Ethical Question: What do you do if one of your advertisers advertises in a white
supremacist newspaper? What if he says he’ll take the ads out? Do you run the
Isn’t it old news?
Can you stand to run story against and advertiser?
Do you put in all the facts?
don’t site sources, but need to know where facts come from
identification (name & spelling, age, address)
credibility is key
if ours suffers ppl won’t talk to you
two (reliable) sources are better than one
o helps avoid defamation
look at official records (budgets, committee reports)
why and how lead to subjectivity
o be careful when explaining cause-> more facts
o try to be objective
do good and be fair
in large papers ~1/2 stories come from news/press releases
best are already written in news style
give same treatment you would news stories (headline and first paragraph)
no by-line if unedited
if edited gets reporter’s name
good starting place b/c has idea and contact info
some are embargoed
moment one breaks everyone does
PR also relies on credibility
has levels (press agentry, public relations, corporate relation, internal
relations, public affairs)
press releases have spin in client’s favour
screened for quality
always take collect calls just in case
some are fakes that reel you in
do you trust them?
this is where interviewing comes in
will they give you name and contact info? o if they won’t it’s sketchy
people have news outlet they feel connected to and will contact
building contacts makes for easier gathering
o press releases, getting through gatekeepers, doing stories
need to have before story breaks
quarterly reports, minutes, federal documents (time consuming), budgets,
annual reports, police and court records
look for well known name
look for unusually large numbers
localise a national story
look at trends
look at AP and CP wire
don’t localise everything, people will stop believing you
trends locally that may be in wider community
take touchy subject and put in broad context, then say happens in your
most demand this
internet shines because can do instantly
o print and broadcast must wait until next cycle
continue questions about event/situation
o what now
o who’s next
o why and how?
far easier as follow-up
this is where your intuition and filter helps in finding stories
are there surprises?
slow day? come up with a list that fits your section to fall back on
go new places and do new things
get out of comfort zone
you have access!
reading keep up to date on info
be well read
blogs, are they journalists?
o they don’t know rules
o aren’t same level
o who are they?
o are they just sharing info?
o they don’t abide by same journalistic rules and principles
think like a 3-year-old because you’re writing for grade 8
best way to cover is attendence
o don’t keep track of everything said
o listen for story
o story is not that meeting happened
o train ear
avoid “sitting there”
o coverage doesn’t begin and end with meeting
o who’s there? who isn’t?
o number of attendees
o are they cheering? Booing? calling for order?
o do they have complaints?
what’s happening next?
o what’s been tabled? why?
o does something need to go through a public hearing
Speeches and News Conferences
Speeches are to advertise themselves
o extensive prep
News Conferences are to answer questions or have an announcement
o want limited exposure
o scheduled for a short time before news b/c can better control story
all on record
might get copy of speech
o look for changes
o body language and tone
o consider this embargoed
pool reporter who works for multiple agencies covering
goal is to get in 15-20 minutes
Finding the news
take a quick look if it’s possibly corporate and for free publicity
keep track of how and what others report o consultants and clippers
don’t be timid!
don’t save juicy questions for end
be prepared by doing your homework!
might get short private interview after
listen to what others are asking
relationships are important, you may get priority question
look for reactions from audience
see how speaker reacts
quote land, sift through for prime
how much will yo