Other Stuff

Avoid one-source stories.

Talk to as many people as possible in the time you have for reporting. Make sure you leave enough time for the writing portion of the story. How do you know when you've done "enough" reporting, talked to enough sources, read enough reports? Experience will teach you the answer, and it will be a lot more than you thought at the beginning.

The news reporter's job has three parts: Reporting, writing and meeting deadlines. All three are important, but news reporting couldn't exist without deadlines. The deadline is your discipline. Learn to meet deadlines, learn how to gather information, and the writing style will come eventually.

There is a broad, clear distinction between news writing and advertising. Use your normal objectivity and fairness when writing about advertisers, even if they push you for a "positive" story, and threaten to pull their advertising if they don't get it. Our focus is on the reader. Our job is to write truthful, fair stories, and sensible advertisers will respect that.

The same applies to reporting on the government. We must always give all sides of a story, and we must ask for reaction from all interested parties, but our job is to report the news objectively, regardless of who is involved.

Make sense out of numbers. A number is meaningless without a comparison. If economy grew 5 percent this quarter, how does that compare to last quarter? How does it compare to the same quarter last year?

Story-telling is part of being human. We try to understand experience by turning it into a story. We use the story to remember the experience, and to share the experience with others. We learn through stories. News is a special type of story, one that presents facts without the storyteller’s judgment.