Credit unions, little known, not-for-profit financial institutes, are taking on the banks, pushing against a limit on the value of commercial loans they can make. This article led me to learn about this unusual financial organization and gave me the opportunity to exercise objective journalism, letting each side have their say. The article was published in the Columbia Business Times.
Posts Tagged ‘dianna borsi obrien’
Posted in Resources, tagged Christina Katz, dianna borsi obrien, freelance, freelance writing, Jennifer Benner, Julia Cameron, Kelly James-Enger, Linda Formichelli, The Writer's Way, Vanessa Wieland, Writer's Digest on August 29, 2011 | 2 Comments »
I always say that what I love about being a freelance writer is I get to learn all the time. And some of that learning is about the craft of freelance writing. That’s why I subscribe to Writer’s Digest.
I’m sure every freelance writer has his or her favorite magazine; Writer’s Digest is one of three magazines I subscribe to.
Each issue includes articles and features for freelancers, although the bulk of the magazine is devoted to writers of books, poetry and short stories. Yet even the features devoted to these areas, such as author profiles give freelancers like me insight and something to learn. For example, the profile of Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist’s Way, notes she began by writing feature articles and freelancing.
Here are just a few of the departments and articles I’ve found especially helpful:
Standout Markets – a list of various markets, it always includes markets for freelance work.
Conference Scene by Linda Formichelli offers a view of places where writers can gather for networking and learning. Each installation of Conference Scene has a theme, such as Writing Without Borders, writing conference throughout the world, or Finding Your Niche, which listed conferences for screenwriters and pet writers.
“The Wired Writer,” in the July/August 2011 edition of the magazine outlined various apps writers would find useful.
Write a How-To Article in Six Easy Steps, by Christina Katz, also in the July/August 2011 broke down a formula article into six easy steps.
The Not-So-Fantastic Four. This article in the July/August 2011 issue outlined four freelancers’ biggest problems, with tips on how to solve them. The examples in the article included an AWOL editor, vague assignments, late-paying clients. The article was by Kelly James-Enger, author of Six-Figure Freelancing. I enjoyed reading this article because it told me that I’m not the only freelance for face these obstacles.
The fact-check checklist, May/June 2011
101 Best Website for Writers, May/June 2011
Getting Started in Ghostwriting by Kelly James-Enger, with a box on markets, March/April 2011.
Best Online Markets by Vanessa Wieland & Jennifer Benner, Nov/Dec 2010.
Posted in Articles, Journalism practices, tagged Columbia Business Time, Columbia Home, dianna borsi obrien, Jim Fisher, John Schuppan, Pure Audio, Travis Huff, University of Missouri School of Journallism on August 22, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
One of the things Jim Fisher, a writing teacher at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, taught me is to arrive at an interview at least five minutes early. The person being interviewed is probably nervous and there’s no need to make him or her more nervous by arriving just on time or late.
And so I do make sure I’m there early. But sometimes there’s no way to make someone trust me as a journalist. They may have been burned or misquoted and despite my assurances that I accuracy check all my articles, i.e. let a source review for accuracy the entire article before submitting to my editor, some people still are nervous.
That was the case with Travis Huff of Pure Audio when I interviewed him for this article, Creating sounds of something great, published in the Columbia Business Times on August 19, 2011, reprinted from Columbia Home’s August/September 2011 issue.
After the initial interview and then a change in focus from the editor, Travis asked if I could interview him by email. No problem, I thought, except for follow-up questions. Journalists know that the follow-up question can be the most important one of an interview. There’s no way to know everything we need to know before we arrive, so when a source says something interesting, it is crucial to follow up with a question.
What followed were several days of emails. But then I learned another downside of email interviews. Travis’s answers were great. But they were very formal. We all write in a more formal tone than we talk.
So how to bring a business story to life? Ask the people who are affected — Pure Audio’s customers.
The result is an article that highlights what Pure Audio really does. Sure, Huff explained that the company installs digital sound and video systems for homes and offices. But John Schuppan and others explained what Pure Audio really does — help people enjoy the digital sound and video systems in their homes.
Now that’s something worth writing about.
Here’s a summary of the article:
August 19, 2011, Creating sounds of something great, Columbia Business Times. Columbia firm Pure Audio & Video Specialty installs digital media systems in new and older homes, simplifying the music/video system. Yes, you can have just one remote for the whole house, and no the television does not have to be the focus of a room. A reprint from Columbia Home, August/September 2011 issue.
Like Kermit the Frog said about being green, being a journalist isn’t easy. That’s why the Society of Professional Journalists provides resources to help journalists in their pursuit of excellence.
Below is a link to the SPJ’s online journaliststoolbox.
The SPJ, founded in 1909, is dedicated to “the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty,” according to its website.
For more information on the SPJ, see its website at http://www.spj.org/index.asp
Posted in Articles, Journalism practices, tagged columbia, journalism, missouri, dianna borsi obrien, Columbia Business Times, Centro Latino, obesity, Eduardo Crespi, Comedor Popular, Hispanic, why is this important on June 14, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
One of the core missions of journalism, I believe, is to explain why something is important.
This article does exactly that, in concrete and subtle ways. First, it outlines the expansion of the Centro Latino and the role of Eduardo Crespi.
