Archive: Mar 2002

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Filling a Notebook With Narrative

Journalist’s Trade March 15, 2002

Select a good topic. Secure good access. Find good narrative runs. Find character hints in action. Find the right scene details. Find emotionality for your subjects, not for you. Do some contextual research. Find or crystallize the point, the destination. Read more

What Happens Next?

By Journalist’s Trade March 15, 2002

Tom French’s talk was an argument for the power of the slowly unfolding story—the wait, the suspense (though I don’t think he ever used the word cliffhanger). For him, the world in general, and the newsroom in particular, are like … Read more

Salt Lake City, Utah, 1975

By Opinion March 15, 2002

My friend D. reports that when the Vietnam War was winding down, his young son told him that he wanted to celebrate on the day the war ended. “How?” D. asked. And his son said, “I want to blow the … Read more


By Opinion March 15, 2002

In the mid-80’s, I worked at an underground food co-op in Washington, D.C. One night when I was bagging raisins, I noticed that a woman was staring at me. Finally, she stepped forward and said, “Michelle? Michelle Golden?” “No,” I … Read more

Tips for Editors

Journalist’s Trade March 15, 2002

‘Pick three things and just keep working on them, keep reinforcing them.’ Think of each of your reporter/writers as a one-year investment. Match the assignment to the writer, but stretch it each time. Give them things to work on. But … Read more