More advice for journalists: Difficult times


Being a journalist requires constant attention to detail and accuracy — it’s difficult in the best of circumstances and even more difficult when personal issues arise. That’s just happened recently to me — after a long illness in and out of hospitals, my father recently died — and I found myself — after the fact — making two mistakes on an article I wrote. The mistakes were corrected online but not in print, unfortunately.

Although editors were understanding, the situation once again reminded me on how vigilant we must be, as writers, editors and copy editors to be accurate. We’re all writing and editing faster and faster with fewer resources than ever  since I started 20 years ago.

For all you young journalists out there, every day make a pledge to be fair and accurate. We need to buoy up our industry and keep the demand for highly qualified journalists out there.


Exercise and nature


Some folks run through woodlands and prairies with headsets on listening to loud music with eyes straight ahead. Today, I did a power walk/mini jog through my neighborhood with no head sets, and listened to the sounds of nature among the oaks and in the park. I didn’t hear Michael Jackson, who I love, but I did hear Baltimore oriole, great crested flycatcher, eastern wood-pewee, warbling vireo, American robin, northern cardinal, song sparrow and the ubiquitous American robin.

And I looked at the sun, the healing vibrant sun.

Why don’t you try it just once, do your outdoor exercise with nature not in a bubble. 

And one more thing about exercise — I did a 30 minute power walk with arms up sometiems to keep  y heart rate up. Someone tell me that’s not as good as running nonstop a 5k, because I’m not buying it.

What do you all think?




A common problem of journalists: Even experienced ones

Over the years, I have had my share of mistakes when working on journalistic projects, but the one that continues to plague me is not always spelling someone’s name correctly. I have vowed to double, triple check names, titles of organizations, but every once in a while, I get hurried and forget that third time’s a charm rule. Journalists: Double, triple check your sources’ names, titles, organizations — and always be aware that no matter how many years you have been involved in this profession, you can still make a mistake. Luckily for me, I caught a spelling error before it got to print and emailed my editor. But whenever I do that, it just hounds me constantly, reminding me to be careful, be accurate and be proud to put your name on anything you write.