The Guardian's guide to better writing

Every journalist knows the sight of a newsroom full of flustered and bedraggled reporters cursing every tick of the second hand as the clock pushes on mercilessly towards a deadline.

Every news editor and sub knows that many of those reporters have only themselves to blame.

Reporters have wasted countless hours of valuable newsroom time typing out needlessly complex sentences, empty cliches and other alphabetic fodder. Countless more has been spent expunging the same before the stories can be published.

The art of interviewing

I have to admit I was a little worried this morning when my car started to emit a shrill and urgent noise as it approached Chatham.

It turned out to be the radio, struggling to reach the whistle-tone frequency of Mishal Hussain's interview with deputy PM Nick Clegg on Radio 4's Today  (available on iPlayer, if you missed it).

Her determination to ensure Mr Clegg would not get a word in made me think about the interviewing advice Ron and I gave to our new recruits last week.

Shorthand Champions League: The draw

With fitting pomp and ceremony, the draw for the first round of the Shorthand Champions League took place today in the Centre's TV studio.

The competition will get under way for second and third years next week, with fixtures being played during Wednesday shorthand classes.

The draw - conducted by Ian Reeves and Rob Bailey, and overseen by Laura Garcia - threw up some tantalising clashes.

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