You’ve got an audience
By Sonya Smith
As a tap dancer, we’re told to “dance like nobody’s wathcing.”
But as a reporter we know (or really hope) that somebody is watching our work.
Building a beat is not just about learning information and then telling an audience.
In what some call the good ol’ days journalists were in control. They got the information and mostly people needed to read the newspaper to find that information.
But now we have this thing called the Internet.
It has and is changing everything about information.
Busy people don’t need to go to City Hall to follow the City Council’s directions – that can be seen with the agendas online, watching the meetings live on the web and read on a city’s Web site about the directives.
So what do we do in all of this?
We prove our worth.
Want to prove that you are worth reading for the council news – go in person to the meeting, get quotes, tell a balanaced story about what happened.
And most of all – learn how to integrate reader participation into your news packages.
It can be discussion forums, polls, reader comments, asking people to send in their thoughts as letters to the editor, etc.
Today – more than ever – we cannot forget that we have an audience. If we forget that – we may not have much of an audience in the future.