Back to School Special: Tips every brand new reporter should know

Here is a recent post from Roy Peter Clark at the Poynter Institute on basic writing and reporting tips. Even if you’re not bound for the world of journalism, some good pieces of advice for this class and writing in general. Roy is a wonderful writer, teacher and speaker. I’ve been lucky to hear him speak a few times. He’s a boundless fountain of advice and wisdom.

By Roy Peter Clark (and friends)

At a Poynter workshop last summer, I met a high school journalist from Tampa named Chloe. She is always trying to improve in her craft. She talks about reading and writing with keen insight. Every conversation I have had with her makes me smarter.

She sent me an email yesterday with this request: “As features editor, and because our publication is student-run, I’m helping some of our newest writers get used to journalistic writing. I was wondering if you had any tips when it comes to training them. If you could tell only three things to a new writer, what would they be?”

What a useful inquiry. I couldn’t stop at three, so I offered her six:

1. Collect more stuff in your notebook than you think you need.

2. Starting with names — double check.

3. Put something interesting/important at the top.

4. Have a person speaking by the third paragraph.

5. Write from a little plan: beginning, middle, ending.

6. Write at least three drafts.

 

He goes on with a lot more. Read the full blog post here.

 

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