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For aspiring writers looking to make a name for themselves in the journalism world, the quality of your stories will directly determine your success. We’ve put together a short list of journalism “building blocks” that fortify a strong story. Click the images for more information!
Channel the issue that gets your blood boiling, and become the expert:
“If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.” - Benjamin Franklin
Put in the time with your opening line. It may be your only chance with a reader:
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Find out what information should always be front and center:
“If you build it, they will come.”
Avoid bias –especially your own– like the plague:
“A journal should be neither an echo nor a pander.” - George William Curtis
Facts change minds; pursue them relentlessly:
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has all the evidence. It biases the judgement.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Don’t underestimate the power of a low word count:
Inhale. Exhale. You don’t have to share everything in one breath:
“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” – Herbert A. Simon
People pick their news by headlines. Make yours competitive:
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” - David Ogilvy
Getting started is the hardest part. Don’t be a victim:
- Sunshine Week Website Audit
- Citizen Spotlight: Woody Merry, City Government Watchdog
- Watchful Citizens Follow Founders’ Vision for America
- Citizen Spotlight: Elizabeth Myers, Maryland’s Legislative Watchdog
- TIP SHEET: Writing Letters to the Editor