Tip of the Week Archive

Is There Anything Else? Wrapping Up An Interview

Posted July 10, 2018 by Bill Wheelhouse

This week’s tip might seem basic, but it’s always important, as someone once said, “to be brilliant on the basics.” A good infielder takes a lot of ground balls in practice.

When you are wrapping up an interview or background conversation with someone, always remember to ask them “Is there anything else you would like to add?”.   More  

More Ways To Get The Info You Need

Posted July 3, 2018 by Bill Wheelhouse

Tracking public records is one of the key ways to find information.  LaReeca Rucker reported for Newslab on the recent IRE gathering.   She came away with these tips.

One of the most informative sessions was called “Public Records Track: 50 Records to Request Now.” Described as a “quick-paced,  More  

How To Pitch Political Stories

Posted June 18, 2018 by Bill Wheelhouse

Tim Wieland of KCNC in Denver has some guidelines if you are a reporter who REALLY wants to report political stories in your market.

He has these five tips on pitching political stories:


  1. Know how the story directly relates to your audience.
  2.  More  

It’s Only Boring If You Make It Boring

Posted June 11, 2018 by Bill Wheelhouse

Taking some extra time when writing can allow you to take what you considered throw away b-roll to actually help tell and improve your story.

At his recent appearance at IBA’s convention in Normal, Poynter Institute’s Al Tompkins was helping reporters make their writing more interesting.  Al says you “explain the video,  More  

Pick from the Buffet of Records

Posted June 1, 2018 by Bill Wheelhouse

This week’s tip comes from Pro Publica Illinois.   It’s a great way to find a trove of information that’s available to you.

Pick from the buffet of records: Many public agencies are required to keep what they call record retention schedules. That means you could ask for this list of all data an agency collects and then specify exactly what you need in your request.   More