Top-10 Reporting Tips: Chapter 4, Crime and Courts

1. Blend dramatic narrative with civic purpose.

2. Immerse yourself in the lives of your characters (sources).

3. Look for the effects of the crime on the victims, familiies and keepers of the peace.

4. Be “counter-phobic.” Report with courage and persistence.

5. Put the reader in a particular location as they read.

6. Vary sources of information — exhaust all angles and tie up loose ends in reporting.

7. Sometimes, it takes getting to step back from the breaking news and look at the big picture.

8. Pay attention to the small details: “…the way a wife’s broken jaw hung down, the nightgown worn by a molested child, the beer bottle imbedded in a dashboard of a crumpled car…”

9. Integrate statistics naturally into the story.

10. Apparently, writing as if your artilce is a novel is allowed.

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