Tips

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 […]

What’s your stake in ethical decisions?

not teaching,still THINKING … When it comes to making ethical decisions, a good place to start is by considering three specific stakeholders and then asking yourself key questions about them. It’s a methodical process, and it works. First, the stakeholders: Audience. This includes your news consumers; your many sources; and your advertisers. Peers and profession. […]

10 ways to keep your wits on deadline

not teaching, still THINKING … Now, more than ever, editors must remain unflappable in their roles as gatekeeper, cool head and last defense — sometimes the only defense — against error and misstep. Editors are asked to do more, to know more and to juggle more, and often they have less time to do it. […]

You’re ‘just’ a … what?

not teaching, still THINKING …  This single word — just — can unfairly deflate anyone’s impression of you. I’m just an intern I’m just a part-timer I’m just a volunteer Remove the word “just” and replace it with one of its meanings, “merely,” and you have a false definition of your worth. Why is this […]

It’s time for a long winter’s nap

not teaching, still THINKING … If you were inclined to recline on a winter’s day, would you lay down or lie down? An easy way to know — and to be in the know when using these terms — is to remember the definition of each word. Lay: to place or put, often with “on” […]