English poet and literary critic, once described
journalism as literature in a hurry.
Arnold was not trying to belittle newspaper writers
with that remark He was merely noting that the obvious
difference between news reporters and other writers is
the breakneck pace at which newspaper journalists so
often must operate. Newspaper reporters, by the very
nature of their jobs, must carry the burden of unrelenting
and monotonous regularity intensified by the pressure
of deadlines. Working under those conditions could
hardly be considered ideal for creative writing.
Now, however, even newspapers have discovered
the magazine style, and many are even adopting its
magazine article assigned by your PAO. Also, after
Most newspapers report hard news in the
traditional, inverted pyramid style but have had to use
new tactics to compete with television coverage of
timely news events. Their solution has been to provide
in-depth coverage and a lengthy analysis of the news.
Many newspapers also have begun carrying any
number of feature stories in their pages on a regular basis
to boost circulation Some newspapers now publish
almost nothing but features, especially photo features.
And almost all major dailies with large Sunday editions
publish their own magazine inserts or carry a syndicated
magazine insert, such as Parade.
Consequently, when you are searching for a market
for your manuscripts, you may often need to look no
further than your local newspaper. Remember, however,
that newspapers are published more frequently than
magazines, and therefore, they usually are governed by
Traditional magazines, on the other hand, impose
no such deadlines. It is true that news magazines,
financial publications and a few other periodicals have
a need for timely material. However, those are not the
magazines you are likely to approach about running
your Navy stones.
While all magazines, of necessity, have deadlines to
meet, they are only printers deadlines. Most magazines
carry material compiled two to three months in advance
Sometimes a magazine staff member is given a
deadline for writing an article for a particular edition,
but usually outside writers are faced with no such
constraints. Any idea you may have is yours to develop
at whatever pace you choose. You can allow ample time
for research, time for the actual writing and more time,
as necessary, for rewriting. You can leave the project and
go on to other things, returning when you are ready.
Then, when you are satisfied with your article, you are
the one who decides it is completed. Theoretically, all
this is done before anyone else knows the article is in
the offing. In effect, it does not exist until you are ready
to submit it.
Realistically, you, working as a Navy journalist, are
likely to be given an expected completion date for a
communicating with a magazine editor about a
proposed article, you may be told that the article is
needed before a particular date. Those instances could
bethought of as deadlines, but not very rigid ones. They
mean glancing at a calendar, not watching a clock. This
more leisurely pace of writing allows the marked
difference in style between standard newspaper stories
and magazine articles. Basic news stories, you will
recall from Chapter 2, are written in an inverted pyramid
style. This form is preferred by newspapers and
electronic media news departments because it presents
all of the important facts at the beginning of a story. If
there is not enough time to write or enough space or time
to publish the complete story, a paragraph or two will
Since magazine articles are printed in their entirety,
there are no requirements to put all of the important
details up front. Therefore, magazine writers may use
any format they believe best suits the material being
presented. This allows the writers wider latitudes of
expression and creativity.
The magazine form also provides writers with the
opportunity to be more thorough in their storytelling.
Both news stories and magazine articles deal with facts.
However, while newspapers usually present the basic
details without comment (except in editorials and
columns), magazines amplify those facts in depth to
show how they will affect the reader. When necessary,
magazines also permit their writers to provide extensive
background details to enable the reader to understand
the subject more frilly.
A newspapers news has a perishable quality; its
value and interest diminish as the degree of immediacy
wanes. The news in magazines, although less timely, is
more enduring. Many magazine articles are as
informative and interesting a year after publication as
they were on the day they first appeared in print.
Magazine articles also are remembered longer than
newspaper stories because magazines are read more
thoroughly, and at a more leisurely pace, than are