Tag Archives: journalists

Write This Way, Condensed: Top Writing and Editing Links for July 29, 2010

Photo credit: Everett Guerny, via SXC.

My Reading Notebook
Kitty Bucholtz, writing on Routines for Writers, discusses the paper notebook she uses to write one-page summaries of the novels has read, and how it relates to her fiction writing.

How Media Consumption Has Changed Since 2000
A SlideShare presentation from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Interesting statistics and information on trends in our consumption of all sorts of media.

How to Write About a Boring Topic – 5 Good Writing Tips
Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen discusses ways to dig deeper into a story assignment that you’re not crazy about.

Writers: 8 Alternatives to Magazine Markets
Susan Johnston, writing on the blog Urban Muse, discusses opportunities beyond print magazines for enterprising freelancers. Covers everything from newsletters and catalogs to mobile apps and e-books.

More tips for writing fast | WordCount
Michelle Rafter discusses a couple of ways to cut corners (safely) and get drafts put together quickly without sacrificing quality.

Hire a Journalist | Duct Tape Marketing
The “Duct Tape” folks make the case that journalists, not marketers, should be the content producers in today’s business environment. Good news for unemployed reporters and editors!

Bonus links!

J-Lab | 2010 Knight-Batten Award Winners
The Knight-Batten Awards reward news and information efforts that create opportunities to involve citizens in public issues and supply opportunities for participation. Here are thumbnail sketches of the award-winning projects.

Associated Press: How to Pitch a News Story
This YouTube video, featuring editors from the AP, contains good advice for reporters or PR folks looking to interest editors in a news-oriented story.

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From the archives: A Writer’s Guide to Twitter

I did a series last year on how to use the microblogging social media platform Twitter as a writing coach, and realized the other day that this 3-part series fit right in with my continuing “A Writer’s Guide” series. (You can visit the posts I did recently on blogging and podcasting for writers.)

Here are links to each post in the Twitter series, with a quick explanation of what you’ll find there.

Part 1: Learn from Twitter poetry
Why (and how) nonfiction writers can learn about how to write with brevity and meaning by studying the Twitter version of haiku poetry, Twiku.

Part 2: The art of the retweet
A discussion of what content gets shared on Twitter via a “retweet” and what that says about how to write compelling stories.

Part 3: Digesting bite-sized research
How journalists are using Twitter to crowdsource ideas, find sources and track trends.

Here are a few new links about Twitter as it relates to writing …

Is J-school relevant? (#wjchat)
Multimedia journalism educator Mindy McAdams, on her Teaching Online Journalism blog, summarizes a recent Twitter chat she moderated. The chat was organized by WebJournalist.org and discussed the relevance of journalism education in today’s media landscape.

How To Live Tweet A Conference
Mark Stelzner, writing on the Inflexion Advisors blog, offers a compact post full of tips on the right way to live-tweet conference proceedings on Twitter.

From Telegraph to Twitter: The Language of the Short Form
Roy Peter Clark gets into microblogging and writes about it on the Poynter Online – Writing Tools blog.

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Write This Way, Condensed: Top Writing and Editing Links for May 1, 2010

Photo courtesy of SXC.

10 Tips for (journalists) Designing Infographics
Randy Krum, a visualization professional writing on Cool Infographics blog, provides a wonderful primer for journalists on how to use infographics to communicate the meaning of data successfully.

7 Reasons to Consider Small Clients | FreelanceFolder
Laura Spencer, a regular contributor to the FreelanceFolder blog, points out more than a half-dozen reasons why taking gigs with small clients can pay big rewards. A very well thought out post!

The Audience-First News
Henry Woodbury, writing on Information Design Watch, discusses the future of online news and how newsrooms will transition to a future where the audience calls the shots on what it wants to experience.

Should newspapers embrace a point of view? – Editors Weblog
Alexandra Jaffe covers a thorny topic for print news journalists–should newspapers become more like blogs (or magazines, for that matter) and embrace a strong “stance” that shows in their work? Or do readers demand balance among all opinions presented, whether by sources or reporters?

Programmer-Journalist? Hacker-Journalist? Our Identity Crisis
Aron Pilhofer, writing on MediaShift Idea Lab blog, shares his frustrations about what to call journalists who do what he does–which is lead a team of journalist/developers who build dynamic, data-driven applications to enhance his paper’s online reporting.

4 uses for Foursquare for journalists | Online Journalism Blog
Paul Bradshaw ponders a few ways in which the new location-based social networking “game” Foursquare might help reporters do their jobs.

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Write This Way, Condensed: Top Writing and Editing Links for April 14, 2010

Photo courtesy of SXC.

How Journalists are Using Social Media for Real Results
Mashable.com writer Brenna Ehrlich reports on how journalists are using social media for crowdsourcing, trend tracking, identifying leads and sources, and other research activities.

