Journalism 133: Prof. Craig: Readability Checklist
The "readability" of any written text refers to how easily it can be read, followed and understood by its audience. Stories must both appeal to their intended audiences and be easy for them to comprehend.
Editors have been concerned about readability for generations. The growth of online content — and the inherent competition it implies — has in many ways made readability even more important, not necessarily in the sense of ensuring that an article is simply comprehensible, but that it is written to the reading level expected by its intended audience.
Readability tips for writers and editors:
- Use short, simple, familiar words. Avoid words of four or more syllables when a shorter one will work.
- Avoid jargon — words or expressions that are used within a profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.
- Use culture-and-gender-neutral language to make stories understandable to wider audiences.
- Use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
- Use simple sentences, active voice, and present tense. If a sentence runs too long, divide it into multiple simpler sentences.
- Organize content to best capture and maintain reader interest.
- Use simple graphic elements such as bulleted lists.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos today, UN Women and Emma Watson unveiled a new initiative — 10X10X10 — to cut gender inequality and empower women in communities where it’s most needed. 10X10X10 is a part of the HeForShe IMPACT 10X10X10 pilot initiative to galvanize momentum in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. The HeForShe campaign’s IMPACT 10X10X10 initiative is a one-year pilot effort that aims to engage governments, corporations and universities as instruments of change positioned within some of the communities that most need to address deficiencies in women’s empowerment and gender equality and that have the greatest capacity to make and influence those changes. Each sector will identify approaches for addressing gender inequality, and pilot test the effectiveness of these interventions for scalability.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos today, UN Women unveiled a new initiative — 10X10X10 — to cut gender inequality and empower women in communities where it’s most needed. 10X10X10 is a part of the HeForShe campaign and will work with governments, businesses, and universities to test new ways to reduce gender inequality. The initiative will run for one year. HeForShe will expand successful projects to other communities.
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