AVOID WORDY PHRASES:
In addition to=besides
Took a first place finish= ‘finished first’ or ‘won’
In support of=supports.
Dan Cat, president of the club= Club President Dan Cat, or Dan Cat, club president,…
USE STRONG VERBS
in acknowledgment of= acknowledged
in support of=supports
says or said, NOT claims, exclaims, explains, etc.
THAT VS. WHO
Use who for people. Many times don’t need the ‘that’ at all
AVOID THIS CONSTRUCTION:
‘when asked about;’ when questioned…
Just write what the person said and provide needed context so it makes sense.
AVOID PASSIVE VOICE:
Bad: The ball was hit by the batter. Good: The batter hit the ball.
Use the “find” function on your word processing program and search for ‘by’ and ‘of.’ Many times you can rework sentences and get rid of passive voice/unneeded words based on those two alone.
BE PROACTIVE, NOT REACTIVE
Pitch stories, don’t just wait for assignments.
Don’t just do 1 story/week, especially if your section is being filled by 1-2 people’s bylines daily.
Talk to your editors and me about any problems or concerns as soon as they arise, not days later.
Immediately notify editors and me of any corrections that need to be published.
Immediately notify editors and me of any stories you write that get picked up by other media, mentioned by other media, etc.