Always refer to the community as “hardscrabble,” “blue collar” or “depressed.”
Be sure to describe the empty storefronts brought about by the closing of the local mill, mine or — best of all — tannery.
Make the struggles of your subjects relatable. For example, compare the difficulties in finding dignified, decent-paying work to how hard it is to get Hamilton tickets.
Describe the food at a local establishment as if it’s a newly discovered civilization. (“You won’t find gelato or quail eggs here at Billy’s Diner. Instead, they serve a hearty local dish known as ‘pancakes.’”)
If the subject of your photo is not sporting a camouflage hat, please provide one. Also remove any sleeves he or she may be wearing.
Throw rival reporters off the scent by telling them there’s another town up the road with an even more hilarious name.
Try to gently mock one of your own big-city foibles, such as your lack of familiarity with hunting, your expensive shoes, or the fact that you won’t travel without your collection of every issue of the New Yorker ever published.
If you find yourself describing Luke’s Diner, Al’s Pancake World or Le Chat Club, beware — you may be accidentally writing about the fictional town of Stars Hollow from the popular television show Gilmore Girls.
Avoid interviewing minority residents. It only complicates things!