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…

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Introduction to Twine (Tutorials by Vegetarian Zombie)

I will always love Inform 7, but I chose to develop a journalism training game in Twine (because it will be much easier to teach Twine to my students). To prepare for my game, I spent about 6 hours  (during my son’s last chess tournament) roughing out about 20 lexias. Since then, I’ve spent about 6 more hours turning them into a playable game. Slow going, because every path leads to…


Sports writing: Once a passion, now merely a job

Once, working for an online sports section, it was immediately stressed that the rule of thumb was to churn out six articles over an eight-hour shift for studies showed quantity resulted in more hits than quality. And beyond that, there is even a growing model in some newspaper titles where a league table exists for journalists based on who gets the most clicks and, by extension, they are deemed to…

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Started Making a Journalism Game in Twine

For a long time, I’ve thought about creating a game to teach the fundamentals of journalism. Last weekend during my son’s chess tournament I started roughing out the plot, and today I started using Twine to implement it. Since I already had the plot broken up into text chunks, I got a whole lot done In just 2 hours. I’m trying to create a scenario for the students to explore,…


Journalism academics: mocked by the media and stifled by universities

  [T]he traditional consensus is that journalism education should be focused on practical vocational skills including shorthand, news gathering and news writing and yet it is situated within an academic environment, whose core business is research.Although the practitioner academic is fairly common in universities today, due to the huge rise in converted polytechnics teaching vocational courses, a big divide still exists between practitioners and researchers. |  I recently decided that…


English Major: Working as student journalist “helped me get the job” of technical writer

I just got this email from a student who graduated in May. I’m the adviser to The Setonian, the student newspaper. I think it’s safe to say that working with the Setonian helped me get the job. Several of the tests I took with the company involved me compiling given information into paragraph format, which was pretty similar to writing news articles! The teamwork and leadership experience with the Setonian was…

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Wanted in College Graduates: Tolerance for Ambiguity

“What answer do you want?” “Just tell me what you want me to write, and I’ll write it for you!” I once had a student in a literature class who almost had a panic attack when she found out, from the mock final exam, that the final exam would contain poems and prose passages that we hadn’t gone over in class, so that there was no way for her to…