Literacy level of media recruits now a major concern


What can I say?

You know who you are.

Literacy level of recruits now a major concern for media, report finds.

But just how do you improve your literacy skills? I bet the last time you practised your spellings was in primary school. I can feel some “newspaper style guide” sessions coming on.

You know, one of the best writers of the 20th Century, Ernest Hemingway, developed his unique writing style when he worked at the Kansas City Star – he used the editor’s Style Guide.

A lot of people recommend the famous Strunk and White’s Elements of Style (just £2.62 for a second-hand copy). Another frequently recommended title is Stephen King’s On Writing, though this is probably more for the aspiring novelist.

For a more UK-friendly approach, you could consider The Oxford Style Manual, where you might learn about using the Oxford comma, or not.

What about UK media organisations? Do they have style guides to which you can refer? Of course they do.

The Reuters News agency handbook
The Telegraph Style Book
The Times style and usage guide
The Guardian style guide. (Also available as a book.)

The really great thing about all these guides is that they’re not just skills for the media – they’re skills for life. Pick one and go with it.