News tips with Lori part 2 : off the record

When talking with reporters, from time to time there will be instances when you want to mention something to them that you don’t want them to print. If you find yourself in this situation, ask the reporter first before saying whatever you have to say.
Don’t tell them and THEN say “oh, by the way that was off the record.” It’s up to the discretion of the reporter whether they will let you speak without being on the record.
Also, as a rule don’t tell a journalist you’re doing something illegal or ask them to help you lie about something, even if it’s off the record. In my opinion at that point, my obligation to tell the truth is stronger than my obligation to honor “off the record.”

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Growing thicker skin

Last week an angry reader emailed asking if I went to journalism school or if my employer picked me up “off the street somewhere.” He was angry with a story I had done about a new local business- a bar to be exact. He also questioned by news judgment. Apparently, to him (and several others that commented on the story) a bar is not worthy of newspaper space. He had commented to other readers that they should drop their subscriptions and read other reputable papers. My first reaction to this sort of thing is rather instinctive. I want to tell them where they can put it. After all, I don’t go to his workplace or email him there and tell him how to do his job.

But I’m recognizing the need lately not to let this type of stuff get to me. There are always going to be people who don’t like what I’m doing. There are probably just as  many or more who do appreciate my work. The latter are a less vocal group, to be sure.  Having thick skin goes against my nature. I take everything to heart. But I’m learning to learn what I can from these situations and not let it get to me.

Or at least I’m trying.

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Rwanda, now that I have seen

I am responsible

I love this song.  I heard it for the first time today, but it rings true for me. I so want to tell that story.

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Beck says leave church if it advocates social justice

I get that Glenn Beck is afraid of all things communism, but caring for the poor (social justice) does not constitute socialism. Beck’s call for people to leave their churches if they advocate social justice goes against everything I know about the gospel.

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This is what I woke up to this morning. It’s pretty but I’m ready for spring.

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News tips with Lori

I’ve decided to offer tips to people who want their stories published in a local newspaper. Basically, if you want a reporter to preview your organization’s events or write about the really cool project it’s working on, there’s a wrong and a right way to go about it. The idea for this post came courtesy of a man who wanted me to write about an award he had just won.

1. If you want a reporter to do the story, don’t stipulate that you must read and edit the story before it runs in the paper. This is not your job. Frankly it’s kind of offensive to ask someone to let you check their work before it gets published. I have an editor already and frankly, I’ve never known of any newspaper that will let you do this. Now, what you can do is ask that the reporter about the quotes and other content that they received from you. But it’s essentially unethical for the reporter to let you read the finished story before it runs.

2. Don’t ask that your story run on a specific day. I understand that you have a fundraiser coming up this weekend and it would be really great if I get that story in for Friday’s paper. But despite what you must think there is a huge difference between a news story and an advertisement. If you want something to be published on a certain day, pay for an advertisement. And I don’t want to hear the excuse that “things are tight” and the economy is bad so you can’t pay for an ad. Hello? Things are tight in journalism these days too, and your ads pay our wages.

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Favorite musical moments from Scrubs

I love the television show Scrubs. What makes it so great is the mix of comedy and drama, and also the fantastic use of music. Here are a few of my favorite musical moments from the show in no particular order.

Waiting for my real life to begin. This scene always makes me cry, even though I’ve seen it a million times. I love the song because I think in some way it describes life so well.

My overkill. Another great one from Colin Hay.

More than a feeling. Gotta love the airband.

Africa. This is just a good scene and a great song.

Winter. The sadness of this moment is only made more poignant with Joshua Radin’s Winter.

How to save a life. Rabies kills some of Dr. Cox’s patients.

Tell her this. Ah, the saga that this JD and Elliott. One of the great love stories of our time. And I love this song.

Hey ya. Ted sings at Janitor’s wedding.

Bad dream. Carla says goodbye to a friend.

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