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Bart Pfankuch

Bart Pfankuch is the content director and an investigative reporter for South Dakota News Watch, accessible online at Write to him at

Grow your coverage of agriculture with these helpful tips

Every journalist has the opportunity, and some might say the imperative, to cover agriculture and the vast range of news topics associated with it. Here are some tips to start or expand your coverage of ...

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Social media abuse costing journalists their own credibility

In many cases, reporters have forgotten or openly flout guidelines drilled into us by professors and mentors to avoid even a hint of bias. Those include: Keeping our opinions to ourselves; refraining from ...

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Reporting on problems while seeking solutions

The concept is called “solutions journalism,” and it was defined and launched by the appropriately named Solutions Journalism Network. This new form of journalism seeks to cover topics of great ...

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The best writing tip ever: Read stories aloud prior to publication

Writing a great news article takes thought, concentration and a basis of solid reporting. Some articles flow from the fingertips like a flood, gushing forth in a logical manner, flowing at a proper pace ...

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Tips to do great journalism from your home

Working successfully from home as a full-time journalist requires four critical concepts: self-discipline, regimentation, adhering to boundaries and maintaining production.

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Digging deeper: How to find opportunities (and time) to go in-depth

Has the daily grind got you down? Are you missing on opportunities to move up in your career because your stories are stuck on average? Is it hard to remember the last time you broke a big story, produced ...

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Moving from routine to highly relevant: How to improve meeting coverage

This column is aimed at every single journalist working anywhere in the world now and in the future. That’s a big bill to fill, but with tips to improve coverage of any type of meeting, the following ...

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Stories come to life when reporters find ‘real people’

Police, government officials and experts have a lot of knowledge and are easy go-to sources for reporters working in understaffed newsrooms with multiple deadlines and requirements to publish on multiple ...

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Five key focus points on the path to a great story

Here is a look at five critical junctures when journalists should place more time and focus on producing great work.

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If one tip could improve your work, it would be ... this one!

Rather than focus on a particular topic or element of our craft, this month’s column instead is simply a brain-dump of quick tips I’ve learned through experience or have stolen from other coaches ...

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Listening to the voices in your head

They are the voices of respected editors, colleagues, friends and family members whose opinions we value highly and whose input we can draw upon without being in their presence or sharing a single spoken ...

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Hustle, dive in early and get one more source

Here are some tips and tactics to quickly expand sourcing on quick-hit daily stories, deeper weekenders and long-range projects. 

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Don’t let pursuit of ‘shiny things’ diminish reporting

So how does one swim against the techno tide and not lose their job? Here are some tips for reporters and editors to stay focused on what really matters.  

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