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July/August 2017
Volume 105, Number 4
View as PDF: Click to download


Lynn Walsh: Lessons from the ‘Enemy of the People’
Joy and excitement, anger and frustration, inspiration and hope. These are all emotions that have flooded through me during my term as SPJ president. And I wouldn't take back any of those moments for anything. It has been an honor to represent all of you and speak out on behalf of journalists ...

Journalist, mentor, educator, country girl at heart
At a young age, Nerissa Young filled a few pages with scribbles to proudly show her mother she was a writer. The urge to do journalism, not just writing, came while she worked for WMTD-FM, a mom-and-pop radio station in Hinton, West Virginia, thanks to the excitement of covering her community and the ...

Storytelling: Good in theory and in practice
When I studied martial arts, I spent hours practicing technique. In a controlled environment, it was magic. But each student wondered if it would work on the street. And so it is with narrative storytelling. At writing conferences, we study handouts and discuss stories that have been reported, written ...

Ethics: Clarifying terrifying terms
Ricky John Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Micah David-Cole Fletcher were stabbed May 26 when they attempted to stop a man from harassing two teens with racist and anti-Muslim rants on a train in Portland, Oregon. Best and Namkai-Meche died. A lot of the attention on social media following ...

Freelancing: Putting on the boss hat
Autonomy is part of the appeal of freelancing. As independent journalists, we work with editors as our clients, not our supervisors. We choose our projects and set our own schedules. We may or may not work in our pajamas, or from a lawn chair in the backyard. We’re our own bosses. But sometimes, ...

Become a more effective accountability reporter
You might know the American Press Institute for its deep research on a variety of issues in journalism, something we’ve done for years as a think tank based in the Washington, D.C., area. Recently, though, we decided to study something a little different: people. Here’s how it happened. While working ...

Writing: Handle quotations with care, not obligation
The right quotes can enliven and humanize a story and help make it clear, credible and dramatic. Yet many quotations in media writing are dull, inscrutable and even ungrammatical. (The writer’s defense? Well, that’s what he said.) Overall, as with writing in general, the good quotation’s worst ...

Students and design: a return to kindergarten
Chocolate Milk. Capri Sun drink pouches. Snickerdoodles. Sugar cookies. Pipe cleaners. Glitter glue. Colored feathers. The checkout clerk asks, “Looks like a fun party — kid’s birthday?” “No,” I answer. “Just supplies for a journalism design class. College kids.” And so it went almost every week ...

Weeding the FOI garden
When members of SPJ’s own Freedom of Information Committee have never heard of SPJ’s Project Sunshine or know who their state’s Sunshine Chair is, can we call the effort a failure? Or at least in serious need of an overhaul? The current FOI Committee, under Gideon Grudo’s guidance as chair, undertook ...

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