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Tools of the Craft

  • Fact Checking
  • Getting Started - Keeping Current
  • Don't Limit Your Audience
  • How to Interview
  • Protecting Your Sources
  • What is Investigative Journalism?
  • The Muckraking Tradition
  • Using Style Sheets for Publication
  • Power Structure Research
  • Basics of Responsible Journalism

    Home/Media/Training

    Style

     

    Using Stylebooks

    Even experienced writers keep stylebooks handy. The AP Stylebook offers simple grammar rules and standard usage for newspaper journalists. Leading style books include the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, The Chicago Manual of Style and Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style.  Why bother. It has to do with neurons and brain pathways. The human brain likes repetitive patterns. Keeping style consistent greases the skids to conceptual understanding. It's not brain surgery.

    Tell a Story

    Tell a story. Narratives carry the story into the reader's hearts as well as their brains. See the work of Marshall Ganz and Terrence McNally.

    Show Some Style

    News articles tend to be linear, with one point following another. Magazine articles often are more complex, with two or three themes bumping next to one another.

    One author suggests that you write your magazine article using the double helix of DNA as a guide, weaving two themes together throughout. Op-Eds are short and snappy, with strong leads to grab reader attention.

    The Progressive Media Project offers some resources on this style thing for Op-Eds.


    These pages are adapted from a course, "Strategic Research, Analysis and Reporting," developed by Chip Berlet, Holly Sklar, and Abby Scher
    for theZ Media Institute hosted by Z Magazine in Woods Hole Massachusetts.
    Please do not copy or distribute material from these pages.
    Links are welcome.
    All material unless attributed to a specific author is
    © 1968-2015 by Research for Progress

    All Z Media Institute material © 1997-2015 by
    Chip Berlet, Holly Sklar, & Abby Scher

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    Videos Online

    When Democracy Works
    Narrated by Scot Nakagawa

    Vincent Harding
    Students as Leaders

    Herman Sinaiko
    Democracy and the Obligations of Leaders and Citizens--From China in the age of the Mandarins to the Tea Parties Today


    Civic Education

    Elements of Democracy: The Overall Concept

    Basic Concepts, from Magruder's, Chapter One

    Essential Elements: The International Consensus

    Democracy Activism

    Frances Moore Lappé, Doing Democracy: 10 Practical Arts Handbook, Small Planet Institute.

    Bill Moyer, JoAnn McAllister, Mary Lou Finley & Steve Soifer, Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements, New Society Publishers.

    Higher Education

    The Democracy Imperitive
    A project mobilizing higher education to support democracy

    Democracy Now!: A daily independent global news hour with Amy Goodman & Juan González

    Global Human Rights
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    Allied Sites

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    _________________________

    Democracy is not a specific set of institutions but a process that requires dissent.
    - - -
    Democracy is a process that assumes the majority of people, 
    over time, given enough accurate information,
    the ability to participate in a free and open public debate,
    and to vote without intimidation,
    reach constructive decisions that benefit the whole of society, and 
    preserve liberty, protect our freedoms, extend equality,
    and thus defend democracy itself. 

    _________________________

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    Site curated by Chip Berlet