NOW THAT'S A PERSONAL ESSAY
One of Margaret High’s journalism professors pulled her aside toward the end of class at the University of North Carolina this semester and told her to pen a narrative essay that was close to her heart.
The result covered four generations, spanned decades and involved the KKK — and a Pulitzer Prize.
High wrote about being a fourth-generation journalist. Her great-grandfather, Leslie Thompson, won the prize in 1953 for public service in his crusade against the hate group for the Whiteville (North Carolina) News Reporter, a newspaper that still belongs to her family.
High now plans to follow her great-grandfather's, grandfather's and father's footsteps by pursuing a career in journalism. She said her generation is much more aware of the financial constraints facing publications like her family's, and that she's going to have to innovate.
Still, the fundamentals remain the same.
"I think that illuminating problems that exist within public offices or within government institutions, even within private businesses, I think that's very important," she told Poynter on Monday after class. "I think that journalism is my way to change the world."
You can read her essay here.
USING NATIONAL DATA LOCALLY
A recent investigative partnership from Newsy, Reveal and ProPublica can now impact your own reporting. The project showed how law enforcement officials across the country were inflating their rape case closure, making it look like more cases were solved than actually were. On Dec. 4 and 5, Newsy will host a webinar that will walk local reporters through the data and help them generate records from their own local law enforcement groups. Hosts will be Newsy's Mark Fahey and Mark Greenblatt and Reveal's Emily Harris. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
ODE TO 'PHOTODOGS'
Remembrances of and from George H.W. Bush have been pouring out after he died Friday at 94, and before his state funeral Wednesday. A blog entry from the Associated Press recalls his fondness for the White House photography corps, which he referred to a "photodogs."
"Without exception, the photodogs I knew were a decent, hard-working and good-natured group of dedicated professionals who were passionate about their work."
BIG (EXPLETIVE) PROBLEM
The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information highlighted a juicy case in Georgia, in which public officials were found to be purposefully stonewalling reporters in pursuit of public records (shocking, we know). The screenshots of the texts between the officials are the best (and by that we mean worst) part of this piece.
Wes Anderson, the quirky filmmaker and noted fan of symmetry, is working on a film that Indiewire describes as a “love letter to journalists.” “The French Dispatch” is set at “an outpost of an American newspaper in 20th-century Paris” and stars a typical Anderson cast — Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray and Frances McDormand — and a few fresh faces. In typical contrarian fashion, Slate notes that Anderson “seems to be most interested by things that have died and vanished from the world completely … which means his decision to make ‘The French Dispatch’ at this moment in history is an omen, and not a good one.”
America prefers to watch its news on TV. By Ren LaForme.
Upcoming training on NewsU:
Becoming a More Effective Writer: Clarity and Organization. Deadline: Jan. 4.
The Craft of the Personal Essay. Deadline: Jan. 18.
Is the new NAFTA the biggest trade deal ever, as Donald Trump said? By Manuela Tobias.
How much does the Mueller investigation cost?
By Louis Jacobson.
Politifact is a property of the Poynter Institute.
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