Know your audience

 One lesson re-learned today is “remember who your audience is.” So often in journalism, we write about things we know well, without recognizing our audience may not be as familiar with the subject of the story.

My assignment was to cover the guy who hacked TweetDeck, owned by Twitter, based in San Francisco. What’s hacking? Who knows what TweetDeck is? While many avid Twitter users know it, lots of people don’t. That means covering the story with a broader view. In this case, my focus was more about how security on the internet is tenuous at best rather than getting into the coding vulnerability that allowed the hacker to penetrate TweetDeck.

I was also reminded of how to overcome a common obstacle: What do I say in my standup? One of the best strategies is to turn one of the good sound bites of the interview into the standup. An added benefit is you can use the first part of the interview to lead in to the standup, which adds variety. In this story, the standup was a re-worded description the internet security expert gave me.


  1. Know your audience. Don’t forget the people watching the local newscast after Jerry Springer aren’t the same as the people watching the local newscast after the network news.
  2. A standup is a key part of the story that helps the viewers know who’s telling the story. Paraphrasing a good sound bite is good way to come up with an idea for a standup.