Journalism skills

Life Lessons from your Journalism Agony Aunt. By Annette Stevens.

I am your teacher for today; courtesy of Amy Packham. Today we will be learning about Journalism, more specifically: The Five W’s, Letter Writing, Pitching, Making friends with editors and  defining yourself as a Journalist. You will have homework at the end of this lesson. There will be five things in total .

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My name is Miss Stevens, and I will be teaching you some journalism facts and lessons today:

The Five W’S:

We use these in reporting; mainly to get a editorialy correct piece. You may be familiar with these, since they are taught (as early as) Year 2 – age 6-7. This is also used in recounts and reports. The 5 W’S are as follows, with examples:

Who- A Feral Cat, named Toby Flaloolaw.

What- A cruel attack from a crazed old man.

Where-Yorkshire, u.k

When- Tuesday 25th December 1983

Why-The man was angry at his beloved companion.

Letter Writing:

Journalists usually have to sell themselves, for a job, through a letter. Hardly ever is it taught in schools, and the art of writing a letter takes, well… a long time. No one can teach you how to make a good letter with the content, however they can teach you how to have a good layout. Take note of the following description:

1. Your address should go in the top right corner, starting with your name. Underneath goes the date that you are sending the letter.

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2. In the other top corner, write the publications address with the name of who you are sending too.

3. Under all of that, write “Dear..”. Don’t use the publications name, instead use sir or madam, or the name of the person it will end up with. After, put a comma.

4. Write the interlocking paragraphs , sign off with ‘Your sincerely’, then your name. Don’t forget your contact details!

Tip: If you type this out, leave a space below the signing off, put your signature in ink, and then write your name and contact details.


Every Journalist may pitch ideas about content for a publication – your editor may like them, or may not. So here are just some tips to get what you want in a publication:

1.  Scribble notes about your ideas; draw, paint, bring your ideas alive. Also research, maybe photo options, people to take part, business contacts etc.

2. Imagine people rejecting the idea: also imagine why. To convince your editor, consider their side to your ideas.

Be Bezzies With Your Editor:

Having your Editor on good terms is useful; for obvious reasons. How can you get that?

1. Volunteer to do lots of jobs- unless it’s slave labour (obviously).

2. Always leave a good impression- if you have done work experience, say thank you to the editor and secretly.

3. Smile! Sounds stupid, however you don’t want a miserable journalist.

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Define yourself as a Journalist:

Be unique– To stand out during a job application, make yourself distinctive. Have a blog, use shorthand, carry the magazines latest publication, be presentable!



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