction of the First

            Baptist church and the death of two fire-

            men killed by falling walls. Loss $120,-



              Trade war is the only probable result

            of the abrogation of the Russian treaty,

            was the statement of the Hon. Frank J.

            Blank, secretary of State, before a large

            and enthusiastic audience at the opera

            house last evening. 1800 people packed

            the building to overflowing.


              John Jones, a workman, who was

            slightly injured when a thousand pounds

            of powder exploded and wrecked the

            Three-Ex Powder mill last night, was

            taken to the St. James hospital.


              The presence of mind and coolness of

            Mrs. J. B. Sweeny, 758 North Street,

            saved little Johnny Sweeny from death

            last night when she caught him by the

            coattail and dragged him from beneath

            the fender of a street car. Mrs. Sweeny

            was dragged 50 feet by the car and taken

            to the St. Luke's hospital in an ambulance

            that was hastily summoned.


              Falling through a street car window

            without receiving so much as a bruise was

            the unusual experience of Michael Casey

            last night on Main Street. Michael was

            not intoxicated--so he says.


              Recklessly driving his automobile over

            the curb on Smith street, Mr. James

            White, who resides at 764 Smith street,

            was fatally hurt by a careless chauffeur,

            who was unable to handle his machine

            and skidded at the corner near Mr.

            White's home.


              At a meeting of the Sane Fourth com-

            mittee in the city library last evening

            at seven thirty, it was decided that Smith-

            town must pass a law forbidding the sale

            and use of cannon crackers.



    Abbreviations, 287.
    Accidents, 3, 107-109, 291.
    Accuracy, 145, 168, 209, 212, 290.
    Addresses, style of, 278, 279, 286, 288, 290, 310.
    Advertising, 28.
    Ages, how written, 286.
    Animal story, 253.
    Announcements, of engagements, 210;
      social, 212;
      stories on, 121;
      wedding, 209.
    Article beginning, 43, 80.
    Assignments, 5, 29.
    Associated Press, 10.
    Association, City Press, 10, 193.
    Athletic news, 219-232, 278, 283.


    Baseball stories, 219.
    Beat, or run, 5, 29.
    Beat, or scoop, 6, 30.
    Beginning of lead, 80, 89;
      with article, 43, 80;
      with name, 57, 85, 161, 175, 180, 195, 249;
      with time, 47.
    Beginnings of court reports, 195-200;
      of human interest stories, 244-250;
      of interview stories, 179-187;
      of speech reports, 151-164.
    Big story, 5, 31;
      following-up of, 140;
      handling of, 116;
      resulting interviews from, 176, 187.
    Bills, stories on legislative, 121.
    Body of the story, 45, 76;
      discussion of, 91;
      of court reports, 200;
      of follow stories, 129;
      of human interest stories, 250;
      of interview stories, 185;
      of news stories, 122;
      of obituaries, 216;
      of speech reports, 164.
    Book, of tips, 3, 295;
      style, 33, 276-293.
    Box, 32, 188.
    Break, to, 31.
    Brevity, 13, 206, 217, 231.
    Brief summary athletic story, 222.
    Bulletins, stories on, 121.
    Business office, 28.


    Capitalization, 276-281.
    Circulation, 15, 28.
    City editor, 2, 29.
    City Press Association, 10, 193.
    Classes of readers, 16.
    Clause beginning of lead, 82.
    Clean copy, 30.
    Clearness, 91, 104, 123.
    Clippings, 295.
    Coherence, 166, 266.
    Column, 32.
    Compositor, 30.
    Compounds and divisions of words, 285.
    Concreteness, 104, 293.
    Conferences, reports of, 119.
    Continued case beginning, 196.
    Coöperation in newsgathering, 10, 193.
    Copy, 30;
      preparation of, 289.
    Copyreader, 29.
    Copyreading, 311.
    Corrected, stories to be, 311.
    Correspondent, work of, 2;
      instructions to, 11, 223.
    Court reporting, 4;
      discussion of, 192-203, 281.
    Cover, to, 29.
    Crime, stories on, 110-116.
    Criticism, dramatic, 259-275.
    Crowd, used as feature, 68.
    Cub reporter, 28.
    Cynicism, 235, 252.


