Journalism

Sources and Credit

Scott Greenfield is a little peeved that reporters don’t give credit when they pick up stories from bloggers: For many years, mainstream media got a lot of juice as a result of links from the web, from blogs.  We would see a story and pick it up, run with it, comment on it, and people […]

When Press Releases Rule the Media

I just noticed that Matt Haiduk posted a complaint a few weeks ago at his Kane County Criminal Lawyer blog about how often news stories about crime are based on nothing but press releases: If you read a newspaper article and don’t know what’s going on, you’d think a newspaper reporter was sitting in a […]

Journalism Is Hard…Like Oak

I keep telling myself I’d like to do more actual journalism here on Windypundit, and to that end, I’ve been reading the Associated Press Reporting Handbook by Jerry Schwartz. The first few chapters give examples of AP news stories and then discuss the reporters’ approach to getting them. The third chapter discusses “Main Street Welcomes […]

What’s The Real Bob Etheridge Story?

People complain about reporters asking asking crazy questions, but those are sometimes the ones that get the most interesting results. For example, in the video below, the reporter goes through the trouble of setting up an ambush interview on a Congressman, and then asks him a really dumb generic question: “Do you fully support the […]

Why Eric Turkewitz Still Matters

With regard to the issue of giving credit for discovering the “Sotomeyor & Associates” issue, Eric Turkewitz comments: Something might be in the public domain, but it if is buried in a box of other documents, someone still has to go find it. Whether this qualifies as that proverbial box of documents is, of course, […]

On the Ethics of Sourcing For Bloggers and Journalists

Radley Balko used to piss me off. Back in my early days in the blogosphere, I sent him a few links to stories I thought might interest him. He then mentioned those stories in his Agitator blog, but didn’t credit me for sending him the links. Of course, I had no way of knowing for […]

Who Wants to Be A Reporter?

A couple of weeks ago, Kip Esquire posted a New Years Day update explaining that he was changing careers. He’s made up his mind do something entrepreneurial rather than work for someone else, but, I would entertain one exception: namely this blog. Punditry and commentary. If anyone out there has any interest in hiring me […]

Rob Gillies Demonstrates How To Write a Great Lede

I’ve had a few short seminars in newswriting, and one of the things they emphasize is writing a great lede. That’s the first sentence of a news story, and it’s supposed to hook the reader into the rest of the story. I spotted this awesome lede in a piece by AP writer Rob Gillies: Greyhound […]

What Media Consolidation?

My editor at the Chi-Town Daily News (I promise I’ll write something for you soon, Geoff!) is sounding off on his blog about foolish protests against media consolidation. This line pretty much sums it up: [A]dvocating for media reform seems like campaigning against scurvy. It’s energy spent solving a problem that no longer exists. These […]

Wire Reporter Starts Story With Vague Lede

If you were a business writer for a news service, and you had the job of writing the daily stock market news article, and writing essentially the same story day after day was burning you out, maybe you’d do what AP writer Joe Bel Bruno just did and start the next article this way: Wall […]

Interviewing a Client Without the Lawyer’s Permission

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Mark Bennett wrote about reporter Jennifer Latson’s attempt to interview an accused criminal without approval from his lawyer. The suspect’s lawyer was not amused. The lawyer wrote to the reporter requesting that she not talk to his client without first asking him. Her response was “I’d refer you to the United […]

Hunting Ashley

The New York Post seems rather proud of itself for what it claims are the first public photos of Ashley Alexandra Dupre since it was revealed that she was the “Kristen” that former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer paid $4300 to have sex with. I’m more than a little appalled that this young lady is […]

Me and Alderman Allen

As a blogger, I get to write about whatever interests me. One of the things that did not interest me, however, was the upcoming Democratic primary race for Cook County State’s Attorney. Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know that office was up for a vote (although I probably could have figured it […]

The Profession of Journalism?

Kip links with some derision to an op-ed by journalism professor David Hazinski about the trend toward citizen journalism. Kip, who has other unkind things to say about the piece, quotes this bit: Advocates argue that the acts of collecting and distributing makes these people “journalists.” This is like saying someone who carries a scalpel […]

Anatomy of a Journalism Mistake

No, this isn’t going to be about one of my mistakes, because I haven’t been caught in any of them yet, although you’re welcome to try in my latest story about the wild frontier of the 16th district. An Amtrak train collided with a freight train Friday morning in one of Chicago’s south-side rail yards. Reporting […]

Crime Rampages Out of Control in the 16th Police District!

People running stop signs! Illegal truck parking! Somebody thinks her neighbor might be selling drugs to his friends! Sigh. That’s the problem with living in a very safe neighborhood. Not much police news. My second Chi-Town Daily News story is up. I did manage to work in a bit about lesbians. Well…implied lesbians.