Newsroom Caller
A few months ago I posted Milwaukee journalist Mike Juley’s “Top 5 Tips to the Newsroom.” His #5 was: “Don’t be afraid to pick up a ringing phone. It’s good to find out what an actual reader thinks.”


This afternoon, Suffolk Times editor Michael White picked up his ringing phone and heard from an actual reader who thinks their is spelled thier. Here’s part of the call:

call phone

Caller: …it’s spelled incorrectly.

Editor Michael White: It’s a possessive — ‘Their place.’

Caller: How do you spell their?

White: T-H-E-I-R.

Caller: And do you think that’s the correct spelling of that word?

White: What *is* the correct spelling?

Caller: It’s I-E-R.


White: Ah, OK. I-E-R you’re saying?

Caller: Well, you tell me how you guys came up with it, because I can’t find it in any dictionary, and I went to college, and I was taught it was t-h-i-e-r. ….[Garbled] Google it and let me know. I can hold.

White: I have other stuff to do. You should Google it.

Caller: Wow, okay, well, I already know that I’m correct.

If you would like to read more about above mentioned post “Top 5 Tips to the Newsroom”, we are bringing it to you entirety: 

  1. Stay Focused on the Facts: In the fast-paced and constantly evolving world of journalism, it’s crucial to remain focused on the facts. This means verifying information before publishing it, avoiding sensationalism, and avoiding jumping to conclusions. When writing a story, always make sure to double-check your sources, and avoid relying on a single source.
  2. Keep Up-to-Date with Technology: In today’s digital age, technology plays a vital role in journalism. Make sure to keep up-to-date with the latest tools and platforms that are being used in the industry. This includes staying up-to-date with the latest software and hardware, as well as knowing how to use social media effectively for reporting and sharing stories.
  3. Build Relationships with Sources: Building strong relationships with sources is critical in journalism. This not only allows you to gather information and report on stories, but it also helps to build trust and credibility with your audience. Make sure to treat your sources with respect, listen to their stories, and protect their confidentiality when necessary.Journalism
  4. Develop Strong Writing Skills: Writing is an essential part of journalism, and it’s crucial to develop strong writing skills. This includes being able to write clearly and concisely, using proper grammar and syntax, and telling compelling stories that engage your audience. To improve your writing skills, consider taking writing workshops, reading the works of great writers, and seeking feedback from your colleagues.
  5. Pick up a ringing phone: Knowing what your reader thinks is important because it helps you understand their perspective and tailor your message to meet their needs and expectations. It is a crucial component of effective communication and helps to build trust and credibility.


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