‘Just enough’ isn’t good enough

not teaching, still THINKING … When a special occasion comes around and we order a roast to entertain, we always order more than the suggested number of pounds per person who will be seated at the table. Usually the standard is given as 1/2 pound per person. We make it 1 pound per person. The […]

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 […]

Be a cautious skeptic — especially now

Look no further than the rash of stories about creepy clown sightings around the country to understand how important it is to be a healthy skeptic. The topic of healthy skepticism is timely, with good reason. Journalists get paid to ask questions, and the aim has always been to ask the right questions to get […]

Gawker 101 — its history and influence

If you don’t know what to think about the recent shutdown of Gawker.com, then you must read Farhad Manjoo’s column, “Gawker’s Gone. Long Live Gawker.” It is rich — full of history and examples that bring context to the development and decline of the digital service. Here are a few tidbits from the column: “It […]

Favoritism vs news judgment

When assessing content, if you must think too long about whether something is fair, then it probably is not, and you should redirect your energy into making it fair. Fairness has to do with being aware of and attentive to nuances, treating people with respect, and anticipating perceptions that readers will take away with them. […]

Rely on your conscience for fairness

Fairness in coverage has to do with being aware of and attentive to nuances, treating people with respect, and anticipating perceptions that readers will take away with them. Fairness has to do with being consistent, yet flexible when circumstances require. A role of journalists is to consider context in making decisions case by case — […]