Under Crespi’s direction, the Centro has been serving the growing Hispanic community of Columbia for 11 years. Now, he’s expanding its educational offerings in an effort to stem the tide of obesity in this population and the community as a whole.
The article outlines the obesity rates and the results of the problem. But it also highlights the results of one man’s efforts, multiplied through networking and community effort.
You can read the article at the link below:
June 10, 2011, Centro Latino: Relocating, Expanding Mission, Columbia Business Times. The 11-year-old Centro Latino, is moving to a new location and starting a new operation, Comedor Popular. Guided by Eduardo Crespi, the center, which provides assistance to Columbia’s growing Hispanic population, will now offer meals and education to stem the tide of obesity and related illnesses.
Posted in Articles, Journalism practices, tagged Century 21 Advantage, Columbia Business Times, Dave Denton, dianna borsi obrien, double checking, Freddy Spencer, journalism, Karla Wilcoxson on May 4, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
As a journalist, I can become jaded. A story too good to be true often is just that.
But not in this case. When I first spoke to Freddy Spencer, it seemed hard to believe that despite being out of the office nearly more than he was in it during 2009, his fledgling real estate office increased sales and number of agents. He credited his positive attitude.
As a journalist, that seemed like a flimsy thing to peg his success on. But when I spoke to his agents, friends and family members, that’s what they kept talking about, along with his faith and support of them. I still checked with the corporate office, to check his numbers. I checked with other sources as well. That’s journalism, double checking and triple checking.
In addition, I spoke to many people, several of whom I didn’t quote in the article. I was looking for the “real” reason Spencer’s company thrived despite his absence. In the end, it seemed that a story too good to be true really was.
You can read all about it in this article about Freddy Spencer, his family and his business via the Columbia Business Times website.
Below is a blurb about the article and a link to it.
April 29, 2011, A Realtor’s Ordeal Birth becomes blessing, business gains perspective, Columbia Business Times. In the last couple of years, Freddy Spencer of Century 21 Advantage, has faced a trifecta of trauma: he launched his real estate office just as the housing market crashed, his mother died suddenly in 2008 and in 2009, his son was born with a rare heart defect. Despite these odds, his company thrived. Spencer — and his agents — credit his positive attitude, faith and his support of his agents.
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Alley A Realty, Berry Building, columbia, dianna borsi obrien, John Ott, missouri, Missouri Preservation, PS: Gallery, Tommy Martin, Vicki Ott, Wilson's Fitness on March 16, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Back in 1987, my first editor Tommy Martin told me I didn’t have to know everything, I just had to have people willing to give me a call when something happened. The tip for this article didn’t come from someone calling me but through my connections within the community.
One of my hobbies in an interest in historic buildings, which you can see through another one of my websites, columbiahistoricplaces.com
But it’s through this connection that I learned Missouri Preservation was going to honor John and Vicki Ott’s company, Alley A Realty, for its redevelopment of the Berry Building. Once a warehouse for grocery items unloaded at the nearby railroad depot, now a bus station, the 1924 building was derelict when the Otts bought it. After a $3 million renovation, the building is now occupied by PS: Gallery, Wilson’s Fitness and 12 luxury loft apartments as well as other businesses.
This redevelopment was honored by Missouri Preservation, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting historic preservation.
This is only the fourth Columbia building honored by Missouri Preservation, but it is the Otts’ 11th redevelopment project in downtown Columbia.
While journalists like me work to remain objective, it is also part of our job to stay connected.
One of the jobs of the media is to provide a place where a community can have a conversation with itself.
That’s what this article is all about. Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher wants the community to discuss changing a law so voters can have an opportunity to tax themselves to pay for quality preschool for all children in Boone County.
He knows increasing taxes isn’t popular. He knows it will be a tough sell. But he also knows nothing will happen if people aren’t exposed to the idea so they can discuss the idea.
Belcher isn’t a fool. He provides a lot of dollar-and-cents reasons for going with quality preschool for children, including the fact that children who come to school unprepared are more likely to end up on the wrong side of the law later in life instead of becoming the workers and good citizens we’d like all children to grow up to be.
Learn more by reading this March 4, 2011 article in the Columbia Business Times.
Posted in Articles, tagged basement transformation, columbia, Columbia Home, Deanna Dikeman, dianna borsi obrien, Gail Metz, John Metz, Kerry Bramon Remodeling & Design, missouri, spiders on March 4, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
If you’re of a certain age, the idea of a basement conjures up images of dark, dank spider-filled spaces.
Looking at this Basement Transformation article published in the February/March issue of Columbia Home, you can get an entirely new view of a basement. The lower level of Gail and John Metz’s Columbia, Missouri, home was a once catchall, a jumble of the refuge of their busy lives. A complete renovation with the help of Kerry Bramon Remodeling & Design created a Colorado-lodge-like space complete with a kitchen, living room with a roaring fireplace and even his and hers offices. This article features photographs by Deanna Dikeman.
As a reporter, the challenge with this article was to write a paragraph to go with every picture. Sounds easy, right? But I’m used to writing an article that flows with transitions and explanations. To simply write a line or two to go with a photograph was a challenge, but an exciting one. Since I’m not just a writer, but a reader of magazines such as This Old House, I know how important those captions with pictures are. Take a look at the article and see whether you read the article or just the captions for the photographs.
Or do the different elements, the captions, photos and article give you what journalists call different entry points?
I hope so. Even more I hope you enjoy the article!