The Public Editor: The Danger of Always Being On
Clark Hoyt of the New York Times discusses the missteps that his paper is dealing with as they integrate videos, tweeting reporters and other new-media into the reporting of the day’s news. He writes that “several stumbles in the past few weeks have demonstrated some of the risks for a print culture built on careful reporting, layers of editing and time for reflection as it moves onto platforms where speed is everything and attitude sometimes trumps values like accuracy and restraint.”

Twelve Cool Tools for Writers and Others
Laura Spencer, posting on the FreelanceFolder blog site, offers a dozen tools for enhancing your writing productivity.

20 Hi-Tech Tools and Resources for Writers
Education writer Karen Schweitzer, guest blogging for The Writer’s Technology Companion, offers a list of useful (and mostly low-cost) online/mobile tools for writers. Everything from open-source word processing software to an Internet radio station for writers is covered.

Media tycoons wanted: Make your own newspaper
Interesting BBC story about The Newspaper Club, a company offering short-run printing for interested parties using the large presses run by major newspapers during their off-hours!

Bonus Links!
Two posts showing the view from the other side of the editor’s desk …

How to Get Ahead With Reporters | The Spin Within
Financial reporter turned publicist Lisa Fasig offers 10 tips drawn from her years as a journalist on how to help keep reporters happy and writing fair and balanced stories about your company or cause.

5 Ways to Better Engage Reporters | American Express OPEN Forum
Amy-Mae Elliot provides a handful of very simple, easy to implement tips for corporate PR departments to help make their company friendlier to reporters. Very good!

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Twitter as writing coach, part 3: Digesting bite-sized research

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Photo courtesy of SXC.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked about how the microblogging service Twitter can improve your writing and teach writers a thing or two about creating compelling content . However, there’s one last way in which Twitter can be useful to you as a writer: finding the information you need to write a rich, nuanced and credible story.

Our last post on this subject for now covers some posts that discuss ways to use the service while researching a story. And since talking about using Twitter and actually using it effectively are two different things, these resources provide plenty of case studies and links to nonfiction writers out in the field tweeting away.

Twitter for research: why and how to do it, including case studies
Good basic intro from TwiTip to how Twitter works and how to tag your own tweets for future reference. It points out that the two easiest ways to find something out on Twitter are to ask (and ask to be retweeted) and to search, using Twitter Search as your search engine.

Another useful feature of Twitter explained in the article is the hashtag (#creative, for example) concept. Similar to putting tags on blog posts, hashtags are a simple way for Twitter users to slot their content for later retrieval. You can search hashtags by visiting Hashtags.org.

This post also has a comprehensive list of Twitter tools (many research oriented) and a number of research “success” stories.

How we use Twitter for journalism
Marshall Kirkpatrick gives a breakdown of the primary ways the ReadWriteWeb staff was using Twitter to write their stories: uncovering breaking news stories, conducting interviews (either multiple folks contributing short answer to a question or asking followers to help frame questions), doing QA checks (i.e., asking if people remember the name of a particular software, etc.) or promoting headlines once the story is online or published.

Marshall makes an interesting observation about the relationship with readers that develops as he interacts with them during the story development process (The bolding of the next to last sentence is my addition):

“If we’re working on something we think will be of interest, sometimes we’ll prime the pump a bit and let people know what’s coming up. So far, we’ve heard almost entirely positive feedback on these practices. That’s probably based largely on the relationships we’ve got with our readers, many of which were developed using Twitter. If you had 20 to 50 people that consistently offered feedback on your articles, wouldn’t that be great? That’s what it feels like we get on Twitter.”

If Twitter isn’t part of your online strategy, it should be

Chrys Wu’s Richochet blog is all about good ideas in online journalism, which should be a natural match for tweeting nonfiction writers. This short post, from the end of 2007, focuses mostly on examples of good uses of Twitter by journalists and news media. As Chrys says,

“Perhaps the real power in Twitter is in speed and community. Not only were media outlets able to broadcast breaking news updates (in the examples here), non-media people also sent updated, on-the-scene information. Talk about crowdsourcing…”

Twitter to journalists: here’s how it’s done
Monica Guzman of Eat Sleep Publish taught a class on social media to the (now) online-only Seattle Post-Intelligencer last November and gathered the collective wisdom she presented in part by putting out a big public tweet about it. This post shares a lot of the “for journalists, from journalists” tips she got, and includes a number of case studies. Lots of journalists recommend following potential sources and give good advice for how to “come out from behind the byline” without sacrificing any journalistic principles.

Sweet tweets: Journalists using Twitter

Journalists on Twitter – Muck Rack
Muck Rack publishes up-to-the-minute tweets from reporters and writers for many major news outlets.

My Creative Team Wiki / Media People Using Twitter
A long international list of media folks who are active on Twitter.

One more Twitter “tool” (mostly for fun)

Visible Tweets – Twitter Visualizations.
Addictive visual display of current tweets on terms (search operators, hashtags, etc.) selected by the user. Might make a fun background screen for a presentation.

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