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Tips/Training

NEWS

How to choose the best multimedia elements for your story

As you plan your multimedia story, you have to decide which tools would best tell each part of the story. Here are some guidelines for choosing different media. Still photos are the best medium for emphasizing a strong emotion, for staying with an important point in a story or for creating a particular mood. They’re often more dramatic and … Read More
NEWS

9 approaches to fact-checking and verification

Tools and technologies play a key role in verification. But traditional journalistic approaches remain essential. Be skeptical of everything that crosses your path, guard against assumptions and work with colleagues to bring fresh eyes to what you find. Here are some verification practices to apply: Develop human sources Be skeptical when something sounds too good to be true Consult credible … Read More
NEWS

9 questions that help you verify information

If you're publishing content, you have a responsibility to verify your information before you share it with others. But you don't have to be cynical and assume everything is wrong. Try being skeptical instead. Skepticism leads to better questions. It is the product of curiosity and critical thinking. Some of the best questions to ask before publishing information include: How … Read More
NEWS

Some guidelines for using semicolons

Punctuation helps a reader understand your story. Commas, periods, dashes and other marks convey the writer's voice. They signal an emphasis or tone in language, as well as telling a reader when to stop or pause. Think of punctuation this way: The comma is a slight break in the thought of a sentence; the semicolon is a longer pause; and … Read More
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

AP: Be specific when using the term 'alt-right'

The Associated Press issued guidance on the term "alt-right" on Monday, recommending that the term itself be used only with context and a look at the group's history and actions. John Daniszewski, the AP's vice president for standards, made the case for getting specific: Avoid using the term generically and without definition, however, because it is not well … 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
NEWS

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
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