7 ways to avoid jargon in your writing

Anyone who has tried to read a legal document or a technical manual understands how jargon, clutter, numbers and acronyms can jumble together, undercutting meaning and frustrating even the avid reader. Writers must avoid the trap of describing complex issues in complicated prose. Clarity starts with a clear understanding of the topic you are writing about. Here are some other strategies for turning complicated facts into clear language for your audience. Without reference to your…

5 fact-checking tips for Editors

Facts matter in all types of writing, especially in news and informational texts. Errors of fact can damage a writer’s credibility and cause embarrassment, and they can irritate readers. Many fact errors are preventable, and that’s where editors come in. Your first step is to identify the potential fact errors in the writing. Here are next steps: Find at least two sources to verify information. Use reliable sources and websites. Ask the writer for source…

7 worldwide journalism opportunities to apply for in July

Looking to expand your journalism toolkit, take on a new beat or receive recognition for your work? Check out these promising courses, fellowships and competitions with deadlines in July. Each is open to journalists worldwide. Rory Peck Awards Deadline: July 3, 2017 Each year, the Rory Peck Trust recognizes freelance cameramen and camerawomen who display endeavor, initiative and journalistic ability while covering international news. Categories include news, features and the Sony Professional Impact Award for Current Affairs. For…

First-time international reporting: Tips from a former foreign correspondent Journalist

This tip sheet is designed for journalists with no experience reporting abroad who want a primer on how to prepare. At the bottom of this page is a list of resources that could be useful to any journalist looking for international data. The key takeaway: Don’t just show up in a new country. Read and do your homework before you go. If you can, go somewhere you speak the language. Knowing the scene will help you…

How an algorithm can decide what news you read online

The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet developed an algorithm guided partially by editors and partially by reader preferences that delivers a personalized home page for each website visitor. Editor-in-chief Fredric Karén credits the technology with a significant boost in online traffic and digital subscriptions Source: ijnet. RJI Futures Lab update #195: A homepage designed by algorithm

7 worldwide journalism opportunities to apply for in June

Looking to expand your journalism toolkit, take on a new beat or receive recognition for your work? Check out these promising courses, fellowships and competitions with deadlines in June. Each is open to journalists worldwide. Media in Conflicts Seminar Deadline: June 7, 2017 Journalists ages 21 to 35 can apply for a fully funded conflict reporting seminar in Herzliya, Israel, organized by the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy. Participants will attend expert lectures,…

Polling fundamentals and concepts: An overview for journalists

The 2016 presidential election surprised many because Donald Trump’s win defied the vast majority of polls. In the aftermath, some are blaming journalists for rushing information out quickly without explaining basic polling caveats. Despite all the lavish attention, polls are only as valid as their design, execution and analysis. The best polls are produced by independent, nonpartisan polling organizations, with no vested interest in the outcome of the findings. These include organizations like Gallup and the Pew…

Tips for staying safe while covering violent protests

Recent aggressions against journalists during protests — as happened earlier this year during the unrest in Mexico over gas shortages — means it’s a good time to review the risks that journalists face when covering demonstrations or repressive security forces. Going it alone The first risk is that journalists tend to cover these events alone and in a disorganized way. Having more colleagues in the vicinity won’t help you if all of them are going at…

5 keys to success for Entrepreneurial Journalists

While quality content remains the most important key to success for a digital media project, if you’re too focused on just producing good journalism, you’re doomed. After more than a year of extensive research at SembraMedia, we’ve found five common keys to success among the top digital media entrepreneurs in Latin America and Spain. 1. Diversify your income sources: We all know that the internet has forever changed traditional media business models. But it is only gradually…

Advice for journalists researching scholarly studies and reports

Journalists often turn to scholarly studies and reports to add credibility and depth to their stories.  Usually, the practice works well — unless the information is biased or flawed. There are looming questions: How do media professionals distinguish good data from bad? How do we keep from being taken in by shoddy or self-serving research? What are the red flags? A reporter may not be a whiz at deciphering scientific methodology and statistical analysis, but…

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