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Beat reporting 01


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Basics of beat reporting for Journalism 1.

Basics of beat reporting for Journalism 1.

Published in: Education
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  • 1. Reporter’s Toolbox — 01
    What does a reporter need?
    Where do stories come from?
  • 2. What Mental Equipment does a reporter need?
    An inquisitive mind
    Ability to write at least pretty well
    A desire to write better and better
    Inner motivation to be a self-starter
    Self-discipline to maintain focus and effort
    Willingness to work hard on crafting news stories, feature articles and opinion pieces
  • 3. What physical equipment does a reporter need?
    Pen or pencil
    A compact reporter’s notebook
    A classic reporter's notebook is a narrow pad, roughly four inches wide and eight inches long, spiral-bound at the top, containing about 70 sheets of lined paper, and has cardboard covers front and back.
  • 4. What physical equipment does a reporter need?
    A loose-leaf binder, an 8 1/2" x 11" spiral-bound notebook, or any other type of bulky notebook is unacceptable, because the reporter should seem as unobtrusive as possible when conducting the interview or investigating a story.
  • 5. What physical equipment does a reporter need?
    Either a mini-tape recorder or a digital recorder.
    Actually, your cell phone can
    Probably serve this purpose.
    Check it out to see if it offers
    This feature.
  • 6. What physical equipment does a reporter need?
    WHY record audio?
    It is not acceptable to write direct quotes on a notepad during the interview.
    Tape-recorded quotes are the best protection against inaccuracy-and against quote denial or accusations of misquoting-so reporters must tape record their interviews at all times.
    The recording device used should be as small as possible so the subject barely notices it during the interview.
  • 7. What else might a student reporter need?
    Our Journalism textbook, THE MANUAL…
    …always available via Mr. Coursey’sMoodle.
  • 8. Anything else?
    Oh, yeah…
  • 9. Where do story ideas come from?
    Ideas come from:
    here is what separates the aces from the cubs…
    Anything new is likely to be interesting, so good reporters work hard to find out what’s new.
    But the best reporters (Ace reporters) can look at something that happens every day—generally unnoticed and “under the radar” —
    Ace reporters find a way to write about that daily reality from an alternative perspective — they find an angle.
  • 11. For cub reporters, it’s all about The Beat
    Pretty much all reporting starts with constant, dogged work.
    How do most reporters begin their story hunting
    By working a beat.
  • 12. For cub reporters, it’s all about The Beat
    What is a beat?
    A beat is an area of focus; an area in which a reporter develops expertise.
    In olden times, a beat was an area of rounds walked by a watchman or sentinel.
  • 13. For cub reporters, it’s all about The Beat
    When reporters work their beats, they are doing the newspaper's business.
    They are setting up meetings, usually with people (whether administrators, teachers, or students) who are also engaged in the school's business.
  • 14. For most reporters, it’s all about The Beat
    beat writers are expected to keep a journal concerning their sources-people, organizations, publications, phone contacts, office hours, email and Web addresses, etc.
    The beat writer's journal becomes a legacy to be passed on to the next reporter who will cover that beat.
    Beat writers should study notes collected by the previous year's beat writer for tips and sources to help smooth the transition from one year to the next.
  • 15. For most reporters, it’s all about The Beat
    Beat reporters are expected to obtain relevant calendars of events and to attend important meetings
    or, on days they cannot attend, to arrange for another reporter to take their place.
    If all else fails, the beat reporter should arrange to obtain a copy of a meeting's minutes within 24 hours.
  • 16. For most reporters, it’s all about The Beat
    Beat writers are responsible for recognizing and proposing article ideas.
    Before proposing a story idea to an editor, a beat writer should confirm any possible news peg with a second source.
  • 17. School Beats — Internal
  • 18. School Beats — External
    Other potential beats
    Selected national beats
    Is congress debating bills that could affect our school?
    Is there any case on the Supreme Court docket relevant to public schools?
    Are there any new recommendations pending from national educational organizations like the National Council for the Social Studies? Or the National Council of Teachers of English?
    Relevant music, movie or theater reviews?