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The Bloomberg Way: A Guide for Reporters and Editors, 13th Edition by Matthew Winkler, Jennifer Sondag

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Chapter 4Show, Don’t Tell

Show, don’t tell is a simple rule for writing well. Rely on facts, anecdotes and examples, rather than characterizations and modifiers, to convince readers and listeners that we were there or know what we write is true.

Let the facts provide the proof. Including the evidence makes our stories instantly credible. A story is incomplete and untrustworthy when it includes unsupported assertions. Avoid adverbs that are loaded with assertions: lavishly compensated, hugely successful, flatly denied, greatly underestimated. The best reporters assemble the details, anecdotes and comments and then let the readers decide who’s right, wrong, guilty or innocent. They don’t rely on phrases such as raises questions or raises eyebrows ...

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