This week, I learnt the basic and fundamental skills of a journalist. The ability to discern between passive and active text, the importance of an article’s opening 25 words and what not to write. An article needs to have very little ‘fluff text’, meaning no adverbs, puns or extended metaphors, among others.
There is also the difference between tabloids and broadsheets. This is most noticeable in the language that they use. Tabloids are far more informal and visual, with an emphasis on sensationalising topics and gossiping about celebrities. On the other hand, broadsheets address serious subjects and use more intellectual language.
Below is a professional example of an article style that I draw inspiration from – the video game VA-11 HALL-A.
With inflation rates among the highest in the world, constant shortages of basic groceries, and rampant violent crime, Glitch City’s citizens look for a better life in other countries.
QUINCY, however, isn’t happy with this.
“They learn in our schools and universities” the prime minister said during a talk with The Augmented Eye “but they apply what they learn somewhere else and I find it rather insulting.”
This comes after revealing new economic measures for the city, which most analysts consider to be useless for the current environment.
“They don’t know sh*t” concluded QUINCY.
VA-11 HALL-A (Sukeban Games, 2016)
Using the inspiration from above, I created an article that would fit in my own cyberpunk world. It serves as both an example of journalism and creative writing.
Arakawa Industries office collapses, lack of comment causes public unrest.
by Aoi Ikehara
Panic erupted throughout the Eastern Shinjuku District when a series of explosions destroyed a large office complex owned by Arakawa Industries.
If you thought that the day-to-day riots didn’t give you enough chaos in your lives, then here you are. Explosions from inside the offices caused the building to collapse on itself, claiming the lives of over 1200 employees. Collateral damage was kept to a minimum, however, with only 23 civilian injuries and no deaths.
“This is the work of a terrorist acting alone.” Paladin Chief Suzu Hirose was quick to comment on the incident. “There was no warning or calling card, leading us to believe that their goal was to incite panic amongst the public.” She later added.
The CEO, Tadao Arakawa, has refused to give any comment. When approached, he has only said that he has “more important things to worry about”. Since then, Tadao has rarely made public appearances and has been reportedly hiding in his house. Public unrest is reaching visible levels due to the lack of comments and other recent incidents in the district.
The bombing incident has raised many eyebrows, as Arakawa Industries is responsible for selling televisions and media-related implants. Their sales have not been affected majorly by the disaster, nor have they branched out into any other product line in the past 10 years. So, why have they been targeted by a ‘lone terrorist’?
This isn’t the first time that the company has been mysterious in its actions, either.
In the recent past, they have made what many consider to be strange corporate decisions, such as being bought out by Gene-Tech earlier in August. This act was immediately followed by several executives leaving the company, such as Jun Sakoda, Heiji Mashita and Tamae Yamazaki. They did not state the reasons for their departure.
We’re not sure if this is really a lone terrorist or if it is a glimpse at corporate infighting, but we’ll be sure to tell you what happens next.
Both examples are an example of a tabloid article. My aim was to write a piece that sensationalised a topic and had an informal tone, as can be seen by the subtle jabs throughout the text. Overall, I’m happy with the result, though I know that my piece isn’t perfect. I believe that my word choice could’ve been a fine-tuned and that the article could’ve been shorter, but these are areas I’m actively working on.
As an addition to a creative writing article, below is an excerpt from a report on Hulk Hogan. The full article is a work-in-progress, but the paragraph is another example of journalistic writing. This time, with a broadsheet style.
Following the apology, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson spoke up at the 2015 TCA Summer press tour, where he called in via satellite. “I’ve known [Hulk Hogan] for a lot of years,” Johnson gave his thoughts on the matter. “So I’d not known him to be racist.” He later explained that he was “disappointed” in Hogan.
“I was pretty disappointed with what I heard, like all of us, by the way. Pretty disappointed.”
- Sukeban Games (2016) VA-11 HALL-A [Computer game]. Ysbryd Games.