LJWorld.com weblogs Ashley Montgomery
Journalists should never...
When I saw the article on Poynter Online, one of my pet peeves immediately jumped to mind. So here's #1 for me: Journalists should never use esoteric language. In other words, journalists shouldn't use words that only a highly educated or specialized group of people can understand.
In my time at the copy desk this semester I've come across several rather obscure words. While journalists, who work with the English language on a daily basis may understand these words, all readers do not have the same vocabulary.
One of the main jobs of a journalist is to take large amounts of data and information and make it understandable and relevant to the readers. Local news outlets must be sure that the content they publish is understandable for readers with doctorates, elementary school teachers, high school students, and sales associates.
More specialized publications, such as the Wall Street Journal can get away with specialized vocabulary and information. But others need to remember their audience.