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Our news team believes a direct, conversational style is an important ingredient in reporting so it reaches the most people possible. We want our writing to be direct, plainspoken and useful to you. We aim to write the way people actually talk.

Over the past two months, a group of staffers has been examining our writing to judge what we do well and what we don’t in these areas. And we’ve drawn some conclusions. But those might not be your conclusions. Your judgment matters a lot more to us on this than our own opinions.

Here’s where we ask you for help.

We’ve put together a survey that we’re placing at the end of some stories this summer. The questions in the survey are geared to help us understand if we gave you a reason to care about the story, if we’re using clear language and if the people most affected by the thing we’re reporting on are actually included in the story. We also want to know what connection you have with the topic of the story, whether or not you learned anything useful and if you feel it was presented fairly.

When you see an invitation to fill out the survey at the end of a story (it will say “Will you answer a few short anonymous questions about this story?”), please fill it out. Do so for as many stories as you like. We just ask that you don’t fill it out more than once per story.

Your responses will help us understand where we have room to improve.

If you have any questions, drop me a line at Thank you.