Mark on February 17th, 2010

We journalists love our aphorisms. One of them popped into my Tweet stream this morning: “News is something everyone wants to repress. The rest is advertising.” (The most-loved it would seem, based on how often we hear it, is: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”) All such sayings are cute and […]

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Write or Die (motto: Putting the Prod in Productivity) is an interesting tool to help journalists-to-be get to that magical point where they have the confidence to write quickly. The web-based tool (there’s a desktop app; more on that later) lets you set a word-count target and a time limit, then gives you a writing […]

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Mark on April 17th, 2009

Back when I slung words for a living, I spent as much time as anyone lamenting the inverted pyramid. It’s part of the newsroom culture to deride the beast as soul-destroying, not-real writing and just plain ugly. But I’ve crossed over to the heretical side when it comes to the combination of summary lede and […]

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Mark on April 2nd, 2004

April 24 and 25 are the dates for this year’s Northwest Writers Workshop. Benefits: it’s close, it’s cheap ($70 US for students) and it’s mightly inspirational.

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Mark on April 2nd, 2004

Cliches really drain the life out of writing. While sections such as sports and entertainment are particularly cliche-laden, the news sections aren’t exempt. When you come across them in your writing, cull them ruthlessly.

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Mark on March 28th, 2004

Here’s one to bookmark: the Plain English Campaign Web site. Start with the press release that reports “at the end of the day” is the most disliked cliche of 2004, and go from there.

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Mark on March 28th, 2004

Bill Walsh, copy editor and author of Lapsing into a Comma, wants caption writers to get rid of silly words like “gestures.”

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Mark on March 25th, 2004

“Is the only way to become a big time reporter these days to make stuff up?”

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Mark on March 23rd, 2004

Tom Mangan, a copy editor at the San Jose Mercury News, has some thoughts on the raft of fabrication scandals at his blog, Prints the Chaff.

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Mark on March 23rd, 2004

Jon Udell, a tech writer, explains how he uses the Internet to connect with his readers as part of the process of writing articles.

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