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Archive for January 23rd, 2011

This is another Training Tracks blog post from the archive of No Train, No Gain, originally published June 21, 2004:

An intern asked a couple questions that wouldn’t even occur to a veteran in our newsroom: She was covering an event about three or four hours away and wondered if it would be OK to check out a company car the day before and drive to the event and spend the night. And would it be OK to drive all the way back in the evening after she filed her story?

On the surface, this was a simple matter of logistics, a cautious intern covering her tail as she made plans. And let’s face it, covering our tails is an important lesson for budding journalists to learn.

My answer went beyond the logistical questions to address the unspoken question and one of the most important lessons interns or other young journalists need to learn: trust and responsibility. (more…)

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This is another Training Tracks blog post from the archive of No Train, No Gain, originally published Aug. 23, 2004:

After Charley swept through Florida, a colleague there wrote asking if I had a workshop on covering a hurricane. Working in Omaha now and having spent my career in the Midwest, I responded that I might be able to help with a tornado. By now that colleague might be able to lead his own workshop on covering a hurricane.

How ready is your news operation to cover a disaster? How well do you learn from the disasters and other big stories you cover? (more…)

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This is another Training Tracks blog post from the archive of No Train, No Gain, originally published Sept. 6, 2004:

I started out in training by playing to my strengths. I had spent most of my career as an assigning editor, a department head, top editor and reporter. So my early workshops taught reporting, writing and leadership skills.

A little over three years ago, Joe Hight, managing editor of the Daily Oklahoman, invited me to Oklahoma City to present some workshops for his staff. He ordered a few workshops from my menu, then asked for something for the copy desk.

Well, I have copy editing experience. In fact, I was a pretty good copy editor. But that was 17 years ago (when Joe was asking; 20 years ago now). And perhaps no job has faced more changes and pressures as technology and economics have changed newsrooms. I balked, but Joe can be pretty persuasive, so I agreed to present a workshop for copy editors. (more…)

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This is another Training Tracks blog post from the archive of No Train, No Gain, originally published Oct. 25, 2004:

My initial reaction when an editor asked me to adapt my “Becoming a Storyteller” workshop to stress stories under 12 inches was cynicism.

I thought (and still think) that newspapers risk shooting themselves into the foot when they set arbitrary limits on stories. Certainly too many stories (not necessarily the longer stories) in newspapers are too long. I have developed a workshop to teach writers and editors how to tighten their stories. But I’ve always believed that newspapers need more, not less, of those spellbinding stories that the reader just can’t put down. (more…)

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