Teaching Magazine Writing

The Long- and Short-Form of It

Authored by: Kim Martin Long

The Routledge Handbook of Magazine Research

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138854161
eBook ISBN: 9781315722283
Adobe ISBN: 9781317524533


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Books abound with advice and instruction on how to write journalism—news or features, short or long form—so one wonders how new ones could possibly be justified. The field is changing rapidly, however, in the digital landscape. For example, a staple of American newsmagazines, Newsweek went out of print for the whole of 2013. Publishers’ catalogs, therefore, list new and forthcoming titles such as Feature and Magazine Writing: Action, Angle and Anecdotes, 3rd ed. 1 ; Feature Writing: Telling the Story, 2nd ed. 2 and scores of titles looking at how to write news stories, such as Writing and Reporting News: A Coaching Method 3 and Journalism Next: A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing. 4 Most of these, however, do not offer much in the way of ground-breaking ideas, although the newer books do incorporate advice on writing for the new technologies in what is called cross-platform, multimodal journalism, or convergent journalism. The Kemsley Manual of Journalism, 5 first published in 1950 as a guide for journalists working in the British Kemsley Newspapers group, for example, provides advice on writing almost identical to that found in James Glen Stovall’s 2012 Writing for the Mass Media. 6 In many ways, then, the series of books written by Harold Evans under the title Editing and Design: A Five-Volume Manual of English, Typography and Layout 7 (1972–1978) remain the benchmark for traditional journalistic writing. William Blundell’s 1988 book, The Art and Craft of Feature Writing, 8 likewise, remains a staple, with specific strategies and helpful information for long-form writers.

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