The Basic Rules Of Print Journalism

Do you want to work in print journalism? Can you see yourself writing for a leading magazine or newspaper? If so, this is certainly an exciting field to get involved in, and there are plenty of different opportunities. 

We are sure you have already done some research online regarding big media moguls like Rupert Murdoch , as well as leading newspapers and magazines that may be of your interest.

However, if you want to make it as a print journalist, one thing you are always going to need to do is to make sure that you get your basics right. Consistency is key when it comes to an industry like this, and so you cannot afford to simply write in any old manner that suits you at the time. There are rules that must be adhered to, and that is what we are going to cover in this post.

Considering that, let’s take a look at some of the most basic rules of journalism that you must always get right, no matter what sort of piece you are writing.

How to start an article

The first paragraph should never be longer than 25 words

Capitalise the first word of the article (if the first word is ‘a’ or ‘an’ you capitalise the following word as well e.g. A CAT got stuck in a tree…)

Writing numbers

1 to 10 should be written in full; one, two, three etc…

Everything over 10 should be written in number format; 11, 12, 13 etc…

New sentence = new line

Every sentence is usually a new line. 

Unless they are really short e.g. The Londoner crashed his car on Thursday. He did not have any insurance. > They’d both be on the same line because it wouldn’t look right. 

Using quotation marks

If you have a long quote and it is broken up into sentences you only use close quotation marks at the very end. Example…

“When I applied for the X Factor I never thought that I would have a chance of getting to the live shows, never mind even winning.

“But it has been like a dream come true and I am so grateful to everyone who has voted for me.

“I just want to say thank you, and I promise I won’t let you down.” 

Name your source

Always say where you got your information from e.g. “…One in 300 people in the UK are homeless, according to the BBC…”

To conclude, the world of print journalism is a very exciting one, and there are a lot of excellent degrees, apprenticeships, and courses out there that can help you to get your foot on the ladder. However, no matter what route you do decide to go down, it is important that you are aware of the basic rules that need to be adhered to in print journalism so that you can make sure you don’t fall at the first hurdle. 

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Dr Marina Nani
Dr Marina Nani


Dr Nani is the Founder of Sovereign Magazine. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Sovereign's sister publication, Rich Woman Magazine. Passionately advocating for Social Edification, Dr Marina Nani is coining a new industry, MAKE THE NEWS ( MTN) with the aim to diagnose and close the achievement gap globally. Founder of RICH WOMAN SOCIETY™ Marina believes that there is a genius ( Stardust) in each individual, regardless past and present circumstances; "not recognising the talent in each individual, leaves our society at loss. Sharing the good news makes a significant difference on your perception about yourself, your industry and your community."

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