Journalist Tip No. 2 — Avoid one-source stories

Unless you are writing a question and answer story, use at least two sources for your stories. Here’s why: Each person you interview has his or her own view of the world and his or her part in it — plus he or she may not remember all the events quite right — A second source gives you a chance to fact check as well as add another perspective to the story. The writing is richer; the reader is more interested and is then motivated to think about his or her perception as well, making the entire experience more intimate and memorable. I recently wrote an article about an organization that helps those with disabilities participate in sports. The person in charge, though an excellent interview, did not have any disabilities. I asked to speak to someone who participates and has disabilities and that interview gave me a great lead for the story — and brought the reader in to hear personal accounts. Don’t be lazy — go to more than one source — you’ll be glad you did — and I suspect, so will your editor.

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