Internship in Lewisville, TX

The Lewisville Texan Journal is now accepting intern inquiries! We are looking for writers interested in the workings of a mom-and-pop paper. You will be able to contribute to any and all sections of our Lewisville-focused publication. You will also have a hand in editing and designing our weekly paper. We value versatility.

Details here:

Storytelling contest: March 3 deadline

Team: We received this information and are sharing it for those interested.

Win a trip to the Amazon
rainforest this summer!

We want to know:
What stories are moving the planet forward?

Planet Forward, a project of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, has launched its 3rd annual storytelling contest to reward college students who are telling dynamic stories about our planet.

To compete, students can submit up to three stories focused on food, water, energy, mobility, urban centers, or biodiversity, and may be shared through any combination of mediums. From video to a blog post, spoken word to infographics, we at Planet Forward want you to share stories by your most creative means possible.

The Storyfest competition will select the top storyteller in five different categories:

  1. The Innovator Award: The Story Featuring the Most Compelling Character (or Characters) — the Innovator
  2. The Right Brain Award: Most Creativity in the Art of Environmental Storytelling
  3. The Left Brain Award: Best Use of Science or Data in Environmental Storytelling
  4. The Visionary Award: Best Story about a Scalable Innovation That Can Change the World Now
  5. The 22nd Century Award: The Best Story about the Most Ambitious Idea That Can Move the Planet Forward

Five grand prize winners will awarded a storytelling expedition to the Brazilian rainforest with Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, the “godfather of biodiversity,” and Planet Forward’s Frank Sesno, former CNN D.C. bureau chief. Submissions will be presented and awarded during the 2017 Planet Forward Summit on April 6-7.

Time is running out, though — all entries must be submitted no later than Friday, March 3! Submit your story today.

From CMA: Illustrating difficult topics

Illustrating hard stories and topics
Patrick Armstrong, Austin Peay State University

Basic news subjects are easy. But, as Patrick Armstrong of Austin Peay State University says, “It’s always fun to illustrate the unknown.” That can include difficult concepts, such as mental health, addiction, death, drug abuse, infighting and budgets. It’s especially difficult on deadline and without access to photographs that directly correlate.

Challenges you may face:

  • not having the whole story or no story at all
  • breaking news
  • tough design rules
  • too many stories booked for a page
  • too many people involved
  • being put in a box
  • no direction for illustration
  • boring or staged art you have to use
  • not knowing how to accomplish your illustration
  • too many ideas
  • no ideas
  • don’t think it’ll be approved
  • not enough time
  • access to stock images [thinkstock]


  • find numbers to pull out
  • find other information to put in inbox
  • find a quote
  • do your own research
  • find a setting or scene to create
  • focus on two or three of your ideas
  • look around for other examples
  • talk your ideas over with someone
  • find a work around to rules
  • try doing what you think works
  • try moving a story off the page, or maybe do an on-page promo
  • present work early to editor
  • try finding a compromise
  • Google/YouTube for Adobe help
  • don’t be afraid to ask questions
  • find keywords or synonyms on topic
  • find free and LEGAL image to use
  • Resources for designers and illustrators:,, Facebook groups

Here are even more tips:

  • Headlines are the most important thing to be consistent with. Don’t mess with established headline styles.
  • Don’t do tiny illustrations as accents. Use your talent for big, bold centerpieces.
  • Think of an image that correlates out of the topic.
  • Use free Photoshop brushes (
  • Break images you do have up: cut them apart, make them something new when you put them back together. You are an artist.


From CMA: Why storytelling matters

Journalism’s impact on social justice: Why storytelling matters
Rose Scott, WABE-FM

A few takeaways from this session:

  • We tell stories because stories connect us and leave us with a sense of community or growth.
  • It’s important for people who look like you to tell stories about your community. A newsroom’s makeup should reflect the community it covers.
  • Ask yourself: Is the story worth telling? Consider the following news tenants:
    • Is the issue relevant and timely?
    • Are you presenting new information?
    • Are you presenting an unfamiliar voice(s)?
    • Is your story authentic?
  • All you have at the end of the day is your integrity and your character.
  • When presenting stories, ask: Did I embrace the listener? Did I educate? Did I empower?

From ACP: Oh, the newsroom angst!

Adventures in Newsroom Angst
Ruth Witmer, Indiana University

Good news and bad news, Shorties: You’re not alone in feeling some tension in your newsroom. Or even feeling a little (or a lot) of angst yourself about how things may or may not be going with your Shorthorn colleagues. The truth is that in any group or organization — including newsrooms — tension is bound to pull like a rubber band. The key is keeping it from snapping, says Ruth Witmer, advisor to the Indiana University student newspaper. The majority of angsty cases boil down to power, intimidation, and/or insecurity. Here are her tips for lowering angst:

  • Know and abide by The Shorthorn’s code of ethics and your work agreement. Both provide the framework for that you are expected to do and can expect others to do. If you’re not doing what you are supposed to do (reporting at least two stories a week, showing up to work on time and, well, working, etc.), you put a burden on someone else … and that causes tension. And vice-versa. Maybe you’re picking up for other students who aren’t doing what they agreed to do. Refresh yourself on the code of ethics and your staff agreement, and recommit to doing the job well.
  • Refer to the staff manual when you are not sure what to do or how to do it. The 200-page document is essentially your textbook for The Shorthorn. (Believe it or not, a large number of school newspapers do not have this resource and ask to use ours as a model for what it should be like. This is a powerful tool at your disposal.). Using your staff manual regularly can help you resolve angst (nerves, anxiety about assignments) before it manifests.
  • Know the difference between situations that involve you and those that need to involve you. Sometimes, you can find yourself pulled into a situation that has nothing to do with you — and shouldn’t. Avoid involving yourself in gossip, rants, and other situations that could hurt you more than your desire to “fix” things.
  • And on fixing: Change your language. Ask yourself, “Is this is a situation I can help with (not fix), or is  this is not a situation I can help with.” You cannot fix a person. [Trust me, folks. 😉 ]
  • Be nice. Be grateful. Say thank you for the small stuff. Write thank you notes.

At the end of the day, remember this: Of all the things you could be doing, you are doing this. You have a common goal.

From ACP: Thinking critically about your news

“Thinking critically about journalism, media and content”

Susan Walsh is a staff photographer for the Associated Press and president of the White House News Photographers’ Association. She was a member of the Associated Press team who won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for coverage of the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. In addition to political coverage, Walsh has photographed a half dozen Super Bowls and four Olympic games. She says she truly enjoys the “front-row seat to history” that journalism allows. — from the Pulitzer website

Walsh emphasized the need for journalists, especially student journalists, to take advantage of their ability to cut through the noise. Continue reading

From ACP: Designing user experience (part 2)

Design research for user experience
Wesley Lindamood, senior interaction designer on the NPR Visuals team

During what has been an, um, interesting debate cycle for this, um, interesting presidential campaign, separating fact from fiction has been more complicated than ever. National Public Radio sought to make sense of the noise coming from either direction with its innovative, live debate fact check. Here, about 20 reporters live-annotated the debate, correcting and adding context to candidate statements. Lindamood shared how his team planned, executed, and adapted their idea. Here are his tips for designing a strong user experience for any reader (print or online):

Watch out for topics pretending to be stories.

  • Reporting needs to be done, need to have a focus.
  • You’re not thinking about how to display until you have the reporting.
  • Tight concepts affect user experience. You need tight concepts to come up with better design ideas that support the story’s goals.

Continue reading