FREE ‘Write More Good’ giveaway – just tell us your #jpeeve

Today, the “Bureau Chiefs” of @FakeAPStylebook fame released their phony yet astoundingly humorous writing guide, “Write More Good,” making them another go-to source for satirizing journalism.

SPJ’s Quill magazine recently featured an interview with @FakeAPStylebook founders Ken Lowery and Mark Hale. Read more on their inspirations, advice and what they have to say about Charlie Sheen coverage.

We want to get in on their action, too, so SPJ is offering you a chance to win a copy of “Write More Good!”

What’s the Contest?
We want to know your journalism pet peeve (or #jpeeve on Twitter). This is your chance to tell us what irks you most about the news. Is it blatant disregard for AP style? A bad pun or headline you’ve read? Your local anchor’s awful toupee? Something else?

How do I enter?
Tell us about your jpeeve in one of three places:

  1. Post your peeve here in the comments section
  2. Reply to our post on Facebook
  3. Write your jpeeve using the #jpeeve hashtag on Twitter

When does the giveaway end?
You have between now and Thursday, April 7 at 11:59 p.m. ET to submit a jpeeve.

Who will win the free copy of “Write More Good?”
Each person who submits a pet peeve will be placed in a drawing to select the recipient for the free copy of “Write More Good.” Limit one entry per person. (In other words, we encourage you to have fun and submit as many pet peeves as you wish, but you can only be entered in the drawing once.)

The winner will be announced and notified on Friday, April 8.

What are you waiting for?! What’s your jpeeve?

~ ~ ~

A Winner is Chosen!
On behalf of SPJ, we want to thank everyone participating in the ‘Write More Good’ giveaway. Over the last three days we received 88 journalism pet peeves from 73 participants. Of those participating, Janna Braun was selected from our drawing. Congratulations Janna!

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  • Twana Pinskey

    My jpeeve is lack of respect from seasoned journalists towards students of journalism.
    There are those who treat student journalists with little respect. Instead of remembering they were once student journalists, some of them have a tendency to talk down to students.
    Many do support student journalists, for that I am thankful. I just wish more remembered what is is like to be a student cutting their chops on photo journalism, covering a beat assignment or preparing for that first big interview.

  • Kristen Skladd

    My biggest jpeeve is by far the improper use of ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. I see it every day, in fact, I even saw it today! Constantly, I read press releases, store catalogs, and websites saying phrases such as ‘your invited’ or ‘it’s a chance to do you’re best’. I can’t stand this!

  • Kristen Skladd

    My biggest jpeeve is by far the improper use of ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. I see it every day, in fact, I even saw it today! Constantly, I read press releases, store catalogs, and websites saying phrases such as ‘your invited’ or ‘it’s a chance to do you’re best’. I can’t stand this!

  • I could come up with a long list, but here’s a low-hanging fruit jpeeve: Crash reports that indicates the color of the car or the manufacturer without any context or reason for doing so. It’s not really helpful for me to read the crash involved a blue Ford and a red Chevy. It doesn’t help me understand what happened any better; it could have been a Focus or a F-150. I’m not sure the manufacturer is as relevant to understanding what may have caused the crash or caused it to play out as it did as, for example, saying it involved a car versus SUV, etc.

  • Natalie Costa

    My jpeeve is people associating newspapers with an archaic source of news. To date, journalism in the form of newspapers, is still highly read, although the demographic has shifted. This paradigm shift doesn’t necessarily indicate that newspapers are obsolete, but, rather, the vehicle for information has evolved.

  • My biggest journalism pet peeve is non conversational writing. “Police apprehended the male suspect” / “Residents gathered for a meeting.” My second biggest pet peeve? Using “was” in broadcast copy.

  • Dori Zinn

    I can’t stand “some would say.” It’s said many different ways, but it’s just a way for broadcasters to interject their opinion. “Some would say Charlie Sheen is the conductor on the hot mess express. Here’s Joan with the story.”

    It irks me to no end.

  • J NO

    My jpeeve is when people write “over” when they mean “more than” or “against” in terms of a sports story score.

