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 […]

Don’t look at me — it’s on you, now

A relationship with benefits. That’s how we used to define the mutually attractive agreement between reporters and editors. A reporter would tell a source: “I have to ask this question. My editor will want to know.” And an editor was happy to be blamed because, in all likelihood, the question was a legitimate one that […]

5 questions to ask when writing a lead

This might seem elementary for journalism veterans. It might seem outdated for those in newsrooms without editors. But we think it’s an important message: 5 questions to ask when writing a lead. These questions originally were intended for editors to ask reporters. However, they are questions reporters can — and should — ask themselves. What’s the […]

This list of errors is a wake-up call

In our introduction to Strategy 28 in “Think Like an Editor” — Edit for Accuracy — we share examples of the kinds of errors that can get published when accuracy is not top of mind. Even when you’re conscientious and focused, errors could just as easily occur when your correct information gets sabotaged by auto correct. […]

How to lead when you want to scream

In a feature published on syracuse.com called “CNY Conversations,” editor Stan Linhorst talks each week with a local person in a leadership role. The Q/A is always about “leadership, success and innovation.” Today, the conversation is with the president of a plastics manufacturing firm, and it offers a great lesson for journalists and communicators. Our […]

Encore: Practice patience & politeness

This post originally was published March 18, 2010. It’s about patience, but don’t miss the underlying message. Patience. It’s something we tend not to have a lot of these days, such as when we must wait a few minutes to make a bag of microwave popcorn or 45 seconds to reheat a cup of coffee. […]