Paula Pant


 Assistant News Editor at The Colorado Daily

                   I interview live as a guest reporter on MSNBC in April 2006, discussing my news coverage of a local drug bust.

 Read clips by Paula Pant:

Improving Life - one bag of dog poop at a time

A Match Made in Heaven

Honor, health, hormones drive runners across finish line

Racial slam ignites tensions

 Defying Gravity

Two students pioneer new discipline

Eating 123 oysters in 90 seconds

"The Starbucks of Libraries" - nonprofit opens 3,600 libraries 

               Click here to see this                      clip in .pdf format, with                layout and photo packaging

Debt and decisions

Blaze of glory: 4/20 in Boulder

The dorm next door: when families neighbor freshmen, worlds collide [.pdf format]

Convergence: art, tech, psych and geophysics merge [.pdf format]

More study Middle East in post-9/11 world [.pdf format]

CU biologists get death threats

CU may expand research park 

Hunger strike ends after 15 days

Professor key to JonBenet arrest

Dining Out Magazine: Charity Sidebar

New guidelines may hurt poor students

Lesbian attacked

Professor sues university for $20,000

Profile: Dr. Michael Tracey, Lynchpin in JonBenet arrest

 

               Click here to read Paula Pant's bio

               Click here to read Paula Pant's blog

 Lessons from the field: two years in a newsroom

There are two ways to be a better writer.

One, be a better reader. Two, be a better reporter.

As someone constantly trying to improve, I value both.

Let's talk about the latter. All the rhetorical flourishes in the world can't strengthen a story that raises more questions than it answers.

One of the most important lessons I've learned in my young life as a journalist is to broaden your source base. Don't just talk to the regulars on speed-dial. 

Writing about eco-friendly products? Talk to the janitor. Talk to school officials in charge of product-purchasing. Talk to environmental groups.  Talk to a marketing professor. Talk to the leaders of the conventional, "non-eco" company.

Details come alive in flesh. Interview in person as much as possible. Is your source's office cluttered? Bare? Can you spot photos of your sources' children? Or does the source not have any personal artifacts -- and what does that say about their character?  

When reading other peoples' news stories, notice what sources they use -- and ask yourself, "how did the reporter arrive at that source?" I find myself imagining the interview and thinking, "Hmm, I bet the reporter asked about [xyz] ...  and I never would have thought to ask that!!" At press conferences, listen closely to questions the other reporters pose.

Its through giving we recieve. I've found sitting on the Board of Directors of the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has taught me a lot. I've met some amazing journalists and heard both hilarious and horrifying tales from the field!

Go to trainings, even if you have to pay for them yourself. I spent more than $1,000 out of pocket last year to go to professional development trainings and workshops. Expensive? Yes. But it's an important investment in your career.

At least one evening a week, curl up in bed with a cup of hot chocolate and journalism textbook. Seriously. The refresher is helpful -- and you'll find yourself applying last night's lessons to your next morning's stories. I recommend the AP Guide to News Writing. It reminds you to make "every word tell". Sentences like "Twelve rescue ambulences stood by to rush injured people to nearby hospitals" can be edited down to "Twelve ambulences stood by."

                     MORE CLIPS BY PAULA PANT:   

BREAKING NEWS: Controversial tenured professor Ward Churchill fired

Colorado thinnest state in nation, study says

Part of my story on evolutionary biology professors recieving death threats was reprinted on the official blog site of Wired Magazine. Read here.

Dining Out Magazine Clip: Restuarant openings in Denver

Ready to Rumble: Budget Showdown

Boulder Women's Magazine clip: The 1,001 wedding was her own

Coffee Addiction

As baby boomers ready for retirement, colleges look for replacements

A business/numbers story on the U. of Colorado's investments in Sudan