Take a number — and put it in context

not teaching, still THINKING … Election ads. Full of increases, decreases, numbers and percentages. Whether you are consuming news about the upcoming elections or you are engaged in campaign coverage, here are some quick tips about putting numbers into context that might help. These tips are intended to empower you to publish clear stories that […]

Listen! Can you hear the collaboration?

not teaching, still THINKING … Collaboration is one of those words that evokes strong emotion, and not usually positive. When asked about collaboration and teamwork, journalism students in the past often gave these responses: I’d rather work alone I do my best work independently When I collaborate, people don’t show up for meetings Everyone gets […]

Give up, but don’t quit

not teaching, still THINKING … Time works against us in a publish-every-second world. But it doesn’t have to get the best of us. Here are some tested tips to get you through time-sensitive moments: Give up perfection but don’t quit on quality. That means do check for accuracy, do write for clarity, do communicate succinctly. […]

Trust what you publish, what you read

not teaching, still THINKING … Skeptical about anything these days? It’s not enough for stories to be complete and clear. They also must be free of faults and shortcomings. The best way to look for these — whether you are a journalist or a reader — is to apply methodical scrutiny to a story by […]

It’s true — there’s only one ‘only’

not teaching, still THINKING … If you listen carefully to what people say, you’re likely to hear this phrase: “one of the only …” It doesn’t make sense. Something can be “one” of a specific number, such as one of three, or it can be the “only” one, meaning just that. Words take up valuable […]

Wash, rinse, don’t repeat

not teaching, still THINKING … An embarrassingly number of times, the following has happened to me: Go to washing machine, set all of the dials, start water, open lid — only to find not an empty washer, but instead a washer full of clean clothes, already washed, rinsed and spun. And now those clothes are […]