Project checklist – Here’s my 10-point checklist for enterprise projects – stories that I choose to do. There are some stories that are so important or timely that a checklist is irrelevant or misguided. But for discretionary projects – ideas that begin from scratch – I find this checklist a fail safe compass.





Find the Story – Sure, you’ve mastered many tools of the trade. You’re aggressive, relentless. But time and again you watch in bewilderment as big enterprise stories by your competitors or colleagues break around you – spectacular reporting efforts that overflow with unique findings. I could have done that story, you say. If only I had found it first. Don’t just “follow your gut.” Anyone can work a telephone, file public record requests, and query the web. Develop a strategy that helps excavate story nuggets into polished stories.




Data Journalist Checklist: It’s the small things that bite you in this profession. That’s especially true with computer-assisted reporting. Here are some of my simple philosophies that drive my watchdog stories.







Interview techniques – I classify most sources into 10 general categories. There are many nuances, of course. And this light-hearted and simplistic list is not meant to denigrate the important, vital role of sources – the lifeblood of our profession. Interviewing is an art. Assessing motivation is a critical skill and essential to developing an interviewing strategy that compliments the personalities of both you (yes, you will need one) and your potential source.




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