Prominent scientists, science communicators, and skeptic activists, including Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” physicist Lawrence Krauss, Cosmos co-creator Ann Druyan, and many others are calling on the news media to stop using the word “skeptic” when referring to those who refuse to accept the reality of climate change, and instead refer to them by what they really are: science deniers.
Helen Sedwick writes about rights, proposing that the words "assignment" and "exclusive" should be red flags for writers who want to maintain control over their work and avoid "rights grabs" by greed-driven publishers: "How can writers spot these rights grabs before they are exposed in the blogosphere? What are the clues? After all, no writer wants to lose rights or be David suing Goliath like this. The answer, of course, is read the contract before you hit Submit."
Whether it's cornering a wrongdoer or approaching a grieving relative, asking hard questions can be made easier via a combination of factors such as preparation, delivery, and followup, Steve Buttry writes: "Whatever the setting, the source absolutely controls what she will say. No one has to talk to you. Ever. Reporters don’t have subpoena power. But you absolutely control how you will write the story. Sources can blog their own stories, but they cannot dictate yours."
Agents typically collect 15% of any income from your book, Jane Friedman writes. So how do you know if you need an agent? "If you want to be published by one of the major New York houses (e.g., Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster), then you more or less need to have one — and want one on your side. If you’re writing for a niche market (e.g., vintage automobiles) or wrote an academic or literary work, then you might not need an agent." Plus tips on selecting agents.
Pulitzer-prize winner Diana Marcum talks to Nieman Storyboard and explains how she searched California's Central Valley for the stories of a devastating drought: "It takes a little bit of time. We hang out, we just sort of invite ourselves in, and we eat samosas with the Singh family, and say, 'Oh, can we look at your almond tree?' And we do a lot of listening, maybe to things that would never end up in the story. People really want to talk, you know. I mean we all do."
"We may have to wait until its own official independent report in June to know for sure whether the American Psychological Association really did collude with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Bush administration to put together a systematic program of torture," Tabitha M. Powledge writes. "But the evidence so far is certainly, ah, suggestive." Also, celebrating 25 years of the Hubble Space Telescope, and an update on its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope.
Daniel Victor is a New York Times editor who explains in a blog post how he searched Twitter for first-person anecdotes to go with a story about airline seating conflicts. Selecting the right keywords to use was the key, Victor writes: "Here’s the main takeaway: Imagine what your perfect source would tweet, or what you yourself would tweet in that situation, and search for the words that would probably be in it. And be sure you’re not limiting that to the SEO keywords."