Media writing style is built upon accuracy, brevity, and clarity. In addition, media professionals strive to produce copy that is active, vivid, and direct. These adjectives describe a stylistic approach that audiences rely upon and appreciate. As a media professional, you are expected to be a master of the English language. With their interactive, nonlinear format, new media have changed the way audiences read and interpret information. It is easier than ever to click to another web page or social media source to find fresh information. In this technology-driven age, accuracy, clarity, and brevity have never been more important. Above all, the media writer must write everything with accuracy.
News audiences rightly expect truth and honesty in what they read in the media. You must earn their trust by digging into the hard work it takes to make sure that your writing is factually correct. This means double-checking facts, verifying information from interview sources, and rechecking routine information such as name spellings, addresses, phone numbers, and web addresses. Accuracy also means establishing the context of your story fairly so the reader understands it correctly. Professional media writers check and recheck their work for accuracy because it is a professional requirement they have internalized. This is the mark of a true professional.
The entire media industry is founded upon the credibility of the information it presents. The responsibility for maintaining that credibility on a daily basis rests with you and your fellow media members. A media or professional organization that acquires a reputation for inaccuracy and sloppy reporting will soon lose its audience. Advertisers and sponsors will exit shortly thereafter, driving the operation out of business. Never forget this connection between credibility, audience, business, and the accuracy of your writing!