I recently interviewed my former Arizona Republic colleague Tom Zoellner at the wonderful civic treasure that is Town Hall Seattle. The occasion: His tour promoting his new book, Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World — From the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief. There is life after journalism. Zoellner has a well-reviewed book [...]
Every reporter learns the “Ws”: Who, what, when, where and why. They are the foundation of any good story. But most of them get short shrift after the first two or three paragraphs. But in a fast-moving, “news now” environment, they can be a secret weapon for producing deeper, exclusive content. After all, it’s not [...]
Columnist Jon Talton says the media are particularly vulnerable to the ongoing effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act by false talking points. “Obamacare has plenty of real flaws and deserves penetrating coverage. We don’t need to be stenographers for liars in the service of false balance,” he writes.
“You’d better learn how to play the game, and I don’t just mean the game of football” — North Dallas Forty In 1989, someone gave me a present: A balsa wood kit of a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. We both worked at the Dayton Daily News, which at the time had the greatest concentration of talent [...]
When I was young, I was covering the historic Texaco-Pennzoil trial in Houston. At one point, James Kinnear, the president of Texaco sought me out and we had a great conversation. He left me his card and wrote his private telephone number on it (this was pre-cell phone days). I felt important. “Never forget where [...]
The intersection of government and business is one of the most important and target-rich coverage areas available. Yet most news organizations don’t have it. I first started the beat as business editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer back in the 1990s, handled by the talented Leah Beth Ward. She didn’t disappoint, producing some amazing journalism that [...]
You write that a company’s stock is up 20 percent this year. And leave it at that. It seems like decent, even impressive performance. Unfortunately, without context the reader is being misled. As of Dec. 30, the S&P 500 Index is up more than 29 percent for the year. So, in fact, your company is [...]
You know my mantras: Business journalism shouldn’t be dull. If it is, you’re not executing properly. It should be the sexiest sophisticated story in the newspaper or on the Web site (Don’t waste your time competing for “sexiest dumb”). One classic way to accomplish this still works, as shown by a recent story in Crain’s [...]