Why you shouldn’t ask questions like the White House reporter

White House reporters have reasons for asking long, drawn-out, involved questions – many of which deal with the lack of access to the president of the United States. Still, most of their questions are bloated, filled with grandstanding, obvious comments and opinion. Poynter teacher Al Tompkins shows reporters in this piece why they should focus primarily on simple, open-ended questions – with a sprinkling of closed-ended questions to confirm information.

The dozen basics of interviewing, listening and note-taking

18 Fact-checks of things that were wrong on the Internet

Don’t believe everything you read/hear/see on the Internet. In fact, take most of it with a grain of salt. Here’s why you should always verify information.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/dec/28/18-fact-checks-things-wrong-on-internet/

More about fact checking information.

How to talk about and report on suicide

The hope, of course, is that you never have to write a story about suicide. Few reporters do, which is one reason why we often can be seen as insensitive when journalists must tell the story of a suicide. Most news organizations decline to report on suicides, unless the person is extremely well known, for fear that others will try similar methods to hurt themselves.

If you must report on suicide, I urge you to check out this Storify piece first, before you publish anything.

Reporting primer
This PowerPoint presentation details the basics of reporting, including the three layers of reporting. Check it out.
Reporting

Reporter’s Worksheet
SECTION ONE (to be completed by reporter and editor together)
REPORTER: (Name, phone, email)
EDITOR: (Name, phone, email)

TOPIC/EVENT/IDEA:

First update (verbal or email) due to editor: (date)
Other updates to be scheduled during reporting process (see second section)
DEADLINE FOR FINAL DRAFT TO EDITOR: (date)

MANDATORY SOURCES (interviews, events, online resources, etc. Check off as completed)
1.
2.
3.
4.
OTHER POSSIBLE SOURCES
1.
2.
3.
4.
PHOTO/ART IDEAS
1.
2.
Who is responsible for photo and/or illustrations? (Reporter, editor, other?)
SIDEBAR/TEXT BOXES/ALTERNATIVE STORY FORM POSSIBILITIES
1.
2.

SECTION TWO: REPORTER’S WORKSHEET (completed by reporter during work)

Gave editor status reports on (dates)
I NEED HELP WITH:
1.
2.
3.
TO-DO LIST (sources to contact, etc., check off as completed)
1.
2.
Etc.
GOOD STUFF I’VE FOUND OUT
1.
2.
Etc.

SECTION THREE—READY TO WRITE:
The “nut graf” (central idea) is:
I updated editor on how I plan to write the story on (date).
Remaining photo/art tasks to be done by (whom)
Sidebars, info boxes, alternative story form elements? (if yes, list)

SECTION FOUR – FINAL DRAFT COMPLETE
Submitted final draft (time and date):
Suggested headline for my story:
I will remain available by phone and email for revisions/feedback.

SECTION FIVE – AFTER PUBLICATION ONLINE OR IN PRINT
I have shared my story via: Facebook _ Twitter _ Stumbledupon _ Tumblr _