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Posts by Vicki Krueger

About Vicki Krueger

Vicki Krueger has worked with The Poynter Institute for more than 20 years in roles from editor to director of interactive learning and her current position as marketing communications manager. She is the author of Cleaning Your Copy: Grammar, Style and More – a self-directed e-learning course that consistently is ranked as one of the most popular courses at Poynter News University. Other work includes producing "Best Newspaper Writing," the annual collection of the ASNE Distinguished Writing Award winners and finalists, and editing "Aim for the Heart," a book by Poynter's Al Tompkins for TV reporters and producers. You can follow her on Twitter at @vkrueger and @newsu.
NEWS

A checklist for the tasks and territory of your beat

With the passing of our colleague and friend Steve Buttry, we wanted to highlight some of the teaching he brought to Poynter. Today's Coffee Break Course is courtesy of Introduction to Reporting: Beat Basics, an online course that Steve developed for News University. Like a job description, a beat description outlines the tasks and territory of your beat … Read More
NEWS

6 alternative story forms that can stand alone

Standalone alternative story forms (ASF) do just what their name implies: They stand alone as independent stories, with no traditional story to accompany them. Like a standalone photo or graphic, the standalone ASF needs to be a complete story. It might be all the reader will see about the topic, particularly in print media. Typically, a standalone ASF begins with … Read More
NEWS

4 factors that influence people's attitudes toward facts

The simple but frustrating truth is that facts alone are not enough to provide context and clarity for your audience. Even the most thorough, accurate piece of reporting might still be trumped by a poorly reasoned and false counterargument. Decades of research into the way humans process information and deal with misinformation and propaganda show that people are more inclined … Read More
NEWS

How to write stronger sentences with fewer adverbs

Use adverbs sparingly. At their best, they spice up a verb or adjective. At their worst, they express a meaning already contained in the sentence: The blast completely destroyed the church office. The cheerleader gyrated wildly before the screaming fans. The accident totally severed the boy's arm. The spy peered furtively through the bushes. Consider the effect of deleting the … Read More
NEWS

How observation can turn into an investigative story

Ideas for great investigative stories come from many directions, including your daily activities. But good stories don't tell you they're good stories right away. For example, on your way to work, you may see vacant buildings, a homeless person, dangerous driving, a dilapidated bridge or broken traffic lights. Each of these could lead you to an investigative story if you … Read More
FROM THE POYNTER INSTITUTE

Your roadmap to digital transformation

There are a lot of ways to talk about digital transformation. But the latest program from Poynter will help your media organization make the successful transition to sustainable digital publishing. The Poynter Local News Innovation Program, part of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, will bring together leadership teams from up to 20 news organizations in this unique year-long project. The … Read More
FROM THE POYNTER INSTITUTE

FAQ for The Poynter Local News Innovation Program

The Poynter Local News Innovation Program is a year-long project designed to help your organization make the transition to sustainable digital publishing. A project of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, Poynter's Local News Innovation Program will select up to 20 media organizations for its 2017 program. The application deadline is March 13. Here are the details of the program: Who can apply?  The … Read More
NEWS

How font choices create contrasts in your design

By creating contrast in your design, you guide your audience through the content of your page. One way to create contrast is with type elements. Here are some guidelines for using typography. Try to limit yourself to two typefaces on a publication. Then limit yourself to two weights of each face. Adding italic versions of each weight gives you eight … Read More
NEWS

How to provide context when writing about numbers

Numbers crop up in media stories in the most unexpected places. Your goal is to provide context and the story behind the numbers. Here's how you can write about two terms — risk and rate — accurately and ethically. A rate compares quantities that are measured in different units: for example, an amount or frequency over time or other unit. Read More
NEWS

8 ways to write shorter stories

Do you feel (or your readers) feel as though your stories drag on too long? Do you struggle getting to the point of the story? Story length is a function of focus. When you (or your editor or teacher) has a keen understanding of the what the story is about, it will be easier to revise your work. Here are … Read More
NEWS

4 questions to help you go beyond religious cliches in your reporting

The nagging suspicion that there is more to a story than appears on the surface makes any good journalist keep digging. Here are some guiding questions to help you unearth the religious angle that will enhance and add depth to the coverage of any story, regardless of topic. Cultural influences: Religious partisans, like participants in political or social movements, often … Read More
NEWS

4 guidelines for aggregating news content

Media consumers are bombarded with information from an ever-growing range of sources. Many journalists and news sites act as curators, collecting and sorting information for their audience. You add credibility--and avoid the appearance of plagiarism--when you are transparent about the sources of your information. Here are some guidelines for avoiding plagiarism when you are aggregating content. Publish just the content … Read More
NEWS

4 ways to aim for the heart of your viewers

How do you take a collection of facts and tell a story that engages viewers? There are some simple guidelines you can follow to aim for the heart of your viewers: Engage their emotions. Television is unique in its ability to teach through emotions and sensory experiences. Motivate viewers to watch your story. Consider these angles as you craft stories … Read More
NEWS

9 ways to conquer writer's block

In the writing process, there will be a time when you get stuck and can't write. It may be anxiety, a boring topic, self-criticism or something else that keep you from getting words on paper (or screen). To become a more fluent writer, try these strategies: Trust your hands. Forget your brain for a while, and let your fingers do … Read More
FROM THE POYNTER INSTITUTE

Announcing Poynter's 2017 drone journalism school

Newsrooms around the world are experimenting with unmanned drone aircraft to add context to their visual reports. But drones require a high level of skill and safety awareness and, as of 2016, an FAA license to operate commercially. The Poynter Institute is offering a groundbreaking training initiative to give journalists the skills and strategies they need as these … Read More
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