This is me speaking at CUNY

Beat reporters: stop hanging out with other journalists and spend more time with your community

I say this fully admitting I’m an active, proud and lively member of the Pen and Pencil Club, a private journalist’s association and bar in my hometown Philadelphia.

Journalists, especially community and beat reporters, should spend a lot more time with their communities than with other in news media. For sure, you can get great professional development and important understanding from meeting with your colleagues. But count up the number of hours you spend with other reporters and compare it with your community in person: which one is the bigger number?

This was among my clearest points from a talk I gave at the third annualĀ Entrepreneurial Journalism Educators Summit organized by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Below are my slides and some notes.

Likely this isn’t a shocking statement: reporters need to know their sources better than other journalists. But, gosh, it sure doesn’t happen in practice.

Spend time with your community. You develop empathy. You find stories. You build trust.

One way we do this at Technically Media is through regular events — from conferences and networking meetups to curated stakeholder sessions. We did lots of it from our Technical.ly Tomorrow Tour series. So in my CUNY presentation, I introduced our company but used that as a helpful case study to share.


Here are some tweets from others:

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