posts about or somewhat related to ‘newsroom’
Not to totally excuse David Brooks here, but his editors share the blame here. A good editor is a reader advocate, and should be adding up and questioning these figures during the editing process.
This is a particular problem with opinion pieces; we’ve all read columns that are chock full of outrageous, untrue bullshit. Editors who let this stuff through typically do it with the excuse that “this is an opinion piece.” True, but facts aren’t a matter of opinion, and a publication has abdicated its role if it allows its opinion writers to publish things that are simply wrong.
— Maureen Tkacik, Columbia Journalism Review, Look At Me! A writer’s search for journalism in the age of branding.
…Not to go all Ed Anger on you, but editor credits make my bowels seize the same way the “letters from the editor” in some magazines do. Graydon Carter! Shut up and let me read my Vanity Fair in peace! I don’t want to know more about the writer of the story, how the story came together, and how wonderful it is. Just let me intuit all of that from reading the story itself.
With bells, whistles and technologies oh, my, we sometimes miss the forest for the trees, forgetting that good journalism is good facts wrapped with good storytelling.
Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement at TBD, walks us through one of his favorite reported pieces and gives the following tips on creating engaging narrative journalism:
- Write as you report
- Get tapes where you can
- Get records where you can
- Identify story elements
- Use dialogue instead of quotes
- Keep you lead brief and enticing
- Identify your key moments
- Keep your beginning in mind when you write the ending
- Read your story aloud
For details on each of these bullets, visit Steve’s blog.
In 2008, Ryan Sholin won a Knight News Challenge grant to create ReportingOn, a Web-based application to connect reporters working on similar stories so that they could share information.
Earlier this week, he mothballed the project and wrote a few words about the experience.
And a few recommendations for developers of software “for journalists:”
- Reporters don’t want to talk about unpublished stories in public.
- Unless they’re looking for sources.
- There are some great places on the Internet to find sources.
- When they do talk about unpublished stories among themselves, they do it in familiar, well-lit places, like e-mail or the telephone. Not in your application.
- Actually, keep this in mind: Unless what you’re building meets a very journalism-specific need, you’re probably grinding your gears to build something “for journalists” when they just need a great communication tool, independent of any particular niche or category of users.
From: Sammon, Bill
To: 169 -SPECIAL REPORT; 036 -FOX.WHU; 054 -FNSunday; 030 -Root (FoxNews.Com); 050 -Senior Producers; 051 -Producers; 069 -Politics; 005 -Washington
Cc: Clemente, Michael; Stack, John; Wallace, Jay; Smith, Sean
Sent: Tue Dec 08 12:49:51 2009
Subject: Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data…
…we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.
— Bill Sammon, Washington Bureau Chief, Fox News, advising news anchors on how they should report climate science.
Colombia’s El Tiempo updates its iPad app with two “editions” each day, one morning, one night.
Writes Mario Gargia:
Indeed, a much debated topic in news app development is the frequency with which they must be updated. I have stated my position on the topic earlier: the app is a medium for relaxation and not for constant beeps and updates. However, I understand this is an issue that has two strong sides for debate.
In the case of El Tiempo, and as I was involved with the early stages of creation for the app, I proposed the idea of editioning, nothing new if you are a journalist of a certain age and remember when US newspapers had morning and evening editions, and sometimes even three a day.
What do you think? Should the app edition update continuously, RSS style, or as a delivered bundle of new stories?
— Nicholas Lemann, Dean, Columbia University School of Journalism, on the role of news organizations in the age of WikiLeaks.