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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

Want a strong ending to your story? Here are 3 tips

The start of your story hooks a reader, but the ending is what leaves an impression. It deserves as much attention as your opening. Here are three strategies from columnist Leonard Pitts for writing powerful kickers. End with a twist. Give readers a surprise, and take them in a direction they didn't expect. End with a quote. A great closing … Read More
NEWS

6 hybrid story forms that engage readers

Non-traditional news story forms go by many names: charticles, non-narratives, storytelling devices, alternative story forms, ASFs and alts, among others. Some stand alone as a story, and some are supplemental: forms that clarify, complement and explain information in a traditional news story. And some can either stand alone or complement the story. Here are some hybrid forms, with tips on … Read More
NEWS

4 ways managers can invest their time wisely

In any organization, time is the most precious resource of all. Here are ways a manager can save time by investing it wisely with their staff. Make it clear to your staff what you want and expect from them. Give feedback on how their work is going. Get people involved early and reinforce your expectations often. You'll spend less time … Read More
NEWS

3 tips for editing your own writing

Everybody needs an editor, but there are times when you are the only set of eyes to read what you've written. Whether you're writing a tweet, a breaking news story, an email or a book, here are some ways to read your work with fresh eyes, and find and fix mistakes before you hit send. Sweat the small stuff. Articles--"a," … Read More
NEWS

How to develop your voice as a writer

You probably became aware of a writer's "voice" as a child, listening to stories read out loud or reading them for yourself. How do you develop your own voice as a writer? Lane DeGregory, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times feature writer, suggests these strategies. Read other writing. Find the differences between an Associated Press story that uses a "just … Read More
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3 ways to engage your online community

Community and conversation are not just an outcome of journalism but an essential component of it. Think about all the ways in which you can create an environment for listening to your community, sharing meaningful stories and responding to people's questions, wants and needs. Here are some ideas to get you started. Use your community as a tool to further … Read More
NEWS

5 things you need to know about the Electoral College

It's Election Day, and 538 electoral votes are up for grabs in the 2016 presidential campaign. My Poynter colleague Al Tompkins has created a short video about the Electoral College system. Here are highlights with what you need to know about covering the Electoral College, and why, when the polls close tonight, the election isn't over. Each state … Read More
NEWS

Look for these 6 red flags before sharing social media

Social media can be rife with misinformation. Before you share a Facebook post or use other social media in your reporting, here are some red flags to watch out for: Too good or too horrible to be true Extremely precise/extremely broad Misspellings and bad grammar Audio doesn’t match video Unattributed research Designed to scare or anger Taken from Fact-checking: … Read More
NEWS

5 ways to fact-check data sets

Fact-checkers, and all journalists, rely on data. But before you use the data to fact-check a claim or include in a story, it is essential to fact-check the data set itself. Treat data sets like all other sources. No source should be trusted blindly. Just as you verify statements made by people you interview, check the track record of the … Read More
NEWS

9 questions to help you evaluate the credibility of news sources

Whether you're covering the news or reading/watching/hearing it, the credibility of your sources is key to evaluating the information. Do you trust the sources? Are there enough sources? Enough knowledgeable sources? Are all the questions answered? Is the news credible enough? Here are questions you should ask in evaluating the sources used in information you read, see and hear: Who … Read More
NEWS

In covering election polls, watch these 3 terms

Determining which candidate is "ahead" is the most visible and potentially dangerous element to report in any election polls. Public opinion can change quickly and dramatically. Here are some areas where journalists should focus their attention when reporting on polls that compare voting intention: Margin of sampling error: You hear or read statements such as, “Candidate A leads Candidate B … Read More
NEWS

How to choose between 'that' and 'which' in your writing

The rules of grammar can seem complicated and rigid, but they will help you keep your writing clear and tell a story effectively. When the language is muddled, readers may get confused and quit reading. Here are guidelines for choosing between that and which in a sentence. The rule: Use which for clauses that offer incidental information; use that for … Read More
NEWS

10 ways to engage readers with alternative story forms

Non-traditional news story forms go by many names: charticles, non-narratives, storytelling devices, alternative story forms, ASFs and alts, among others. Some stand alone as a story, and some are supplemental: forms that clarify, complement and explain information in a traditional news story. Here's a look at some supplemental forms, with tips on how to use them effectively. If You Go: … Read More
NEWS

How to find that break-your-heart detail for your story

Every conversation and moment in your reporting process can yield powerful details that guide you to the heart of your story. Here are two ways veteran journalism Diana K. Sugg suggests to search for the clues that lead you to the "sacred moment" in journalism--when you discover what your story is really about. Constantly scan the beat. Read the email, … Read More
NEWS

Questions to ask when covering poll results

Journalists are constantly bombarded with data from polls, particularly as election day approaches. Here are some questions you should ask as you're covering the numbers: Who conducted the poll? Who sponsored or paid for the poll? How many people were surveyed and what's the margin of error? Who are respondents (registered voters, likely voters, state residents, etc.)? When was the … Read More
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