Tips for Editors
The least common denominator among writers: we all saw our own bylines for the first time and were hooked. We think we’re special. We want everyone else to know that too.
The relationship between an editor and a reporter is deep and symbiotic. It carries all the weight and nuance of a marriage. Communication is key.
Reporting is a young person’s game. They have the drive and the energy, but they don’t have the experience. Each successive generation will make the same mistakes. The most difficult part of teaching is repeating the same lessons year in and year out. But remember: it’s not their fault that they’re young. Take your time. Try not to roll your eyes, even though you’ve heard it all before.
Writers may seem neurotic, but it takes a lot of courage to fill a blank page.
Good editors are good nurturers. When you start begrudging your writers their neuroses, it’s time to go back to writing.
When you start to really hate meetings and memos, it’s time to go back to writing....read more
Thou shalt not bore.
Do not start stories with the time, season, or weather conditions.
Do not start with “It was” or “It’s” or “When.”
Do not ever use time sub heads (12:15) to break up a feature story. Write in scenes.
Get an imagination. If it’s been done before, find a different way to do it. If it’s been said before, find a different way to say it.
If you can’t find the killer declarative sentence to lede with, use an evocative scene-setting description.
See like a movie camera—make your writing cinematic.
Always arrive ten minutes early.
At a big gathering, sit in the back, in a place that commands the entire field.
You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
Be more than just a reporter; be a good human being.
Apply the laws of dating.
If something drops, pick it up....read more