Going Deeper

If I were your editor, you'd probably ask for another one because I have this obnoxious habit of dropping on a reporter's desk a copy of a story that makes me think about life in a more complex [...]

Characters, characters, characters

It's funny to think about a writer who routinely overwrote as having a sense of urgency, but that's what it was like to read David Halberstam's books. He was so curious, so desperate to truly [...]

How not to blog

It was the greatest feeling: Blogging. Vrooooom! An idea struck me and with nary a thought I had posted it on the Intrenet. Fifteen minutes, at best, from conceptualization to birth. And [...]

Make your story sing before you hit the ‘send’ key

Laurie Hertzel, projects editor at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, surveyed her paper's writers about a widely ignored art: self-editing. Most reporters never become excellent at this because [...]

At the end of the day, do an about-face on clichés

Some day your editor is going to point out the use of an expression in your copy and say: "Let's scrap that. It's the 3rd most-used cliché in the nation and we've already used it 1,266 times in [...]

Eliminate the elliptical!

In some ways, the impending death-oops, I meant dearth-of print journalism will make our story choices simpler: If we assume our audience doesn't need us as dearly for breaking news coverage, we [...]

Critiquing the NYT critique

Just as interesting as the staff critiques of the New York Times' A-1 writing, detailed in the previous newsthinking.com posting, were the reactions of a handful of staffers to the critiques. [...]

The war on leisurely leads and anecdote addiction

The 10-member focus group of writers and editors was resolute in its conclusions: Our paper has too many anecdotal leads and we often don't think creatively about other approaches. Our [...]

‘Passion’ is no ordinary word

By the power invested in me as the owner of a web site, I hereby proclaim April 19, 2006, as National Originality Day. The purpose of National Originality Day is for writers to swear off [...]

Don’t tell me what it’s not. Tell me what it IS

Situation A: You're covering a city council meeting and the council votes 4-1 to deny a development permit for a huge shopping center. The president of the local homeowners association, which has [...]