    Datelines, 283, 310.
    Dates, how written, 278, 286, 290.
    Day city editor, 29.
    Dead, lists of, 63.
    Death element, 3, 22, 61, 73, 107.
    Decisions, reports of, 119.
    Definiteness, 104.
    Desk man, 29.
    Despatch, 12, 222.
    Dialogue, use of, 103;
      in court reports, 200;
      in human interest stories, 245, 251;
      rules for, 283.
    Dictation of stories, 298.
    Diction, 290-293.
    Directories, stories on, 121.
    Distance, effect of, 11, 20.
    Division of words, 285.
    _Don'ts_, in dramatic reporting, 265;
      in general, 290;
      in leads, 85-90.
    _Down_ style, 33.
    Dramatic reporting, 259-275.


    Editing, 30, 144.
    Editor, 29;
      day or night city, 2, 29;
      sporting, 29, 219;
      state, 2;
      Sunday, 29;
      telegraph, 2, 29.
    Editorial room, 28.
    Editorial writers, 29.
    Elections, 3, 277, 281, 288.
    Emphasis, 102.
    Engagement announcements, 210.
    Entertainments, reports of, 210.
    Exaggeration, 22, 89.
    Expected news, 3.


    Faults in news stories, 75-104.
    Faulty stories to be corrected, 311.
    Feature, the, 27, 31, 37, 41, 50, 106-122, 125, 150, 175, 195,
    228, 244, 266;
      crowd as, 68;
      death as, 61, 73;
      exaggeration for, 89;
      fire fighting as, 67;
      _how_, 57;
      in accident stories, 107;
      in football stories, 219-232;
      in human interest stories, 233-255;
      in murder stories, 114;
      in police stories, 118;
      in robbery stories, 110;
      in speech reports, 150;
      in suicide stories, 115;
      injuries as, 65;
      more than one, 70;
      playing up of, 27, 31;
      property threatened as, 66;
      rescues as, 65;
      unexpected attendant circumstances as, 60;
      _what_, 55;
      _when_, 54;
      _where_, 52;
      _who_, 57;
      _why_, 51.
    Feature fire story, 50-74.
    Feature social story, 213.
    Feature story, the special, 31, 255.
    Featureless fire story, 41-49.
    Figures, news value of, 24;
      use of, 283, 286, 290.
    Fine writing, 124, 213, 218, 251.
    Fire story, 39, 41, 50, 75, 105, 122.
    Fires, 3, 4, 7, 39, 41, 50, 75, 105, 122.
    Follow, or follow-up, story, 32;
      relation of, to court reports, 197;
      relation of, to interviews, 187;
      writing of, 125, 130-140.
    Following up related subjects, 140.
    Football stories, 219-232.
    Form of the news story, 34-40.
    Freak leads in speech reports, 163.


    Gathering the news, 1-13;
      in athletic reporting, 230;
      in court reporting, 193;
      in human interest stories, 234;
      in interviewing, 169;
      in reporting speeches, 144.
    Generalities, meaningless, 89.
    Gist, 31, 36, 233, 243, 266.
    Grammar, 78, 84, 123.
    Group interviews, 187.


    Heads, headlines, 27, 30, 78, 188.
    Hospitals, as news sources, 4.
    _How_, feature in, 57.
    Human interest stories, 17, 24, 32, 178, 185, 191, 198;
      discussion of, 233-255.
    Humor, 24, 198, 214, 241.
    Humorous story, 241.


    Infinitive beginning of lead, 81.
    Injuries, feature in, 65;
      list of, 64.
    Instructions to correspondents, 12.
    Interest, 14, 35, 92, 102, 104, 141, 179, 192;
      human, 17, 24, 32, 178, 185, 191, 198, 233-255.
    Interview stories, 175-191.
    Interviews, for facts, 6, 103;
      for opinions, 6, 141, 169-191;
      group, 187.


    Keynote beginning of speech report, 158.
    Killing a story, 30.


    Lead, 31;
      beginning of, 80, 89;
      _don'ts_ in, 85-90;
      in athletic stories, 223, 227;
      in court reports, 195-200;
      in fire stories, 39, 42, 50, 77-90;
      in follow stories, 127-140;
      in human interest stories, 233;
      in interview stories, 179-185, 188;
      in obituary stories, 214;
      in other news stories, 106;
      in speech reports, 147-164;
      length of, 75;
      main verb of, 86.
    Leaded, 32.
    Length, of lead, 75;
      of paragraphs, 75;
      of sentences, 76.
    Line-up of teams, 232.
    Linotype, 30.
    Lists of dead and injured, 63;
      of guests, patronesses, etc., 211, 282;
      of names, 282.
    Local interest, 21, 26.
    Long football story, 226.
    Loss of life, 22, 61, 73;
      of property, 23, 55.


