10 easy steps to a better story

Story ideas come from a number of places, including your own curiosity. An effective way to develop an idea into a story is to ask yourself questions. But the key is to ask these questions at the start of story planning, not after the story has been written. Here’s a checklist of 10 questions to get […]

How to choose a visual – key questions

What started out as niche journalism — database reporting — has become commonplace today because so much data are readily available online. Data visualization is the art of turning numbers into stories that the audience can “see.” It is made possible with software and online tools — many of them free — with templates that […]

Remember to write the nut graph

In fairy tales, the yarns that are told between “once upon a time” and “they lived happily ever after” are great at lulling little ones to sleep. Maybe that is because the stories are told without a nut graph. Every story should tell readers, succinctly, three things. Why are you telling me this? Why now? Why […]

Quotes as sound bites — a quick tip

Audio files, or short sound bites, are an effective way to include people’s quotes on a digital platform. But these sound bites won’t be of much use if they are captured on a digital recorder and buried in an extensive interview. Neither editors nor reporters have time to handle and edit large files when posting. […]

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. […]