Training Archive

How to turn news into a story people will care about

In my journalism classes, I’ve ditched the standard lists of “news values” limited to a handful of items and used to vaguely suggest why certain stories are published and others aren’t. I explained my reasons in two previous posts (News values reconsidered and News judgment with the audience in control). I replaced them with a

News judgment with the audience in control

In print newsrooms I’ve worked in, certain colleagues were acknowledged as having better or worse news judgment. The “news values” taught in journalism school weren’t referred to explicitly. News judgment was like charisma; you had it or you didn’t. In digital newsrooms, there is temptation to swing the other way, reducing story decisions to consultation

News values reconsidered, or, why ‘man bites dog’ matters

How do journalists decide if a story is worth reporting? They consult the list of possible news values — easy-peasy, since everyone agrees there are just 10 … or 12 … or a different 12 … or eight … or nine-ish … or five … or seven … I confronted that confusion when I started

Teacher’s guide: ‘Startup,’ the podcast

Two things I learned as a business journalist: One, business news can be deathly boring. Two, the best fix is to tell good stories. That’s why anyone teaching a class on entrepreneurialism would be smart to use the first season of “StartUp,” the podcast from Gimlet Media. Gimlet is the brainchild of Alex Blumberg, a

The business of publishing: Lesson for a journalism teacher

Sure, I said, I can teach the Business of Publishing. Granted, all I remember learning about it in college was that libel is expensive, so it’s cheaper to be accurate. But I was a financial journalist for years. And, like every journalist of my generation, I got a crash course in the finances of journalism

Sketchnoting & the big box of crayons: Lesson for a journalism teacher

Journalism, done right, is storytelling. The upside to the increased demands on reporters — to be proficient in text and on video, with photos and maps and social media and on and on — is that journalists have more and more tools to tell stories well. In other words: a big box of crayons. A

Death to the inverted pyramid; life to alternative story forms

I have a hate/hate relationship with the inverted pyramid. I hate the fact that this artifice, created to deal with ancient mechanical issues, is still being justified to journalism students today based on ex post facto reasoning. And I hate the way alternative forms, often based on actual reader habits, are so often derided as

The Five W’s & How: Applying them to an individual fact

The Five W’s (who, what, when, where, why) and How are journalism’s double trinity. They’re generally applied to whole stories, as Jeremy Porter notes on the Journalistics blog. But they’re also a key to fact-checking, especially when you’re reporting on statistics dropped into speeches or such. An excellent example of that is a BBC News

Training your staff: What science says about how to do it properly

Annie Murphy Paul has done an excellent job of summing up (The surprising science of workplace training) a report from 2012 in the Association for Psychological Science that was itself an amalgamation of decades of research (The science of training and development in organizations). The original report’s authors — Eduardo Salas, Scott I. Tannenbaum, Kurt

9 things managers do that sabotage staff training

Newsrooms facing rapid change need training more than ever. But editors — or managers and executives in any kind of organizations — can sabotage training, often without realizing what they’re doing wrong. If you’re a manager in a newsroom preparing for or going through training, watch out for these mistakes: Impatience: Training takes time. It