    Mailing stories, 13.
    Main verb of lead, 86.
    Make-up, making up, 31, 37.
    Manner, reporter's, 172.
    Marriages, 206.
    Meaningless generalities, 89.
    Meetings, reports of, 3, 119, 291.
    Money, sums of, 281, 286, 290.
    Morgue, 4, 216.
    "Mr.", use of, 287, 292, 310.
    Murders, 113.


    Name beginning, in court reports, 195;
      in human interest stories, 249;
      in interview stories, 175, 180;
      in news stories, 57, 85, 108-116;
      in speech reports, 161.
    Names, prominent, 23, 57, 108-116, 150, 161, 178;
      use of, 276, 277, 280-283.
    Narrative order, in athletic stories, 227;
      in court reports, 200;
      in human interest stories, 250;
      in interview stories, 185;
      in news stories, 34-40, 92-102;
      in obituaries, 215;
      in speech reports 166;
      in wedding stories, 207.
    News, 14-27, 125;
      agencies for gathering, 10, 193;
      coöperation in gathering, 10, 193;
      expected and unexpected, 3;
      gathering of, 1-13, 144, 169, 193, 230, 234;
      sources of, 4, 29;
      sporting, 219-232, 278, 283.
    New story, 34-124.
    News story form, 34-40.
    News tips, 3, 30, 295.
    News values, 11, 14-27, 38, 41, 204, 233.
    Newspaper terms, 28-33.
    Night city editor, 29.
    Nose for news, viii.
    Notebook, 170.
    Note taking, in athletic reporting, 230;
      in court reporting, 194;
      in dramatic reporting, 267;
      in interviewing, 170;
      in speech reporting, 144.
    Noun beginning of lead, 80.


    Obituaries, 214.
    Order of narrative (see Narrative order).
    Outlining of a story, 99.


    Paragraph length, 75, 290.
    Paragraphing, 48, 75, 166, 186, 290.
    Participial phrase beginning for lead, 83, 158.
    Parts of a news story, 46, 76, 91.
    Pathetic story, 238.
    Pathos, 24, 198, 238.
    Personal appeal, 25, 249.
    Personal news, 20, 204.
    Photographs, 13.
    Playing up, 31;
      of the feature, 27, 31.
    Point of view of newspaper, 8.
    Police court news, 4, 118.
    Policy, 26.
    Political news, 25.
    Practice, 294.
    Preparation of copy, 289.
    Prepositional phrase beginning, 82.
    Press Associations, 10, 193.
    Printed matter, stories on, 121.
    Prominent names, 23, 57, 108-116, 150, 161, 178.
    Proof, 30.
    Proofreader's signs, 32, 290.
    Property losses as features, 23, 55.
    Property threatened as feature, 66.
    Public records, 4.
    "Punch," 13.
    Punctuation, 281.
    Purpose of newspapers, 14.


    Q. & A. testimony, 201, 283, 288.
    Queries, 12.
    Questions, reader's customary, as features, 51;
      in fire stories, 38, 42, 50, 77;
      in follow stories, 132;
      in human interest stories, 233;
      in interview stories, 179;
      in obituaries, 215;
      in other news stories, 106;
      in speech reports, 150.
    Quotation beginnings, direct, 151, 153, 183, 198, 245;
      indirect, 154.
    Quotations, 103, 146, 164, 186, 189, 200, 284.
    Quoting, rules for, 284.


    Range of news sources, 20.
    Readers, classes of, 16.
    Reader's customary questions. _See_ Questions.
    Receptions, 210, 291.
    Rehashing, 125-130.
    Related stories, 140, 176, 187.
    Releasing a story, 31, 144.
    Reporter, 2, 28, 170, 186, 219, 235, 258, 259, 292.
    Reporting court news, 192-202, 281.
    Reports, dramatic, 259-275;
      of meetings, conferences, decisions, etc., 119;
      of speeches, sermons, lectures, etc., 143-168.
    Rescues as features, 65.
    Rewrite man, 125.
    Rewrite story, 32, 125-130.
    Robberies, 110, 291.
    Runs, or beats, 5, 29.
    Running a story, 30.
    Running story, 31, 189, 200, 223, 227.


