Tag Archives: quotes

Why journalists ditch the thesaurus when it comes to “said” (for new journalism students who don’t)

Synonyms for "said"

It’s the start of a new term in journalism courses across the country, and journalism lecturers will once again be spending the first few weeks helping students to ‘unlearn’ a habit they acquire at school: the impulse to use multiple synonyms instead of the word “said”.

It’s not their fault. At school pupils are encouraged to extend their vocabulary when writing. Using “said” repetitively is seen as limited or uncreative, and pupils are told to find other words to add variety. “Stated”, “uttered”, and “commented” are just three words that journalism tutors will be striking out in the coming weeks.

But these synonyms are rarely used in journalism. To find out just how rarely they are used — and what the exceptions are — I looked at a sample of the 10 most recent news stories from three outlets: the BBC, Daily Mail/MailOnline, and BuzzFeed (30 in total).

Here’s what I found — plus a little explanation of why we do this. Continue reading

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Curation is the new obituary: 8 ways media outlets marked Bowie’s life and death [now 16]

The media’s reaction to David Bowie‘s death from cancer early this morning demonstrates just how widely curation has become in journalism practice – and specifically, how it has become the web native version of the obituary. Below I’ve done a bit of curation of my own: 8 13 16 ways that different publications used curation to mark the death of a legend. If you have seen others, please let me know.

1. Liveblogging curation

The Telegraph’s live reporting of Bowie’s death is an example of curation itself, incorporating just some of the following elements:

  • The Facebook update of the statement confirming Bowie’s death
  • Embedded tweets from key figures reacting to the death
  • A video playlist
  • A single video of his last single, along with other videos to illustrate reactions
  • A posting from Bowie’s official Instagram account

Continue reading