momma’?” Your friend? Your editor? ✤ You say: They’re ﬁring the football coach. ✤ You write: The Tarrant County School Board voted Friday night during its regular meeting to not renew the contract of football coach Joe Blow.
lede yesterday? ✤ Gubernatorial candidate James Jameson spoke to the weekly PTA meeting about his run for governor. - Yes ✤ Gubernatorial candidate James Jameson told the local PTA last night he plans to increase education funding and ﬁght the use of standardized tests in Texas schools. - No
facts exist; show don’t tell ✤ Young vs. 16 years old ✤ Many vs. 71 percent ✤ Explain how people know things and attribute clearly ✤ Kaufman said he expects the tax base to grow vs. Kaufman said he expects the tax base to grow based on the latest census data.
as coptalk ✤ Cops don’t get out of a car – they exit the vehicle ✤ Cops don’t go places –they proceed there ✤ Criminals don’t carry guns – they display weapons ✤ Write conversationally ✤ Use only the best quotes
ﬂed from the vehicle and Ofﬁcer Jones apprehended him as he was heading toward the school. We’re lucky we caught him when he did,” Sheriff Jones said. ✤ Sheriff Jones said the man was running toward the school when ofﬁcers arrested him. “We’re lucky we caught him when we did,” he said.
words to short conversational ones • Keep sentences short and to one main idea. • Avoid ﬁller phrases: • at this point in time • conducted an investigation into • made the statement that • at a later date • were found to be in agreement • succeed in making • make use of, utilize • give consideration to • past experience • consensus of opinion
unanswered questions ✤ Avoid bias and editorializing ✤ Show, don’t tell ✤ Explain when necessary, avoid jargon/ acronyms/journalese ✤ A little rusty? Sharpen your skills at newsroom101.com or with Poynter’s NewsU