How to think like a Journalist: Above the Cut II

Last time, I spoke of how certain news stories appear above the fold of other stories.

Having a news story strategically placed as the lead story of a news site, a newspaper, or a magazine can either make someone or break someone.

Following these tips to guide your strategy for appearing above the fold will get you maximum exposure.

Develop a positive relationship with the editor and any journalist covering your particular beat, whether it’s healthcare, business, government, or education or anything that advances your cause or concern.

Have a spokesperson out front to answer any questions a journalist may ask. Remember news people are often rushed when it comes to their deadlines.

Send out news releases and follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road inquiring where and when they plan to publish it and it will lead you to the land of Oz.

Timing is important. If it is a slow news day when editors must fill up their pages, say the Holidays for instance when things are a snails pace for news (not shopping mind you), this may be a time to plug in your particular story.

These are some of the tips to use in your marketing toolkit.

More to follow as we finish our discussion of Above the Cut for those who want to avoid the spotlight or mitigate the effects of bad publicity. Stay tuned next Monday Dec. 24.


How to think like a Journalist: Above the Cut I

It feels good having an article above the cut.

In newspeak, being above the cut means having a story be the lead front-page story.

When newspapers are folded, the front-page story will appearing newsstands as the first thing shoppers see. To pick up and actually buy the newspaper, sometimes depends on the urgency or interest in the lead story.

Some lead stories were inaccurate as when the Chicago Daily Tribune wrote in their headline that Dewey defeated Truman in the 1948 presidential elections.

“Dewey Defeats Truman” was an incorrect banner headline on the front page of the Chicago Daily Tribune on November 3, 1948, the day after incumbent United States President Harry S. Truman won an upset victory over Republican challenger and Governor of New York Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 presidential election.

Others will be ever memorably tragic such as when every newspaper’s front-page headlines told about 9/11 and the bodies falling from the towers.

In advertising, the placement of an ad as well as its size is important in how the viewer sees it.

Could it be buried on page 3? Could it be located on the back? Could it be in classifieds? Brrr! The Dread!

The importance of location in a publication whether it is in print or online cannot be stressed more.

When looking at text on a screen – mobile or otherwise – the first thing that the viewer sees is the front-page story. If they have to scroll to see your stories, it may not be the best location for it.

How does a story become a front-page lead story? What should someone do to get the best results in their stories location? Find out on Monday Dec. 17 for an answer. To be continued.


Translations Key to Human Understanding

Have you heard of the game in which a simple message is passed from ear to ear that at the end of the line the message is lost in translation? In our world, passing down sacred text from generation to generation is as hard if not harder.

Translations of ancient text are critical in human understanding of not only our past, but also our future selves.

Continue reading “Translations Key to Human Understanding”


How to think like a Journalist: Snapshots

We are attracted to the visual.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and Raphael’s The School of Athens took us by our senses in the Renaissance.

Picasso’s Guernica and Goya’s The Third of May 1808 showed us what war was all about in all its senseless brutality.

The New York Times described Matthew Brady’s American Civil War photographs as bringing the war to America’s doorsteps in all its graphic details.

What does this mean for the modern journalist?

Continue reading “How to think like a Journalist: Snapshots”


Conquering Foreign Words Help Shape Language

In France, the Académie Française is responsible for protecting the purity of the French language from foreign influences. Other countries are also singularly protective of their cultural languages.

However, due to the increasingly free flow of information across the Internet’s world wide web, this is increasingly hard to do.

Continue reading “Conquering Foreign Words Help Shape Language”