Guides for enhancing and extending your resources for reporting, editorial, photojournalism and other content generating areas.

Embrace the Tao of grammar

January 14, 2015

Do you enjoy reading books about the power of positive thinking or how to attract success and wealth beyond your wildest dreams? They bore me to tears. Maybe that’s why I’m broke. But if reading those is the path to wealth, then wealth is not my destiny.

Helping journalists stay on top of health care issues

December 2, 2014

The Rural Blog continues to help rural journalists stay on top of developments in health care, education and the environment, among other issues.

Golf tournaments bring out weekly paper’s top performance

November 3, 2014

When the U.S. Open Championship came to town, Pilot Publisher David Woronoff put all his resources into play to provide top-notch coverage of the golf classic.

5 rules this copy editor is losing sleep over

October 17, 2014

After my last article on things I’m not losing sleep over as a copy editor, I thought it only fair to tell you what is keeping me up at night.

‘Begs the question’ is a phrase best avoided

October 17, 2014

A reader wrote to me about his pet peeve—the misuse of the phrase “begs the question.” He wanted to know whether this rampant misuse had become accepted usage. That can happen, but it hasn’t in this case—and I hope it won’t.

Using county-level data to generate local stories

October 17, 2014

One of our favorite things we do on The Rural Blog is tell rural journalists about county-level data that can help generate interesting local stories. We had several items like that lately, along with several other interesting posts that could be localized.

Commas: Now you see them; now you don’t

August 8, 2014

Do you like magic? Commas are the magicians of our language. They can transform the meaning of a sentence.

Giving your sources a preview of the story

August 8, 2014

It’s probably happened to every journalist as least once. You’ve just completed an interview, one that took an extra coaxing to land. As you’re wrapping up, the subject asks, “Could I see a copy of the story before it goes to print?”

Even here in America, grammar can be fun

July 8, 2014

My brother’s English mother-in-law grew up in a culture that values all things proper, but she lives in the U.S., so she’s constantly assaulted by American “anti-grammar,” and she reads my column for relief of the mental anguish it causes. She asked if I dared tackle the usage of lay versus lie. I told her it would likely fall on deaf ears, but I would do it anyway, so here goes:

Be careful not to squelch reader exchange

July 8, 2014

We’ve all received letters that give us pause as to whether they should ever see the light of day on our editorial pages. In the editor’s mind, there are numerous reasons to dismiss the letter out of hand.

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