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 […]

Context can enhance even a solid story

BIG numbers. How can journalists convey how big? A good example is found in the work of Manny Fernandez of The New York Times, whose story about Houston after Hurricane Harvey carries the headline: “Over 21 Miles of Highway, Snapshots of a Resilient Houston.” How can we visualize the size of Houston? Fernandez shows us […]

May you keep proper perspective

MAY you … For the month of May, we are devoting this blog to our wishes for journalists present and future: “MAY you … “ Every day, you will find a tip, a tidbit or a top-of-mind piece of advice we hope will help you now and later On the third day of training for interns […]

Warning signs that context is missing

A close cousin to background in a story is context. Together, they might account for no more than two paragraphs or so in a story. They are powerful in their presence and conspicuous in their absence. Here are some warning signs that context or background is missing. Uncertainty over the answer to any of the […]

Pitch or you might get ditched

Pitching stories is THE top request of writers at digital-first operations, newspapers and magazines. It doesn’t matter if the writers are interns, newcomers or veterans. Ideas are not only requested, but also required. And if you don’t start pitching, your value will be diminished — no matter how good you are at what you do. […]

Keep readers up to date: Video

We always try to remember that every reader or viewer is not as up to date on our blog posts as we might be. The same is true of stories and developments that you might be covering. Help your audience by reminding them how you got to where you are today on a story. The […]