Reporting for Journalists

Reporting for Journalists

Reporting for Journalists

Reporting for Journalists


Reporting for Journalists examines the work of the news reporter from the process of finding a story, tracing sources to support it, interviewing contacts and gathering information and then filing the finished report. It is an essential handbook for students of journalism and a useful guide for working professionals. Reporting for Journalists explores the role of the reporter in the world of modern journalism and explains the importance of learning to report across all media - radio, television, on-line, newspapers and periodicals. Using case studies and examples of print and broadcast news stories, Reporting for Journalists includes:* how to find a story and how to develop ideas* researching the story and building a contacts book* making best use of computer aided reporting, news groups, chat rooms and search engines* covering courts, council and press conferences* a chapter on broadcast reporting highlighting issues specific to television and radio* an annotated bibliography, a glossary of key terms and a list of journalistic websites.


Some people want to become reporters for the glamour; some want to change the world. But I've always thought the best reporters do the job because they're just plain nosy. Holding up a mirror to society in order to present the truth is a laudable aim, but it is not always top priority when trying to hold together a newsdesk with limited resources and seemingly endless space to fill. The daily grind of filling pages is not always glamorous. But finding out what your community is up to because you can't stand not knowing, and then passing that knowledge on to help others manage their daily lives that little bit better, is rewarding and can be fun.

Journalism is the 'exercise by occupation of the right to free expression available to every citizen' (Robertson 1983:3). There is nothing to stop anyone being a journalist, but in order to be paid for it you need to be able to do it better than most. This means finding stories people want to read, digging out as much as you can about them and getting the material back to your newsroom accurately and without delay. It's a tough brief, but an exciting one.

There can be few work-day thrills to match chasing a fire engine, gathering the story and then seeing your published piece on the front page complete with byline. The job satisfaction to be gained by spending days building a case against a corrupt politician, with all the careful meetings and research that involves, must also be hard to match in other careers. TV and radio journalists feel a similar thrill as their rushed but crafted pieces go on air with the quiet satisfaction of another job done to the best of their ability.

For someone who needs to know what is going on - who is endlessly fascinated by the doings of fellow humans - being a reporter is the perfect job. You are actually paid to gossip in pubs with shady characters, meet the rich and famous in an effort to find out how they got to be like that with only a little discernible talent, or expose the dirty doings of the lowlifes and criminals. It means that days are rarely the same and many lead to anecdotes that can keep veteran colleagues talking for hours in a cosy pub with the help of a few beers.

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