Looking forward to the future of journalism

Reporter’s notebook: When talking to neighbors pays off

Scott Huddleston covered the shootings at Fort Hood last week and helped write an amazing profile of Kimberly Munley, the police sergeant who, along with Sgt. Mark Todd, opened fire on Nidal Malik Hasan and stopped the rampage. Scott talked to one of Munley’s neighbors and learned a revealing anecdote about Munley’s no-nonsense attitude: As … Read more

The power of long-form journalism in the Cameron Todd Willingham arson case

Helen Zhang at Mediaite points out the sudden interest in the Texas death penalty case of Cameron Todd Willingham was prompted by a ginormous, 16,000-word article by the New Yorker magazine. The story is long — but it’s hard to stop reading it: The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in … Read more

Learning about the arcane world of stock numbers and missile launchers

One of the interesting things about journalism is you learn something new every day. And this odd story definitely qualifies. Jarrette Schule found what appears to be an anti-tank missile launcher on his rural property in the Hill Country. When I visited Jarrette and saw the missile launcher, I realized I would have to try … Read more

For journalism students: How hidden facts got me hooked on journalism

Administration building at the University of the Incarnate Word

The latest issue of the Incarnate Word Logos, the student newspaper of the university in San Antonio where I studied journalism, published an article in May about the school cafeteria, and how some students are unhappy with their meal plans. The article stirred up ancient memories. My very first news story was published in the … Read more

How journalists can be better bloggers


News University gave a recent Webinar hosted by Matt Thompson about effective ways to design and write a successful blog with a robust community. Thompson offered key tips for reporters, who are often told to go forth and blog but don’t receive much guidance about what makes a good blog. Many journalists, who have spent … Read more

Texas State University students learn to tell stories with video

Angela Grant, the video guru at the San Antonio Express-News, shared an excellent post about video projects published on YouTube by a class of Texas State University journalism students taught by David Nolan. Angela taught me everything I knew about shooting and editing video. One of her lessons is promising: Anyone can do this. Most … Read more

La Villita for sale: Can Texas officials talk about closed-door meetings?

La Villita for sale in San Antonio

Express-News Reporter Guillermo Garcia broke a story last week about a confidential city plan to sell La Villita and Market Square. The plan disturbed some city councilmembers, who told Guillermo about a closed-door meeting in which the deal was discussed: Inner-city Councilwoman Mary Alice Cisneros was put on the defensive this week after revelations that … Read more

Top five books every student journalist should own right now

Best books for journalism students

The best way to learn journalism is by doing it. But some journalism books so deftly explain the nuts and bolts of the craft, they should be read by every journalism student, and re-read every few years when those students become working journalists. Here are my top picks: “The Art and Craft of Feature Writing,” … Read more