Accuracy• Spell names correctly (follow up!)• Quote sources correctly (follow up!)• Check it out (follow up!)• Do the math (follow up!)
Veriﬁcation/Attribution• The mayor said...• According to the police report...• The grand jury’s report will be announced...• “Disneyland rocks,” said Mickey Mouse.• According to Pele, Brazil will win.• “Sony makes great TVs,” states JLo.
Info, Not Opinion• Facts — veriﬁable info• Opinion — someone’s beliefs• Can include — source’s opinion• Cannot include — your opinion (writer’s)
Simplicity• Simple words (don’t get fancy!)• Simple sentences (easier for the reader)• Paragraphs (3 sentences or 100 words)
Clarity, Coherence, Context• Simplicity• Logical — supports larger idea of story• Enough but not too much info
Audience• Who will be reading this?• What do they need to know?• Why do they need to read this?• What can they use from the story?
Deadlines• Learn to write quickly (timed exercises)• Newspapers (for set print time)• Broadcast (for set air time)• Web (for set posting time)
Reporting• Gather info and write• How?• When?• Where?• Good info from good sources
Observation• See what happens (events, disasters, etc.)• What is signiﬁcant?• Be in position to see what you need to see• Generally, don’t participate in events
People• Most info comes from people (interviews)• Credible sources have reliable info• Quotes bring credibility to stories • quote personality, not data or stats
Interviewing• Step 1: What info is needed?• Step 2: Prepping for the conversation • research • compose appropriate questions• Be sensitive with sources who aren’t willing to give info
Questions• Closed-ended questions (Yes or no)• Open-ended questions• Hypothetical questions (What if?)• Agree/Disagree questions• Probes (follow ups)• Personal questions (middle or end)
Records• Stored information (court records, police reports, accounting ﬁles, etc.) • conﬁrm it • out of date • lacks proper context
Skepticism• Conﬁrm info with other sources• Is this information accurate?
Ethical behavior• Tell the truth• Dishonesty, plagiarism, falsiﬁcation (#1 sin)• Using words of others w/o attribution• Misrepresentation — ID yourself• Lose all credibility
Hardware/Software• Google — maps, news, images (source)• Digital camera/video (accompany stories)• Social — Twitter, Facebook,YouTube
Conclusion• Know traditions and practices of editors• Gather acceptable info• Convey info clearly and concisely• Builds trust for you and your organization!