Today, we would like to share with you some useful tips that we learnt during SFCC President Choonsik Yoo’s special lecture on how to become a professional writer and write fine peice of news articles.
#1 Select a right topic
The starting point of writing high quality of articles is to choose a topic with high public interest. Here are some tips.
A. Remember that there are certain topics that are interesting to most of the readers
– Since Choonsik Yoo is a foreign correspondent, he listed some major topics that most foreign readers are interested in. More Foreign readers are attracted to the topics such as South Korea’s relationship with the North, Korean multinational enterprises, sports, K-pop and current economy.
B. Link the topic with current issues
– Timing is very important. News articles needs to be written and published timely. One of the steps is to write down the latest news. The next thing you do is to link the topic with a broader one. For instance, news on Yuna Kim’s winning gold medal can be linked with Korean Sports.
C. Peer review and Discussion
– The final step is to discuss with other people whether the topic is relevant to write about or not. Discussion makes it easier to identify if the topic is too narrow or too broad. “If you want to write a good article, peer assessment is very important as it improves the quality,” Mr. Yoo says.
#2 Write an article that is helpful to readers
It is essential that an article is worth reading to the readers. As a media with one of the oldest history and greatest influence, the Reuters stresses that it is better to write one priceless article than meaningless articles.
A. Gather information and be honest
Honesty is the most important value when it comes to journalism. This part is related with maintaining journalistic integrity. It is a commonly accepted idea in the foreign press industry that reputation is all. The reason why the Reuters has remained as one of the most influential press for so long is that it always conveys true stories. In journalism, as already mentioned, the role of providing reliable source of information can never be overly stressed.
B. Be concise and direct to the point when writing a draft
Sometimes, it is possible to write 500 words and say nothing. Or write roundabouts and make no point. Mostly news articles have limited amount of space to publish, and readers have limited time to read them. Articles, therefore, should be easy to understand,
C. Re-read, re-write, peer assessment
Frank was very surprised at this point because I thought experienced journalists would write perfect articles and do not need to go through a re-writing process. Mr. Yoo emphasized how much it is important to make revisions after writing articles and gave us some tips to do it well: move to another place from the one you wrote the first draft of the article. When you get exposed to new atmosphere, your mind will be refreshed and becomes able to check your mistakes from a third perspective. Also, peer assessment is crucial to write quality article; it’s hard to evaluate what you wrote by yourself but when other people do it, they will be able to recognize sentence structure, logic flow, small mistakes and so on.
#3 If you want to be a journalist…
It is likely that you wish to be a journalist in case you are interested in writing good articles. Mr. Yoo also talked about how to be a journalist. He added that the tips bellow go the same for those who are looking for a job.
A. Get experience
You have to be ready get the chance when opportunity comes. Most of job vacancies go to those who are prepared to get the job. The best is to have some years of experience on newspapers, magazines or get an internship. Such experience will make you realize which type of media is suitable for you
B. Stay close to your goal
You might not be able to get into a company you want right away. However, it is crucial not to give up. Even though you got a job in a company ranked second of your wish list, you should never give up your career as a journalist. Mr. Yoo says that it is the same for those who are not thinking of becoming a journalist. If you want to be an actor, at least start your career as a staff member at stage. As long as you are in the same industry, you can at least get the latest information on where you want to apply.
Mr. Yoo’s lecture on journalism was greatly helpful for FSC’s English reporters. As we deliver stories about the FSC, we have always been hoping to have such opportunity to learn how to write good articles. Mr. Yoo has numerous years of experience in foreign press. Thanks to him, we were able to understand what journalistic integrity is. When it comes to credibility of information, writer should collect the data by himself and consider carefully who the source of information is, and then again review the collected information whether it is biased or manipulated. Frank hopes this lecture review is helpful to the readers, like it was to Frank. Once again, many thanks to Mr. Yoo for the wonderful lecture.