Sensational Headlines, Accurate Reporting

We are all spinners of truth. We should tell it like it is, but we are all spinners of truth. In my newspaper, the editors all insisted on sensationalizing the headlines. Their reasoning is that the public would be interested in buying. There is no harm in making headlines larger than they seem. They serveContinue reading “Sensational Headlines, Accurate Reporting”

Spreading Christmas Cheer in 19th century America

Newspapers were the Facebook and Twitter of the past. They could act as sources of evil, propaganda, and manipulation or as conduits of hope, spreading joy across the nation. When the Nazis took power, the Minister of Propaganda Josef Goebbels took over the radio, newspapers, and movies across Germany that infected millions with diabolical slanderContinue reading “Spreading Christmas Cheer in 19th century America”

Reviewing West Side Story

Steven Spielberg’s rendition of Robert Wise’s 1961 film West Side Story still strikes many chords in America today as it did in 1960s. Other countries have immigration issues that remain divisive. From a flood of Turks in Germany, Algerians in France, to Mexicans and Haitians in the United States, these immigrants seem to rankle theContinue reading “Reviewing West Side Story”

Reviewing Chicago Manual of Style

There are several styles of writing: styles for journalists and public relations professionals, styles for students and scholars, and your own writing tone and style. Whereas, developing your own unique style takes time, there are tried, and true methods of writing based on the subject at hand. Having spent two decades as a journalist inContinue reading “Reviewing Chicago Manual of Style”

Fact Checking is Key to a Clear Story

“Just the facts, ma’am,” Police Sergeant Joe Friday, played by Jack Webb, said on the television show Dragnet. When I was younger than I am today, I remember the time when I got confused. After sitting in on a small government meeting, I reported that the board would remove trees. I thought the trees mentionedContinue reading “Fact Checking is Key to a Clear Story”

Making the Best Use of Deadlines

Did you ever see the episode of The Twilight Zone Time Enough at Last? Originally airing on CBS on Nov. 20, 1959, the main character Henry Bemis, played by Burgess Meredith, has little time to read heckled by his wife and his boss for foolishly spending time reading. However, he survives Doomsday and has allContinue reading “Making the Best Use of Deadlines”

How to Think Like a Journalist: Breaking Through Writer’s Block

I have a confession to make. I’m one of the worst (or best) procrastinators in the world. Sometimes, I relate by saying to myself “I’m taking my time”. This unfortunately is a cop out. What I am NOT doing is following advice from top motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar, whose rule no. 4 of hisContinue reading “How to Think Like a Journalist: Breaking Through Writer’s Block”

How to think like a journalist: Getting the Interview in Government Meetings

At government meetings, reporters assume they can get the story from the mayor, town supervisor, or other leader, but it is a mistake to think that. Let me explain. President Richard Nixon got caught with his hands in a cookie jar, not because Nixon was interviewed, but because Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and CarlContinue reading “How to think like a journalist: Getting the Interview in Government Meetings”