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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.