Wednesday, October 07, 2009

How to be a reporter

The Florida Democratic Party annual conference takes place this weekend in Orlando, and your blogger is one of the presenters during Saturday's part of the program given over to the Florida Progressive Coalition.

Can't wait? Here are my notes and outlines on How To Be a Reporter. There will be even more on citizen journalism from other presenters.

The Problem
Here are two of many recent analyses (10/2009) of how the news media are in trouble and what might emerge:
· Article in October Atlantic Monthly by Mark Bowden analyzing the political thuggery behind the Web-based attacks on Sonya Sotomayor, Van Jones, ACORN, etc.
· Oct. 12, 2009 The Nation “How to save the news.” William F. Baker argues for public money to back public broadcast outlets to create something like the BBC or state broadcasting in Germany and other countries. He has some favorite non-profits, and among them.
You can step up for the thousands of vanished reporters
Are you nosy? Driven? Convinced? Like to write? Or take photos, video? You could be a reporter.
·         For advice, fire up the search engine to find tips and tutorials. The Society of Profesional Journalists will expose you to ethics, story-telling, citizen journalism. The AP association of managing editors will do the same. Note that dressing up as pimp and prostitute and carrying a hidden camera into ACORN offices is not considered ethical. Impersonation can be illegal, as can unannounced recording.  The hidden camera may have its uses but not in up-front reporting. Professionals (?) wear their company ID’s laminated around their necks.
·         Warning.  Reporting can be dangerous. Not as much as lumberjacking, but still … You need a thick skin. Sometimes a lawyer. This is where a big publishing company or news agency comes in handy – you have legal protection built in. The citizen reporter can turn to The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and various Wiki sites to help understand issues such as libel and shield law.

1 comment:

Luis C. Isaza E said...

Thank yopu very much for the info, Larry.