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

Newsrooms have traditionally been open to the public

August 30, 2018

This is adapted from remarks at “Journalists in the hot seat: Staying safe in a hostile political climate,” a panel discussion at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications convention in Washington on Aug. 9. (The discussion was telecast on C-SPAN and is available at

Caring for our readers

August 30, 2018

Editor Jerry Bellune and I go w-a-y back. We’ve known each other since the mid-’90s, when we worked together to breathe new life into a group of newspapers in New Jersey.

Six essential steps to trend reporting

August 30, 2018

A major goal of news reporting is to keep readers abridged of things, so it makes sense that uncovering and understanding trends should be part of any writer’s toolbox.

Tread carefully when requiring down payment for democracy

August 30, 2018

My hometown newspaper instituted a new policy requiring that readers “pay” for the First Amendment right to express, and explain why, who or what they support or oppose at the voting booth.

Shed light on the epidemic of suicides

August 14, 2018

High-profile deaths always grab headlines. Suicides especially draw attention as witnessed by the deaths of renowned fashion designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain. The news was carried in big and small newspapers alike.

Enterprise reporting goes beyond the obvious

August 14, 2018

When it comes to interviewing reporter candidates, many editors want to see examples of so-called enterprise reporting.

Turning newspapers into online conversations

June 14, 2018

About 20 years ago, I was a young reporter working at the Blackstone Courier-Record in the greater Richmond, VA, area. This was long before internet use was mainstream and we had to worry about memes, fake news and how viral a story about the community’s largest pumpkin might become.

Newspapers can reduce stigma of drugs and mental illness; the politics of rural resentment reverberate

June 14, 2018

The stigma that still surround mental illness and drug addiction, especially in rural areas, are major obstacles to addressing those issues. Rural news media can play an important role in reducing stigma and helping individuals and communities face up to their problems and deal with them.

Humorous tales from editors for editors

June 14, 2018

Several high school and college students did good work for my newspaper over the years, but one young lady was not exactly committed. Jenny went five weeks without showing up, then strolled into my office like she had never been away. I politely told her to find another part-time job. I said I needed someone who at least phoned when they couldn’t make it to work. She had the audacity to look shocked. Oh well.

Give readers what they need and want

May 4, 2018

One of the wisest comments I ever heard from a newspaper editor was from my friend John Nelson, editorial director of Landmark Community Newspapers. It went something like this: “We need to give readers what they want, but we must also give them what they need—and make them want what they need.”

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