Posts Tagged ‘Reporting’

Making the Most of Lab Visits

Any science story depends on getting the facts and figures right. But visiting scientists where they work allows you to move beyond the facts to glean insights into their personalities and passions. A lab visit can reward the enterprising reporter with behind-the-scenes details about how a discovery was made and what motivates the people doing […]

Ask TON: How Many Interviews?

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: For a typical mid-length feature story, how many interviews would you typically do, and how long would each one typically last?

Serendipity Story: Cynthia Graber

Serendipity Stories is The Open Notebook‘s new series dedicated to the idea that you never know what’s going to hit you on the head. That’s true when it comes to story ideas, as previous Serendipity Stories have highlighted, and it’s true when it comes to finding ways to pull off tricky reporting. Here, Cynthia Graber tells […]

Cynthia Graber Profiles a Modern-Day Dr. Frankenstein

While Cynthia Graber isn’t new to reporting on regenerative medicine, her interview with Tufts University biologist Michael Levin led to some unexpected stories. In research that recalls the toils of Dr. Frankenstein, Levin uses electricity to initiate regeneration of body parts in living organisms. In light of recent advances in DNA research, the field of […]

Brian Vastag Profiles a Dinosaur Tracker

When Washington Post science writer Brian Vastag found Ray Stanford, an amateur dinosaur footprint tracker in the D.C. suburbs who had found an unusual baby dinosaur footprint, he thought he had stumbled upon a “nice little day story.” Soon, though, he realized that Stanford’s newest find was only the most recent chapter in a far […]

Ask TON: Planning Reporting

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: I feel like I waste a lot of time when I’m reporting for feature articles—feeling hazy about what I’m aiming to learn, asking the wrong questions, having to go back and ask a lot of follow-up questions—not just a couple, but […]

Like Being There: How Science Writers Use Sensory Detail

“­At this time of year, with new growth laying a haze of green over the wet fields, the farm country around this small town smells faintly but distinctly of manure. It’s a rich, warm aroma, appropriate to the place that bills itself on road signs as “Canada’s foremost cattle county.” But follow the dip in […]

Making the Leap from News to Books: Critical Questions

Authors of science books often begin as writers of science news. As a science journalist who is looking to write a book, I’ve become very curious as to how other science journalists made the leap forward. I suspected that the questions that go into books might be different from those that drive newspaper and magazine […]

Taking Good Notes: Tricks and Tools

Whether you rely on a digital recorder or a laptop or a ragtag collection of mismatched notebooks, you need to take good notes. That doesn’t just mean that your handwriting needs to be legible—though that matters too. It means that your notes capture the essence of what you have observed, from the words your sources […]

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