Login | Help

Jon Talton

The art of column writing
0

The art of column writing

By on Apr 17, 2014

At one time, it took many years before a select few journalists could be invested in the purple as columnists. This carried distinct benefits: They were seasoned veterans with the experience, street smarts and capabilities that only time conveys. Sure, a few burnouts were sidelined as columnists, but for the most part this was a [...]

banner ad
The importance of a good lede
0

The importance of a good lede

Before I pick at the splinters in your writing, let me roll out a few of my logs. Here are a week’s worth of ledes from my column and daily blog: It is not true that the recent session of the Washington Legislature failed to accomplish anything. In fact, legislators delivered a sledgehammer to state [...]

Parachuting in for a story: 17 tips to getting it right
0

Parachuting in for a story: 17 tips to getting it right

Nothing beats boots on the ground. With staff and budget cuts, newspapers do less “parachuting in” on stories away from their hometown. That’s too bad because in an interconnected world “local news” is everywhere, and reaching out to another place in your state or region can provide some of the most compelling journalism. So here’s [...]

Beware superlatives and hype
1

Beware superlatives and hype

One of the chief missions of this blog is to give “a kick in the butt” to business journalism. But it’s a tough balance. I want to kick without getting personal or discouraging otherwise good reporters and editors. So without naming names, let me point to a headline I saw recently, “Gila Bend developing into [...]

The basics to finding scoops
0

The basics to finding scoops

In a previous post, I discussed how to respond to the scalding of being scooped. Let’s turn it around. Where do you find your own scoops? If you’re among the anointed that went to an Ivy League school and ended up at a globally prestigious news organization (you know who you are), many of the [...]

Getting people to talk to you
0

Getting people to talk to you

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 [...]

The ‘Ws’: More than just the basics
0

The ‘Ws’: More than just the basics

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 [...]

In name of ‘objectivity,’ don’t fall for false, partisan talking points
1

In name of ‘objectivity,’ don’t fall for false, partisan talking points

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.

What can I tell a young journalist in the age of coding, branding, the gig economy
0

What can I tell a young journalist in the age of coding, branding, the gig economy

“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 [...]

Switch to our mobile site