Table of contents for America's best newspaper writing : a collection of ASNE prizewinners / [compiled by] Roy Peter Clark ; Christopher Scanlan.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog. Note: Electronic data is machine generated. May be incomplete or contain other coding.


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1                DEADLINE WRITING                         5
Richard Ben Cramer, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 15, 1978
Report from the Mideast: Shiva for a child slain in a
Palestinian raid                                             7
' don't understand the killing of children in the middle of the day.
But I don't know if I hate them. This will not bring me back my niece.'
Richard Ben Cramer, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 17, 1978
Report from the Mideast: A walk through no-man's land       13
A reporter crosses dangerous territory in Occupied Lebanon and
discovers the human cost of war.
Mark Fritz, Associated Press, May 12, 1994
Only human wreckage is left in Karubamba                    19
The civil war in Rwanda claims hundreds of thousands of lives.
"Nobody lives here anymore."
Francis X. Clines, The New York Times, March 20, 1988
In Belfast, death, too, is diminished by death              23
Another rebel body is placed in a coffin. A nearby piece of graffiti
proclaims: 'I wonder each night what the monster will do to me
tomorrow.'



Sam Stanton, The Sacramento Bee, April 22, 1992
After life of violence Harris goes peacefully                27
The killer of two teenage boys faces the gas chamber in California,
the first man executed in that state in 25 years.
Rick Bragg, The New York Times, April 20, 1995
In shock, loathing, denial: 'This doesn't happen here'       35
The Oklahoma City bombing shakes a community, along with
America's self-confidence.
2         LOCAL REPORTING AND BEATS                       39
Saul Pett, Associated Press, May 25, 1980
The folks in Asheville-turned off and tuned out              41
A shoe-leather journey through the land of Thomas Wolfe discovers
a disenchanted electorate in a presidential election year.
Ken Fuson, The Des Moines Register, March 16, 1995
Ah, what a day!                                              47
The sun begins to thaw Iowa. The rituals of spring begin.
Rick Bragg, The New York Times, August 13, 1995
All she has, $150,000, is going to a university              49
A woman who scrimped and saved all her life gives her savings to a
scholarship fund for black students.
Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post, September 30, 1980
Losing it: Careers fall like autumn leaves                   54
"Mixed among the burst beer cups ... headed for the trash heap,
we find old friends who are being consigned to the dust bin of base-
ball history."
Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, December 22, 1995
Mackenzie football star another gunplay victim               61
A young man, surrounded by guns, tries to escape a culture of vio-
lence through athletic achievement.
Jonathan Bor, The Post-Standard, May 12, 1984
It fluttered and became Bruce Murray's heart                 68
A new heart is flown from St. Louis to New York in an ice-filled
beer cooler. Will it make it in time to save a man's life?



3           OBITUARIES AND FUNERALS                     73
Jim Nicholson, The Philadelphia Daily News, April 2, 1986
Tastykake retiree Marie Byrne                             75
A kind Irish woman "took in neighborhood runaways but was
tough enough to keep them and her own kids in line."
Jim Nicholson, The Philadelphia Daily News, September 3, 1986
John Ciavardone, veteran blinded during WWII               78
A neighborhood protected an American soldier who lost his sight as
a young man on the battlefields of Europe.
Jim Nicholson, The Philadelphia Daily News, March 19, 1986
Edward E. 'Ace' Clark, ice and coal dealer                80
He drove a horse-drawn ice wagon and liked to deliver the iceman's
line: 'Every man has a wife, but an iceman has his pick.'
David Von Drehle, The Washington Post, April 28, 1994
Men of steel are melting with age                         83
The funeral of Richard Nixon brings out the old Republican guard,
a cadre of once powerful men who now ponder their own mortality.
Tom Shales, The Washington Post, January 16, 1987
Ray Bolger, the immortal Scarecrow                        87
One movie role turned a song-and-dance man into an American
cultural icon.
Tom Shales, The Washington Post, May 16, 1987
Rita Hayworth: The glory of a goddess                     90
"She was the Mona Lisa of pinups-not just a seductive image,
but the very image of seduction."
4                CRIME AND COURTS                       93
Linnet Myers, Chicago Tribune, February 12, 1989
Humanity on trial                                         95
"Murderers walk these halls, and the mothers of murderers,
and the mothers of the murdered too."



Thomas French, St. Petersburg Times, June 12, 1988
A cry in the night, part one: Ghosts                      105
The screams of a dying woman are heard by neighbors, but no one
calls the police. The firefighter who lives across the street is arrested
and tried for the murder.
Anne Hull, St. Petersburg Times, May 2, 1993
Metal to bone: Day 1: Click                               113
On the Fourth of July a young policewoman feels a gun barrel
against her skull, and then hears a click.
5            BUSINESS REPORTING AND                    129
EXPLANATORY JOURNALISM
William E. Blundell, The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 1981
The life of a cowboy: Drudgery and danger                 131
Jim Miller represents a dying breed of real cowboys in an era of
shiny belt buckles and mechanical bulls.
Peter Rinearson, The Seattle Times, June 19, 1983
Making it fly: Designing the 757                          139
Building a new jetliner requires innovation, compromise and a
bizarre test involving anesthetized chickens.
Michael Gartner, The Daily Tribune, August 2, 1995
Property tax exemptions: Legal but terribly unfair        150
Some people in this small town have to pay all their taxes. Others
don't. The law is the culprit.
6            OPINION AND PERSUASION                    154
Murray Kempton, Newsday, April 29,1984
"If I leave you, baby, count the days I'm gone"           156
The death of a jazz artist leaves a legacy of greatness that lives
on in both memory and music.



