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.
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How solutions journalism makes your reporting stronger

Solutions journalism is a "howdunnit" approach that offers rigorous and compelling coverage about responses to social problems — reporting that adheres to the highest of journalistic standards. This approach makes watchdog reporting even stronger. Here are other strengths of solutions journalism. Solutions Journalism Provides Context Journalism that fails to cover responses to social problems provides an inaccurate and biased view … Read More
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Questions to ask non-profit staff when you're covering scientific research

Journalists talk to a variety of sources about scientific research. Different types of sources have different qualifications and can provide different types of information. Here are some considerations and questions when you are interviewing non-profit representatives about a study you are covering. For subject matter expertise, ask: Background and training Educational history Depth of knowledge in the field In the … Read More
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9 guidelines to access public and private property

While the First Amendment protects your right to engage in speech, it does not grant you complete access to the property of others. Here are some guidelines to protect yourself from legal risks. Get consent. If you have any doubts about your right to enter property, get consent to enter first. Don’t assume permission. Make sure your use of the … Read More
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How to plan your audio options before you start your story

Producing an effective audio narrative starts with extensive planning well before picking up a mic. When you’re considering audio treatment for a story, make a list of all possible sound sources at the primary physical location. Public events, for instance, are usually a great opportunity to get sound: There are plenty of voices (and interview opportunities), and there might be … Read More
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How reliable is your source? Start by asking these questions

Credible fact-checking is built on reliable sources. To evaluate a source's reliability, ask these questions about the organization behind the sources, data or reports: Who founded the organization? Why? What is that person’s background? Who funds the organization? Do the funders have a political or ideological mission? If there is a board of directors, who is on it? What organizations … Read More
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8 simple steps to edit better video

The best videographers are great video editors. All your work in the field won't matter unless you can assemble your shots into a coherent, compelling story. Here are some tips: Log all your video shoots to save time in the editing process. Log your best shots and your best sound bites so you know exactly what you have. Then use … Read More
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4 verbal listening skills when you're working with staff members

Leaders can help themselves and their staffs by practicing the art of active listening. Here are some verbal skills to help. Encouraging conveys interest, leading the reporter to keep talking. Don’t agree or disagree, but use noncommittal words with a positive tone of voice: "I see," "Uh-huh," "That’s interesting," "Hmmm ..." Restating shows that you're listening and lets the reporter … Read More
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How to find the untold stories in your community

Differences between people and communities play an important role in your coverage and your storytelling. Here are some ways to improve your ability to find and tell stories off the beaten path. Journalists don't have to share beliefs or have a commonality with the people you cover. Interview across differences by showing that you care, researching your subject's background, admitting … Read More
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Questions to ask during the first edit of a story

For an editor, coaching means engaging the writer in an ongoing conversation about the story, from the conception of the idea to the final edit. The more time and thought you invest in this conversation, the less work you will likely face in “fixing” the story when it comes in. One key moment in coaching is during the first edit. Read More
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Questions to ask public relations staff when you're covering scientific research

Journalists talk to a variety of sources about scientific research. Different types of sources have different qualifications and can provide different types of information. Here are some considerations and questions when you are interviewing public relations staff in the industry you are covering. For subject matter expertise, ask: Does this person have academic credentials related to this topic? A client … Read More
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4 guidelines to avoid plagiarizing

Poynter has just launched a new course about avoiding plagiarism and fabrication, created by Geanne Belton in a collaboration with Baruch College. Thanks to the generous support of the Harnisch Foundation, this course is free of charge on Poynter's online training platform, News University. Today's Coffee Break Course is courtesy of this new teaching. Plagiarism breaks the trust between … Read More
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7 ways to improve your video storytelling

The best video stories get close to help viewers feel, taste, hear, smell and see the story. And they get wide to give viewers context and perspective. Here are some ways to bring viewers into your story. Put the camera on the shadow side to record better video. Have your source face 20 or 30 degrees away from the key … Read More
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How audio brings a story to life

Sound is vital to online and broadcast journalism. In radio and podcasts, sound is the only way to impart meaning and convey emotion. Online and in TV, sound can complement words and visuals in powerful ways, often enhancing an already well-told story. Sound can bring a story to life in many ways: Interviews capture the voices of the people we … Read More
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Questions to ask scientists about scientific research

Journalists talk to a variety of sources about scientific research. Different types of sources have different qualifications and can provide different types of information. Here are some considerations and questions when you are interviewing scientists. To understand their academic background, check: Educational background Number of publications Lack of retractions on RetractionWatch.com Questions to ask: Why does this study matter? Why … Read More
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How to focus on the people in every story

The lead of a story makes a promise to the reader of good things to come. The classic journalism device of asking five W's (who, what, where, when, why), an H (how) and an SW (so what) helps you analyze, organize and present the beginning of a news story. Let's start with "who" to discover the newsworthy elements of your … Read More