The processes of thinking and writing cannot be separated. Think first and write second. Resist the temptation to simply write down the first thing that comes into your head. Fuzzy thinking always results in fuzzy writing. Clarity, on the other hand, is achieved by using language in the most efficient manner possible. Simplicity is one key to clarity. Audiences are impressed not by big words and complex sentences, but by writing that is clear and straightforward, conveying what they need to know without wasting any words. When writing distracts readers from the message by calling attention to itself, it loses its effectiveness. Precision is another key to clarity.



If a writer chooses words poorly, through carelessness or misunderstanding of their meaning, readers are left confused. They may doubt the accuracy of what they are reading, and even the media channel’s credibility. Professional media writers use concrete terms and choose the exact words needed to represent the ideas they want to express. The perfectly chosen word makes writing compelling and interesting. Unclear thinking always leads to unclear writing.


Clear thinking, with enough effort, leads to prose that is clear to both you and the reader. Now add the elements of news writing style to this equation, and consider the Audience corner of the Professional Strategy Triangle. Media professionals who can write with accuracy, precision, and clarity are sweating the details and thinking hard. To readers, this means the professional is also likely to be carefully considering the facts, opinions, meanings, and contexts behind his or her story. They get a sense that this writer is a good thinker.