Murray Kempton, Newsday, November 9, 1984
A woman burned while police had their danish               159
A city haunted by a famous case of civic cowardice faces another
case involving gross negligence by the police.
Richard Aregood, The Philadelphia Daily News, March 15, 1990
Tugs at the curtain, but wizard's lips remain frozen      161
Politicians in Washington have plans for cutting taxes, but they are
illusions...
John Fensterwald, Concord Monitor, January 28, 1991
A teacher still                                            165
"It was five years ago today that the Challenger soared off into
a cold morning sun and then plunged the nation into sorrow."
Donna Britt, The Washington Post, November 30, 1993
A one-word assault on women                                168
A young woman wears rhinestones around her neck. They form a
word that shames her and denigrates all women.
7       THE PROFILE AND FEATURE STORY                   172
Greta Tilley, Greensboro News & Record, February 7, 1982
A suicide at age 16                                        174
Family and friends search for answers to the mystery of a promising
teenage girl who takes her own life.
Blame Harden, The Washington Post, November 8, 1987
Life, death, and corruption on an African mainstream       186
Part supermarket, part disco, part brothel, part slaughterhouse, the
boat makes its journey into the heart of darkness.
Cynthia Gorney, The Washington Post, May 21, 1979
Dr. Seuss: Wild orchestrator of plausible nonsense for kids  195
One of the world's great authors of children's literature offers a tour
of his house and his imagination.
Saul Pett, Associated Press, November 30, 1980
Koch grabs Big Apple and shakes it                        204
The mayor of New York is a "mixed metaphor of a politician," as
feisty and independent as the city he represents.



Diana Griego Erwin, The Orange County Register, May 25, 1989
His dreams belong to the next generation                  211
A Mexican-born man seeks dignity and respect in America, but too
often is treated "like a burro."
Diana Griego Erwin, The Orange County Register, July 6, 1989
An old flame still burns after 50 years                    214
An old man still fantasizes about a beautiful woman he loved long
ago, and then he sees her again.
David Finkel, St. Petersburg Times, May 5, 1985
For Lerro, Skyway nightmare never ends                    216
A freak storm, a huge tanker, a fragile bridge and 35 are dead. One
man bears the tragic burden of blame.
8                    THE CLASSICS                       226
Richard Wright, New Masses, October 8, 1935
Joe Louis uncovers dynamite                                228
The victory of a heavyweight champion inspires a celebration in the
streets of Chicago that reflects pride and aspirations for freedom.
Red Smith, New York Herald Tribune, October 4, 1951
Miracle of Coogan's Bluff                                 233
A dramatic ending of a baseball game in New York becomes one of
the greatest moments in sports history.
Ernie Pyle, Scripps Howard Newspaper Alliance, January 10, 1944
The death of Captain Henry Waskow                         237
American soldiers in World War II mourn the death of a beloved
captain, who is shot down in the hills of Italy.
Harold A. Littledale, New York Evening Post, January 12, 1917
Prisoners with midnight in their hearts                   240
An expose of horrific conditions within a prison system ends with a
call for action.
Marvel Cooke, The Daily Compass, 1950
From "The Bronx slave market"                             245
Women day workers in New York City are exploited, performing
menial tasks for low wages.



Dorothy Thompson, New York Herald Tribune, November 2, 1938
Mr. Welles and mass delusion                              252
"The newspapers are correct in playing up this story over every
other news event in the world. It is the story of the century."
Eugene Patterson, The Atlanta Constitution, September 16, 1963
A flower for the graves                                   256
Four black children die in a church bombing in Birmingham. The
white racist South must take the blame.
Meyer Berger, The New York Times, January 23, 1959
About New York                                            259
An old blind man, down and out, is taken to a Catholic
hospital where his secret is revealed: He was once a great
violinist.
9                   THE CRAFT OF 
WRITING GREAT STORIES 
THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE STORY 263
The Inverted Pyramid  264
The Process of Writing and Reporting  266
Generating story ideas, 266  Collecting information, 267
The Process of Producing a Story, 267
Finding a focus with the lead, 267  Selecting the best
material, 268  Creating a plan for the story, 268
Creating a draft, 269  Revising and clarifying, 269
The Hourglass Structure  270
THE LANGUAGE OF JOURNALISM          272
Is Concrete and Specific  273
Is Active  275
Makes Meaning Early   277
Is Democratic  279
Has a Voice  280
Strives for Clarity  281
WRITING TO INFORM, WRITING TO ENGAGE           282
Pointing You There, Putting You There  283
Writing with "Gold Coins"  287



MAKING HARD FACTS EASY READING          288
Thinking Tools  289
Envision a general audience, 289  Tell it to a friend, 290
Think graphics, 290  Look for the human side, 290
Find the microcosm, 291  Develop a chronology, 291
Consider the impact, 291  Cool off, 292  Read it aloud, 292
Eliminate unnecessary information, 292
Drafting Tools  293
Slow the pace of information, 293  Introduce new or difficult
elements one at a time, 293  Recognize the value of repetition, 294
Don't clutter leads, 294  Use simple sentences, 295  Remember
that numbers can be numbing, 295  Translate jargon, 296
Announce difficult concepts, 296  Compile lists, 296
THE ETHICS OF NONFICTION WRITING          296
Do Not Add. Do Not Deceive.  299
Four Supporting Strategies  300
Be unobtrusive, 300  Make sure that stories ring true, 300
Make sure that stories check out, 301  Report and write with
humility, 301
Reporting the World  302
Literary Devices in Nonfiction Writing  304
Appendix A: CollegeJournalism Awards    306
Appendix B: American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished
Winners and Finalists 1979-1999   308