  • Lisa Janssen

    My biggest pet peeve is when journalists (mostly TV anchors) use the word “alleged” when describing a criminal act. The word means nothing! It’s not a cushion against accusing someone of a crime. Be factual and say only if someone has been charged with a crime.

  • Nicole W.

    My pet peeve is when journalistic outlets – print or online – pose a question in their headline, such as “Local schools to take away art classes?”

  • Kristen Wright

    I can’t stand it when someone says or writes something such as “my brother and I’s party.” Please tell everyone that the only word that sounds that way is “eyes.” It should be “my brother’s and my … .” I hear it a lot on reality TV.

  • Robert Galin

    Broadcasts journalists are using “Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening” as an introduction to any source they’re interviewing, no matter what the subject. It’s become so rote it’s more of replacement for “hello” or “thank you for talking to us.” It’s disturbing to hear an interviewer (TV, radio–even NPR) introduce the gruesome mutilation deaths of a family by saying, “Here’s Joe Dude to tell us about. Good morning Joe Dude. How do you feel about your family being mutilated?” I miss the days of the “serious” broadcasters who paid attention to words and knew that words had meaning AND effect.

  • N Lowery

    Though the idea of having a comments section is a lovely thought, it is more often than not an open forum for the dregs of humanity to leave the excrement of their underdeveloped minds, like graffiti, on display.

    That is my comment. I now add myself to the dregs.

  • Jenn

    My biggest journalism pet peeve is when reporters incorrectly abbreviate “Wisconsin” as “Wisc.” It always makes me think of “whisk” — which then makes me wonder, what are they blending? Pancake mix?

  • L Tharp

    Any story that includes the word meeting in the lead when writing about a meeting shows an inability to provide the news that came from the meeting. This also lends itself to another pet peeve, which is burying the lead. I need to know in the first paragraph why I should read the story and not in the fifth paragraph. The worst is a reporter who is too timid or lazy to ask a question, letting real reporters ask the questions, the shy reporter paraphrases quotes. That pet peeve can get worse if the reporter is still too timid to talk directly to the source outside of a press conference to get the story no one else will have.

  • Hmm. How to narrow them down..?!
    I’m tired of hearing anchors omit coordinating verbs and jump to the darned adjective.
    But I’m so tired of, beyond tired of seeing stand-ups at dead, cold locations, because that shot conveyed the story’s urgency – vital urgency – 15 and 20-years ago! Argh.

  • My pet peeve is the infotainment that passes as news, particularly in broadcast media
    It demeans the audience, which offends them even as they stay tuned. Those same people distrust reporters (no surprise) and when credible, hard-working community journalists seek information and interviews, they are treated as though all reporters have the same, low standards.
    I am tired of having to explain my profession and to reassure people that “No, I won’t misquote, sensationalize your story or twist your words.”

  • Mike Guidice

    When people don’t capitalize “Internet”. Also, people who say “journalism is dead.”

  • Sean Patrick Rodriguez

    My jpeeve is when journalists only present one side of the story.

  • David Veselenak

    Biggest #jpeeve is people complaining about there not being enough “good news” published, but when a reporter comes looking for good news, no one wants to talk to him/her because they don’t want any recognition. It’s really difficult to have it both ways.

  • My biggest #jpeeve is spelling mistakes in stories, especially when it comes to someone’s name. People will tell you exactly how to spell their name if you just take the time to ask, and spelling it wrong will just piss them off. In my opinion, it’s bad and careless reporting.

  • Kristen Wright

    “A whole nother” instead of “another.” I’ll even give you “a whole other.” They speak a whole nother language.

  • Beth Shull

    When reporters print or say, “…when asked …”. Keep yourself out of the story! It’s not about you. Just print/say want the interviewee said!

  • SPJ

    The ‘Write More Good’ giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen! Over the last three days we received 88 journalism pet peeves from 73 participants. Of those participating, Janna Braun was selected from our drawing. Congratulations Janna and thank you to everyone for sharing your jpeeves with us!

