Last tuesday I was like… “what happened that I didn’t get Henneke’s mail yet?” Then I remembered that you skip one week now. Quantitative methods, once an exotic subset, were being enabled by the rapid drop in the price of computing power and the development of higher-level statistical languages. He, in my view, is the master storyteller. To give reporting the rich, creative structure of fiction, the writer must first assemble a very large body of facts, and then choose those that can fit a narrative structure. Well, this one was worth waiting for. Once again, we might be able to send a few messages to many people, a reversal of the de-massification of the media. If adjectives are needed, specific adjectives help create powerful images. Thanks again for your post and regards. That falsified the riff-raff theory. What matters is how he plays his tennis. That book was updated in 1978 but has been out print for several years. We must strive to report facts accurately or we will lose our credibility. When you read McPhee’s description you feel like you’re on court, watching the match unfold. Underline or highlight all the important ideas.4. Clay Shirky of New York University sees an inevitable period of chaos. “When a broad table is to be made, and the edges of the plank do not fit,” he said, “the artist takes a little from both and makes a good joint.”. The genre first started to appear in the 1960s. , I’ve read a lot of Fredrick Forsythe’s books. I appreciate it. And that fragmentation, as events in my country demonstrate, can be dangerous. Having sat courtside for many years encouraging my daughter through her “tennis apprenticeship”, I have to say the seven-word version describes nothing provoking no interest in the action. As McPhee writes in his book “Draft No. Last month we published âShade,â by Sam Bloch.The article is an ambitious work of urban journalism with a powerful message: in a wide-ranging portrait of Los Angeles, Bloch argues that shade is a civic resource, a requirement for public health, an index of inequality, and a new mandate â¦ Learn how I can help you. A story needs to ebb and flow. The prolongation of the war in Vietnam has been attributed to this phenomenon. Precision means that each word should be used as it was intended by its original âdictionaryâ meaning. I have just finished a Lee Child novel and I noticed exactly this about it — that he draws out moments that in reality are over in a flash: and his writing is so much more compelling and readable as a result. The longer description of a tennis serve is fair with little or no “fat” or repetition. It would be possible once again to pay attention to common concerns. Think about how they shoot breaking waves – it’s always in slow motion. John McPhee is a Pulitzer-winning journalist. I appreciate your lovely comment. Another way to report pattern and structure is through storytelling. With eagerness, I’d read yet another description of an exchange of shots: Graebner lifts the ball. Crowds can pore through document dumps and reporters can find the source within the agency to describe the significance or reveal which documents were withheld. In 1922, he published “Public Opinion,” a classic still in print today. A sizeable portion of Detroit’s African-American population consisted of migrants from the rural South. ProPublica supplied a computer specialist, Jennifer Lefluer, to do the heavy lifting in the data analysis, and the Times provided a reporter, Sanjay Bhatt. Precision Writing Ltd. is a corporate communications company offering services in communications strategy, professional writing services, public relations, and marketing. More recently it has been called “group polarization,” recognizing that the shift can go to the other extreme, too much fearful inaction. From reading only one paragraph about one serve in a tennis match, you can deduce that McPhee knows a lot about tennis. The civil rights movement and the anti-war movement of the late 1960’s and the 1970’s were ideal topics for the application of precision journalism, and it has since become a standard tool for investigative reporters. Jimmy Breslin, my favorite news writer, had a piece in New York magazine in 1968 that I liked to use in my news writing classes—as an excellent example of writing—and in my ethics classes as a poor example of reporting. The quality of the audience is more important than its quantity. We found that residents who were raised in the north were more likely to riot than their neighbors from the South. This updated edition clearly explains social science methods and how to effectively use them to increase the accuracy and credibility of news stories. The case of the Detroit Free Press in 1967 foreshadowed this development. 