When finding people, titles are “unimportant,” only relevant once you need to write the article. (299) Who knows the information isn’t as important as the fact that they simply know it. Information on how an organization works can also be seen in a budget, showing which places more resources are given to. After all, money is power and power is politics.
Understanding how local governments work is a big part of this kind of reporting. There are many positions to keep track of, and decisions will be more easily seen at a local level.
Schools are yet another structure to know. Testing has become core, so understand what the scores mean when compared and look for other ways to judge a school, such as college attendance and publishing standards. What is pay like? Does this reflect on the administration or the teachers the school has?
Higher Education complicates things even more. Politics, finances, and pedagogy are heavy on college campuses. One doesn’t even have to leave campus to have plenty of great leads, I know this just as well. Even reading the Setonian it’s obvious.
Right now, reporting on the police is a lot to handle. Getting rid of any stigmas and lore about police is the first step to writing a good, unbias story. Trying to fit in allows others to trust quicker, understanding when things look similar. Encouraging gossip caught me off-guard, but it makes sense in a police station if I want a good story. Remember: verify or duck!
Yes, sports does–apparently–count as beat reporting. Just like everything else, getting the “why” and “how” of a game is important.