A journalist site you can learn from

A recent post from Jordan Fowler reminded me of a site I used to read daily but had forgotten about in seminary-world.

The Poynter Institute is a non-profit group in Florida that focuses on journalism. They have some of the best articles out there on writing, designing, speaking, and even covering the news. It’s great for journalists, but it’s also an amazing resource for anyone who writes, speaks, or wants to better understand the world of journalism.

They even have some great articles in the TV/Radio section about storytelling. Sermons anyone?

Here’s one about how to shape a story. I love this part:

“When I write stories,” Dotson says, “I always write the middle first. Then, if I have to cut the story for time, I cut a couple of the ‘sees’ and trim the ‘so.’ ”

If he gets stuck for an opening line, Dotson says he often finds the second-best soundbite that he has but cannot use in the story because of time. Then he paraphrases it to make the lead sentence in the piece.

“Robert Frost said a poem beings with a lump in the throat,” Dotson says. “Stories should begin with the lump in the throat.”

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