Archives: journalism

Margaret Fuller packed more than a lifetime into her 40 short years

September 12, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, Women writers and journalists, writers.

What I mean by the Muse is that unimpeded clearness of the intuitive powers, which a perfectly truthful adherence to every admonition of the higher instincts would bring to a finely organized human being. It may appear as prophecy or as poesy. … and should these faculties have free play, I believe they will open new, • Read More »

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September 8 is International Literacy Day

September 10, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, news.

    September 8 is International Literacy Day, designated so by the United Nations. There are still too many people in the world who cannot read, and two-thirds of them are women. This year’s theme is Literacy in a Digital World. “The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who • Read More »

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J. K. Rowling on freedom of expression

September 7, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: First Amendment, freedom of speech, journalism.

J.K. Rowling has a point of view: Intolerance of alternative viewpoints is spreading to places that make me, a moderate and a liberal, most uncomfortable. Only last year, we saw an online petition to ban Donald Trump from entry to the U.K. It garnered half a million signatures. Just a moment.   I find almost • Read More »

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Forwarding contest winners for August; more free books and giveaways

September 4, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism.

This newsletter was sent to Jim’s email list (3,422) on Sept. 1, 2017.   I hope you’re looking forward to a great weekend. In the U.S., it’s Labor Day weekend, which marks the semi-official end of summer.   Forwarding contest winners The August newsletter forwarding contest produced four winners, as promised. A beautiful, hand-turned wooden • Read More »

Smithsonian Institution’s name and unusual founding

August 17, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism.

The Smithsonian Institution did not start out as the “nation’s attic.” It began as the storage house for the relics and collections of a British scientist whose connection with the United States is unclear. James Smithson was born in Paris in 1765, the illegitimate son of an English duke. He obtained British citizenship but traveled • Read More »

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The Newspaperman: A poem from the 1880s

August 8, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, news, newspapers, reporters, reporting.

In doing some research in 19th century newspapers recently, I found this clever little poem: THE NEWSPAPER MAN Little they know. or even think, Of the work there is in shedding Ink By the busy wielders of pencil and pen, Generally known as newspaper men. “Jottings,” “In General,” “Spice of Life,” “Variations,” and rumors rife, • Read More »

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Digital Reader blogger tries to get at the real facts about ebook sales

May 25, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, journalists, news, reporters, reporting, self publishing.

A lot of buzzing and scoffing these days in the world of independent publishing about the “fact” that ebook sales are down. Blogger Nate Hoffelder tries to set the facts — the real facts — about ebook sales straight. Source: Damn the Facts: The “Ebook Sales Are Down” Narrative Must be Maintained at All Costs • Read More »

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Revelations by scholastic journalists come by just ‘looking it up’

May 15, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: baseball, journalism, news.

“You can look it up.” If you remember anything about baseball in the 1950s (and fewer and fewer of us do), you would remember Casey Stengel’s famous conclusion to almost all of his long soliloquies to surrounding newsmen. Stengel was the manager of the New York Yankees, and his teams won pennant after pennant in • Read More »

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E.B. White on a writer’s responsibility

May 10, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, teaching journalism, writing.

One of the great writers — a true craftsman — of the the 20th century, E.B. White, had this to say on the responsibility that writers have: “A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter. I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel • Read More »

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Literary journalism, explained

May 9, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | Comments Off on Literary journalism, explained | Filed in: journalism, writing.

If it is to be literary journalism, the writer must be a journalist, not a fiction writer. That is, the writer cannot make anything up. The facts, descriptions and quotations must be true. They must be things that happened. Sometimes, for the sake of the story, writes create “composite” scenes or characters. If they do so, the writer is obligated to tell the reader that this has happened. Ultimately, however, such fictionalizing is unsatisfactory to the true journalist who is dedicated to the factual presentation of information.

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A journalist writing a novel

May 6, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: fiction, journalism, reporting.

What’s the biggest different between writing journalism and writing fiction? Since the publication of Kill the Quarterback, I have been asked that question more than once. For an old line journalist like me (when I started in the business, they still used typewriters and pastepots), writing a novel had one big advantage: You could make • Read More »

Rules for using commas

April 11, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism.

Ever wish you had a single sheet with all the basic rules for using commas on it? You could hand that to your students and say something like, “Here, learn this. We’ll have a test next week. You won’t ever have an excuse for misusing a comma again.” Well, your dream has been fulfilled. JPROF.com • Read More »

At the corner of Banjo and Watercolor

November 19, 2016 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: banjo, journalism, watercolor.

A couple of weeks ago, I went onto YouTube (the modern source of all wisdom and knowledge) to find a video of someone playing or singing “Cumberland Mountain Deer Chase,” an old Uncle Dave Macon tune. My local dulcimer group was playing it, and I needed to get a good idea of the melody. I found a lot more than I had bargained for.

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Civil War Trust provides excellent video introduction to Gettysburg

June 21, 2016 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: Battlelines, Civil War, history, journalism.

Gettysburg is so iconic — particularly because of the Gettysburg Address that Abraham Lincoln delivered four months after the battle — that we tend to lose sight of what it meant to the people who lived during the war.

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Swag for the Front Page Follies, 2016, part 3

June 3, 2016 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, watercolor.

A watercolor of Ayres Hall on the University of Tennessee campus was one of my contributions to the silent auction for the Front Page Follies  last year, and a couple of people told me they bid on it unsuccessfully. Well, this year they get another shot. This is a watercolor of the big building at the top of • Read More »

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Swag for the Front Page Follies, 2016, part 2

June 2, 2016 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, woodworking.

The desk set, consisting of a pen, letter opener and magnifying glass, were all turned from wood from a wild cherry tree that once stood on Chilhowee Mountain in Blount County. It’s another of my contributions to the silent auction for the Front Page Follies, which is happening in a couple of weeks. The presentation box • Read More »

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Swag for the Front Page Follies, 2016, part 1

May 31, 2016 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, watercolor, woodworking.

The Front Page Follies is happening in a couple of weeks, and I am donating a couple of items to the silent auction. One is this watercolor, Cades Cove in winter, which I completed this week. The Front Page Follies is the annual musical revue and roast of politicians and events from the previous year. • Read More »

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In which I answer the question, “What’s next?”, part 2: the suffrage ladies and me

April 21, 2016 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: Alice Paul, freedom of speech, history, journalism, news, photojournalism, Voting, writing.

The suffrage ladies may not be done with me. Those were the women who, between 1910 and 1920, affected the most profound change in the make-up of the electorate in the history of the Republic. In 2013, Seeing Suffrage was published by the University of Tennessee Press. The book was about the 1913 Washington suffrage • Read More »

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