Fuzzy reporting confuses your readers

Fuzzy reporting confuses your readers By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach Be specific, my first city editor drummed into my poor rookie brain. I’ve not forgotten it. Someone needed to remind this reporter. In an international newspaper, he wrote:  Hamas released some hostages held in the Gaza Strip and Israel freed…

Uvalde editor, honored for his work, wishes he had done more before tragedy struck

Sustaining Rural Journalism Guide to aggressive reporting? Start with the basics. Published Feb. 2024 By Al Cross The town of Uvalde, Texas, pop. 15,000, and its same-named county of 25,000 were very unlucky in May 2022. That’s when an 18-year-old with an assault rifle at an elementary school killed 19…

South Carolina Supreme Court Limits Public Figure Status

South Carolina Supreme Court Limits Public Figure Status Published Feb. 2024 By Eric P. Robinson, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications Ruling in a non-media case on Jan. 17, the South Carolina Supreme Court held that a former public high school football coach and athletic director was not a…

Put a stop to workplace silos

Put a stop to workplace silos By John Foust, Advertising Trainer Jim, who used to work with a local volunteer fire department, told me about the technique they used to keep everyone on the right roads to arrive at fire sites. “It was in the days before GPS,” he said.…

Give readers what they’re interested in

Give readers what they’re interested in By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach NewYorker.com editor Michael Luo pays close attention to his readers’ habits.  He measured the most popular New Yorker stories of 2023 by “engaged minutes” – the time readers spent reading them. He says he was surprised by what was…

Last call to help judge Nebraska’s contest

Last call to help judge Nebraska’s contest By Richard Whiting I’ll not travel down the dark path of Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 album “Nebraska” and its title track, but I will remind you that our compatriots, cohorts, comrades — whatever word suits you best — in Nebraska need our help. If…

Back and Forth and Back Again on Employee/Independent Contractor Standards

Back and Forth and Back Again on Employee/Independent Contractor Standards Published January 2024 By Eric P. Robinson, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications Over the past few years, the National Labor Relations Board has gone back and forth on the definition of and standards for determining whether individuals who…

The rural journalism business model hasn’t failed, but needs updating

SUSTAINING RURAL JOURNALISM The rural journalism business model hasn’t failed, but needs updating Published January 2024 By Al Cross It’s become conventional wisdom that the advertising-based business model of newspapers has failed. But that is not true in many small communities, which could become the nuclei of a national enterprise…

Use your platform to educate, preview – and apologize

Use your platform to educate, preview – and apologize Published January 10, 2024 By Jim Pumarlo, Newspaper Consultant A reader complains that a youth sports story was too negative. Someone questions why a particular quote wasn’t included in a report of a contentious public hearing. Your newsroom brainstorms how election…

Your active listening skills

Your active listening skills By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach The best acting advice I ever heard was to really listen to the actor talking to you instead of waiting to deliver your lines. Your attention will show in your eyes. Career coach Jennifer Herrity advises that active listening  helps you …