Blog: The Educated Reporter
When I was a Metro section reporter at the Washington Post and double-time pay meant more to me than a day off, I used to volunteer to work Christmas. The holy grail was a feature with live art, and one year I offered a piece I knew would deliver: I wanted to spend the day with someone who had just converted, making this their first year without Christmas. As a nominal Jew who coveted Christmas, I couldn’t possibly imagine choosing such agony. The Metro editor said, “Great idea!
I beg you: Please don’t write another story this fat-envelope season about a senior’s difficult decision between Penn and Columbia and Duke and Berkeley and Cornell. Seriously. Enough already.
More than half of Denver Public Schools students have to take at least one remedial class when they hit college, Jeremy Meyer of the Denver Post reports. I am sure that is a pretty typical stat, one worth lots of exploration. This is a good story, or stories, for both higher ed and K-12 reporters.
Words that you don’t use in real life, so you shouldn’t in your writing either:
A lot of people ask me to edit their resumes and cover letters. (Sure, send me yours!) I am no career counseling expert, but two things stand out to me:
1. Don’t use your resume to get into all sorts of jazzy detail about the specific attributes you bring to your work. That’s what the cover letter is for.
2. Of COURSE your references are available upon request. Can anyone give me one reason to include that line on a resume? It just takes up space, and chances are your resume is already too long anyway.
Maybe if the Washington Post didn’t have to pay Sally Quinn to advise people to avoid wearing red and green to Jewish people’s houses, they wouldn’t have to, say, CLOSE THEIR PHENOMENAL NATIONAL BUREAUS. Just sayin’.
Justin Pope at the Associated Press has been doing terrific work on for-profit colleges. On the face of it, it looks like they have an incentive to take lots of low-income students (and their associated aid) even if they have little chance of succeeding. Which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your perspective.
Major-league kudos to Michael Miner at the Chicago Reader, who writes about the culture of fear in that city’s school system that shuts out reporters—and, by virtue, the public. Reporters around the country tell me it has gotten worse for them, nowhere moreso than in districts led by big-shot reformers.
You looked! Really, do I need any more title than that?
The recent MTV/Associated Press poll on teens and technology asked people ages 14 to 24 a very specific question: whether somebody had ever sent them, on their phone or computer, naked pictures of themselves. Eighteen percent of respondents said that had happened. I would say this is not specifically “sexting,” which semantically would refer to phones only.