LEDES: especially on spot features, non-breaking news. BORING! CLUNKY! UNAPPEALING. Not inaccurate, which is always our prime goal, but if given the opportunity to be creative, have some fun, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.
STYLE: third-year, first-year. YOU NEED THE HYPHEN.
QUOTES: Even if person ID’d in sentence before and quote is in same graf, you still need attribution at end of quote. ALWAYS!
MORE ON QUOTES: Don’t use weak partial quotes because it’s easy/convenient. You write better than many people talk. Partial quotes like “a lot” or “it’s good” add NOTHING to the story. BE SPECIFIC.
NEWS JUDGMENT: Many of you are including the necessary background in your stories for context and completeness. But remember to put it where it makes the most sense. In many cases, that is at the bottom. Tease what you need to up high, but chunky grafs of background normally best in second half, or lower third, of most stories.
SOURCES: At least attempt to get the highest authority. John Glenn school getting hit with budget cuts, go to the Dean, the Director and go to JOHN FREAKING GLENN!!! His name is on the building. He probably has an opinion. If you try and don’t succeed for whatever reason, note that in story. Joe Doe did not return calls and e-mails for comment. Jane Doe did not immediately return a call for comment Monday night.