ADVERTISEMENT

Tips/Training

NEWS

5 guidelines for writing about poll numbers

Reporting on polls or survey results is similar to reporting on any other news story: It requires attention to the same principles of journalism, such as always reporting with precision and without bias. In addition, journalists need to make the results understandable and intelligible for an audience that may have little statistical training. Here are some do's and don'ts for … Read More
NEWS

3 ways to find and fix mistakes in your writing

In the crush of deadline, it's easy for mistakes to creep into your writing. Even more, errors can happen at any point in the process. Whether you're writing a tweet, a breaking news story, an email or a book, here are some ways to find and fix those mistakes before you hit send. Pick out and highlight the who, what, … Read More
NEWS

How to tell news from advertising, publicity and more

Sorting through a daily flood of information to find news can present quite a challenge. Information can appear in print, on a website, in an audio or video package or on social media. Investigative reports, entertainment, propaganda and advertising can be presented in feature-length films. Here are some ways to put information into meaningful categories that will help you make … Read More
NEWS

How to encourage audience-first thinking

Audience engagement goes beyond traditional journalism to create an environment for listening to your community, sharing meaningful stories and responding to people's questions, wants and needs. Here are some ways to create room for engagement and audience-first thinking in your organization. Start small. Embrace a culture of learning (failure = not learning). Create space for a sandbox and protect that … Read More
NEWS

5 fact-checking questions editors should ask

Fact-checking needs editors, who are the final line of defense in ensuring objective and transparent fact checks. For starters, editors should follow the advice offered by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in their book, “The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect,” which outlines the principles of “the journalism of verification.” Editors should ask: Has … Read More
NEWS

5 questions to ask about automated polls

Automated (or Interactive Voice Response) Polls have received mixed reviews in the polling community. Many remain skeptical of the capability of these polls to produce reliable results. But some believe their track record suggests that the technique can be valid. Some essential questions to ask about IVR polls include: How were households selected to participate? How did the poll address … Read More
NEWS

What to look for in covering Hurricane Matthew

For today's Coffee Break Course, I asked my Poynter colleague Al Tompkins for some tips on covering Hurricane Matthew. His recommendations fall into several categories. Understand these three numbers Barometric pressure. The lower the number, the stronger the storm. Distance. Nautical miles are less than land miles. Speed. Storm speed is typically measured in knots, a nautical … Read More
NEWS

5 tips for writing for TV scripts

Strong, clear writing is the backbone of any script. If your story doesn't make sense to your audience, they will quit watching. Here are some guidelines when you are writing a broadcast script. Read your story out loud. Even if you read it softly, read as if you were saying the story on air. See if it would make sense … Read More
NEWS

How to protect yourself from legal risks while reporting

Documents add detail and confirm newsworthy information in your reporting process. These records might include anything from a photograph to a computer hard drive to internal documents belonging to a company or government entity. When you come into possession of such items, you should know what legal issues you could face if you access, retain or use those materials. Here … Read More
NEWS

3 ways to put more power in your video stories

When words and images compete, pictures win and your viewers misunderstand your story. But when words, images and audio work together, you give your story greater power and meaning. Explain the video Enrich viewers' understanding of your story. Don't simply tell them what they are seeing in the video. Explain what they are not seeing. But be careful: Don't talk … Read More
NEWS

How headline writing and SEO collide

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) includes techniques (both editorial and technological) to ensure relevant content ranks well in search results on search engines. Good SEO calls for breaking--or at least re-examining--some established conventions of headline writing. Consider these ways that headline practices and SEO needs collide: Style issues. Conventional print headlines typically use last names only and abbreviations (in state names, … Read More
NEWS

How to write a clear fact check

Fact-checkers often have to check statements that are confusing, unsupported and unclear. The fact check addressing it should be the opposite. Focus on writing that offers context, clarity and transparency. Context Start by providing context to the claim you're checking. Where and when was it said? To whom? Is there a history of repetition? Is there a pronoun or reference … Read More
NEWS

When covering painkiller crisis, don't blame the victims

The screen shows a woman kicking and screaming. She yells “Oh my god” over and over before crumpling to the ground. The camera shifts to follow a body as it’s loaded into a coroner’s van. Though the woman is now off-screen, her piercing screams can still be heard. Every day, 78 Americans die from an opioid overdose. A clip … Read More
NEWS

Three ways to identify and build your audience

When you are starting a blog, or any online site, your relationship with and understanding of your audience will be the most important aspects of your success. Who are they? Communities break down in different ways for different topics. Here are some examples. Industry community: People whose livelihoods are directly related to the subject Academic community: A crowd of wonks … Read More
NEWS

Where to find story ideas in annual reports

If you are planning on writing about business, you will need financial information about the companies you are covering. Public companies file a 10-K, an annual overview of a company's business and financial condition. It contains extensive background and financial information, including audited financial statements. It is also one of the most difficult documents to read. (Don't confuse the 10-K … Read More
ADVERTISEMENT