Between the panel discussion and the guest speaker Emily Brown, there were certainly a number of interesting points to take away from when it comes to reporting within a community.
An interesting thing I took away from what Emily Brown had to say was her point about getting to know the people within the community you are reporting on and building relationships with them.
I think in general as journalists this is a component we forget exists. At times we get so caught up in getting the perfect interview or the perfect story that we forget who the stories are really about- the people.
She continues to go on and say that we should be interested in the people of the community and that we should be caring. This can certainly be a fine line when it comes to being a journalist because you don’t want to present any sort of bias in your stories or reporting, but as far as community reporting is concerned, I think it’s certainly important to show that you care about the people of the community and not just what they might bring to you in a story or an interview.
Another point I found interesting from the panel discussion was when one of the male journalists had said that if we can tell these stories in a way that can continue to emanate with the public, it tells us that there is a future for local journalism.
I found him saying this interesting for a couple of reasons, the first being- isn’t that true of any kind of journalism? If we can’t tell a feature story or a sports story that emanates with the public, there wouldn’t be any future for it, right? This idea is not just limited to community journalism. We have to find a way to make these stories resonate with the public regardless of what forum we are going under.
Another reason I found this interesting is his use of the word “emanate”. The definition of the word is simply to issue or spread out from a source.
I just found that interesting because the means by which we emanate our stories around the country and the world has continuously evolved, when it changed from print to the internet in the 90s and now to social media, which if you haven’t checked Twitter recently, is changing every single day.
There were quite a few interesting talking points from both Emily Brown and the panel, and I don’t think there’s any wrong way to go about community reporting.