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

Fake news has journalists responding across the nation

July 11, 2017

In a challenging environment with fewer resources, greater vulnerabilities and increasing attacks from politicians and the politically motivated, how should news organizations respond? One editor-publisher’s approach—a calm, respectful but strong defense of journalism and its essential role in democracy—seems to work.


Letters are the lifeblood of the editorial page

June 12, 2017

Letters to the editor, the exchange of ideas—I consider them the lifeblood of editorial pages and the heart of a newspaper’s and a community’s vitality.


Health care changes spark stories

June 12, 2017

The debate over changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is especially significant to rural areas, and The Rural Blog has several stories that can help inform your local coverage.


Building confidence to write local editorials

May 3, 2017

You’ve resolved to step up your advocacy on the editorial page—specifically, to write editorials on local topics. You sit down at your computer to pound out a draft.


Some cool apps for journalists

May 3, 2017

In April, I was asked to speak on the topic, “New Tools for Newspapers,” at an industry-related conference in Des Moines, IA. Taking the easy way out, I quickly went online and asked newspaper professionals to share their favorite apps, programs and devices.


Trust in the media at historic low

April 12, 2017

Trust in “the mass media, such as newspapers, TV and radio” in polls taken by the Gallup Organization was at 32 percent last year, the lowest ever—and was significantly lower than the 40 percent recorded in 2015. Rural newspapers have often presumed that such trends don’t affect them, because they’re in closer touch with smaller communities, where readers know the people at the paper. That is not as safe an assumption as it once was, based on some events, trends and issues we’ve reported lately in The Rural Blog.


Administration change will bring big changes in your area

March 13, 2017

Big changes in Washington will mean big changes in your county, and we’ve been covering them on The Rural Blog.


A visit with Buckeye State newspapers cures my winter ‘funk’

March 13, 2017

Convention season is an interesting time in the life of a speaker. Most years, I’ll travel directly from one convention to the next between late January and June. Some years, the travel doesn’t slow until July or August.


Broaden the definition of big projects

March 13, 2017

Strike up a newsroom conversation about big projects, and the mind-set often focuses on an in-depth series that can take weeks to research and write, and then will be published over multiple days. Newsrooms should strive to do those projects, even if it’s done only once a year.


Editorial writers don’t have to face the hate alone

March 13, 2017

Amailto:Stebbins-C@mssu.edure you a community journalist who writes meaningful, at times controversial, editorials or columns, thereby putting your neck on the public chopping block?


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