Sharing the writing life with Chip Scanlan.

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How text-to-speech technology can help journalists avoid copy errors

You’ve run spell-check and closely studied your story. Your editors have done the same and the copy desk — the last line of defense against mistakes — has scrutinized every word and line to ensure error-free copy.

And then the … Read more

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Monday, Mar. 04, 2013

microphone

How journalists can become better interviewers

Every day around the globe, journalists pick up the phone or head out of the newsroom. They meet someone, a stranger or a familiar contact. They take out a notebook or turn on a recording device. And then they perform … Read more

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Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013

brain

How brain science can make you a better writer

A TV ad for kayak.com features an unscrupulous doctor manipulating a patient’s exposed brain, turning him into a puppet who flails away at a keyboard hunting and pecking for online travel deals. It’s funny to some, offensive to others, … Read more

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Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012

holidaymultimediagifts

A multimedia journalist’s holiday wish list

Technology has filled the journalistic toolbox with an array of innovative gadgets that enable journalists to gather and deliver the news with speed and sophistication. But which ones does a multimedia journalist need? It’s an apt question to ponder given … Read more

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Monday, Jan. 09, 2012

Storytelling on Deadline: A Bookbag for Reporters and Editors

 

 

STORYTELLING THE NEWS:
A Bookbag for Reporters and Editors
Suggested by Chip Scanlan, The Poynter Institute

 

Books

 

“Aim for the Heart: A Guide for TV Producers/Reporters,” by Al Tompkins. Bonus Books, 2002.

 

“The Art and … Read more

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Thursday, Apr. 14, 2011

President Barack Obama outlines his fiscal policy during an address at George Washington University in Washington, Wednesday, April 13, 2011. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Rhetorical inventory of Obama’s budget, deficit speech reveals talking points, strategy

The torrent of news stories, analyses, editorials, columns and blog posts about President Obama’s speech on his budget plan focused, appropriately, on the numbers.

But there’s another way to look at it: analyzing the speaker’s words in ways that reveal … Read more

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Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008

Putting Voters in the Analyst’s Seat

Political analysis of campaign debates has long been the business of the chatterati: news analysts, commentators, spin doctors. That won’t change, at least not in the ’08 presidential campaign.

But now the digerati — computer wizards — have teamed up … Read more

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Friday, Oct. 03, 2008

Diagramming Palin’s Sentences

Forget politics. Anyone who’s interested in clarity should study this post on Slate.com by author Kitty Burns Florey: “Diagramming Sarah: Can Palin’s sentences stand up to a grammarian?”

In her post, the novelist and copy editor says:

“There are plenty
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Thursday, Sep. 18, 2008

Train Crash Leads LA Times to Create Django Database on Deadline

At 4:40 p.m., Friday, Sept. 12, a Metrolink commuter train collided with an oncoming freight train in Chatsworth, Calif., northwest of Los Angeles. The crash, the Los Angeles Times reported, was “the worst in modern California history,” killing 25 and injuring 135.… Read more

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Whose Journalism Is It?

Journalists work hard to report the news and tell the stories of our time. They contribute creativity, energy, passion, critical thinking, doing their best to reflect their community’s diversity and behave in an ethical fashion. I’ve heard people making comments … Read more
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