  • John Cobalt

    If GamerGate is not the biggest story in 2015, what is?

  • Fear Me I Am Free

    > Gamer Gate is not the biggest story in gaming but 2 entries are about it.

    Because they were well written articles.

    > Is the SPJ totally in the bag for Gamer Gate?

    TIL that GG and the SPJ care about ethics.

    > If either of these submittals wins, the SPJ reveals themselves as taking sides in a controversy that is so over.

    1. It’s not.
    2. They will be chosen because they are well written pieces, not because they are totes taking sides.

    You come off as an incredibly salty person.

  • AcidFog

    “Gamer Gate is not the biggest story in gaming” name one that’s bigger for 2014 and 2015

  • dirtysteve

    Not only is GG the biggest story for the last 2 years in gaming, it has arguably created a larger cultural shift.
    Look at Twitter, how many of it’s ‘Trust and Safety Council’ are a direct result of GG?

  • Bill

    It’s not as if the award exists due to SPJ’s discussions about ethical failings of Game Journalism with Gamergate or anything, right? Not a big story my ass. :^)

  • randomactor

    These are awful…are these really the best? Who are the judges for this mess with such horrible taste?

  • John Smith

    Hey Mike. Hello Judges. I’d just like to provide some friendly insight from a gamer you know.

    To see George Weidman up here with 3 of his videos does not at all surprise me. Considering how good the content is and how well he keeps to his regular schedule, it surprises me every day to think that he isn’t bigger, though he certainly is growing. He is one of the best examples of video games journalism on youtube and in the industry in general right now. If it we’re up to me I would probably vote for him.

    John Bain (TotalBiscut) is a well established and well recognized voice within the industry, and for many years has done some very great journalism.The piece featured here is probably one of his better examples. If George we’re not in the running John would have my vote.

    LeoPirate does some great investigative journalism, but not all of it is focused on the Game’s Industry. His “To Catch a Predator” series is probably of best to note, and while related to figures within the GamerGate controversy, isn’t necessarily reflective of the industry. Funnily enough, those particular videos exposing @srhbutts as a pedophile got him banned from twitter. But all of that is getting off topic.

    The SPJ Airplay Abridged cut is an immensely useful tool. Balanced and in sync audio done for me, added with some easy to listen to “chill music” and helpful visuals that weren’t possible at the discussion itself and add so much more context to what is being said. If there was a crowning achievement, or any reward to be taken away from Airplay, it was that abridged cut.

    That being said, I still do not think it’s worth an award like the other pieces thus far, due to the only investigation really being needed to put that video together was common knowledge within the controversy and some searches. Not to knock on the production value or how great that video was, it’s just that if LeoPirate has to win an award for any of his video’s, it shouldn’t be that one, and probably shouldn’t be a games journalism award.

    While I haven’t watched that particular video by ShortFatOtaku, the Indie-Fensible series stands as a great chain of videos helping to expose the unethical practices and collusion between some of these award shows and their participants, though that seems like a very common thing even in our industries biggest award shows. (I.E. Geoff ‘Dorito Pope’ Keighley’s Video Game Awards of 2015 features judges who we’re also contestants. Notably Hideo Kojima among some other big names.)

    The content is great, well researched, and hard to find anywhere else, but can run on a little long compared to other submissions, and isn’t as well produces on an A/V level.

    Whatever choice you do pick from this list, they are all deserving of awards on some level or another, though I would highly suggest giving your award to George or John. I can only hope the insight I’ve provided her was helpful enough to your judges, and I hope for continued success for these awards.

  • Macavity

    So, let me see if I understand you right.

    You believe that:

    1) A major (and, I might add, ONGOING) scandal
    2) In the gaming press
    3) That involves multiple employees of high-profile outlets, who
    4) were involved in multiple flagrant and undeniable ethical breaches, and who, in turn
    5) Committed even more ethical breaches in an attempt to discredit their critics, and
    6) Continue to commit similar ethical breaches, despite the fact that the narrative they seek to promulgate is rapidly crumbling

    …is not “the biggest story in gaming”?

