Archive for February 11th, 2013


Update: The runaway winner for the best Digital First Valentine’s engagement project is the Saratogian, with The Crazy Things We Do for Love. The Saratogian won 365 votes out of 750 votes cast, or 49 percent, a landslide in a 10-way race. A box of Valentine’s candy will be shipped out today to the new (and obviously successful engagement editor Aubree Cutkomp for the newsroom to share.

A second-place box will go out to the Reporter-Herald, which got 133 votes or 18 percent. Defending champion Smart magazine in York, Pa., got 78 votes, just over 10 percent. Thanks to all the newsrooms who participated, and congratulations on lots of successful engagement. Scroll down to read about the winning projects and the rest.

Here’s the original post: As lovers prepare to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Digital First newsrooms are engaging their communities in romance and fun.

Last year, I sent off boxes of Valentine’s candy to the York Daily Record and the Morning  Sun to reward their Valentine’s engagement, voted the best by readers of my blog. I was probably going to let the holiday slide by without note here, but Jessica Benes of the Reporter-Herald in Loveland, Colo., asked if I was going to reprise the contest. So I asked my colleagues to send me their accounts of what they were doing. I’ll let them make their pitches here (in the order submitted, with light editing).

After you’ve read them, please scroll back up here to vote. Again, the winning newsroom gets a Priority Mail box stuffed with Valentine’s candy.

It’s too late for you to compete for the candy if you’re not listed here, but it’s probably not too late to steal one of these ideas (give credit, please, as Jennifer Connor did in the final entry here) for some Valentine’s fun this week.


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I am spending a week at the Daily Times in Farmington, N.M. I’ll be presenting a workshop each day. Today we’re starting with some basic writing skills: writing leads and writing tight.

Many of the points I will be making are covered in these earlier blog posts:

Here are my slides for the workshop:

That’s an old set of slides, updated. Someone chose the template for me. The last few years, my slides have been just black text on white background (unless I’m pulling in screen shots or other photos). If you’ve seen my other slides, I’m interested in which you prefer.

I’ll also be using this clip from “Finding Forrester” (starting at the 2:18 mark), which offers some of the best writing advice you can find in any movie:

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