Political Rhetoric and Phraseology

The rule of thumb is for journalists to use around 6 keywords or phrases per minute to have their story read or sound like an interesting ride.

Dates and times:

  • On a gray December morning in 1981 (year)
  • Within hours
  • Every night at seven-thirty
  • In the winter of 1989
  • Sixteen years ago


  • Anna Semborska (interesting name)
  • Semborska (last name)
  • Who was seventeen (age)


  • In Warsaw (interesting location name)
  • In a little town called Swidnik, near the Czech border
  • In the center of town


  • Pushed the boundaries
  • Of what people in Poland could say
  • Under Communist rule
  • Although it had been
  • With the rise of the labor union
  • One story involved the dogwalkers
  • State-run television
  • Silent act of protest and solidarity
  • We refuse to watch
  • We reject your version of truth
  • The rise of public opinion
  • At best, they could try
  • Leaders of the movement
  • Owed a good deal to the coming
  • And the effect it had on
  • Walesa asked rhetorically
  • In retrospect,
  • Looking at the evolution of
  • We may wonder if
  • Euphoria of the moment
  • Less a reflection of
  • Naivete
  • Burst of optimism
  • Coming from a part of the world
  • Its power to do good
  • In the emerging democracies
  • A group of journalists gathered in Prague
  • That had subverted it with
  • That undermined freedom
  • Freedom of thought
  • Implicit
  • Much of the discourse
  • Lack of reflection about
  • Dominate the twentieth century
  • License
  • When we began our journey to
  • Were likely to provide
  • When pressed to account for
  • Newsrooms were insulated from
  • Working in the public interest
  • These simplistic questions
  • Were more harmful
  • Skepticism
  • Invited skepticism from the public
  • Ability to comment openly
  • Impassioned
  • Virtuous
  • By their silence, newspeople
  • Smug, moralistic idealists
  • Journalists failed to think
  • Imagine their motives were so virtuous
  • Open and competitive marketplace
  • The simplistic refrain
  • Is exposed
  • Anyone with a computer can claim to be
  • The norms of profession
  • Are being pulled and redefined
  • Sometimes abandoned altogether
  • Perhaps, some suggest
  • Now anything can be seen as journalism
  • On closer examination
  • The techniques they employ
  • But by something more basic
  • For all that has changed about journalism
  • If not always well served
  • Since the notion of a
  • There exists a clear theory
  • News’s function encompasses several elements
  • Knowledge rooted in reality
  • Serve as a watchdog
  • Push people beyond complacency
  • Offer a voice to the forgotten 
  • One of the most innovative thinkers about
  • At its best, as we will also show
  • Today, ironically,
  • The long standing theory
  • The purposes of journalism are being challenged
  • At odds with
Kovach, Bill, and Tom Rosenstiel. The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect. Three Rivers Press, 2014.
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