Journalism & Media

Spreadsheets Can Find Patterns in Words, Not Just Numbers

By DAVID POULSON

 Reporters traditionally use spreadsheets to analyze numbers and quickly calculate thousands of records.

But increasingly they also use them to analyze words and to find patterns in their notes. You don't have to know a mean from a median in those spreadsheets to uncover a hot story angle, rule out dead ends or keep yourself organized during a complex investigation.

The 'Unreadable' Thing: John McPhee On The Craft Of Writing

 

 By HOWARD BERKES 
You might think writing comes easy to John McPhee.

He's been at it more than 40 years, after all, producing 27 books, writing for The New Yorker since 1964 and teaching writing at Princeton since 1975. And, oh yes, he has that Pulitzer Prize. All those years and words and accomplishments ought to add up to confidence – even hubris, perhaps – when turning a sea of complex detail, facts and characters into smoothly flowing narrative.

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