Eleven Resolutions for Reporters and Editors

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Jun 27, 2008 in Journalism Basics

1. I will not approach any story or assignment as routine. If I write or edit routinely, I will be average. I will not be average.

2. I will do my part daily to give the news report pizazz. I will not allow my stories to contribute grayness or dullness.

3. I will not, approach any story with a preconceived notion.

4. I will do something this about long stories. As a reporter, I will not dump my notebook into the computer. As an editor, I will not give the reader long stories simply because it's always been done that way.

5. I will spend more time listening. Wisdom does not begin and end with me. Valuable ideas and insights are available to those who master the art of listening intelligently.

6. I will interview everyone. Reporters and editors who know how to ask the right questions help themselves and their news products. Everyone is a news source.

7. I will continue to ask why. This is the least asked and the least answered question in most news stories. Readers and viewers want to know.

8. I will remember and protect First Amendment freedoms everywhere I go. I will do my part to see that all laws relating to the people's right to know are enforced. I will resist efforts to compromise these laws out of convenience or chuminess.

9. I will get to know my readers or viewers better. I will read and study surveys that explain my community. I will spend time with people outside my usual sphere of associates.

10. I will read my newspaper thoroughly every day. I will read beyond my own stories to be informed about my community and to show my interest in the work of my colleagues. We're all in this together.

11. Overall, I will read more: More newspapers, more magazines, more books. I will pay attention to style and ideas.