Jim Sheeler explains how to report & write stories about life & death

The most significant stories we write in journalism and fiction are about life and death: the war in Afghanistan, the killing of Osama bin Laden, the anniversary of 9/11, the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan.

You don’t have to be a foreign correspondent to be a life and death journalist. If you work for a small news organization, you will on a daily basis be writing about public safety, drug abuse, mental health, cancer rates, gang violence and many other issues. You will be required to interview people who are hurting or mourning. You will be forced, in the words of Francis X. Clines, “to tell the morbid truth.”

No reporter I know has been better than Jim Sheeler at reporting and writing these life and death stories with courage, dignity and grace. Even, on occasion, with good humor. Sheeler — who won the Pulitzer Prize for his “Final Salute” series — joined me for a chat about writing stories of life and death. You can replay the chat below …

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.

  • janeqingchen

    You know,Christian Louboutin Shoes is very fashion,you can not miss it.In this Christian Louboutin Sales season, you deserve to have a pair of beautiful shoes with Christian Louboutin.  http://www.heelsvogue.com . kindly visite our website,thanks!!!
    Why Choose Our Christian Louboutin Shoes+ We offer Free Shipping to all over the world.+ All the Christian Louboutin shoes have been worked by a craftsman and finished by hand.+ All the materials are through the careful selection.+ Every elegant shoe is one of masterpiece from Christian Louboutin.+ All shoes are brand new come with Christian Louboutin original box,shoes bag and tissue paper.+ Guarantee fast ship.

  • http://twitter.com/professorhorton Leonard Horton

    Jim is a great guy. I enjoyed listening to his presentation this week at Poynter.