After two decades as an award-winning journalist, Chip Scanlan taught writing at The Poynter Institute from 1994-2009. His credits include The New York Times, NPR, The Washington Post Magazine and The American Scholar; two essays were listed as notables in Best American Essays. He lives and writes in St. Petersburg, Florida, and publishes Chip’s Writing Lessons, a newsletter of tips and inspiration.
Smart journalists begin their stories with a simple premise: They know nothing. They recognize that their job is to find out everything they can about a subject, piercing their veil of ignorance and easy assumptions through relentless reporting and … Read more
Before humans learned to write, they documented their lives through images with technologies fashioned from materials at hand. To create the renowned galleries of animals — objects of fascination, dreams of conquest — in the Lascaux Cave, painted … Read more
Editor’s note: We’re looking the never-ending debate over what is called, in journalese, the “nut graf” — that so-what paragraph or section that pulls out of the news or narrative to provide context and significance. In this post, veteran writer … Read more
EDITOR’S NOTE: While we did not annotate this project by ProPublica Illinois, we are including it in “Annotation Tuesday” because the story itself, as published, was an innovative example of annotated journalism. Effective reporters prize public records — … Read more
The first time I met Tommy Tomlinson, he and his wife, Alix Felsing, took me to their favorite spot for breakfast in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they lived and where Tommy wrote a wildly popular column for the … Read more