Maria Popova, the brain behind BrainPickings.com — a newsletter you should subscribe to — has written another tribute to the ideas of the late science fiction novelist, Ursula Le Guin. Le Guin, as Popova points out, has important things to say about the function of storytelling. Here is part of it: “People wish to be • Read More »
The Digital Reader: 8 Common Phrases that You May Be Getting Wrong; plus a bit from JPROFJanuary 23, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, writing.
Nate Hoffelder, the Digital Reader, gives us – at a quick glance – eight phrases that we might be getting wrong. They’re all packaged neatly in a simple infographic. The phrases: for all intensive purposes (my personal favorite) reign in baited breath sneak peak mute point case and point extract revenge peaked my curiosity Hoffelder leaves • Read More »
Don’t miss this NYT interview with Philip RothJanuary 17, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, writers, writing.
Author Philip Roth, now nearly 85 and retired from writing, has given an interview to New York Times journalist Charles McGrath, and it is fascinating. Roth talks about what it was like to be a writer: Exhilaration and groaning. Frustration and freedom. Inspiration and uncertainty. Abundance and emptiness. Blazing forth and muddling through. The day-by-day • Read More »
New theories on why we can’t – or don’t – readJanuary 11, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, writers, writing.
Scientists and scholars are taking a closer look at that question these days and are coming up with some interesting, and occasionally surprising, answers.
E.B. White on a writer’s responsibilityMay 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 »
Author: I didn’t want to resort to self-publishing, but it’s an exhilarating changeFebruary 24, 2016 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, editing, writers, writing.
Louise Walters: My debut novel did very well with conventional publishers, but they weren’t interested in the ‘difficult second’ – so I’m going it alone Source: I didn’t want to resort to self-publishing, but it’s an exhilarating change Louise Walters describes what it’s like to have a second novel turned down after success with a • Read More »
Writing for the Mass Media now an all-digital offering from PearsonJune 13, 2015 | By Jim Stovall | Comments Off on Writing for the Mass Media now an all-digital offering from Pearson | Filed in: journalism education, textbooks, writing, Writing for the Mass Media.
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 • Read More »
Newswriting in the near futureDecember 10, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: Home, journalism, journalism education, news, writing.
The speed of the Internet and the World Wide Web in disseminating information has forced editors and journalists to rethink the way they present news and the structure of writing.
Avoid the exclamation mark! (audio)November 19, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: Home, writing, Writing for the Mass Media.
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.
Writing for the Mass Media – 9th editionNovember 1, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, Home, journalism, textbooks, writing.
Writing for the Mass Media will be a new edition — its 9th — next year. The new edition will maintain the same chapter outline (with some minor adjustments) as the 8th edition, but the material in the book will be expanded and updated. This new edition will be more closely tied to the book’s • Read More »
Reading on the web – and writing for itJune 28, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: Home, writing.
Jakob Nielsen and his group analyzed 1.5 million eye-tracking fixations, and they found that users focus in on sentences and paragraphs where they can get the information they want.
MC 102: Thoughts on accuracyMay 28, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: writing.
One of the four tenants of media writing is accuracy (the other three: completeness, precision and efficiency), and we say that accuracy is primary. But media professionals don’t always achieve accuracy. And inaccuracy can arise in places where we least expect it.
MC 102 Lecture 3: Writing in the Media EnvironmentMay 28, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: writing.
Professional writers need to learn what it is to write in the media environment. This “environment” is not just a place — although it is often that, such as a television or newspaper newsroom or the writer’s pool of an advertising agency. But it is also a state of mind, an acculturation that the writer must undergo.
Tennessee Journalism Series: Writing Like a JournalistMay 24, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, First Amendment, teaching journalism.
Journalists write for a living. They use words precisely and efficiently. They present accurate, verified information in a way that a mass audience will understand it by reading or hearing it only once.
Tennessee Journalism Series: Reporting: An IntroductionMay 23, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, First Amendment, teaching journalism.
Reporting: An Introduction provides students with the basic concepts of journalistic reporting: information, news, sources, observation, verification and many others.
Mark Twain takes aimMay 13, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: editing.
In a famous 1895 essay, Mark Twain delivered a stinging critique of one of America’s 19th century literary icons, James Fennimore Cooper. Twain was very much a modern writer, advocating active, descriptive verbs and short rather than long words. His essay is worth reading, not necessarily for what it says about Cooper, but for what it says about writing itself.