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Tips/Training

NEWS

From competition to avoidance: 5 styles of conflict resolution

Experts in conflict resolution say people tend to have a “default style” -- a preferred approach that typically we rely on. Here are five styles, drawn from the work of conflict scholars Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann. Which one are you apt use, especially in difficult conversations? Competition: I generally value my goals over relationships. I see conflict in terms … Read More
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10 questions for your headline-writing checklist

Headlines are lifelines to our readers. They grab attention, build trust and help time-pressed consumers focus on the stories they care most about. How do you ensure that they are engaging as well as accurate? Here are 10 questions to ask when you are writing (or editing) headlines. Is it accurate? There’s no such thing as “kind of” accurate. When … Read More
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How innovative is your company? Ask these 6 questions

Innovations can be analyzed so you can evaluate whether they will work at your organization. After you've come up with an idea, here are some questions to ask about your organization and its ability to innovate: Does your organization embrace innovation or accept it reluctantly? Does your organization see innovation as a continuous process or as a one-time event? Does … Read More
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7 ways to avoid jargon in your writing

Anyone who has tried to read a legal document or a technical manual understands how jargon, clutter, numbers and acronyms can jumble together, undercutting meaning and frustrating even the avid reader. Writers must avoid the trap of describing complex issues in complicated prose. Clarity starts with a clear understanding of the topic you are writing about. Here are some other … Read More
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7 graduation speeches that will renew your faith in journalism

As a recent college graduate, I can attest that it’s been a busy — albeit exciting — couple of months. And some journalists and media executives have been getting in on the action. Several prominent national journalists, editors and media executives, including Marty Baron of The Washington Post and Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times Magazine, have addressed the … Read More
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Use these 4 lists to organize your investigative reporting project

Investigative reporting requires that you create a plan. Typically, it's a series of four lists of things you need to do, along with an initial schedule. The lists will change — and often grow — and the schedule may change, but you need to start with a plan to keep yourself organized. List 1: Research The first list includes … Read More
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Here's what you should consider before using a fact-check rating system

One of the hallmarks of fact-checking is to demonstrate whether a claim has been corroborated by facts. Many fact-checking organizations use a rating system when they offer a verdict for a claim they have researched, according to a survey by the Duke Reporters' Lab. Here are some pros and cons to implementing a rating system, such as the Pinocchio scale … Read More
NEWS

9 tips for writing stronger headlines

Headlines are lifelines to our readers. They grab attention, build trust and help time-pressed consumers focus on the stories they care most about. Here are nine ways to write engaging, accurate headlines for any platform. Be specific, not vague. Draw readers in because your headline is compelling. Don't waste readers' time by asking them to keep reading to see what … Read More
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9 ways to end your stories

There are endless ways to end stories, but few hard and fast rules. Yet every writer knows that the story must reach a satisfying conclusion. Here are a handful of strategies on which you can rely. Closing the circle: The ending reminds readers of the beginning by returning to an important place or reintroducing a key character. The tie-back: The … Read More
NEWS

2 types of leads that get right to the news

Whether you're reporting news or telling a story, you know you have to entice your audience instantly. There are essentially two types of leads for any story: direct and delayed. One gets to the point immediately, while the other may take awhile. But each type responds to the central interest: "Tell me the news" or "Tell me a story." Direct … Read More
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Pros (and cons) of open-ended or closed poll questions

Every poll involves a questionnaire that contains a standardized set of questions that are asked of every person. The way a question is asked can affect the answers that people give. In an open-ended question, people answer in their own terms. In a closed-ended format, people choose from a given list of answers. (The vast majority of polling questions are … Read More
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How to avoid clichés in your writing

Roy Peter Clark writes, "Clichés can multiply and take over your story like text-eating bacteria." Playing your cards close to your vest…whistling past the graveyard…minding your p’s and q’s…facing the music…toeing the line…putting your nose to the grindstone…swimming against the tide… Over-reliance on clichés is a form of automatic thinking. As part of the writing process, you may find that … Read More
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6 ways to learn what works on a social media platform

Different audiences live on the various social media platforms, and their expectations for what you share (and how) can be wildly different. Here's how you can learn more about the voice, tone and content for any platform: Start using it and seeing what other people are sharing Ask people who use the platform what types of content they like (and … Read More
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6 tips for writing broadcast stories

Great stories hang in the viewer’s ear and catch the viewer’s eye. Here are some guidelines for writing for broadcast (and beyond). Focus your story by summarizing in three words. Use one theme per story, one thought per sentence. Select, don't compress, what goes in your stories. Tell complex stories through strong characters. Viewers will remember what they feel longer … Read More
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Evaluating ideas you've brainstormed? Here are 6 questions to ask

Innovations can be analyzed so you can evaluate whether they will work at your organization. Here are some questions to ask when you are in the first phase of innovation: gathering ideas. Have you established realistic goals for this idea? Even if this idea had a positive outcome elsewhere, will it work at your organization? Is there a downside to … Read More
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