"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

101 questions for a journalist?

What do you think? What would you change? What would you add?

101 questions a journalist needs to answer

By Terry M. Clark

1.     Who is a journalist?
2.     What and why is the Fourth Estate?
3.     What did Tom Jefferson think?
4.     How do journalists shop in the free marketplace of ideas?
5.     Do you have “fire in the belly”?
6.     Why are verbs so important?
7.     How active are you?
8.     How to you grow a sentence?
9.     Why do tenses matter?
10.  Why do most sentences need to be short?
11.  Can I have too many prepositions?
12.  How do you recognize news?
13.  Clark/verb quote page
14.  What do people want to know?
15.  Why is the “who” so important?
16.  The “what,” where and when?
17.  How is writing architecture? (Hemingway quote)
18.  How is writing a process?
19.  What’s the importance of a nut graph?
20.  How do you tell a story?
21.  How do you start a story?
22.  How do you grab attention?
23.  What’s a lead?
24.  What’s a second day lead?
25.  What’s a delayed identification lead?
26.  What is the inverted pyramid?
27.  How do you start a sentence/
28.  What do you do with the “heavy cargo”?
29.  Why is readability important?
30.  What is EyeTrak and what does it teach me about writing?
31.  How long should paragraphs be?
32.  What’s a beat?
33.  Why do I need sources?
34.  How do I make eye contact in writing?
35.  What is attribution?
36.  Why do we always use “said,” with quotes?
37.  When do you paraphrase quotations?
38.  Why are anonymous sources avoided?
39.  How do you get an interview?
40.  How do you prepare for an interview?
41.  What kinds of questions are most important?
42.  How can my notes be my best writing tool?
43.  How do I start writing?
44.  William Allen White quote—dip pen into arteries and write
45.  How do I overcome “Writers’ Block”?
46.  Can you imagine the headline?
47.  What makes a “scrupulous” writer? (Orwell)
48.  How do I keep opinion out of news writing?
49.  Can journalism be “fair and balanced.”
50.  Cronkite quote on fairness
51.  How has the Internet changed writing?
52.  What is convergence and why does it change writing?
53.  Why does broadcast writing have to differ from print?
54.  How is broadcast writing different from print?
55.  How is web writing different than print?
56.  Who was Edward R. Murrow?
57.  Who was Walter Cronkite?
58.  Why do you need an editor?
59.  What is the Associated Press?
60.  How does AP affect your job?
61.  Why is the AP stylebook essential?
62. What is the First Amendment?
63.  What kinds of stories emphasize “how” and “why”?
64.  What is a feature story?
65.  What makes a feature story different from straight news?
66.  How do you structure a feature story?
67.  What is libel?
68.   How do I avoid a libel suit?
69.  What’s the only sure defense against libel?
70.  What is “fair comment”?
71.  What is privilege?
72.  What does the Supreme Court say about libel?
73.  What is the right to privacy?
74.  How do I do my job and not violate individuals’ privacy?
75.  What are Sunshine Laws?
76.  What makes records and meetings “public”?
77.  What is meant by journalistic ethics?
78.  Why are journalistic ethics important?
79.  What is the most important ethical principle?
80.  What is a conflict of interest?
81.  What are the most influential journalism codes of ethics?
82.  What does John Stuart Mill have to do with journalism?
83.  What does “On Liberty” say about opinions?
84.  What is an editorial?
85.  What happened to the first American newspaper?
86.  How are newspapers classified?
87.  What are the 10 largest newspapers in America?
88.  Who was Joe Pulitizer?
89.  What was Watergate? (Nixon quote—press is the enemy)
90.  What is a “story conference”?
91.  How does advertising affect newspapers, magazines and broadcast stations?
92.  What advertising terms do you need to understand?
93.   How is campus journalism different?
94.  Horace Greeley quote page
95.  Winston Churchill or Mark Twain quote
96.  Is the media “liberal”?
97.  Will Rogers quote page
98.  What words do you need to talk like a journalist?
99.  How is a journalist a “gatekeeper”?
100.   Is there a future for journalists?
101.   Murrow quote (goodnight and good luck)

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