How to talk to a reporter and get quoted

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If you’re an expert, reporters may call you — especially if your opinions on a topic rank on Google. What a great opportunity to spread your knowledge and reputation! Don’t blow it. Today, I drafted an op-ed for the Boston Globe with a hook in today’s news. I emailed three authors whose opinions I knew … Continued

Policing Trump’s (or anybody’s) tweets: the problem is context

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Donald Trump tweeted that mail-in ballots in California would lead to fraud. Twitter added a content warning on his tweets. If you think this is the start of Twitter fact-checking tweets, you’re wrong. It can’t. The problem is context. Let’s review what actually happened. Here’s what Trump tweeted: Twitter did something it rarely does: included … Continued

Passive voice editorials flinch from the truth

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One of the most pernicious of pieces on the opinion pages of our newspapers is the passive voice editorial, which pleads that something must be done — but doesn’t suggest who should do it. That’s particularly worrisome during the current pandemic, because we already know that things are screwed up and people are dying. We … Continued

In which I declare war on link building

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I get dozens of emails every week from people who want to post shit on my site — despite the fact that I have never posted an unsolicited article. They don’t benefit my readers and they annoy me, so I’ve declared war on them. Here are some samples: Hi there, I know you’re swamped, so … Continued

I see you people. And I’m disappointed.

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I’m not getting together in person with very many people these days. I connect with all my professional friends on social media and email. And you people are remarkably consistent — you either offer value, or you don’t. Here’s what I value: original, thoughtful content, and information I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. For example: Data, … Continued

Hey, Disney. #MayThe4th be with you, but nobody owns a hashtag

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Disney asserted that it has the rights to do whatever it wants with your content, just because you used the #MayThe4th hashtag. That’s not how hashtags work. Here’s what Disney tweeted: Here’s the thing about hashtags: Nobody owns them. If I want to use #MayThe4th in my tweet about Star Wars linked to porn, I … Continued

Why headlines are so easy to screw up

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I noticed these headlines while perusing the Boston Globe app this morning. Do they seem a bit off to you? I’m an editor. My internal grammar checker is like an oenophile’s nose. And something here stinks. Does Senate candidate Joe Kennedy actually have a head inside of himself? Weird. Did he swallow it or did … Continued