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A Passionate Defense of Journalists

Have you ever, in your line of work, had someone threaten to throw you off a balcony? That happened to a New York City television reporter┬áthe other night, and the one doing the threatening was a U.S. congressman. The episode itself–and the congressman’s first attempt at an “apology”–demonstrates a phenomenal misunderstanding of the critical role […]

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Building a (Supportive) Community Online

News alert: Online comment fields can get a little scary. There’s nothing new there–I can remember in 1991 getting called a Nazi on a Usenet chat board about the “X-Files” (kids, ask Siri what Usenet is, and “X-Files” while you’re at it) because someone didn’t like my theory of The Smoking Man‘s motivation. But as […]

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6 Steps to a Winning Writing Workshop

When you’re just starting to share your work as a creative writer, you hear people say they’ve been “workshopped.” When, you might ask, did the word workshop become a verb? It sounds painful, like you’ve been bent over a sawhorse and violated with a jigsaw. When done right a workshop is far more pleasant than […]

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Expanding the iCivility Campaign

As some of you know I have another project in addition to this blog. Since 2009 I’ve been promoting an increase in civility through my iCivility campaign. For a fair while now the only digital manifestation of this campaign was a web site that, well, was pretty stagnant. When The San Jose Mercury News last […]

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The Importance of Civility

ATTENTION: See update below (1/21/11) There is no debating the rise of incivility in our political discourse here in the United States, or the reality that vitriol is undermining the very functioning of our democracy. What is often overlooked is that we are all to blame for this crisis. That is the message of my […]

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