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Newsgathering & Storytelling

NEWS

Here's what journalists miss when they don't leave the office

Today let us pay tribute to reporters who, in their quest for a good daily story, boldly defy the Production gods and do the unthinkable: Hang up the telephone and leave the office. Granted, doing a “phoner” often seems like the only recourse when your responsibilities for the day include preparing a story (or two or more) for multiple platforms, posting … Read More
NEWS

A call for really good daily stories

Earlier this month I offered some ideas for how journalists can produce better daily stories. The need is obvious. Thanks to the production demands confronting understaffed newsrooms, reporters and editors are increasingly favoring stories that can be done in a day (or less.) But that doesn’t mean those stories need to be thin, predictable or boring. They don’t … Read More
NEWS

Diverse voices are missing from the debate over showing the Rice video

Once TMZ posted its video of “the punch” — the blow Ray Rice dealt his then fiancée and now wife, Janay Palmer Rice, knocking her unconscious and igniting controversy about how the NFL deals with domestic violence — editors throughout the country faced a single question of journalism ethics: Do we post the video? Poynter’s resident writing coach, … Read More
NEWS

How to cover the Robin Williams story responsibly

The suspected suicide of comedian Robin Williams is an opportunity for journalists to give more coverage to a topic that deserves it. Suicide rates in the United States rose between 2000 and 2007. But screaming headlines, speculation and images of crying fans could do a lot of harm. Journalists have to cover such high-profile deaths -- the key question … Read More
NEWS

Why don't more photojournalists become news directors?

Michaelsen Sinclair Broadcasting Group named Lane Michaelsen its new corporate news director, Rick Gevers reported Aug. 3. Sinclair, the biggest local television ownership group in the U.S., now has three former photojournalists in top news division leadership positions. Michaelsen became a national award-winning photojournalist at WSMV (where I worked with him) and at KARE-11 in Minneapolis. After a … Read More
NEWS

Resources for Journalists Covering Malaysian Air MH17

Poynter is assembling a Twitter list of journalists who are on the ground or near the crash site of the Malaysia Airline jet. These contacts may be especially useful to those of you who want to get permission to use images and get information directly from journalists on the scene. FlightRadar24 is a website that provides global flight tracking. The site provides this data showing where the Malaysia Air jet was last seen on radar. Read More
NEWS

What Harry Potter teaches about naming killers

My colleague Al Tompkins has written about the journalistic imperative of using names whenever we can, including the names of mass murderers. To withhold those names in the hopes of not romanticizing the killer – and not inspiring demented copycats – is an abdication of responsibility by the journalist. We need to know everything we can about the people … Read More
NEWS

Will withholding shooters' names and photos reduce violence?

Sun News in Canada is not naming the person accused of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers and wounding two others last week in Moncton, New Brunswick. The network said in an editorial: When it comes to mass murders, too often, it is attention and infamy they crave. Luckily, shootings of this nature are rare in Canada. And, … Read More
NEWS

Coming clean: notes on becoming an honest writer

I’ve written four books since 2006, and I’m at work on another. But for every book that reaches publication, I have at least one (sometimes two or three) proposals rejected. One of them was to be called “The Honest Writer: A Guide to Originality.” I stumbled upon my proposal last week and delivered part of it to a group of … Read More
NEWS

Be aware tweeting allowed in some courtrooms but not others

This is another in a series of articles by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press covering legal issues that affect journalists. RCFP's McCormick Legal Fellow Jamie Schuman wrote this article. George Zimmerman, right, stands with his attorneys, Mark O'Mara, left, and Don West, center, as they watch the jury enter the courtroom on the 17th day … Read More
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