Sharing our thoughts and best practices.


Monthly Archives: June 2015

Pete Rose scandal coverage benefits from Kiplinger digital training

The Cincinnati Enquirer in March published a three-part series on Pete Rose, immediately after Major League Baseball’s new commissioner Rob Manfred announced he would reexamine the lifetime ban on Rose for betting on baseball. Kiplinger Fellow James Pilcher wrote two of those stories, including an exclusive interview with the man who investigated Rose for betting in the 1980s. He outlines for the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism how he got the story, as well as how his training at Ohio State helped push this story to new heights.

By James Pilcher – The Cincinnati Enquirer

Say what you will about Pete Rose, but the man and his ongoing battles with baseball’s top officials are ALWAYS news in Cincinnati.

After all, the so-called Hit King — who actually does have the most hits of any major league player in history — was born and grew up on the west side of the city. He played most of his storied career for the Cincinnati Reds, winning two World Series with the “Big Red Machine.”

Later he came back to town to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record here at home, only to receive a lifetime ban later for betting on baseball.

So when Major League Baseball’s new commissioner Rob Manfred said he would reconsider Rose’s ban and even possibly meet with Rose to discuss it, we knew we had to own the story.

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Digital, not personal. It’s a bot time.

Recent news that the Associated Press will begin using computers to generate stories on sporting events was received in the journalism community like a high-and-tight fastball.

This wasn’t just a courtesy brush back. It was meant to send a clear message — we are replacing you.

Count me among those unsuspecting (former) sportswriters who was knocked to the dirt only to get back up ready to defend my honor. Where’s the integrity in the news game?

AP has made it clear it doesn’t need humans for these basic jobs anymore. It’s hired Automated Insights, a company it invests in, that has given the wire service a sophisticated algorithm using the English language and statistics to fashion text. The company’s defense is that it can keep tabs on thousands of college and high school games without the burden of staffing.

AP also has let bots, using Wordsmith, write basic business stories, such as those announcing quarterly earnings. Meanwhile, Narrative Science writes business copy for a number of business publications and the Los Angeles Times.

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How to best leverage summer interns

OSU student


It’s intern season, when a slew of newbie journalists hit newsrooms in force. Some are go-getters, asking too many questions but offering unexpected insights. Others hide behind their computers and never speak. The best absorb lessons but also teach their old editors a few new tricks. We asked a few Kip Fellows their tips for maximizing the talents of interns. Here are their suggestions:

• Send interns out with seasoned reporters in their first weeks on the job.

“For a public affairs reporting intern, it can be a little overwhelming at first,” says Kip Fellow Michelle Everhart, who supervises Scripps Statehouse News Bureau fellows at the Columbus Dispatch. Having them tag-team with a pro “makes them feel more confident, they get the lay of the land, and have a little background info to get them going.”

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