Journalism Through The Lens Of The Hawk Intro to Journalism with a look at Saint Joseph's University's Student run Newspaper

Table of Contents

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Key Vocabulary Terms

1.3 Journalism Technique: Inverted Pyramid

1.4 "The Hawk" Newspaper at Saint Joseph's University

1.5 The Hawk April 2017

1.6 Conclusion

1.7 Sources


DID YOU KNOW? The New York Times has won 122 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper to date..

Have you ever thought of writing for The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal? Becoming a news anchor on CNN or Fox? Even if the written word is "dying", the world of journalism is expanding day by day. With modern technology, we have local and global news in an instant with just the tap of our finger. According to The Elements of Journalism by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosensteil, the principle of journalism is "the function that news plays in the lives of people".

Journalism is its own genre of writing, for it is not informal, but not an academic paper. There is no exact date as to when journalism was created, but over times the way we view the news has developed. There is a vocabulary (which will be discussed in 1.2), methods, ideas and theories to apply when writing a news article, whether it be about a major political action or a championship sport game. This chapter will discuss important vocabulary words and the structure of writing a news article. There will be a focus on The Hawk, a newspaper written by the students of Saint Joseph's University, to see how journalism changes over time, but also holds the same core methods from years past. Finally, journalism on a global scale will be discussed in order to view how news is reported around the world.

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The video above is a three minute lesson on what journalism is and why it is important!

1.2 Key Vocabulary Terms

DID YOU KNOW? The printing press was invented by the Europeans in 1440. It was not until September of 1619 that the first news paper was printed in America (Boston, MA).

Remember when you were assigned to write your first academic research paper? You had to find a topic, write a rough draft, construct a thesis statement, state your research in the body of your essay, pull all of your information to a conclusion, cite your sources in specific formats (i.e., MLA, APA, Chicago) and maybe even create a cover page, abstract or annotated bibliography. In order to write an academic paper, you needed to learn new vocabulary, such as the words bolded above. Just like academic writing, journalistic writing has its own language, too!

Before you begin writing your own article, here are just a few vocabulary words that are important to know. By clicking the bolded word you can find a more detailed explanation of the term.

1.) Attribution - Designation of the person being quoted. Also, the source of information in a story.

2.) Beat - Area assigned to a reporter for regular coverage. Also an exclusive story.

3.) Break - When a news story development becomes known and available.

4.) Byline - Name of the reporter who wrote the story placed a top of a published article.

5.) Dateline - Name of the city or town and sometimes the date at the start of a story that is not of local origin.

6.) Feature - Story emphasizing the human or entertaining aspects of a station. A news story or other material differentiated from straight news.

7.) Hard News - Spot news; live and current news in contrast to features.

8.) Lead - First paragraph of a news story

9.) Running Story - Event that develops and is covered over a period of time.

For the full list of terms from The Wall Street Journal, you may click here.

1.3 Journalism Technique: Inverted Pyramid

DID YOU KNOW? Margaret Fuller was the first female foreign correspondent and one of the world's first professional war reporters. She wrote for the New York Tribune in 1849.

The Inverted Pyramid

When writing a news story, every detail should be available to the reader. As the reporter, you want to get the important information out there first to grab the readers attention and keep them interested. The most widely used and well known style of journalistic writing is known as the inverted pyramid theory.

An example of how the inverted pyramid theory works. Amount of information included may vary depending on the story being reported.

SURPRISE Challenge

Here are some recent news articles, see if you can identify where "The Lead" "The Body" and "The Tail" start and end. (Hint: Majority of news stories follow this structure, but not all. Do any of the article not follow the inverted pyramid?)

  1. MSN article
  2. ESPN article
  3. TMZ article
  4. The Huffington Post article
  5. National Geographic article

test run: tell us a story

Imagine that your good friend from school is in Spain for the summer. You two had promised to keep in touch and write letters to one another over the summer. Something exciting happened to you and you want to let them know all about it! It is important for your friend to find out all of the information in this one letter since it takes a couple weeks for them to receive it. Using the inverted pyramid theory, inform your friend about the event in such detail that they are not missing any pieces of your story. When finished, refer back to the diagram above and see if your story covers all of the fields required.

