Koetting, Deputy Managing Editor, Milwaukee
By Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association
Managing Yourself & Your Newsroom - Thomas Koetting, Milwaukee
"Start with a question you can't answer. Then start digging
and see where it takes you. It can be small - actually small is often better.
Don't write about nouns - prisons, hospitals, empty homes. And remember, as you
mine data, use volume to tell broad stories, individual cases to give color and
- Read the paper. Read web sites.
Read bloggers. Read. Yes really.
- Step back and ask the big
questions, then narrow them.
- Trust your life experiences.
- Solicit from readers
- Everyone from other departments
- Show pre-reporting, sources
- What is the nut graph? The point
of view? The question that you are answering?
- What is the worst case scenario
of reporting? Is that good enough?
- What CAR work is needed?
- What multimedia ideas are
- What time is needed?
- Presentation pitfalls - get out
in front of them.
"Give yourself and others permission to have lousy ideas.
Think counter-intuitively. Question the most obvious things. But most of all,
come to some sense of agreement so that you can refer back to this meeting in
the days ahead when people get lost or go astray. Think about developing two
tracks of reporting - one for dailies, one for longer form work. Every week,
see how the longer form work has progressed - if at all."
Thanks to the McCormick Foundation for sponsoring this two-day reporting symposium.