Is the Question Part of the News? (Rarely!)

When Is Asking the Question Part of the News? (Rarely.) 

We mostly only encounter the phrase “when asked about” in reporting, so when students start writing news reports, they tend to gravitate towards that phrase in order to signal to the world, “I am doing journalism now.” In truth, journalists use that phrase only in very specific circumstances, when omitting it would give a distorted impression of the truth. Usually, my students can revise so that the quote does more of the work, making…


Employers Will Hire You For: 1) Leadership; 2) Teamwork; 3) Writing; 4) Problem-solving 5) Work Ethic (NACE 2014)

What do employers say they are looking for in new hires? Do they want drones who are good at following instructions and memorizing the “right answers,” who like working by themselves so their perfect grades aren’t threatened by the unpredictability of group work? No. Here’s what employers do look for: Leadership experience Ability to work in a team Communication skills (written) Problem-solving skills Strong work ethic A GPA above 3.0,…


Unscheduled Disasters in Journalism: Learn to Deal

In school, we expect our professors to answer our questions, to return our emails, to invite us in for a consultation, to pay attention what we say and read carefully what we write. One of the important lessons of being a student journalist is learning how to deal with the unexpected. Unfair things happen in the real world, and part of being a professional is learning how to make the…


Updating Journalism Handouts

I’ve spent the afternoon touching up some older journalism handouts, seeing which are still in good shape, which need some work, and which new ones  I’ll need to create from scratch. I realize I’ve never actually written a handout on the inverted pyramid, writing leads, writing headlines, punctuating quotes from sources… of course there are textbook chapters on all those subjects, but when I have the time, I do like…