Gaining access to sources :
- Having a true address book
The quality of your address book and the variety of your personal contacts serve your efficiency and credibility as a journalist.
- Maintaining a “potential resources” file
Such a file is shared among the newsroom. It helps choosing the most pertinent interviewee, the right expert for every news package. It needs to be updated regularly and helps check that the newsroom isn’t always calling the same people.
- Maintaining a relationship with officials
Institutions, political organizations, sports federations, etc. are always communicating. Without making himself a mouthpiece for these official sources, a journalist must find informers and read official news communiqués to learn about strategic decisions straight from the source.
- Calling the police and the firemen
For a journalist, it’s an efficient daily way to know quickly about happenings and demonstrations.
- Spotting all news sources published in the papers
Such sources bring you trails but you can’t systematically use them.
- Keeping informed thanks to wire stories
This is one of the basic tools you need to keep in touch with local, national or international events and finding possible ways to treat the stories for your newsroom.
- Monitoring the news through websites and social networks
Relationships with sources : from the most believable to the less believable ones.
The journalist didn’t bring the news. He’s been asked to cover an event or broadcast information: he’s passive.
The journalist goes looking for a source. He’s bringing the news: he’s active.
There’s only one source
High risk: promoting the event as if you were a communications official.
Risk: getting trapped into doing involuntary communication for your source
The journalist has fact-checked the news thanks to multiple sources.
Limited risk to end up advertising for your sources. Stay vigilant.
Biggest added value
News must be at least double-checked to be regarded as credible.