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Facts alone make a very dull story.  Good media writing often uses literary forms usually associated with poetry. As you read or listen to well written stories, you often hear colorful descriptions that almost sound like literature.  News writing is another form of communication that tries to describe an event.  Although it is based on "hard facts", that doesn't mean that literary forms (or devices) aren't used to make the information more understandable and real to the reader.
  1. Go to one of the news sites below and find stories that use the poetic devices listed below. (You may need to see more than one news story to get all of them.)
    International Herald Tribune
    Welcome to Pathfinder!
    New York Times on the Web

  2. Write examples that you find in the news of each form in the boxes below.

  3. Then choose a topic in the news and write a news item using  your own examples of  these poetic devices.

  4. You can find explanations and examples of each of these at the following sites:
    Glossary of Poetic Terms
    Cyber English Syllaweb


ALLITERATION: Repeated sounds in the initial position ("smoke smeared" "canned corn")

: Words having the same vowel sounds but not the same consonant sounds
("flat hat", "wade ... date")

: Words having the same end consonant sounds - but not the same vowel sounds ("cool...soul",   "midnight wait")

: Words that imitate the sound to which they refer ("crash," "shriek," "ping" and "quack")

: Lively descriptions that impress the images of things on the mind ("She has a smile that lights up a room")


METAPHOR: A figure of speech or implied comparison in which a word or phrase, ordinarily used for one thing, is applied to another ("runaway grass", "foot of the mountain")

  A figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another, dissimilar thing using "like" or "as" ("as fresh as a daisy," "as pretty as a picture," "my love is like a red, red rose")


POETIC NEWS STORY (Write a new title and short news item in your own words)


Adapted from CNN Media Literacy Project, November 18, 1994

1999, Amal Pedagogical Technological Center