Archive for the ‘Journalism’ Category
Over the past few years, Jim Roberts’ (@nycjim) voice is one I have relied upon during all types of news cycles. His ability to curate the most trustworthy sources for the most important stories has been invaluable for news as varied as the Facebook IPO, Hurricane Sandy and the Boston Marathon Bombings.
I started following Jim when he was assistant managing editor at The New York Times and then became executive editor of Reuters Digital. Now he joins Mashable as executive editor and chief content officer (read his open letter for more details). He was generous enough to give me some time to ask him about the shape of today’s media landscape and his plans for Mashable. I’ve summarized the highlights of our discussion below.
There are many rules that writers must understand and practice to perfectly punctuate their prose.
For news writers and public relations professionals, mastering every single entry in the nearly 500-page Associated Press Stylebook – the say-all of journalistic style – isn’t something achieved overnight. It takes multiple red-ink markings – and perhaps lots of nagging from editors, even at The New York Times – for rules to become common knowledge.
Here are seven hard-to-remember AP style rules that send writers to their guides for a quick refresher:
- Affect vs. Effect: As a verb, affect means to influence: The decision will affect my finances. Affect is rarely used a noun. As a verb, effect means to cause: She will effect change immediately. As a noun, effect means result: The effect of the accident was damaging.
Today, at the MassTLC unConference in Boston, I was part of a media and press relations clinic that columnist Scott Kirsner led, along with Jen Reddy, SVP of Global Marketing for Communispace; Bernd Leger, Vice President of Marketing at Localytics; and Adam Zand, PR manager at TomTom.
The session, aimed at helping companies learn how to raise their visibility, became a Shark Tank-style pitch fest where founders stood up and explained why someone should want to cover them. First, it should be said, there were some great business ideas in that room at the Hynes Convention Center: crowd-sourcing for new video games; turning a photo of white board notes into a Google doc; and a solution to allow employees who may be dispersed to all sign good-bye cards for colleagues who are moving on.
Agreeing to an interview with a reporter can be a pretty terrifying prospect. Making casual conversation is one thing, but making casual conversation with someone writing down everything you say and publishing it? If your first thought is “yikes,” you’re not alone. The truth is that being interviewed by a reporter doesn’t have to be all that scary. Reporters are just trying to do their jobs. Most typically, they’re speaking to you because you’re an expert on something. They’re genuinely interested in what you have to say!
There are some general guidelines. It’s often helpful to treat interviews like conversations (albeit ones that are being recorded). Remember to be friendly and polite – reporters are humans, after all. They’re often busy and stressed so a little bit of “Hi, I enjoy reading your work” never hurts.
When he’s not covering the latest developments in digital media, Brian Morrissey, editor in chief of Digiday in New York, also finds time to run ultra marathons – and tweet – a lot. He’s amassed over 25K followers and tweets about everything from the cronut trend in NYC to native advertising.
Morrissey, who was the digital editor at Adweek for six years before he landed at Digiday, was kind enough to agree to a Twitter interview this week – the latest in our series of InkHouse interviews with the media on the micro blogging site.
The interview was fast and informative. Although Morrissey writes frequently about the online publishing world’s laser focus on pageviews, it was heartening that he also thinks that we’re in a “golden age” for journalism and that quality content will prevail in the end over recycled articles and clickbait. Morrissey also explained how social media informs his reporting both in idea development and story promotion.
An article headline yesterday stopped me in my tracks: “Did Google Just Kill PR Agencies?” In this piece, veteran reporter Tom Foremski discusses new rules issued by Google about links and keywords in press releases. These new mandates are intended to limit any “manipulation” of search rankings. You can read Google’s full explanation here.
Google is not killing off PR agencies though. PR existed before Google and it will exist long after these rules are in place for one important reason. PR is about telling stories, not manipulating search results. Press releases, too, existed before Google. As Foremski wrote, press releases are tools PR people use to interest reporters in writing about the news and we believe that is how they should be used (see our post with nine tips here).
The 2013 AP Stylebook has been published, packed with more than 90 new or updated entries as the de facto guide to news writing marks its 60th anniversary.
Before flipping through the nearly 500-page guide, which provides fundamentals for spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style, here are the most important updates to the revised edition: