Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Year's came early for ...

A few useful resolutions, if anybody wants to stake a claim on 'em:

1) No more question heds:
Did clerk pay herself $2 million and no one noticed?
It's even worse in the 1-column original. Stop this, please.

2) No generalizations about stuff you don't have the wherewithal to measure:
A nation mourns
(Jackson Sun and a cast of thousands)
A nation mourns Ford
Houston Chronicle)
Nation prepares to mourn
(St. Cloud Times, Kalamazoo Gazette)
Nation mourns a bridge-builder
(Hartford Courant)
Nation reflects on loss
(Orange County Register)
... the part I saw was bearing up OK under the strain. And you?

3) Don't write the hed everybody else writes:
The accidental president
(Cleveland Plain Dealer)
'An accidental president'
(Carroll County Times)
Remembering the accidental president
(Frederick News-Post)
... the rest of you know who you are.

4) Shun local anesthesia:
Late leader had local ties
(Fort Myers News-Press)
Local ties
(Bakersfield Californian)
Ford no stranger to Indian River
(Vero Beach Press Journal)
President Ford was 'no stranger to Idaho'
(Idaho Statesman)
Howard County officials remember Ford
(Kokomo Tribune)
Ford had extensive local influence
(Elkhart Truth)
Historic visit to Silk City
(West Paterson Herald News)
Whidbey baker made Ford's birthday cakes
(Everett Herald)

5) Don't take tips on numbers stories until the numbers have proved their provenance:
An L.A. psychologist says 80 percent of the resolutions made on Jan. 1 are broken by Jan. 20.
Uh, yeah.

6) No more procrastinating on Amen.


Anonymous Denise Covert said...

Just wondering, what's wrong with exploiting the local ties to a national event? I mean, isn't that what matters most to readers -- what they won't hear on CNN or click on

5:16 PM, December 28, 2006  
Blogger fev said...

I don't mind the local ties (though "local" is one of the most useless words in all of journalism), but I do think they're easy to overplay. If I were picking between the post-mortem-only Woodward intvu and the account of Ford's visit over at Westminster 30 years ago for something I couldn't see on CNN, I'd take the former.

Amid all the "hyperlocal" conversation, I'm sort of hoping we'll remember it's possible to shut readers out by being _too_ local.

9:46 PM, January 01, 2007  
Anonymous Denise Covert said...

Re: Too local, I'm afraid I have to agree now, with the 3,000 deaths milestone. Out front we talked about those with "local ties" -- ties? WTF does that mean, DH asked me. I guessed correctly -- a soldier's mom got divorced and moved to our coverage area. Local ties indeed!

12:57 PM, January 02, 2007  
Anonymous CoMeDy LiNkS said...

You can create more funny church signs on, over 1,000 templates.

4:15 PM, January 04, 2007  

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