Writing For the Mass Media by James Stovall, reinforces this concept in the very first chapter, Sit Down and Write:
“Writers for the mass media must understand the implications of what they do. Part of the writing process is developing a sense of what it means to communicate with a mass audience. Writers should understand that they are no longer writing for an individual (an essay for an English teacher, a text message to a friend) but for a larger audience.
Nor are they writing for themselves. Much of the writing done in K-12 education is justified as a means of self-expression for students. This writing is a valuable exercise for all individuals, but the mass-media environment, self-expression ranks second to information. Audiences are interested in the writer’s information and ideas, not in how the writer feels or thinks. This fact drives the sparse, unadorned style of writing that the media demand.
Self-expression is less important partly because in most media environments writing is a collaborative effort. Several writers may work together to produce a single piece of writing. Editors—people whose job it is to read the writing of others—are employed at every level to improve the writing whenever possible. The editing process is inseparable from the writing process. Writers for the mass media must possess an active sense of integrity about what they do. This integrity serves as a regulator for their behavior, making them unwilling to accept inaccuracies or imprecision in the writing process and unable to live with less than a very high standard of personal and intellectual honesty. They must understand and assimilate the ethical standards of their profession.
Writers for the mass media also understand enough about the process of writing to know that they can always improve. They view their craft with generous humility. Every writer, no matter how experienced or talented, begins with a blank page or an empty computer screen. The writer puts the words there, and no amount of experience or talent guarantees success. A good writer is always willing to do whatever it takes to improve the craft.”
After reading the above direct quote from your textbook, discuss how your writing and/or perception of media writing has changed or improved during this class. Think about your progress as a media writer. What did you learn about media writing this semester? Using examples from the class and the textbook, your discussion should include the following:
This post is about self-reflection and growth. Tell us about how you have grown as a writer in this course.
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