Online

Think twice about a thankless job

Thankless jobs. Have one? This question came to me today as I was leaving what I’ll generically describe as a lawn mower retail and service store. I was there on a mission to pick up newly sharpened lawn mower blades. They were not ready, so I chose to wait while they were sharpened — about […]

Don’t look at me — it’s on you, now

A relationship with benefits. That’s how we used to define the mutually attractive agreement between reporters and editors. A reporter would tell a source: “I have to ask this question. My editor will want to know.” And an editor was happy to be blamed because, in all likelihood, the question was a legitimate one that […]

Fewer editors in 2020? Not likely

I recently read about an internal report at The New York Times that maps its plan “to accelerate the (digital) transformation while maintaining a commitment to high-quality journalism.” Not surprisingly, the headline on its own coverage states: “New York Times Study Calls for Rapid Change in Newsroom.” Haven’t we been experiencing rapid change for some […]

Be a cautious skeptic — especially now

Look no further than the rash of stories about creepy clown sightings around the country to understand how important it is to be a healthy skeptic. The topic of healthy skepticism is timely, with good reason. Journalists get paid to ask questions, and the aim has always been to ask the right questions to get […]

Gawker 101 — its history and influence

If you don’t know what to think about the recent shutdown of Gawker.com, then you must read Farhad Manjoo’s column, “Gawker’s Gone. Long Live Gawker.” It is rich — full of history and examples that bring context to the development and decline of the digital service. Here are a few tidbits from the column: “It […]

10 easy steps to a better story

Story ideas come from a number of places, including your own curiosity. An effective way to develop an idea into a story is to ask yourself questions. But the key is to ask these questions at the start of story planning, not after the story has been written. Here’s a checklist of 10 questions to get […]