Mistakes and missteps

Turn on and stay on — all the time

not teaching,still THINKING … Spaghetti supper one night recently turned into a lesson relearned in how we need to be “on” all the time. The spaghetti saga starts with two cooks in the kitchen. Cook 1 boiled the water. Cook 2 added the pasta. Easy enough. But a simple meal took a nasty turn in […]

3 things to do when you make a mistake

not teaching,still THINKING … Mistakes happen. But then what? To err might be human. But to err and then not take responsibility is unacceptable. Here are some tips for handling the delicate process of correcting a mistake. Be disciplined. Know the process at your news organization for handling an error — whether you made the […]

3 questions to stay positive at work

not teaching,still THINKING … If you find yourself dragging yourself to work, ask yourself these three short questions and see if they help to give you a sense of eagerness instead. Was it fun? We tend to ask that question when we’re curious about some kind of event. But how about our work experience? Work […]

No tips here — and that’s the story

not teaching,still THINKING … Perfection. One definition: “extreme degree of excellence.” That’s what consumers expected from their Hershey’s Kisses, whose tips have been missing since December. It’s a human interest story generated by a disappointed baker, and we can learn a lot from it. Social media played a part. As The New York Times reported, […]

10 dangers when you trim a story

not teaching,still THINKING … Journalists and surgeons have something in common. Trimming a story is like performing delicate surgery. A surgeon wants to leave no evidence of a scalpel or sutures. Journalists, too, aim to trim stories without drawing attention to what has been deleted. But trimming someone else’s copy comes with risks. Writers put […]

6 ways to keep people honest

not teaching,still THINKING … It’s not always easy to know “the right thing” to do, but these tips about honesty can help. They were written from the perspective of editors working with reporters in their all-important relationship. But, realistically, they can apply to just about anyone doing anything in any profession. Educate them. When it […]