Local news is vital to a strong community that knows what is going on. When the major local and digitally based online news source in several major cities including NYC and Chicago was deleted by its billionaire owner because he didn’t agree with the local reporters unionizing, a shudder rippled through the publishing community as local residents mourned their favorite and most trusted source of news and where to find entertainment.
Producing the local news, however, can be expensive, where costs can include printing the newspaper or magazines, paying reporters and graphic designers, and paying a staff to mange it all. How will it all get done?
Enter citizen reporters, who have been contributing to the local news scene by sharing their experiences via status updates and photos. If citizens are taking on the role of informing, where their voices are heard and at times, taken as fact even if no fact was checked, what can these citizen journalist do to be even better and produce great news?
In this first installment of Citizen Journalism 101, we talk with Columbia School of Journalism graduate and top editor, Olivia Abel, who will reveal:
- Tips the professional reporters use when collecting information for a story
- Resources that reporters turn to to find public information
- Ethical factors magazines and newspapers consider when writing and publishing a story.
- Strategies to pitch the local media with a story idea you want to get the word out about