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September 4, 2008

Pretty sure it's networking

I chose two for this one. Both are from The Student Newspaper Survival Guide, page 20.

"Beat coverage involves a lot of talking that isn't formal interviewing," says Parks. "Part of your work is not just reporting specific stories but looking for your next story, or your next scoop."


"Keep in mind, journalism is a two-way street. You want story ideas; many of your sources want the publicity only you can offer."


I chose these two quotes because I like that they say a lot of the work we do is not just taking the interviews and then writing out the articles. If you do that well then fine, but it's better to be able to pick up a conversation with anyone and be able to get stories you can pitch from those conversations. This is the main reason why I feel it is so important for people on The Setonian staff to get involved and to get to know people and to really be out there, so that story ideas and these types of conversations are easier to come by.

Though it's not always easy and I personally feel run down by being in so much sometimes, I think it's the best way to not only put yourself out there and make as many friends and connections as possible, but to really know what is going on around campus, and by doing that, you make the paper have an easier time coming up with stories and filling the pages.


Most of the time, my story pitches stem from department events or conversations with friends about what recently happened on campus. The bulk of the Setonian meetings are spent asking if anyone has stroy ideas. People complain sometimes about their length. It's a no brainer- come compared and ready to contribute. Content is the most important aspect of the paper. After the interviews are done, the articles basically write themselves.

Two terrific Agenda items, Dani. Your input was much appreciated in the meeting.

As I always say, I'm a commuter and I rely on you all to help me figure out what's newsworthy and what's hype. From the feedback I get around campus, we do pretty well. =)

Distributing the Welcome Back issue, I had students plucking them off the stacks I was sweatily carrying. That was a first, though people usually walk around holding copies withing less than a minute of the first pile being distributed.

It is important for the journalist to not always carry around that journalistic facade. People can tell when they're being probed, and I feel a good reporter works information gathering into conversations unobtrusively.

Remember guys, they know The Setonian exists--people who make up the SHU community will be involved in the stories and the interview process. In all my years here I have only had one negative interview experience--she was elderly and thought I was playing a joke on her.

Anyway, don't be scared to go out there and talk to people, but you also can't just go around publishing anything people say.

I do agree with you Chelsea. What we do is not just take notes and then transfer them onto a published paper. We mingle, snoop, and play devil's advocate to get a story. I have an advantage over some of the newspaper staff of the Setonian, I live off the hill and know a good amount of people that I am able to get stories off of. Being from the city where you attend school is great because I, for one, do not have to start over and make connections, I just build new ones.

Haha, I just caught that...I was reading so many entries that day I thought I was still on Dani's blog! Sorry Chels. =) Good post.

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