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The Business of Journalism 101

By Published on .

Without a doubt you've been e-mailed the New York Times article, "What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage." Everyone who's anyone has read it (or at least pretended to read it to get his wife off his back already).

Comparing the story to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," which has a permanent home in the charts, Slate's Jack Shafer offers some valuable lessons that all writers and editors should take away from the piece.

Our favorite is No. 5: "Animals, animals, animals. Let me repeat: Animals, animals, animals. Readers so love animal stories that Slate publishes regular dispatches about dogs and cats from two experienced writers. One of them, whose last name is actually 'Katz,' now contributes to a separate column about roosters, cows, etc., titled 'Rural Life.' The traffic generated by these pieces makes possible the publication of poorly performing columns about the press."
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