Chip Scanlan

Chip produces "Chip on Your Shoulder," Poynter Online's popular writing advice column. He is an award-winning reporter, feature writer and novelist.


CNN Photo by Brandon Ancil

CNN sheds light on family’s harrowing experience, Alaska’s highest rape rate

CNN Photo by Brandon Ancil

Convicted sex offenders are American pariahs, kept at bay by law and stigma. In the Alaskan wilderness, however, an experiment is underway to keep these criminals close to their communities.

“The Rapist Next Door,” by … Read more

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Cage fighter’s faked death gives life to rich NYT storytelling

Last month, The New York Times continued its streak of publishing groundbreaking newspaper narratives with “Tomato Can Blues,” a longform account of a small-town Michigan cage fighter who faked his own death.

Reporter Mary Pilon crafted a mystery … Read more

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yeni ikon çalışmam

How text-to-speech technology can help journalists avoid copy errors

You’ve run spell-check and closely studied your story. Your editors have done the same and the copy desk — the last line of defense against mistakes — has scrutinized every word and line to ensure error-free copy.

And then the … Read more

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microphone

How journalists can become better interviewers

Every day around the globe, journalists pick up the phone or head out of the newsroom. They meet someone, a stranger or a familiar contact. They take out a notebook or turn on a recording device. And then they perform … Read more

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brain

How brain science can make you a better writer

A TV ad for kayak.com features an unscrupulous doctor manipulating a patient’s exposed brain, turning him into a puppet who flails away at a keyboard hunting and pecking for online travel deals. It’s funny to some, offensive to others, … Read more

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holidaymultimediagifts

A multimedia journalist’s holiday wish list

Technology has filled the journalistic toolbox with an array of innovative gadgets that enable journalists to gather and deliver the news with speed and sophistication. But which ones does a multimedia journalist need? It’s an apt question to ponder given … Read more

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Storytelling on Deadline: A Bookbag for Reporters and Editors

 

 

STORYTELLING THE NEWS:
A Bookbag for Reporters and Editors
Suggested by Chip Scanlan, The Poynter Institute

 

Books

 

“Aim for the Heart: A Guide for TV Producers/Reporters,” by Al Tompkins. Bonus Books, 2002.

 

“The Art and … Read more

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President Barack Obama outlines his fiscal policy during an address at George Washington University in Washington, Wednesday, April 13, 2011. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Rhetorical inventory of Obama’s budget, deficit speech reveals talking points, strategy

The torrent of news stories, analyses, editorials, columns and blog posts about President Obama’s speech on his budget plan focused, appropriately, on the numbers.

But there’s another way to look at it: analyzing the speaker’s words in ways that reveal … Read more

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Putting Voters in the Analyst’s Seat

Political analysis of campaign debates has long been the business of the chatterati: news analysts, commentators, spin doctors. That won’t change, at least not in the ’08 presidential campaign.

But now the digerati — computer wizards — have teamed up … Read more

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Diagramming Palin’s Sentences

Forget politics. Anyone who’s interested in clarity should study this post on Slate.com by author Kitty Burns Florey: “Diagramming Sarah: Can Palin’s sentences stand up to a grammarian?”

In her post, the novelist and copy editor says:

“There are plenty
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