Something that really helped me be more successful in this class was to proof reading. Most of the time you lose points on assignments because of silly mistakes that could easily be fixed if you look over your work more than once. Also, I would say understanding that practice makes perfect is a big part of this class. News writing is not the most natural type of writing and you're not going to get it right the first time. Keep practicing and definitely read your professor's comments on any work that you hand in so you don't repeat mistakes.