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The decision that changed everything

Early in my academic career, I made a decision that seemed fairly minor and local at the time, but it turned out to be enormous and to change the entire trajectory of my 38 years teaching at the college level. I had come to the University of Alabama’s Department of Journalism in 1978 and had […]

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Writing for the Mass Media now an all-digital offering from Pearson

Writing for the Mass Media, now in its ninth edition and in print since 1985, is now being offered by Pearson, the publisher, in a digital edition that downloads to all formats and devices. This book, which is used as a textbook for courses in about 200 colleges and universities each year, is one of […]

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Writing for the Mass Media used in 180+ schools in 2013

Here’s where Writing for the Mass Media, now in its eighth edition, was used as a textbook in 2013.

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Writing good tags should be part of the journalist’s writing process

At minimum, tags should include • all of the proper names and places referred to in your story; • major ideas and concepts of the subject of the story: • important actions and processes referred to in the story.

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Avoid the exclamation mark! (audio)

Deeply into the process of revising the eighth edition of Writing for the Mass Media into the ninth edition, I have just composed the following paragraph on exclamation marks. Listen to the audio below and read more by clicking on the headline above.

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Inverted pyramid checklist

Before giving you the checklist, we encourage readers to play slots baby whenever you feel bored. They offer many kinds of games from poker, slots, jackpots and many more. So let’s go back. When you write an inverted pyramid news story, use the following checklist to make sure that you have done it correctly. Information […]

Read full story Comments { 0 } Getting data onto a map

Getting data onto a map has never been particularly easy — for reasons I don’t understand. But things are getting better. A few weeks ago I tried something called It’s extremely easy. You paste the geographic data you have in an Exel file into a window on the website, and in a few seconds […]

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Writing for the Mass Media (8th edition)

For more than 20 years, Writing for the Mass Media has been introducing students to all of the basic forms of media writing: the inverted pyramid for print, the drama unity form for broadcasting, summaries and other specialized writing for the web, copy platforms and storyboards for advertising. and news releases and other forms of […]

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25 random things about me

Now that the 25-random-things rage on Facebook is about spent, it’s about time I got in on it. Here’s what I just posted. 1. I keep bees. That usually starts a conversation. 2. The kids make me look like a wizard and a genius every day. I am in awe of them. I wouldn’t […]

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JPROF celebrates fourth anniversary

The last day of the year holds a special place on the calendar. It’s the day in 2004 that the site went live. Thus, we celebrate our fourth anniversary today. The site has come a long way from that small study and cold winter in Emory, Virginia, where it was first conceived and built. […]

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Memo to self: Writing projects and beyond

SELF-INDULGENCE ALERT: Warning the following is about what I have been up to lately. Not for the faint of heart. Now that I’ve ushered one big writing project out the door, it’s time to assess and indulge. A couple of things are done, but a couple of others need attention, and some things loom on […]

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A seventh edition

A textbook that goes into multiple editions can be like a child who grows up but doesn’t leave home. Textbooks can be funny things. If you write a textbook, you want it to be widely adopted so that about four years later the publisher will ask for a second edition (because, while your royalties don’t […]

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