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America's Best Newspaper Writing : A Collection of ASNE Prizewinners

by ;
Edition:
2nd
ISBN13:

9780312443672

ISBN10:
0312443676
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
12/30/2005
Publisher(s):
Bedford/St. Martin's
List Price: $49.70
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Summary

America's Best Newspaper Writingrepresents the "best-of-the-best" from 25 years of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) Distinguished Writing Awards competition. With an emphasis on local reporting, new stories including more on crisis coverage, and pedagogical tools to help students become better writers, the second edition is the most useful and up-to-date anthology available for feature writing and introduction to journalism classes.

Author Biography

ROY PETER CLARK and CHRISTOPHER SCANLAN are both working journalists and teachers at the Poynter Institute, a world-renowned journalism school that gives writing, reporting, and editing seminars to thousands of media professionals each year. Both have helped in developing the annual Distinguished Writing Awards competition, and have chosen the stories in this book, making a collection that is truly the "best-of-the-best."

Table of Contents

Preface vii
The Remarks of Everett S. Allen Upon Becoming the First Winner of the ASNE Distinguished Writing Award in 1978 xxiii
About the Authors xxv
Introduction 1(286)
1 DEADLINE WRITING
5(23)
Richard Ben Cramer,
The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 15, 1978
Report from the Mideast: Shiva for a Child Slain in a Palestinian Raid
7(1)
"'I don't understand this killing of children in the middle of the day. But I don't know if I hate them. This will not bring me back my niece."'
Leonora LaPeter,
Savannah (Ga.) Morning News, September 4, 1999
Jury Sends Santa Claus Killer to Electric Chair
13(1)
"'What happened in that house is consummate evil."'
David Von Drehle,
The Washington Post, April 28, 1994
Men of Steel Are Melting With Age
18(1)
The funeral of Richard Nixon brings out the old Republican guard, a cadre of once powerful men who now ponder their own mortality.
Francis X. Clines,
The New York Times, March 20, 1988
X-RAY READING: In Belfast, Death, Too, Is Diminished by Death
22(1)
Another rebel body is placed in a coffin. A nearby piece of graffiti proclaims: "I wonder each night what the monster will do to me tomorrow."
2 LOCAL REPORTING AND BEATS
28(33)
Rick Bragg,
The New York Times, August 13, 1995
All She Has, $150,000, Is Going to a University
30(1)
A woman who scrimped and saved all her life gives her savings to a scholarship fund for black students.
Thomas Boswell,
The Washington Post, September 30, 1980
Losing It: Careers Fall Like Autumn Leaves
34(1)
"Mixed among the burst beer cups...headed for the trash heap, we find old friends who are being consigned to the dust bin of baseball's history."
Jonathan Bor,
The Post-Standard, May 12, 1984
It Fluttered and Became Bruce Murray's Heart
41(1)
A new heart is flown from St. Louis to New York in an ice-filled beer cooler. Will it make it in time to save a man's life?
Mitch Albom,
Detroit Free Press, December 22, 1995
Mackenzie Football Star Another Gunplay Victim
46(1)
A young man, surrounded by guns, tries to escape a culture of violence through athletic achievement.
Russell Eshleman Jr.,
The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 12, 1991
Even for Trees, Age Could Have Its Privileges
53(1)
"Everybody complains about deadwood in state government."
Russell Eshleman Jr.,
The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 13, 1991
Domino's Bites Back at Tax
55(1)
"Hold the anchovies, the green peppers...and the taxes"
Dan Neil,
Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2003
X-RAY READING: Caught Up in the Crossfire
56(1)
"A few laps around the neighborhood will wring such doubts from your mind. The Crossfire is wicked fun to drive."
3 OBITUARIES AND FUNERALS
61(12)
Tom Shales,
The Washington Post, January 16, 1987
Ray Bolger, the Immortal Scarecrow
63(1)
One movie role turned a song-and-dance man into an American cultural icon.
Jim Nicholson,
The Philadelphia Daily News, March 19, 1986
Edward E. "Ace" Clark, Ice and Coal Dealer
66(1)
He drove a horse-drawn ice wagon and liked to deliver the iceman's line: "Every man has a wife, but an iceman has his pick."
Jim Nicholson,
The Philadelphia Daily News, April 2, 1986
X-RAY READING: Tastykake Retiree Marie Byrne
70(1)
A kind Irish woman "took in neighborhood runaways but was tough enough to keep them and her own kids in line."
4 CRIME AND COURTS
73(39)
Cathy Frye,