    With all due respect, sir, I heartily disagree with your assessment.

    Furthermore, GamerGate will not be over until such time as the gaming press at the very least:

    A) stops committing the aforementioned ethical breaches, and
    B) adopts (and enforces) policies to prevent such breaches from occurring in future

    And even then… while the hashtag may fade away, the principles behind it will remain.

    As the Council Representative said in XCOM: Enemy Unknown: “Remember… we will be watching.”

  • One person’s “a little smug in it’s journalism” seems to be another person’s “full tilt Alex Jones”. That other person being me, of course. I don’t have time to shout into an echo chamber, but the SPJ should rethink this before it becomes a full-blown embarrassment. I feel bad for the judges, since they don’t have the background to recognize the tinfoil hat elements of some of these videos.

  • ArsCortica

    Though I find the Kojima vs. Konami case very ugly (on the side of Konami) and also consider the TPP to be of extreme importance (and danger), I still hope the Airplay entry or the IndieFensible entry will come out at top, simply because, unlike with the Kojima vs. Konami case or the TPP, the public is by now means aware how much deceit has happens and still happens at the IGF and in the reporting about #GamerGate, respectively.

  • panda

    My vote goes to Kojima vs Konami. This was a really informative video, but they’re all pretty good.

  • Vetarnias

    The one about AirPlay should be disqualified from the beginning, because:

    1) It’s journalism as much as the abridged version of a novel is literary criticism. That is to say not at all.

    2) Something about journalists having to do their utmost to avoid becoming the news. I don’t think it would be wise to give an award to a piece of “journalism” that just happened to report on something which you happened to organize.

    I understand that the SPJ organized the Kunkels on a tentative basis, to see how they would go before committing to another year. I also remember saying that the first step the Kunkels will have to take will be to wash off the taint of GamerGate. Instead, this shortlist indicates that the Kunkels might as well be called the GamerGate Awards.

    After the photography/illustration/infographic category ended up with only two worthy nominees out of nine total, I’m guessing the judges can only choose from what they’ve been provided with, and by the names on this shortlist I’m guessing GG successfully Puppied the nomination process. At this point I understand why there’s a No Award kill switch for the
    Hugos: it’s a cowardly but necessary mechanism to safeguard the
    integrity of the institution while leaving its massive
    loopholes-by-design intact (like readers nominating entries, as here). Whatever you honour with a win, it will be a feather in GG’s cap.

    Whatever the Kunkels would ultimately be about, in the eyes of the bulk
    of people to follow the Kunkels, it wouldn’t be about rewarding good
    video games journalism; it would be about judging GamerGate itself. I began having serious doubts about the Kunkels when you specifically mentioned how one article which didn’t qualify (because it was opinion) was written by Brianna Wu. I don’t know who submitted it, but I’m guessing whoever did was less interested in the actual merit of Wu’s article (beyond its ability to stand a chance), but by the fact it was written by Wu, one of GG’s main targets. And so I’m guessing it was the case with 90 percent if not more of the entries your judges had to wade through: you knew right from the byline which side of the GG divide the writer happened to fall, and this was the only consideration in the mind of whoever submitted them.

    And with GG, either you completely fall in line with what it wants, or you’re part of the conspiracy where to not talk about GG is just as much evidence of corruption as to talk negatively about it.

    Now, as with AirPlay: is this something the SPJ wants to be associated with? I want the Kunkels to succeed. But this list suggests they have been co-opted from the beginning and are likely stillborn. For a final impression, I’ll wait to see the print shortlists, though.

  • Aidey

    The one about AirPlay should not be disqualified from the beginning because:

    1) Literary criticism is opinion, journalism should never be opinion and should only present the facts to the viewer/reader to make up their own minds which that video does so it is exactly journalism.

    2) You would have a point if Michael Koretzky or anyone else involved in airplay was a judge but Koretzky is director of the Kunkel Awards and not a judge. Unless you mean because ONE journalist was involved then ALL journalists were involved. Also the judges aren’t even game journalists.