    Sarcasm, 274.
    Scoop, or beat, 6, 30.
    Season story, 257.
    Second day story, 32, 125, 130-140.
    Sensationalism, 18, 90, 234.
    Sentence length, 76.
    Sermons, reports of, 3, 143-168.
    Set up, to, 30.
    Simple fire story, 40-49.
    Slang, 28, 292.
    Slash, to, 37, 92.
    Slug, 30.
    Sob squad, 236.
    Social announcements, 212.
    Social news, 204-214.
    Sources of news, 4, 29.
    Speaker beginning, 161, 180.
    Special feature story, 255.
    Speech reports, 3, 143-168, 284, 291.
    Sporting editor, 29, 219.
    Sporting news, 219-232.
    Staff, 28.
    State editor, 2.
    Stenographic reports, 144, 194.
    Stickful, 32.
    Stories to be corrected, 311.
    Storms, 3, 116.
    Story, 30;
      baseball, 219-232;
      big, _see_ Big story;
      body of, _see_ Body of the story;
      faults in news, 75-104;
      feature fire, 50-74;
      fire, 38, 40, 105, 122;
      follow, follow-up, or second day, 32, 125, 130-140;
      form of news, 34-40;
      news, 34-40, 50, 75, 105-124;
      on announcements, bulletins, and other printed matter, 121;
      on legislative bills, 121;
      parts of news, 45, 76, 91;
      police court, 118;
      related, 140;
      rewrite, 32, 125-130;
      running, 31, 189, 200, 223, 227;
      simple fire, 41-49;
      special feature, 255;
      summary athletic, 222;
      unusual social, 213.
    Street numbers, 278, 279, 286, 288, 290, 292, 310.
    Style, 13, 33, 103, 233, 251.
    Style Book, 33, 276-293.
    Suggestions for study, 4, 294.
    Suicide stories, 115, 291.
    Summary beginning, for court reports, 197;
      for interview stories, 182, 188;
      for speech reports, 157.
    Sums of money, 281, 286, 290.
    Sunday editor, 29.
    Superlatives, 222, 292.


    Tables of athletic results, 232, 283.
    Taking notes. _See_ Note taking.
    Telegraph editor, 2, 29.
    Telegraph queries, 12.
    Telephone, use of, 13.
    Terms, newspaper, 28-33.
    Testimony, 200.
    _That_-clause beginning, in interview stories, 182;
      in speech reports, 154.
    Theatrical news, 259-275, 284.
    Time, indication of, 281, 286.
    Time beginning, 47.
    Timeliness, in general, 19;
      in human interest stories, 238, 256, 286;
      in interviews, 176, 187.
    Tips, 3, 30, 295.
    Title beginning of speech report, 160.
    Titles, use of, 276, 277, 279, 282, 284, 287, 290, 292.
    Track news, 219, 223.
    Truthfulness, 8;
      in general, 290;
      in human interest stories, 239;
      in interviewing, 179;
      in speech reporting, 145, 168.
    Typewriter, use of, 289.


    Unexpected attendant circumstances, 60.
    Unexpected news, 2.
    Uniformity, 33, 34, 289.
    United Press, 10.
    Unusual social stories, 213.
    Unusualness, 24, 213.
    _Up_ style, 33.
    Uplift run, 236, 254.
    Usual football story, 223.


    Values, news, 11, 14, 27, 38, 41, 204, 233.
    Vaudeville reports, 264.
    Vernacular, newspaper, 28.
    Vividness, 104, 114, 116.


    Weather story, 256.
    Wedding announcements, 209.
    Wedding story, 206.
    _What_, as feature, 55.
    _When_, as feature, 54.
    _Where_, as feature, 52.
    _Who_, as feature, 57.
    _Why_, as feature, 51.
    Wordiness, 87.


    Yarn, 30.

    |Transcriber's Note:                                            |
    |                                                               |
    |Inconsistencies in spelling, hyphenation, punctuation and in   |
    |spacing in abbreviations have been retained as in the original,|
    |along with deliberate misspellings and errors in "News Stories |
    |to be Corrected" in Appendix II.                               |

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Newspaper Reporting and Correspondence - A Manual for Reporters, Correspondents, and Students of Newspaper Writing" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.