Owen Spencer-ThomasWelcome to my website 

This site contains a collection of useful articles, which I have written and updated over the past couple of decades.  These have been written for students of journalism, aspiring journalists, those people seeking good media coverage and anyone wanting to communicate more clearly.  

My website is dedicated to encouraging reliable news and trustworthy information.

At present the world faces the challenges of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.  As we grapple with this pandemic, writing with clarity, accuracy and truthfulness become evermore essential tools in our endeavour to save lives. 

As nations prepare to move out of lockdown, we must do so with caution and take care to avoid infection of the virus.  However, there are many other associated dangers to which we need to be alert.  One of these is misinformation.  

A growing amount of disinformation and fake news stories are appearing on social media. I hope this website will enlighten people to its dangers at this critical time.  

I a­m a journalist, writer/broadcaster, speech trainer and media consultant and have spent most of my fulfilling career in radio and television news journalism with the BBC and Anglia TV.   I am also an experienced public speaker.  My passion for accurate and reliable journalism has led me to share my thoughts and experience with you on this website. 

Over the years, I have accumulated all kinds of media tips and essential information for practising journalists. Some I’ve discovered for myself, but most I’ve learnt from trusted colleagues. 

For me, this is an opportunity  to pass on some of the wisdom and support I  received from others.  I do this voluntarily,  it’s available to you and there’s no charge.  So, feel free to take a look. 

News journalism and media tips

If you have a story to tell on radio or TV, or you’re looking for good press coverage, I hope you will find here pages of valuable information on journalism and the media. 

My Journalism page gives a full list of these articles.  There is one on Media tips which outlines a range of articles that are of help if you wish to use the media to promote your business, events or activities.

If you are a student or professional journalist, you will find the page on News values of particular interest.  As well as describing the criteria that journalists use to identify a stimulating and important news story, it also examines the changing world of news journalism.  People working in public relations also need a thorough knowledge of news values so they can pitch their stories successfully. 

While I was working with Anglia Television I learnt some photographic skills from the camera operators I worked with. Here are a few tips for Taking photographs for the publication in the media. Recently, I updated my articles on Fake news, Citizen journalism and Writing a press release

I continue to add new articles to this site and update the existing ones as new information arrives. 

At a time when fake news stories proliferate, reliable fact-based information and careful reporting have never been more important.

The increasing amount of false information about the coronavirus outbreak, for instance, is particularly dangerous.  As a result, I am updating some of my work to assist my readers in spotting fake news and conspiracy theory. 

Why publish this site

As a writer with a background in the voluntary sector, I understand the value of an accurate and truthful story.  Indeed, most of the journalists I know share my passion for the ethics of quality journalism.

However, I believe these standards can easily be compromised in a world where immediacy and attention-grabbing have become the driving-force.  

For some years now, many news organisations have been facing growing competition from online news broadcasting. I believe the “anything goes” culture on social media is a fertile breeding ground for those who deliberately fabricate news and information.  

New technology has given some wonderful opportunities for citizen journalists and others to gather, collate and publish news that the public would never otherwise have seen or heard.  But rapid change comes at a risk. 

All citizens have a right to be informed on issues of public interest. But, with so much available conflicting information, today’s challenge is to discover what is true and what is false.  An abundance of fake news, sloppy journalism and sensationalism undermines reliable journalism and erodes public trust.   

Moreover, in today’s fast-changing world, there are many instances of governments  and other powerful institutions effectively silencing the independent media in an attempt to prevent proper scrutiny.

I have produced this website to assist the next generation of journalists in discovering some of the essential tools with which to construct reliable news. 

Who reads it

This website is accessed monthly in over seventy countries worldwide.  Students and teachers from universities, colleges and schools regularly visit my site. Several current journalism and sociology textbooks refer to my work.  PR professionals have also been in touch with me. 

Find out about:

If you would like to find out more about some of my own special interests, you may like to see my personal website, Say it Straight. I have written some articles on local history and the stories of twenty outstanding men and women in the history of East Anglia.


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