Monthly Archives: September 2010

How to write a good lede.*

Writing a good lede* is one of the most formidable challenges any journalist faces.  You’ve got an instant to catch readers’ attention or lose them forever.  You’ve got to find an organizing idea in a notebook full of information, ideas … Continue reading

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Get punctuation and grammar right — or else.

There’s no quicker way to lose readers than to use incorrect grammar and improper punctuation.  If you can’t get the basics right, readers figure, you also can’t be trusted to get the facts right. Pronouns, punctuation and possessives seem to … Continue reading

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Here’s the nut of the matter.

I didn’t have to think long when asked recently for the number one problem I see in students’ writing.  It’s the nut graf, that simple but hard-to-execute idea of telling readers why they should care about your story and, importantly, … Continue reading

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Clink. Clank. Sounds of reporting, writing, fill the air.

Imagine you’re in your first weeks at CUNY and you’re assigned to interview the country’s reigning horseshoe champion.  Hey, in New York, where everyone shows up for a “press availability,” it could happen. What do you do in the few … Continue reading

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