When journalism gets stressful

If everyone suffers from information overload these days, spare a thought for the stressed journalists who filter that information for you…

When a South African woman stood trial in New Zealand for killing her three young children, I did not read any of the reports about it. I could not avoid seeing the headlines, but I could choose not to click on any of them. I just couldn’t see how dipping my mind into that awfulness did anybody any good.

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A Beginner’s Guide for Journalists: Taking Notes

Taking notes is one of journalism’s most obvious and yet most under-rated skills. Here are some tips to making the most of that interview…

 My grandmother was a Pitman’s shorthand teacher. Both my mother and her sister could do Pitman’s at the drop of a hat. I tried to learn it (and still have my grandmother’s precious textbooks) but somehow it never took hold.

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How to find a free picture

If you run a blog, or do social media posting for yourself or for your company, you are often going to need a picture (or pictures) to illustrate your work.

If you are lucky, you may have access to images from your organisation’s photographers, or to an agency service.

But if you are not in a big organisation, you will need to find your picture somewhere else. Continue reading

What journalists do (part two): the checking of the facts

Earlier this year, I wrote about the problem of knowing which journalists or publications to trust in a sea of contradictory information.

After I had published the post, I realised that there was a throwaway line about “proper journalism processes” that could do with some expansion. I said:

… a place to start might be local, and small. If there’s a small community publication or radio station in your area, start there. Listen to their reports, read their articles. Does what they say seem fair and reasonable to you, does it match with what you know to have happened in the place that you live? If you are lucky enough to find such a publication, pay attention to the wider sources that they may be using and quoting. Because if they have applied the proper journalism processes to their own work (with the end result that their journalism matches with your knowledge of the world), they will be applying those processes to all the sources they use.

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