Monday, June 16, 2008

Sound advice

Seminar lecturers gave us some wonderful nuggets of knowledge to use while reporting and editing. Feel free to list more. Here are a few:

-Get an ethical structure.
-Learn new...I mean, multimedia.
-Learn a new language.
-Focus on people, not just ideas.
-Learn cop-shop reporting as a starting point.
-Write to people's tastes to get attention.
-Don't sleep through lectures, or Kevin will bust you.
-Get a second source of income-- TV appearances, a book, freelancing, etc.
-Don't get caught up in pack journalism.
-Use scene pieces to set your writing apart. (Show, don't tell.)
-The best opinion pieces are REPORTED. Use the facts to convince people.
-Always use multiple sources.
-Read all the time. No wait, write all the time. Hmm.
-Keep it short and simple. (I call this K.I.S.S.-- Keep it simple stupid.)
-Either there is risk, or there is BANANA, contrary to popular cartoon antics, which depict the presence of a banana as a risk. (Refresher: BANANA is Build Absolutely Nothing Anytime Nor Anywhere.)
-Always ask about the consequences, both foreseen and unforeseen.
-Read the paper by looking at page A2 first. That's where the corrections are made.
-Compare risks to other problems in society to evaluate their relative seriousness.
-Be edgy/provocative/interesting.
-In editorials, give the moral argument. Then, give the "value-added" argument.
-Have editorial discussions in a hall or bathroom to avoid FOI requests.
-Look out for false logic and bad statistics.
-You gotta be cruel to be kind. (Machiavelli)
-Think critically about definitions and assumptions and include that in your story.
-Report numbers in context.
-Correlation does NOT equal causation. (If you didn't get that one by now, shame on you.)
-Write your own counter-narrative in response to misleading media narratives.
-Pitches should be clear and direct.
-Cut words till you can't cut no mo'.
-It's okay to cry.
-Don't just sit in an office for an interview. Take your subject to a place they usually go, or ask them to talk while they do something they usually do.
-Write vignettes of people you see.
-Ask, "And what happened next?"

That's more than a few. Forgive me? Whatever. You know you liked it. Add more.


Contagious said...

Me at my finest. Glad you captured that one.

The Wandering Minstrel said...

Funny..I don't remember falling to the ground after the manly chest bump, but video tells no lies.