1.4 "The Hawk" Newspaper at Saint Joseph's University

DID YOU KNOW? Saint Joseph's University was originally an all male university. It did not open its door to women until 1970.

the importance of student run newspapers

All of the previous articles we have looked at have been written by large, mainstream news sources, but all of those journalists had to start somewhere, and that somewhere may just be on their university's newspaper staff. Yale University's student run newspaper The Yale Daily has been in print since 1878. Large schools such as Ohio State University and Arizona State University deliver their news to a student body of over fifty-thousand students. (Luther, 2012)

Almost every university has a student run newspaper to serve the student body with campus, local and global news. Not only does the paper spread news, but it offers students managing positions, editing jobs, journalism experience and so on. It also teaches students how to work and cooperate with a large group of other people since there are many behind the scenes jobs that go into putting a newspaper together.

In this next chapter, we will take a look at Saint Joseph University's newspaper known as The Hawk. The Hawk is based out of Philadelphia, PA and was first published in 1929. According to The Hawk's Facebook page, a new paper is printed every Wednesday of the school year with the print circulation of about 2,500 copies. Before we observe their most recent issue, below is an interview with their Assistant Lifestyle Editor, Franki Rudnesky and her time on The Hawk.

Interviewer: Thanks for taking time out of your day to answer questions about your time on The Hawk staff. When did you join The Hawk?

Franki: I joined The Hawk my freshmen year as a writer and then this semester (spring 2017) I became the assistant lifestyle editor.

Interviewer: What is your favorite part about being part of the organization?

Franki: I love writing about unique and relevant stories, then being able to see my writing in print. I also love working with the editorial team of The Hawk because they're all great and I've been learning a lot and gaining useful experiences.

Interviewer: What do you write about?

Franki: I write in the lifestyle section. We cover music, art, TV, movies, plays, profiles, entertainment...basically everything that is not covered in the other sections.

Interviewer: Are you familiar with the Inverted Triangle method of journalism? If so, do you find it useful when writing?

Franki: Yes, I'm familiar with the triangle from my journalism course and I do find it very helpful.

Interviewer: Do you read other forms of journalism in your free time? If so, which do you read most often?

Franki: Yes! I read a lot of news, usually the Philly Inquire, Philly Magazine, The New York Times, my local paper at home and more. Anything I can get my hands on, really.

You can find out more about Franki Rudnesky on The Hawk website where you can follow her Twitter account, or contact her for more information.

Franki is a good example of how journalism can not only be a way to share news to the public, but also be a good outlet for the creative side, open up doors for higher positions in the field all while improving your writing.

1.5 "The Hawk" April 2017

To view the most recent edition of The Hawk, click here

Take a look at these three excerpts from the newspaper. After reading, answer the following questions.

Article #1 "St.Joe's Fighting Cancer"

Article #2 "Getting In Shape For SUmmer"

ARticle #3 "Clean Sweep"


1. Does each story include an attribution? A byline? If so, where at?

2. Out of these three articles, are any of them features? If no, where in The Hawk could you find a feature?

3. Out of these three articles, are any of them hard news? If no, where in The Hawk could you find a hard news article?

4. In your opinion which article has the best lead? What is it about the lead you picked that stood out to you the most? What made it interesting? Was there a hook?

5. Was the inverted pyramid method used for any of the articles? If so, were the "5 W's & H" displayed?

6. Out of the three articles we read, did you feel like the journalist covered the topic effectively? Was there anything that you wish they would have written about in addition?

1.6 Conclusion

So, why is journalism important?

Journalism is important to the way society works. Whether it be through physical printed papers, online journals, social media or any other outlet of news, it still matters. The media is powerful, so the stories that are portrayed in the media should be factual, truthful, written coherently and well in standard English, all while being interesting enough to reel a reader in and keep them there for the whole story.

1.7 Sources

Kovach, B., & Rosenstiel, T. (2014). The elements of journalism: what newspeople should know and the public should expect. New York: Three Rivers Press.]

Luther, M. (2012, February 29). College Student Newspapers: The Good and the Frustrating. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from

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