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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 18 February 2004
When I got my first job as a journalist, the first thing I did was to buy this book (when it was called "Newsman's English" - nice new non-seixt title, I see) and the other four in the group. They're all essential in understanding how newspapers work, if that's what you want to do; this one is key for writing tight prose, which too few people do.
Now I'm a journalist on a national newspaper, I think I can partly thank this book for the help. It's an ideal tool for the job. I reread it every couple of years. It's still true.
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on 5 October 2000
This book is recommended by the Society of Editors as it is an excellent guide to well written english and therefore especially useful in journalism. This edition combines parts from two earlier books written by Harold Evans whose reputation is excellent. The book discussses how to write for newspapers after first explaining exactly how newspapers function.
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on 18 March 2011
Following in the tradition of the great teachers of good English style like George Orwell, I doubt there is a better book on the journalistic or writer's art, or good style in general than this. A few uncharitable reviews suggest the book is 'only for journalists': nonsense. A few of the chapters are clearly aimed at newspaper writers, but most of the book provides universal examples of good writing and editing techniques and best practice that will improve the quality of any writer's work, even fiction writers (perhaps them most of all, who often have no clue about good style and could do with going back to basics). For instance, there are several long lists of useless or misleading words and phrases that one sees in newspapers everyday, but which can easily be eliminated to improve readability, such as 'the fact that..' can normally be substituted by 'that' or 'regularly' instead of 'on a regular basis' and many other examples. It provides a general guide to the principles of good style, and as someone who writes in other languages besides English, I know these are universal. The book's structure allows you to dip in and out of it whenever you need tips or advice, and so functions as a readable reference work, but it can also be read cover-to-cover, which is worth doing at least once, as it's humorously written with lots of insightful examples. For instance, Evans explains how British journalism has paper rationing during and after the war to thank for becoming the most concise among the Anglo-Saxon countries, forcing writers and editors to ruthlessly cut excess verbiage, the surest way to improve readability and precision of a text as he demonstrates throughout.

This work is an essential companion for anyone involved in serious and regular writing or editing of any kind, and which provides the best exposition of good style in print today. One critical point is that some of the examples are somewhat dated and for the book to maintain its freshness and appeal to modern audiences, the publishers ought to consider taking examples from contemporary reporting, of which there are unfortunately plenty. That's why only 4 and not 5 stars. Finally, for those who are looking for a guide to fiction and story writing, they might consider Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.
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on 24 February 2007
If you are a journalist, for God's sake read this book and improve your copy tenfold. Don't think you don't need it, everyone can improve.
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on 5 September 2007
Simply put, if you want to be a Journalist, Editor or Broadcaster then this is a book you simply have to read. What it teaches is that (country to popular belief) great writing doesn't require long words and phrases. Less is more is very much Evans mantra, and through this book he will teach how to write the best headlines and intros to grab your readers and keep them engaged.

The back of the book features numerous endorsements which reads like a who's who of the best journalists of the past 30 years.

Essential.
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on 10 November 2009
I have to write a large number of reports in my job as an auditor and the difficulty is always balancing sufficent detail to be meaningful with conciseness and clarity. I first read this book when it was called Newsman's English and found it invaluable in helping me to deveop a clearer, concise writing style. I have re-read it in its latest form and find it just as useful as the original and an excellent refresher. In summary, it is an excellent book for all people who have to write as part of their living as it makes you think about whether every word is working for its living. It is not just for Journalists!
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on 7 November 2013
This is simply -the- book to read if your job involves any form of writing. You'll never forget the lessons you'll learn from this book.
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on 30 July 2010
A must read for any aspiring writer, will encourage you to write in clear precise english. Should always be at hand to refer to!
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on 8 May 2009
If you are thinking of becoming a journalist then there is a lot of useful information in this very readable book. Chapter headings: 'The Making of a Newspaper' two chapters on 'The Structure of News Story' and one on 'Headlines'and one on 'Headline vocabulary' witness the limited target group: there is not so much for 'editors and writers' as the book title would suggest. The chapter on language advising us to replace 'in short supply' with 'scarce' (and others)is similar to those found in most books on style.
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on 4 April 2012
I bought this book in second hand. I gave it to two members of my familly,asking them what could they tell about the book. I am please to say none of them could tell it was a second hand purchase. It also arrived earlier much earlier than expected.
About the book - I already knew it as it was lent to me by a former tutor. I haven't got into it yet.I found the section on writing positive sentences very challenging...
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