Category Archives: Writing

Writing for a global audience

Imagine you are talking with a friend. Then write that way. That was one of the best pieces of writing advice I ever received in college. It has served me well through almost four decades now, because it helps me … Continue reading

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Brevity on the Battlefield

Last summer I spent a day on the battlefields at Gettysburg, Pa. From July 1-3, 1863, almost 50,000 men died here. The relatively short battle turned the Civil War; Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army would never again invade the … Continue reading

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Writing advice from a bear of very little brain

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The Write Stuff

Tom Wolfe died in May. Since then, I’ve been saving a podcast of NPR’s Fresh Air, featuring archived interviews with this major architect of the New Journalism. Today, three months later, I finally gave a listen. The 20-minute segment is … Continue reading

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The defining moment

It was September of 1976, the week before the NFL season began, and Gary Fencik had just been cut by the Dolphins and signed by the Bears. On his first day of work, he borrowed his parents’ car and set out … Continue reading

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Pointing people to God

Here’s an inspiring article about C.S. Lewis’ motivation. I think it works pretty well for journalists, too. … his methods were not manipulative. He was committed to objective value, seeking to follow the truth where ever it led. He was … Continue reading

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A tragic story, told well

Vanity Fair has published an incredible, haunting account about the ill-fated cargo ship El Faro. The ship sank during a 2015 Caribbean hurricane, and all 33 people aboard drowned. …the ship was found resting upright on a sandy plain 15,400 … Continue reading

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Develop an eagle eye for wonder

Near the northern Illinois farm where I grew up and where my parents still live stands a bald eagles’ nest. It’s about 100 yards back from the road, atop a tall oak tree overlooking the Piscasaw Creek. Miles of cornfields … Continue reading

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A Thousand Pictures

   

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Miracles: Handle with care

“If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” That jarring statement used to hang in Chicago’s famed City News Bureau as an admonishment to reporters. In the rough-and-tumble world of Chicago journalism, it simply meant to verify all … Continue reading

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