Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Advice

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Advice

Article excerpt

Growing a 'nose for news'

Steve Padilla, assistant political editor at the Los Angeles Times, alleges that one of the skills young journalists lack is the ability to come up with story ideas on their own. To help these reporters develop a "nose for news," Padilla presents interns in the paper's METPRO program with a list of tips for generating stories. Here are some suggestions from that list:

1 Assume every story has a follow-up - the next day, the next week, or the next month. Stories beget stories, and you can never write about something too much.

2 When covering city council or school board meetings, read the entire agenda, including the seemingly routine parts. You never know where you might find something of interest. Also, when the meeting is over, work the crowd. If there's an issue on people's minds, they'll be talking about it.

3 Never call 411 or use directory assistance to get the phone numbers you need. …

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