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Writing Guidelines

Here are some basic writing guidelines from Skip Issacs, a former reporter, foreign and Washington correspondent, and editor for The Baltimore Sun.

Skip Isaacs | June 27, 2008

Are Reporters Prepared to Cover a Disaster?

1) Do they know their subject? If the answer is no, consider sending your reporters to seminars that help them to understand the subject of the story or, bring experts into the newsroom to conduct a lunch-time discussion.

Cesar Miquel | June 27, 2008

Kindling the Copy Editor's Flame

Working on a copy desk or anywhere in a newsroom should be fun. Copy editors should feel energized by their work. They should look forward to going to work every day.

Steve Buttry | June 27, 2008

Practical Suggestions for Journalists Covering Catastrophe

The term "primary trauma" applies to individuals who have had first-hand experience of a catastrophic event. It would include those who survived or witnessed a catastrophe as well as those who have lost someone close to them. Telling their story to journalists can be damaging to these individuals, or it can be therapeutic. The journalist has a significant role in determining which of these it will be.

Anne Nelson, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and Dr. Daniel Nelson, M.D., University of Cincinnati School of Medicine | June 27, 2008

The Bloomberg Way: 10 Commandments for Business Reporters

Being the best requires precision in language, scrupulous attention to detail, an insatiable thirst for knowledge, persistence in getting any task accomplished, no matter how daunting, the humility to recognize that none of us is infallible, and the decency to address anyone and everyone with concern and kindness.

Cesar Miquel | June 27, 2008

What Makes it News?

Sure, stories abound. But what makes a story compelling enough to tell?

Cesar Miquel | June 27, 2008

Kindling the Flame for Newsroom Executives

Journalists should feel energized by their work. They should look forward to going to work every day. The top editors play a crucial role in setting the tone that makes a newsroom an exciting, fun place to work.

Steve Buttry | June 27, 2008

Taking Care of Yourself

Journalists who are exposed to catastrophe may themselves develop symptoms of primary trauma, through experiencing or witnessing disastrous events, or losing someone close to them.

Anne Nelson, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and Dr. Daniel Nelson, MD, University of Cincinnati | June 27, 2008

Microphone Placement

Keeping the microphone off-axis or at an angle to the speaker is crucial for many microphone to avoid plosives: the popping Ps and hard consonant Cs and Ks. Place the microphone roughly at 45 degrees, between the ear and the nose.

Cesar Miquel | June 27, 2008

Exercise: Judging the News Value of a Story

Assignment: You are the editor. Decide which story in each pair has greater news value and explain your reasons.

Cesar Miquel | June 27, 2008

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