    “I’m guessing GG successfully Puppied the nomination process”

    How by nominating their preferences? Or are you suggesting they were stopping AGG from doing the same? There were 291 entries that cover all five categories and anyone could nominate an entry. They also said the number of nominations an entry got would have absolutely zero effect on whether it would win or not. The shortlist was decided by the judges after they had read and watched every one of the 291 entries so how could it be “puppied”?

    “No Award kill switch for the
    Hugos: it’s a cowardly but necessary mechanism to safeguard the
    integrity of the institution while leaving its massive
    loopholes-by-design intact”

    Ok so give No award to stop the puppies from abusing the loopholes in order to safeguard the integrity of the institution while leaving the loopholes to be abused by the “right people” instead of the puppies the next year?

    How about giving the award to the best work instead of to the work by the author whose politics and opinions you agree with and get rid of all the loopholes?

    “I began having serious doubts about the Kunkels when you specifically mentioned how one article which didn’t qualify (because it was opinion) was written by Brianna Wu”

    You had doubts when opinion didn’t qualify as journalism? Why? Because then all that agenda pushing, narrative spinning, click bait BS wouldn’t qualify? Well it shouldn’t, its opinion not news it doesn’t matter who wrote it. Why do you think Milo isn’t nominated? Hint: the exact same reason.

    “I don’t know who submitted it”

    Maybe Wu or one of her fans? Do they allow internet usage in mental hospitals?

    “you knew right from the byline which side of the GG divide the writer happened to fall”

    You might have knew, I might have knew but why would the judges? They hadn’t even heard of this shit storm before this, had nothing to do with airplay and were not game journalists. How would they know who the hell Brianna Wu was. Nobody did before she inserted herself into this whole thing.

    “And with GG, either you completely fall in line with what it wants, or you’re part of the conspiracy”

    That’s funny considering your whole comment was if you don’t nominate or give the award to those I deem worthy then you are a secret GG supporter.

  • I’ve gradually warmed to the idea that the Kunkel Awards could be a good thing for video-game journalism and for the SPJ if done correctly, but it’s off to a rocky start. My main concern at the moment is a video among the nominees that features the organizer of the awards. Can you imagine the outcry if a feature article about Paul Gigot, the chair of the Pulitzer Prize board, was a Pulitzer finalist?

    I know the Kunkel Awards don’t claim to be the Pulitzers, but the standards for conflict of interest should be the same.

  • Aidey

    That analogy doesn’t really fit though does it?
    A feature ABOUT Paul Gigot is a lot different than a feature about an EVENT in which Koretzky was a part of. Plus he is not a judge for these awards so has no say in who it goes to.

    I’m pretty sure I already pointed this out to you but that video just shows what happened at airplay and makes no comment one way or the other.

    If someone asked you to describe what happened at it would it suddenly become a conflict of interest if you mentioned someone they knew that was at it in a purely factual way? No it wouldn’t.

  • Aidey

    You have yet to point out any tinfoil hat elements other than the stuff you made up.

  • I’ve raised this, both here and privately with Koretzky and a couple of other SPJ officers, but I’m going to make one last stab at it, then shut up and go away.

    Choosing a finalist that features an event put on by the director of the Kunkel Awards is a glaring conflict of interest. If these awards are going to continue, and are going to be taken seriously beyond the few folks who know they exist now, they need to be run cleanly and ethically. I expect rockiness in a new award, but not choices that make it look like a North Korean heroism award ceremony.

  • Aidey

    A conflict of interest is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgement or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest.

    If Koretzky is not a Judge and has absolutely no say on what gets nominated, shortlisted or wins and the award does not go to him but to the maker of the video, how can there be a risk that the awards will be unduly influenced?

    Another thing is Koretzky was an impartial moderator at the event. He took no side and wasn’t involved in making the video that was nominated. You on the other hand are clearly biased and have falsely accused other videos that you see as being pro gamergate of things that you could then not back up with evidence or examples.

    In another comment I said you either remembered the video wrong or were dishonest. I think its clear now which one it was.

  • John Bain



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