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Writing and reporting (Page 4)

Tips for making hard facts easy to comprehend

In a shortened version of a chapter from his book “Help! for Writers,” Roy Peter Clark offers advice for how to make difficult-to-understand facts easy for readers to understand. Among his advice: Translate jargon into terms that will make sense for a reader, use shorter words and sentences, and focus on what the facts mean […]

How reporters can use WhatsApp for newsgathering

Messaging app WhatsApp is gaining traction as a way to distribute news stories, but Alastair Reid writes that the app also presents opportunities for journalists in terms of reporting. Communicating with sources via WhatsApp can help break down barriers between the reporter and source, BuzzFeed News reporter Rossalyn Warren says. Warren used WhatsApp to report […]

How to responsibly report on the Zika virus — and avoid scaring readers

Reporters don’t set out to scare readers when reporting on subjects such as the Zika virus, but Al Tompkins writes that “shoddy” coverage can lead to panic on the part of readers. Tompkins’ advice for reporting on the Zika virus in a responsible way includes writing stories that recommend action but don’t require it, basing […]

A guide to preserving the work you publish online

If you’re publishing your work online, there’s a good chance it will disappear at some point in the future. University of Missouri’s Edward McCain offers tips for preserving your work so you never lose anything important: Save articles as PDFs, pick what matters most to you, think about who owns the copyright before publishing it […]

How to find local reactions to a news event on Twitter

To find local reactions to a news event, Twitter lists can be particularly helpful. Paul Bradshaw outlines how to find Twitter lists for your area and how to set up your search query to get the most useful results. While this technique is useful for a geographical area, it can also be used for any […]

AP: When referring to the Oregon standoff, use the phrase ‘armed ranchers’

The Associated Press’ standards editor Tom Kent offered guidance on Tuesday about how news outlets should refer to those involved in a standoff in Oregon. Kent cautioned against using terms such as “militia” or “militiamen” because those terms may be unclear for readers outside of the United States. Instead, Kent recommends using terms such as […]

How Gannett is using a team to produce investigative journalism for its 10 papers in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, a team dedicated to investigative reporting is producing in-depth journalism, searchable databases and shorter watchdog pieces for Gannett’s 10 newspapers in the state. Gannett Wisconsin’s VP of news Joel Christopher predicts this model “will become the standard for investigative reporting” at small and mid-sized daily newspapers. The idea is that the investigative team, […]

When a phrase is so common that everyone understands it, it’s no longer jargon

Journalists often use the jargon of their sources, but Merrill Perlman writes that some phrases are becoming so common that they can’t be considered jargon anymore. Security phrases such as “active shooter” are ones so often used now that nearly everyone understands them, making the crossover into mainstream usage. However, some common jargon can be […]

Grantland was important to journalism because it ‘represented an ambitious leap into the future’

You might have heard: ESPN abruptly announced Friday it would discontinue publication of Grantland effective immediately (Wall Street Journal) But did you know: Though the closure of Grantland isn’t especially surprising, Chris Cillizza writes, it’s still disappointing considering what Grantland represented. Instead of focusing on the “what,” Grantland asked “so what” and “now what” of […]

Ideas for bringing different voices into your reporting: Pose a central question to a lot of sources and collect responses in different formats than a traditional interview

The Columbia Missourian’s Joy Mayer outlines strategies for reaching “more than the usual voices” and incorporating more diverse perspectives in your reporting. Among her ideas, Mayer suggests posing a central question to a lot of sources (such as people at an event) as a way to gather a variety of perspectives on one topic. Mayer […]

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