1.4.2 Precision Journalism Precision journalism is a term coined by Everette ... Today, professional journalists rely on the computer-and not just for the writing. Months later, after Kennedy had been killed, Breslin went back to Kansas State as an invited speaker. That doesn’t matter for his story. The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to the staff of the newspaper for the totality of its work, the spot coverage, the narrative interpretations, the investigations into the 43 deaths, and the survey. I participated in an early example. Picture your article in the shape of a triangle widest at the top with the point on the bottom. The feature that users liked best was e-mail, but that failed to arouse our interest because, we thought, e-mail had nothing to do with newspapers. I see it happening recently in some of the nonprofit investigative media that have begun to fill the vacuum left by dying newspapers. I love that quote, too. Detroit had enjoyed a reputation of relatively good race relations. Editorial writing teaches students to read critically, to digest and prioritize information quickly and to write clearly, accurately and succinctly. From 1978 to 1981, I helped Knight Ridder prepare for its Viewtron venture. In the first chapter, he warned that “direct exposure to the ebb and flow of sensation” is not enough. I was surprised how fascinating it is to read about one tennis match. nd determine which tweets might be self-serving or fraudulent. That is why it is not so wild a dream that evidence-based journalism, incorporating precision with narrative, could fill a need for trustworthy interpretation and selection of the relevant truth from the â¦ Journalism Events Overview. Yes, that would be an esoteric specialty. He seems to have a smart system to produce books, working with several co-authors. Harvard taught me to use one of those languages, called DATA-TEXT, written at Harvard for the IBM 7090. Makes sense. I am a graduate of Kansas State University. The force of gravity and a muscular momentum from legs to arm compound as he whips his racquet up and over the ball. Precise writing pulls readers into your story because vivid imagery allows them to experience the story. Amazing read and thanks for breaking it down with us Henneke. A 1967 Nieman Fellow, he has written a number of books including “Precision Journalism: A Reporter’s Introduction to Social Science Methods” and “Ethical Journalism: A Guide for Students, Practitioners, and Consumers.” He was a reporter with the Detroit Free Press during its coverage that won the staff a Pulitzer Prize in 1968 for their detailed investigation into the causes of the Detroit race riots. Brevity can suck the spirit out of your writing. Same thing. I wonder how much can be attributed to the way that new forms of media, especially social media, enable the clustering of polarized viewpoints. Both precision journalism and narrative journalism appeal to a sophisticated audience, one that appreciates the need for information to be structured in a way that focuses attention on the truth. Help advance the Nieman Foundation’s mission “to promote and elevate the standards of journalism” by making a donation. One organizes information for efficient retrieval by the end user. I’m not accusing Breslin of making the ROTC part up. When sales copy is too brief, it sounds hyped up—as if it’s written by a marketer who doesn’t really know what she’s talking about. He is exaggerating quite a bit, if you ask me, just for dramatic effect ‘He is falling.’, I’m not sure that’s an exaggeration because it does look like a falling movement until the player steps forward. I’ve often thought the players look as if they are falling forward in that moment before connecting with the ball; the description rings true for me. A paragraph with 165 words about one serve, and still there’s no fluff nor repetition. If it is too long, it’s like they are never going to stop. That running technique sounds complicated! Bravo! People want conflicting things. Yes, it’s about finding the right balance, and choosing what to leave in and what to leave out. In that year, the portion of gross domestic product spent on food manufacturing, i.e. Some novelists tried it working from the other direction, creating the nonfiction novel. Although the information moved electronically, it moved slowly, on the telephone wire, at 300 baud. Three times as likely, in fact. If the reader is scanning through the paper and reads only the first line, he should get a good idea of your articleâs content. The non-assimilation theory. The burned out building was Nichols Gymnasium. Nobody reads every word of a newspaper or magazine. What they have in common is recognition that raw data require structure to be made coherent. But note how the original version allows you to picture how Ashe stands, how he tosses the ball up and how he serves at a furious speed. Covering thought leadership in journalism. For example, if the plot takes in Berlin he would say ‘not far from Tempelhof on Friedrichstrasse, there’s a hotel which has bars on three of its five floors. Precision journalism borrowed the tools of science. For example one made in 1906 held that the telephone would facilitate the central management of political organizations and campaigns. “The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place,” he has said. An environment that rewards specialization need not limit itself to subject matter specialization. So the theme of Breslin’s narrative was that anti-war radicalism had reached all the way to conservative Kansas in the middle of the continent, and he drove the point home with the ending, what journalists call “the kicker.” Student protesters burned the ROTC building.
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