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December 14, 2003
Caught in the Web: Evil at the Door
75(1)
"She was right there, only a stretch of dark and the front door between them, and she had no idea he had come for her.
Linnet Myers,
Chicago Tribune, February 12, 1989
Humanity on Trial
87(1)
"Murderers walk these halls, and the mothers of murderers, and the mothers of the murdered too."
Anne Hull,
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, May 2, 1993
Metal to Bone, Day 1: Click
96(1)
On the Fourth of July, a young policewoman feels a gun barrel against her skull and then hears a click.
5 BUSINESS REPORTING AND EXPLANATORY JOURNALISM
112(26)
William E. Blundell,
The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 1981
The Life of a Cowboy: Drudgery and Danger
114(1)
Jim Miller represents a dying breed of real cowboys in an era of shiny belt buckles and mechanical bulls.
Peter Rinearson,
The Seattle Times, June 19, 1983
Making It Fly: Designing the 757
121(1)
Building a new jetliner requires innovation, compromise and a bizarre test involving anesthetized chickens.
Michael Gartner,
The Daily Tribune, August 2, 1995
X-RAY READING: Property Tax Exemptions: Legal but Terribly Unfair
132(1)
Some people in this small town have to pay all their taxes. Others don't. The law is the culprit.
6 OPINION AND PERSUASION
138(26)
Murray Kempton,
Newsday, November 9, 1984
A Woman Burned While Police Had Their Danish
140(1)
A city haunted by a famous case of civic cowardice faces another case involving gross negligence by the police.
Richard Aregood,
The Philadelphia Daily News, March 15, 1990
Tugs at the Curtain, but Wizard's Lips Remain Frozen
143(1)
Politicians in Washington have plans for cutting taxes, but they are illusions.
Donna Britt,
The Washington Post, November 30, 1993
A One-Word Assault on Women
146(1)
A young woman wears rhinestones around her neck. They form a word that shames her and denigrates all women.
Bailey Thomson,
Mobile (Ala.) Register, October 11, 1998
Dixie's Broken Heart: The Two Alabamas
149(1)
A state struggles against its history to enter the modern age.
Cynthia Tucker,
The Atlanta Constitution, September 22, 1999
Kings Defend Rogue Who Sullied Famed Name
154(1)
"Sometimes, when you attempt to pull a worthless friend out of the hole he's dug for himself, you end up covered in mud, too."
Andrew H. Malcolm,
Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2002
A Thesaurist Leaves, Exits
157(1)
A pithy tribute to a man with no synonym.
Leonard Pitts,
The Miami Herald, March 2, 2000
X-RAY READING: Second Thoughts Following New York Verdict
159(1)
A columnist caught between "not able to believe" and "not able to dismiss."
7 THE PROFILE AND FEATURE STORY
164(50)
Cynthia Gorney,
The Washington Post, May 21, 1979
Dr. Seuss: Wild Orchestrator of Plausible Nonsense for Kids
166(1)
One of the world's great authors of children's literature offers a tour of his house and his imagination.
Saul Pett,
Associated Press, November 30, 1980
Koch Grabs Big Apple and Shakes It
174(1)
The mayor of New York is a "mixed metaphor of a politician," as feisty and independent as the city he represents.
Mirta Ojito,
The New York Times, February 3, 1998
A Sentimental Journey to la Casa of Childhood
180(1)
"In a way, I'm reporting the story of a neighborhood, a typical one in Havana. But I'm also reporting the life I never got to have."
David Finkel,
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, May 5, 1985
For Lerro, Skyway Nightmare Never Ends
186(1)
A freak storm, a huge tanker, a fragile bridge and 35 are dead. One man bears the tragic burden of blame.
Tommy Tomlinson,
The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, November 16, 2003
A Beautiful Find
196(1)
"You decide you want to solve a math problem that's so hard, no one's come close in 25 years. How do you begin?"
Blaine Harden,
The Washington Post, November 8, 1987
Life, Death, and Corruption on an African Mainstream
203(1)
Part supermarket, part disco, part brothel, part slaughterhouse, the boat makes its journey into the heart of darkness.
Ken Fuson,
The Des Moines (Iowa) Register, March 16, 1995
X-RAY READING: Ah, What a Day!
211(1)
The sun begins to thaw Iowa. The rituals of spring begin.
8 TERRORISM, WAR AND DISASTERS
214(29)
Bryan Gruley,
The Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2001
Nation Stands in Disbelief and Horror
216(1)
"They were like scenes from a catastrophe movie. Or a Tom Clancy novel. Or a CNN broadcast from a distant foreign nation. But they were real yesterday."
Steve Lopez,
Los Angeles Times, September 15, 2001
Amid the Ruins, a Separate Peace
223(1)
