Top tip: Give your audience a break(out)

not teaching,still THINKING … Stuck on a story idea? It happens. But when news breaks or even when covering routine events, here is a good way to generate ideas, provide important information and involve your audience at the same time. It’s called a breakout. And it works because it provides a point of entry for […]

Nurture curiosity — be the ‘idea person’

One of the most important attributes any journalist can possess is curiosity, because it leads to knowledge. Curiosity leads to answers of all sorts. One way to strengthen curiosity is to start with the simplest things you are curious about in your everyday life. Really simple. Like what time the post office closes on Saturday […]

Take 10 steps to better enterprise ideas

In thinking about enterprise story ideas — as master’s students are doing now in their six-week news writing boot camp at the Newhouse School — I am reminded how difficult it is sometimes to develop, as some say, “a story from nothing.” Or so it may seem. But, in fact, the beauty of enterprise ideas […]

Add value on the Web: Video

In our video this week, we allude to a recent classroom discussion about “adding value” on the Web. Most of the ideas for Web elements to complement print stories were good, but they were incredibly ambitious. Most would have required hours of production time, as well as quite a newsroom skill set. Certainly, most of […]

Sign up for Al’s Morning Meeting

Here’s a shoutout to Al Tompkins’ Al’s Morning Meeting. It’s a must read for me every day. You know, not every idea needs to be your own, original idea. Every day, news organizations are basically writing the same stories, or the same kinds of stories, with their own personal twist and their own local taste. […]

Curiosity leads to story ideas

Every semester on the first day of class, I ask students to finish this sentence by writing on an index card: “Today, I am curious about …” Why do I do this? I’m curious myself. I like to know what the students are thinking about and what they want to know. Sometimes I read their […]