Scratchpad for newswriting class

April 10, 2012

Pretend your textbook’s speech by Michael Gartner was actually given at Radford and that you were in the audience with your laptop or smartphone…

Pretend the “comment” area on this message is actually Twitter: Enter one or two “tweets” about some aspect of the speech.

(maximum 140 characters, but 120 is even better to leave room for “retweets” and “hashtags”)

For example:

“I’m going out to buy a Wall Street Journal, a dictionary and a bow-tie.”

For a guide, here are 120 characters (spaces and punctuation count):




32 Responses to “Scratchpad for newswriting class”

  1. I thought it was clever how Gartner’s speech @RadfordU mentioned both personal (#love, #care) characteristics and interpersonal (#interview, #talk, #report, #collaborate) aspects of the 12-step program to good writing.

  2. jillianru said

    Gartner’s advice inspired me to become a better writer, I hope that he returns to @RadfordU to share even more insight!

  3. Amy said

    Gartner’s Speech was amazing! I hope he comes back to Radford again for those who missed it!

  4. Caleigh said

    Michael Gartner tells students @RadfordU to love what you do in every career choice and it will never be laborious.

  5. BushidoBrown said

    “No one should stay in a job where more than 20% of the duties are unpleasant or unsatisfying” – Michael Gartner

  6. Big Al said

    “You cannot be a good writer if you do not love writing and love reporting. It’s simply impossible.” – Michael Gartner

  7. Thomas Beckett said

    Michael Gartner @RadfordU attempts to compare learning how to write well with alcoholics trying to quit drinking #herewego

    • Bob Stepno said

      For anyone who didn’t get the joke, Thomas explained in class that he was giving an example of someone tweeting “live” during a speech and accidentally misleading followers. (Gartner mentioned A.A. in his introduction, joking that his talk was a “12 step program” for good writing, but he never actually talked about drinking, and his 12 writing tips weren’t really sequential “steps.” The only similarity was the number 12.)

  8. Derek Saunders said

    @RadfordU Gartner’s speech was influential to many. Gartner explained the #12steps to writing a good story.

  9. Megan Hayes said

    @RadfordU students have gained much knowledge about writing after Gartner’s educational speech!

  10. Anonymous Guy. said

    Very interesting speech. Enjoyed listening to what Gartner had to say!

  11. Caleigh said

    Extraordinary zeal for jourmalism by Michael Gartner. Aspiring reporters should heed to his 12-step program.

  12. I’ve got a lot to learn! Gartner has been there and back. Ready for the ride.

  13. Jenna H said

    Michael Gartner’s speech showed me I have a lot to learn #12stepstogoodwriting @RadfordU

  14. Austin said

    “Talk to others, but talk to yourself.” – Michael Gartner

  15. jh27 said

    The Michael Gartner speech taught me I still have a lot to learn when it comes to journalism.

  16. another bozo on the bus said

    Dynamite bowtie, dude!

  17. Taylor said

    “remember, the easiest thing for the reader to do is quit reading.”

    -Barney Kilgore

    • Bob Stepno said

      Good catch by Taylor. Notice that Gartner himself quoted his old boss Kilgore. If you had more space, you might say “M Gartner says the best writing advice he ever got was from Barney Kilgore of the WSJournal: “‘the easiest thing for the reader to do is quit reading.'”

  18. Jesse Miedema said

    Experiment, pounce, love… creative steps for writing. Gartner’s speech @RadfordU was full of great advice!

  19. Torin H said

    Always re-read and read aloud your work

  20. Ellisse said

    “Who else in the world is paid just to ask questions, think and to write? There simply is nothing more satisfying, nothing more fun.” Great speech @RadfordU

  21. Pinar M said

    Getting a new perspective on writing via Michael Gartner’s speech @RadfordU today #12stepstogoodwriting

  22. Taylor said

    I feel like I could listen to Michael Gartner speak forever he’s so inspiring. Hope he comes back to Radford!

  23. Taylor said

    “The easiest thing for a reader to do is quit reading,” Gartner said during a speech he gave at @RadfordU.

  24. Ashlee M said

    It’s impossible to be a good writer if you don’t love writing — Michael Gartner tells @RadfordU students.

  25. Ellisse said

    “The fun of writing? That, sometimes, is like the fun of a headache. Or the fun of divorce”.

  26. Katie B said

    Be a good listener. Great advice from Gartner!

  27. Casey Stamas said

    @RadfordU students capability in writing has greater potential for improvement after Gartner’s speech!

  28. anonymous coward said

    I missed the speech, but I’ll Tweet about anything

    • Bob Stepno said

      Remember that anyone can create a Twitter account for free, so if you discuss Twitter items in a news story, identify the participants in the discussion carefully. In this case, you might say “One of the less relevant comments in the Gartner discussion on Twitter was from ‘Anonymous Coward,’ who said ‘I missed the speech, but I’ll Tweet about anything.'”

  29. Bob Stepno said

    Gartner’s speech @RadfordU was so carefully put together that it’s almost as if I read it in a book.

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