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”

  1. Thou shalt not use abbreviations on first use.
  2. Direct quotes shalt always begin new paragraphs.
  3. Paragraphs shalt not be longer than four sentences.
  4. Thou must incorporate a mix of direct quotes and paraphrasing.
  5. Thou shalt not use partial quotes, lest you absolutely must.
  6. Attribution for statements or quotes must go at the end.
  7. In quotes, the subject of the attribution should usually go before the verbith.
  8. Ledes shalt be not longer than 35 words and convey the who, what, when, where and how.
  9. Thou shalt not bury your ledes!
  10. Thou shalt not have unattributed opinions.
Leave A Comment

About this site

This is the personal page of Chris Shattuck -- an Atlanta-based media professional with a background in business reporting, nonprofits and agency PR.

Please, look around and check out my blog, where I deal with issues regarding the media, the City of Atlanta and my alma mater of Georgia State University.

Also, make sure to follow me on Twitter @ChrisShattuck!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: