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What writers can un-learn from ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

The release of a hot trailer for the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey has stirred up renewed attention to the book trilogy that spawned it, the work of a very lucky British woman named E.L. James.  I very much like the arc of her personal story: from self-publishing the first book to sales of more than 90 million copies worldwide, with translations into more than 50 languages.  So perhaps I should make this a very short essay with this advice to writers everywhere: Sex sells.

But just as there is good food writing and bad food writing; good sports writing and bad sports writing; there is also good sex writing and bad sex writing. To illustrate this, I have chosen a scene – almost at random – from one of James’s book to analyze. … Read more

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Newspaper group CEO: We need to embrace all media including print

A longtime newspaper man who recently turned academic, Mr. David Boardman posted an essay sharing his personal lamentations about the state of the newspaper business and how the NAA chose to present its industry outlook at the 2014 World Newspaper Congress.

Mr. Boardman’s focus on print publications doesn’t adequately show the changes and growth that are taking place. The reality is that the newspaper business is comprised of multiple platforms, reaching many audiences.… Read more

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Walter Cronkite

Accept praise for something great in your story – even if you didn’t mean it

We writers say we want more praise for our work, but, when it comes, we are often not ready to accept it. We are better at absorbing the blows of negative criticism, perhaps because we suffer from the impostor syndrome, that fear that this is the day that we will be found out, exposed as frauds, banished to law school.

If you are one of those writers who fend off criticism, this essay is for you. As I learned years ago, praise can come at some surprising moments, and for surprising reasons. When it arrives, let it wash over you like a waterfall.

My career in journalism was launched by a short essay I wrote for the New York Times in 1974. It was called “Infectious Cronkitis,” and an editor at the Times by the name of Howard Goldberg told me later that while he liked the essay, he really liked that title.… Read more

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Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013

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Longtime Poynter faculty member Paul Pohlman has died

After a brief illness, Poynter senior faculty member and adviser Paul Pohlman, 70, has died.

Pohlman started teaching at The Poynter Institute in 1979 and 10 years later joined the Institute full-time as head of what was then called the Management Center. In the 24 years since, he led leadership programs and coordinated international training. He also consulted and advised as associate dean, interim dean, a valued colleague and in many other capacities.

Friends celebrated Paul’s 70th birthday last June by wearing masks like the one he’s holding in this photo.

Pohlman was part of the Poynter team that helped establish The Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in Johannesburg, South Africa. For many years he taught in South Africa as part of the program.

“We think we’ve made a difference [there] — gradual, but certainly progress,” he told the Cornell Report in 1997.… Read more

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Monday, Aug. 27, 2012

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Services set to honor former Poynter President, Inquirer editor Jim Naughton

Two separate services in October will honor former Philadelphia Inquirer editor and Poynter President James Naughton, who died earlier this month of complications from cancer. The first service will be held at the Mummers Museum in Philadelphia on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m. The second service will be held at The Poynter Institute on Sunday, Oct. 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. Both services are open to the public. Naughton died Aug. 11, two days before what would have been his 74th birthday.… Read more

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Monday, Sep. 05, 2011

Registration for Leadership Academy

As a leader, you know, things don’t always go according to plan. You came to this page planning to learn more and apply for Poynter’s “Leadership Academy.” We planned to have the information and registration available to you. Unfortunately, our technology defied our plan, and one of our servers needs to be replaced. Once it is, you’ll be able to apply for the program with plenty of time before it’s scheduled to begin. For now, please send us your name and email address and we’ll notify you as soon as we can take your application — by old-fashioned phone if necessary.… Read more

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Registration for Write Your Heart Out in Washington, D.C.

We want you to “Write Your Heart Out.” Unfortunately, our registration system for that program has worked its heart out and needs a replacement. Once we get it a new one, you’ll be able to register for the program in plenty of time before it’s scheduled to begin in Washington, D.C. on October 1. For now, please send us your name and email address and we’ll notify you as soon as we can take your registration — by old-fashioned phone if necessary.… Read more

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Monday, June 06, 2011

Why we published Twitter handle of alleged rape victim

As Mallary Tenore and Kelly McBride started reporting a story about the alleged rape of a young Tampa woman, we knew that we would ourselves confront the dilemma about which we were writing: whether to name the person who revealed her attack on Twitter.

The three of us discussed the options for naming her. We talked specifically about the reasons journalists generally do not name people who come forward in situations like this, at the risk of being victimized a second time by the law, the media and the public discourse about sex crimes.

At the time we talked, I struggled with whether the underlying principle held in this case: We protect potential sexual assault victims because they do not want their situations made public.… Read more

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Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010

How to subscribe to e-mail newsletters

Poynter’s email newsletters are going on hiatus this week as we work to improve our offering. If you are a subscriber, we will be sending you a survey that will help us create our next generation newsletter. If you are not, we will provide a link here starting on July 29 to a survey that will help us in the development of our newsletter.

Thanks,

Seth Liss
Editor, Poynter Online

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Monday, Nov. 29, 2010

FAQs about Poynter.org

We’ve listed some common questions about our website with answers below. If your question isn’t answered here, please e-mail us and we’ll respond as quickly as we can.

How do I login?
Either your NewsU or Poynter.org login should work on Poynter.org now. If you’ve forgotten your username or password, send us an e-mail and we’ll reset your password.

Do I have to register to comment?
You no longer have to register with Poynter.org to comment on one of our stories. You can log in to comment using Facebook Connect or a Disqus ID. We do suggest you use a real name and we require that you follow our feedback guidelines. If you do not, we may delete your comment and/or suspend your commenting privileges.… Read more

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