Archive for October, 2011

Ask TON: From Idea to Story

  Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: What questions do you ask yourself about a story that you’re considering pursuing? How do you decide whether it’s a good idea?

Ask TON: Dumb Questions

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: I’ve heard people say it’s important not to be afraid to ask “dumb” questions. What is your favorite “dumb” interview question when interviewing scientists? What has gotten you the most useful results?

Ask TON: Meeting Coverage

We’re continuing our birthday celebration today with a second installment of Ask TON. (Are you wondering what the heck we’re talking about? Check here for background and check here for our introductory installment of Ask TON.) Today’s question: I will be attending a scientific meeting in a few months. About 6,000 scientists will be there. I’d […]

Happy Birthday to Us! And … Introducing “Ask TON”

TON is One! A year ago today, The Open Notebook published our first stories, launching an ongoing series of “story behind the story” interviews with some of the science journalists whose work we admire. Our idea then, as now, was that despite the changing marketplace for science journalism, craftsmanship still matters. With that in mind, […]

Adam Rogers Shadows a Fungus Detective

For the residents of Lakeshore, Ontario, the black fungus caking their homes was a problem, and they blamed the local distillery. For James Scott, the Sherlock Holmes of fungi, the identity of the unsightly mold was a mystery waiting to be solved. And for Adam Rogers, senior editor at Wired, Scott’s quest was a story that […]

Something New: The TON Pitch Database

Thanks to the generosity and community-mindedness of dozens of science journalists, The Open Notebook has created a searchable database of successful magazine queries—a resource that we hope will be useful for science journalists at all experience levels. You can access the database here, or from the menu at the top of the site. Any questions? “I’ve […]

Got a Question You’re Too Shy to Ask? Ask TON

Calling all science writers! The Open Notebook will soon be launching a recurring feature called “Ask TON.” Even the most experienced journalists have questions about craft: How can I find the best structure for this story? Am I getting too close to the source I’m profiling? How should I word my FOIA request? How much […]

Amy Harmon Follows a Young Autistic Man into the World

On September 18, 2011, the front page of the Sunday edition of The New York Times carried a story remarkable to find in any newspaper: a 7,300-word story that was almost all narrative. Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World, written by Times staffer Amy Harmon, followed a young autistic man named Justin […]

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