Many moons ago, on my very first day of journalism school at Ryerson, my professor asked my class why we wanted to be there. Most responses started with something along the lines of, “Well, I was really good at English in high school and…”
After that we spent the remainder of the year unlearning almost everything we thought we knew. Turns out, this isn’t uncommon, and once you put in the time in j-school, you’ll see why. But since we at J-Source like to give new students a head start, here’s a list of things you can throw out the window from the get-go, courtesy of Tony Rogers’ journalism blog at About.com.
“3. Adjectives: This relates to no. 2. News stories are supposed to be opinion-free.
But even if you’re not conscious of revealing your innermost thoughts,
an adjective or two will do it for you when you’re not looking.
Example: “The brave demonstrators protested the draconian government
policies.” See what I mean? Two little adjectives and your impartiality
is gone. So leave the adjectives out.”
So, the good news is, you’re (almost) set for first year. The bad news is, once you progress to different forms of journalism (broadcast, online, magazine), you’ll find that many of these rules need to be unlearned all over again.