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Beat Mapping

Beat Mapping






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    Beat Mapping Beat Mapping Document Transcript

    • Beat Development The packet contains four worksheets to help beat reporters and editors develop a shared understanding of how a beat will be covered. The goal is to discuss all dimensions of good beat development and settle on plan that will be summarized on the fifth Beat Summary sheet. The first four worksheets include: Beat Map: Brainstorm the unlimited scope of the beat. What people, groups, organizations, ideas, issues etc. fall under the heading of this beat? Decide which will be priorities in the coming year. Beat Focus: Based on the priorities selected above, discuss what people, organizations, and issues will be the focus of the beat. Beat Expectations: With the beat focus in mind, discuss two sets of expectations. The first includes the number and types of content expressed in per day, per week, per month, per quarter, and per year. The second includes routines and tasks required to produce content. This may include interactions with sources and newsmakers, and internal routines with other reporters or editors. Beat Sources: With content and reporting goals in mind, list the sources required to be successful. Break sources down into several categories, including officials, quasi-officials, experts on-the-record / off-the-record, and real people. Also consider the mix of sources when it comes to race / ethic background, gender, demographics / class. The Beat Summary distills the discussions above into several succinct paragraphs and includes goals for improving beat coverage. Beat Development Michael Roberts
    • Beat Map (“Map” your beat. Draw a web that represents all the people, institutions, organizations, geographic areas, etc. that could fall under your beat. Then discuss and circle which should be priorities on this beat.) Beat Development Michael Roberts
    • Beat Focus (What important people, institutions, events and issues emerge from your beat map? Who and what will you focus on in the development of your beat?) PEOPLE INSTITUTIONS / ORGANIZATIONS EVENTS / ACTIVITIES ISSUES / TRENDS Beat Development Michael Roberts
    • Beat Expectations CONTENT REPORTING ROUTINES Numbers & types In office & community DAILY WEEKLY MONTHLY QUARTERLY ANNUALLY Beat Development Michael Roberts
    • Beat Sources (Sources for this beat by category.) OFFICIAL (Obvious leaders, newsmakers.) QUASI-OFFICIAL (Key people below the obvious leadership level of an organization.) EXPERT – ON THE RECORD (Experts outside officials from your beat.) EXPERT – BACKGROUND ONLY (Experts who provide background, guidance.) REAL PEOPLE (People affected by news or actions on your beat.) DIVERSITY OF SOURCES For each category above, rate yourself on a 1-5 scale. Keep in mind the demographics of the area and stakeholders on your beat (1/ Poor, 2/ Fair, 3/ Good, 4/ Very Good, 5/ Excellent). Race / ethnic background Age 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Gender Demographics / class 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Beat Development Michael Roberts
    • Beat Summary Reporter: Editor / Team Leader: Beat: Based on your beat development discussions, please summarize the beat below. You may type your responses on a second sheet and attach it to this cover sheet. Please keep your summary to one page. 1. What will be covered on this beat, in terms of people, institutions, organizations, or events? 2. Beyond breaking news, what issues will be developed on this beat during the coming year and how you will consistently cover and track them. 3. In an average week / month / quarter (circle one) list the mix of stories, including number and type (i.e. breaking news, briefs, short-term enterprise, Sunday enterprise, online content), that you expect the beat to produce. 4. Given the coverage goals outlined above, list specific goals for source development and beat development in general that will allow you to be successful in the coming year. Beat Development Michael Roberts