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Dynamics of Media Writing

Dynamics of Media Writing
Adapt and Connect

Third Edition

August 2021 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Dynamics of Media Writing Third Edition gives students transferable skills that can be applied across all media platforms—from traditional mass media formats like news, public relations, and advertising to emerging digital media platforms. Whether issuing a press release or tweeting about a new app, today’s media writers need to adapt their message for each specific media format in order to successfully connect with their audience. Throughout this text, award-winning teacher and college media adviser Vincent F. Filak introduces fundamental writing skills that apply to all media, while also highlighting which writing tools and techniques are most effective for specific media formats and why. User-friendly and loaded with practical examples and tips from professionals across mass media, this is the perfect guide for any student wanting to launch a professional media writing career.

About the Author
Chapter 1. Know Your Audience
How to Define an Audience

Key Questions to Ask in Serving Your Readers

What Attracts an Audience?

What Audiences Need to Know and How to Make Them Care

The Big Three

Chapter 2. Being Accurate, Relying on the Facts
Why Is Journalism Such a Picky Field?

Why Media Professionals Matter More Than Ever

Making Sure You Are Sure

Examining the Broader Issues

The Big Three

Chapter 3. Grammar, Style and Language Basics
Why Do Grammar and Style Matter?

Sentence Structure

Sentence Length

Read Your Work Aloud

How to Keep Writing Tight and Right

The Big Three

Chapter 4. Basic Media Writing
The “Killer Be’s” of Good Writing

The Inverted Pyramid

Leads: The Prominence of Importance

Types of Leads

Problematic Leads and Potential Fixes

How to Order the Rest of Your Pyramid

The Big Three

Chapter 5. Interviewing
Interview Preparation

Places to Dig

Getting the Interview

Interacting With Your Source

Interviewing via Email or Text

Interviewing for Multiple Media

The Questions

Interview Flow

Silence as an Ally

The Nonverbal Approach: How to Ask a Question Without Asking

The End of the Interview (Almost)

Follow-Up Interviews

The Big Three

Chapter 6. Writing for Websites and Blogs
Working on the Web


Best Blogging Practices

How to Build a Quality Blog Post

Linking and Other Interactive Elements

Engaging Readers

The Big Three

Chapter 7. Social Media
What Does Social Media Do?

Why Is Social Media Valuable?

Social Media Tools

How to Avoid #Fail

Building a Social Media Audience

The Big Three

Chapter 8. Law and Ethics in Media Writing
The First Amendment


Legal Defenses Against Libel

Getting SLAPP-ed Anyway


How to Avoid Copyright Infringement

Ethics and the Media

Ethical Concerns

How to Work Through Ethical Dilemmas

Determining Your Own Approach to Ethics

The Big Three

Chapter 9. Reporting: The Basics and Beyond
Event Coverage

Preparing for the Event

How to Cover the Event

News Reporting Beyond the Event



Profile Writing



The Big Three

Chapter 10. Writing for Traditional Print News Products
Nuances for Print Writing


Expanding the Inverted Pyramid

The Big Three

Chapter 11. Writing for Broadcast
Nuances for Broadcast Writing


Integrating Additional Elements

Types of Stories

Polishing Your Final Piece for Delivery

The Big Three

Chapter 12. Public Relations
Defining PR

Types of PR Writing

Keys to PR

Why the Media Matters

The Big Three

Chapter 13. Advertising
Defining Advertising

The Creative Brief

Message Formation

Writing in Advertising

The Big Three

Chapter 14. Marketing
Brands and Branding

Campaigns Versus Brands

Useful Marketing Platforms and Tools

Copywriting for a Brand

Ways to Work With and for Your Readers

Writing Creatively for Marketing

The Big Three



Instructor Resources

Online resources included with this text

The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank; editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides; media writing assignments; AP Style exercises; and tables and figures from the book.

I used the text this semester and it is fine. I chose it for the embrace of PR and bcast writing alongside journalistic. The social media chapter is quite weak, mostly explains what SM are, rather than strategies for using them professionally. The exercises seem useful at full glance but need more direction/guidance to work in my classrooms.

Dr Jennifer Rauch
Mass Communication Dept, Linfield University
November 18, 2022
Key features


  • Professional Thoughts features new interviews with working journalists who discuss recent changes in the industry.
  • New and updated information, including more instruction on writing for websites, blogs, press releases, and social media posts.
  • "Give It a Try" examples moved to the ends of the chapters to organize all in-class discussion prompts and activities in one easy-to-find place.
  • Updated photos and graphics illustrate the various elements of storytelling to make the information easier for students to apply.
  • Adapt boxes teach media writers how to get their message out across multiple media platforms, with an emphasis on adjusting to new digital formats.        
  • Connect features reinforce the central importance of tailoring messages to particular audience needs.    
  • Professional Thoughts interviews feature practical advice from professional journalists, PR executives, and advertisers. 
  • Write Now! exercises offer students the opportunity to hone their writing skills in every chapter.
  • The Big Three sections at the end of each chapter highlight the three most important concepts and skills students need to remember.
  • Visual examples and breakout boxes appear as needed to alert students to important topics in easy-to-consume ways.

Sage College Publishing

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