Beat and Event Coverage Learning Journalism Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

The New York Times has beat writers that cover virtually every subject. For example, the White House correspondents for the Times are Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker. There are writers who cover the arts, living, business, health and so on. Haberman and Baker cover the White House beat for both print and online editions—but some writers just cover one or the other. The most-quoted sources for the White House writers often are “anonymous” because White House insiders have to speak off-the-record or anonymously in order to keep from getting into trouble with White House bosses. For sports stories, beat writers will rely on the AP or on athletes, coaches, administrators, such as GM’s, and so on. In sports, there is less need to be anonymous when news is breaking (no need for national security). The primary sources who reporters are relying upon for their stories will vary from subject to subject. Usually it is a person close to the action who has inside information, or else it is a person who can be regarded as an authority or expert on the subject and can give a credible opinion to add weight to the story. My assessment of the overall quality of the paper is that it does a good job in giving information to the reader about a variety of subjects and the articles are always interesting.


I will prepare for the local court system beat by introducing myself at the courthouse as the new local court system correspondent for the paper and making friends with the staff and other professionals there so that they know who I am, what I am doing there, and why I will be there asking questions. It is a good idea to get on a familiar footing with insiders and to curry favor with them—which I will do by offering to take them out for lunch and ask about what they do and so on. I will also prepare for this beat by talking to other beat writers at the local court system and getting to know the ins and outs of the daily proceedings so that I know what to expect going in.

The most likely sources in my town will be the lawyers, defense and prosecutors, the officers who are there going to court every morning, the judges, and the court house workers. Government websites regarding the judicial…

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