The leading International Courier FedExhas taken over TNT.

In what would appear to be and indeed is the biggest development in the shipping and logistics industry in 2016, FedEx has acquired TNT Express. The fact that the two major brands have been at loggerheads more often than frequent makes for an interesting tale and the reality that the deal was signed at a whopping $4.8 billion would take many by anticipated surprise.

The announcement was made on Wednesday, 25th May 2016 when TNT Express along with FedEx Acquisition and FedEx Corporation laid out the details of the €4.4 billion deal which amounts to approximately $4.8billion. FedEx is one of the biggest names in the global couriering industry with its prowess over coverage by air and TNT stands out for its expansive European road network. The two put together becomes a formidable force that would perhaps rattle many other major and certainly the lesser known players. FedEx offer reliable international air courier services whilst TNT has a strong economy road network. As a result the combination of both businesses joining each other is a perfect operational fit. Giving FedEx an establish road business in Europe that would take many years to try and have grown organically.

FedEx has had a remarkable journey right from its inception. The company had almost gone bankrupt in just three years after formation. Its founder Frederick W. Smith used the five thousand bucks the company had in cash, played Black Jack in Vegas, won thirty two grand and deposited it in the company bank account which kept them afloat for a few days. The story thereafter as they say is history. Presently, FedEx is one of the largest shipping and logistics companies in the world with annual revenues of circa $49 billion. Whether it is a domestic shipment within the United States or you intend to send a parcel to Netherlands you FedEx can offer a reliable delivery solution.

The merger of FedEx and TNT is partly aimed at strengthening the dominance and particularly expanding the footprint in regions where there is scarce presence. Splitting markets and target audiences would only harm major companies in the long run. Given the development of drones, automated loading and offloading along with several other technological advances in the industry, it is but imperative for many players to join hands and become conjoined networks to offer better services, at faster speeds with greater efficiency but at more affordable costs.

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5 characteristics of a good news report

Each news report is different from the other. But to be considered good it should have the following five characteristics:


# Fairness and balance
As a reporter you must learn to get the other point of view. This may mean calling a person late at night to get his side of the story or even holding back an investigative story for a day. But you must do so. This is the best way to bring balance in the copy.

There may be times when an individual may avoid making a statement. In such a case, state the point, indicating the efforts you made to get his point of view.

Fairness requires that you don’t impute motives. Remember that your news report is going to be read by hundreds of people, and you can influence their thinking by using loaded words. It is always best to use neutral words.

# Accuracy
This is the first requirement of a good news report. You must get all your facts right, starting from the name and designation of the subject to the statements made by him or her. You cannot hide behind the excuse that that there was not enough time to cross check the facts.

The facts that you need to check are:

  • Names and their spellings
  • Designations
  • Incident details. In case it is an accident you must know the exact number of people who were injured or killed.
  • Statements: The quote reported in the news report must be accurate, and in context. It should not be misinterpreted to imply another meaning.
  • If it is a science story you must make sure that all scientific names are correctly spelt, and explained.
  • If it is a sports story then you must make sure that the number of runs made or goals scored are mentioned accurately.
  • If it is a court story you must make sure that the court verdict is presented accurately.

# Attribution
All news reports, with a few exceptions, must be sourced. The source can be identified as follows:

a. Individual: An individual, who witnessed an accident or survived an earthquake, can be quoted by name as an eyewitness.

b. Organisation: A spokesperson authorised by an organisation to brief the media on its behalf. The spokesman can be referred to by:

i) Name and designation
Mr N.Guruswamy, Police Commissioner, told the media…

ii) Designation alone
The Police Commissioner told the media …

c. Anonymous sources: There are occasions when a news source, who happens to be a senior government official or an important leader, does not want his or her name to be used. In such cases, the reporter can attribute the story to informed sources or well connected sources or official sources or sources who don’t wish to be named. However, the reporter must know the source well, and should trust that the information provided is correct.

d. Exceptions: The reporter need not worry about attribution in those cases that he has witnessed. For instance, the reporter can report a cricket match or a rally stating what happened. This is because these are statements of fact that have occurred in public domain, and have been witnessed by scores of people. The same applies to the swearing in of a new government or historical facts.

# Brevity
The importance of this characteristic cannot be overstressed. You must learn to write short stories without missing important facts. Please remember that today’s reader is in a hurry. He does not have the patience to go through long news reports.

Brevity does not mean writing a short story. It also means using short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.

# Clarity
This is not easy to achieve. You are required to report an event in as few words as possible. You can do this if you use short and simple words and keep out irrelevant facts. The intro of your report must be short and crisp. The body must be made up of as few paragraphs as possible with each paragraph devoted to one point.

There should be no ambiguities. The facts must be sourced, and accurate.

tips on writing news reports

If you need are writing a news report, you need to concentrate on the four important parets of a new story – the news, context, impact and emotion. The way you combine these four elements will determine the success of your news story.


Balancing Facts and Style

Readers need to know the facts and who or what may be affected by them. Related stories and background information make up the context and the emotional parts of the story show the human side of it.

Following are tips on writing a compelling and gripping news report.

  • Facts: The facts will answer the: who, what, when, where, why, and how of the news event. A writer has a responsibility to make sure his facts are accurate. If you have to write a report before you get all the facts, then say that in the report.
  • Style: When writing a news report, use the active voice. The active voice is more understandable and has more impact. Make short, concise sentences with action verbs. Your language needs to be simple and not have extra words that don’t really contribute to the focus of the story. For example, the weather or how someone is dressed doesn’t need to be included unless it has a bearing on the overall story. While you are writing, try to anticipate any questions a reader might have while reading your story.

Writing a Good Lead

The lead is the first few sentences of the story. It needs to be strong so it will grab the readers and make them want to read more.

  • If it is a hard news story, which is the breaking news or up-to-the-minute news, then you include as many facts as you can in the summary of the story.
  • If it is a soft news story, which is a human interest story or background information, then you put the facts in the body of the story.

Leads need to tell the reader what the story is about and why it is important. The lead tells the reader why he should read the story. It needs to sound like you are having a conversation; that you are telling a friend about the latest news.

Some errors that are found in leads include the lead having more than one main idea. When this happens, the reader is unclear as to what the story is about.

  • Some leads are lifeless, and need some tension or something that pushes the reader to read on, like dangling a carrot in front of a hungry rabbit.
  • Leads are sometimes dull and predictable. It’s good to make the reader smile or be surprised sometimes.

Lastly, leads can exclude certain readers if they are full of jargon.  Make sure the news report is suitable for everyone to read.

Tips for Better Writing

Here are a few additional tips for writing that apply to writing in general:

  • Words should not be too long or complicated. A news story is not the place to try and impress people with your intelligence or your command of the English language. Pick your words carefully so they are concise and you will use fewer words overall.
  • Make sure your sentences are under 25 words and contain only one idea.
  • Use a simple subject verb object form.
  • Don’t use too many commas.
  • Paragraphs need to say something new and, like sentences, be short and to the point.
  • Never put more than three prepositional phrases into one sentence.
  • Never put more than three numbers in one sentence.

These will help your writing be clearer and easier to understand.