"It rained like everyone was crying all at once, and it seemed to me that New York had never been more beautiful."
Mark Fritz,
Associated Press, May 12, 1994
Only Human Wreckage Is Left in Karubamba
226(1)
The civil war in Rwanda claims hundreds of thousands of lives. "Nobody lives here any more."
Anthony Shadid,
The Washington Post, March 31, 2003
A Boy Who Was "Like a Flower"
230(1)
"On a cold, concrete slab, a mosque caretaker washed the body of 14-year-old Arkan Daif for the last time."
Richard Zahler,
The Seattle Times, May 18, 1980
1,200 Feet of St. Helens Tossed to the Wind
235(1)
When a volcano erupts, it leaves its mark: "The ash filled the sky, and then it settled toward earth."
Jim Dwyer,
The New York Times, October 9, 2001
X-RAY READING: Fighting for Life 50 Floors Up, With One Tool and Ingenuity
238(1)
On September 11, lives depend on a simple tool.
9 THE CLASSICS
243(44)
Harold A. Littledale,
New York Evening Post, January 12, 1917
Prisoners With Midnight in Their Hearts
245(1)
An exposť of horrific conditions within a prison system ends with a call for action.
William Allen White,
The Emporia (Kan.) Gazette, May 17, 1921
Mary White
249(1)
"A rift in the clouds in a gray day threw a shaft of sunlight upon her coffin as her nervous, energetic little body sank to its last sleep."
Lorena A. Hickok,
Minneapolis Tribune, August 7, 1923
Iowa Village Waits All Night for Glimpse at Fleeting Train
254(1)
A village stays up to watch history pass. "It will be something for our children to tell their grandchildren about, all right."
Richard Wright,
New Masses, October 8, 1935
Joe Louis Uncovers Dynamite
259(1)
The victory of a heavyweight champion inspires a celebration in the streets of Chicago that reflects pride and aspirations for freedom.
Dorothy Thompson,
New York Herald Tribune, November 2, 1938
Mr. Welles and Mass Delusion
263(1)
"The newspapers are correct in playing up this story over every other news event in the world. It is the story of the century."
Ernie Pyle,
Scripps Howard Newspaper Alliance, January 10, 1944
The Death of Captain Henry Waskow
267(1)
American soldiers in World War II mourn the death of a beloved captain, who is shot down in the hills of Italy.
Marvel Cooke,
The Daily Compass, 1950
From "The Bronx Slave Market"
270(1)
Women day workers in New York City are exploited, performing menial tasks for low wages.
Red Smith,
New York Herald Tribune, October 4, 1951
Miracle of Coogan's Bluff
276(1)
A dramatic ending of a baseball game in New York becomes one of the greatest moments in sports history.
Meyer Berger,
The New York Times, January 23, 1959
About New York
280(1)
An old blind man, down and out, is taken to a Catholic hospital, where his secret is revealed: He was once a great violinist.
Gene Patterson,
The Atlanta Constitution, September 16, 1963
A Flower for the Graves
284(1)
Four black children die in a church bombing in Birmingham, Ala. The racist white South must take the blame.
10 THE CRAFT OF WRITING GREAT STORIES 287(27)
THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE STORY
287(7)
The Inverted Pyramid
288(2)
The Process of Writing and Reporting
290(4)
Generating story ideas,
290(1)
Collecting information,
291(1)
Finding a focus with the lead,
291(1)
Selecting the best material,
292(1)
Creating a plan for the story,
292(1)
Creating a draft,
293(1)
Revising and clarifying,
293(1)
THE LANGUAGE OF JOURNALISM
294(8)
Is Concrete and Specific
295(1)
Is Active
296(1)
Makes Meaning Early
297(2)
Is Democratic
299(1)
Has a Voice
300(1)
Strives for Clarity
301(1)
WRITING TO INFORM, WRITING TO ENGAGE
302(1)
WRITING WITH "GOLD COINS"
303(2)
MAKING HARD FACTS EASY READING
305(10)
Thinking Tools
306(1)
Envision a general audience,
306(1)
Tell it to a friend,
306(1)
Think graphics,
307(1)
Look for the human side,
307(1)
Find the microcosm,
307(1)
Develop a chronology,
307(1)
Consider the impact,
308(1)
Cool off,
308(1)
Read it aloud,
309(1)
Eliminate unnecessary information,
309(1)
Drafting Tools
309(1)
Slow the pace of information,
309(1)
Introduce new or difficult elements one at a time,
310(1)
Recognize the value of repetition,
310(1)
Don't clutter leads,
311(1)
Use simple sentences,
311(1)
Remember that numbers can be numbing,
312(1)
Translate jargon,
312(1)
Announce difficult concepts,
312(1)
Compile lists,
313(1)
11 ETHICAL JOURNALISM AND THE CRAFT OF HONEST WRITING 314
DO NOT ADD; DO NOT DECEIVE
315(1)
FOUR SUPPORTING STRATEGIES
316(2)
Be unobtrusive,
316(1)
Make sure that stories ring true,
316(1)
Make sure that stories check out,
317(1)
Report and write with humility,
317(1)
PLAGIARISM: THE UNORIGINAL SIN
318


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