Magazines

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 […]

Encore: AP users ‘free’ of this comma

This post originally was published July 4, 2011. The Oxford comma still gets people talking. Social media has been a-Twitter over the mistaken notion that Oxford University would be doing away with the serial comma — use of a comma before the word “and” in a series. No matter to anyone who follows The Associated Press style, which […]

That’s just rude – let’s bust these myths

Known: The media profession is evolving. Known: Technology is enabling new ways to communicate. Known: Newsrooms are changing. Known: Some news organizations are laying off a lot of talent. Known: Some layoffs include every copy editor in the joint. Now, let’s bust some myths about the role of those editors.  Busted: They are not “just” […]

How the past leads to greater good

Institutional knowledge. It’s essential for journalists. It can be lost when people leave a place, creating an information void, and that’s always unfortunate. Worse, though, is when institutional knowledge goes untapped. This could happen easily when: A newcomer does not recognize the value of an old-timer. A newbie doesn’t care about the past, only the […]

Seeing is believing — show, don’t tell

Three elements in stories keep the audience interested and prevent a story from becoming just a recitation of statements and quotes. Anecdotes Examples Details How you use these in stories will make a difference in the end. More important, however, is capturing them in the first place. It takes time and patience and lots of […]

Lots of lessons from fake shark video

Another hoax. Surprise, surprise. How many people published, posted, shared, liked, tweeted, retweeted and commented on the YouTube video of a shark sighting in Lake Ontario — without a bit of skepticism? Hooray for those who at least suspected it was a hoax. Even more important, how many people were genuinely concerned? Here’s a sense […]