The News Writing “Ten Commandments”
I made this quick list of style tips to go over with some of my writers tomorrow during our weekly staff meeting. I wanted to do something unique that they would remember and follow, so I came up with these rules in the style of the King James translation of the Bible.
The other “Ten Commandments”
- Thou shalt not use abbreviations on first use.
- Direct quotes shalt always begin new paragraphs.
- Paragraphs shalt not be longer than four sentences.
- Thou must incorporate a mix of direct quotes and paraphrasing.
- Thou shalt not use partial quotes, lest you absolutely must.
- Attribution for statements or quotes must go at the end.
- In quotes, the subject of the attribution should usually go before the verbith.
- Ledes shalt be not longer than 35 words and convey the who, what, when, where and how.
- Thou shalt not bury your ledes!
- Thou shalt not have unattributed opinions.