Act with urgency “Get it right and make it relevant, lively and concise.” — Alan Miller, managing editor/news, Columbus Dispatch Be professional “A courteous journalist will get far more information than the blustering, demanding one. Besides, courtesy in dealing with obnoxious sources shows your professionalism.
Downsizing of reporters, once a taboo topic, is covered regularly now in trade magazines and discussed openly at academic conferences. Consequences are debated, too, including unclear boundaries between news and opinion and old and new media in the corporate ecosystem that includes (AOL)Time/Warner, CBS(Westinghouse)/Viacom and Disney/CapCities/ABC.
The biggest story of my career happened in 1976 when I reported out of Pierre, S.D., that the swine flu inoculation was causing Guillain-Barré Syndrome. The story fell into my lap. But first I had to get out of my chair in the United Press International bureau and walk to the health building to update the percentage of residents getting the vaccine.
Writing coaches typically spend too much time teaching techniques and too little time adjusting attitudes about the writing process. Cub reporters and novice writers usually suffer the same symptoms: They don’t read enough, dislike legwork, elevate style over substance, back into stories and advance their own interests.