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Tips/Training

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
NEWS

What makes a good pitch? NPR editors weigh in

©2017 National Public Radio, Inc. NPR report titled “What makes a good pitch? NPR editors weigh in” by Alison MacAdam as originally published on training.npr.org on January 27, 2017, and is used with the permission of NPR. Any unauthorized duplication is strictly prohibited. Pitching is hard. Every one of us has gotten excited about an idea, prepped it, pitched … Read More
NEWS

2 tips when interviewing for audio stories

The basics of good interviewing apply to an audio story. But there are additional factors for audio narratives, especially if you’re planning to tell the story without the benefit of a reporter or narrator. Here are some tips for producing non-narrated stories: Ask the person speaking to say their name and occupation in the form of a sentence. This serves … Read More
NEWS

5 stories that can be told with alternative story forms

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. Some opportunities are more ripe for … Read More
NEWS

4 guidelines for writing about climate change

The climate story has moved beyond science and is increasingly local. It touches communities and coverage in new ways every day. As you cover the topic in your area, here are some guidelines for your reporting. Do not conflate science and policy. They are separate things. Science informs policymaking but it does not dictate what policies should be chosen. Read More
NEWS

9 questions for your credibility checklist

When you publish content, whether it's a news story, blog item, tweet or Facebook post, your credibility is at stake. To ensure what you publish is fair, accurate and complete, ask the following questions: Who else do you need to talk to? Does this make sense? What’s missing? Have you kept opinion out of the information—or clearly labeled it as … Read More
NEWS

5 tips for video interviews

Seeing, for many viewers, is believing. But to really “understand” requires explanation and context. That is a key role journalists fill. When you're interviewing a person, you want to capture more than the interview. Here are some tips for b-roll and other ways to add context to your story. Capture as much video of a person as you can before … Read More
NEWS

2 ways to tell stories with polls

Writing about polls or survey results is similar to writing about any news story: It requires attention to the same principles of journalism, such as always reporting with precision and without bias, as well as providing context and looking for the deeper story. Dig Deep — Look at Sub-Groups and Follow-Up Questions Often, the best story can be found by … Read More
NEWS

How to tell an audio story without narration

Standard audio stories have a host introduction, narration, voice tracks and actualities (such as natural sound). But you can also use non-narrated pieces, stories that don't include the reporter's voice or storytelling. Non-narrated pieces aren’t usual, but they can be effective when paired with the right story. These stories can take several forms. First-person essays. This works well for commentaries, … Read More
NEWS

How to make routine stories memorable

Stories that reveal system failures or expose abuses of power are important to your audience. But they can seem dry or boring because they tend to be driven by data. The data builds the skeleton of a story, revealing patterns and subplots. But the heart of the story comes from the people whom the data helps you find. The key … Read More
NEWS

3 ways typography can create design contrasts

Contrast helps to create focal points on a page and a hierarchy for what readers will see first.  Here are several ways to create contrast in your design. Contrast of Size. The largest headline on a page will draw the reader’s attention first, creating a hierarchy of size that moves the reader from the most important stories to the lesser. Read More
NEWS

5 ways to proofread your writing

Mistakes can lurk in your writing, whether it's a story, article, blurb, e-book, caption, tweet, menu, flier, Facebook status, blog post, script, advertisement, graphic novel, comic, brochure, editorial, email, manifesto, letter, birthday card, bumper sticker, wedding invitation, classified ad or graffiti. One cause of errors: You tend to read (or edit) with your memory rather than to actively read what's … Read More
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