78. Case against Nepali Journalists of English papers – part II

I truly believe that the structure of a news article has to be simple. A news writer (journalist or translator or editor) has to make sure that the news is readable and understandable. That’s the essential objective of a news article.

News is not literature. Especially, if the news is a hard-news. It is not about ‘impressing’ the readers; it is about INFORMING the readers. Hence, simplicity is the only key.

So, here’s the second part of my published article “Case against Nepali Journalists of English newspapers” with a few suggestions on how to make news writing simple, readable and understandable. Of course, these are not by any means the best ways to write the news. I am only suggesting a few simplified versions. (You can probably suggest even simpler and better versions.)

a. Avoid ‘dangling’ modifiers

It was about 8:30 am, the organisers were honouring leaders with khada (strips of religious cloth) at the podium after the welcome speech when Basnet climbed up the stage and struck Shyam Sangat and Narmada Pokharel who were announcing with a wooden frame.

A better version:

After the welcome speech, the organisers were honouring the leaders with khada (strips of religious cloth) at the podium. Then, Basnet climbed up the stage and struck the announcers, Shyam Sangat and Narmada Pokharel, with a wooden frame.

A day after the Sita Air Dornier plane crash on the banks of the Manohara River that killed all 19 people on board, office-bearers of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and domestic airline companies held a meeting under the chair of Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Posta Bahadur Bogati at the ministry, to find ways to avert air crashes.

A better version:

A day after the Sita Air plane-crash on the banks of the Manohara River, office-bearers of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and domestic airline companies held a meeting at the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. In the meeting, they discussed on ways to avert air crashes.
Nineteen people had lost their lives in yesterday’s plane-crash.

Gajurel also warned that his party would sabotage Dahal and Bhattarai’s dream of sticking to power for 25 years through a wave of street protests.

A better version:

Gajurel also warned that, through a wave of street protests, his party would sabotage Dahal and Bhattarai’s dream of sticking to power for 25 years.

Or.

Gajurel also warned of street protests that would sabotage Dahal and Bhattarai’s dream of sticking to power for 25 years.

b. Some tense-shifts do not make sense

CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal today said that the country’s nationalism was at risk due to the wrong decisions of UCPN-Maoist-led government.

A better version:

CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal has said that the country’s nationalism is at risk due to the wrong decisions of UCPN-Maoist-led government.

Without pinpointing any country, the UML chairman charged that foreign powers were responsible for bringing about division in his party.

A better version:

Without pinpointing any country, the UML chairman claimed that foreign powers are responsible for causing the division in his party.

Or.

Without pinpointing any country, the UML chairman claimed that foreign powers caused the division in his party.

c. Normal headlines are always better

But these are not:

Teen stabs girl, self

Chief, health secys will their eyes

Kids elope, parents get them hitched, all land in soup

Male temple virgin tradition still alive in Dailekh

Legal eagles okay CJ-led govt

Missing P in Nepali tea

Dailekh drowns in dread as clashes crop up

I leave this to the news writers/journalists/translators themselves.

d. Avoiding complex and long sentences

District Police Office Rautahat Chief SP Govinda Ram Pariyar has been accused of embezzling fund after submitting fake documents of temporary police personnel who had quit before the Constituent Assembly polls.

Meanwhile, a junior officer at the police office demanded air investigation into the submission of the wrong document and fund embezzlement in the name of those who quit and stern action against the accused if proven guilty.

A better version:

District Police Office Rautahat Chief SP Govinda Ram Pariyar has been accused of embezzling fund. He has been charged of submitting fake documents of the temporary police personnel who had quit before the Constituent Assembly polls.
Meanwhile, a junior officer at the police office has demanded investigation into the case and stern actions against the culprit.

(And, as one who deleted his/her comment noted, the above example suffers from a long noun-string as well – District Police Office Rautahat Chief SP Govinda Ram Pariyar. So it would be more simpler, if the noun-string was to be broken down.)

SP Govinda Ram Pariyar, chief of District Police Office in Rautahat, has been accused of embezzling fund. He has been charged of submitting fake documents of the temporary police personnel who had quit before the Constituent Assembly polls.
Meanwhile, a junior officer at the police office has demanded investigation into the case and stern actions against the culprit.

I hope, some day, some writers/journalists will stumble upon these simple suggestions. And make our lives easy.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s