Specialist reporting: doing the rounds

Tynan, Liz (2011) Specialist reporting: doing the rounds. In: Bainbridge, Jason, Goc, Nicola, and Tynan, Liz, (eds.) Media and Journalism: new approaches to theory and practice. Oxford University Press, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, pp. 284-307.

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Young journalists entering the profession are wise to keep their options open and gain an overview, generally through a cadetship, of what reporting can offer. There usually comes a time, however, when you will be ready to work at a deeper level than is possible through general reporting. The general reporter quickly and efficiently has to cover a wide range of breaking stories from a cat up a tree to a robot landing on Mars. A specialist reporter narrows the focus to a particular field and adds depth. Reporters do not always have a say in exactly which specialty comes their way and may arrive at work one day to find they are the new court reporter and are due at a rape trial in 20 minutes. (Part of the fun of a career in journalism is its unpredictability.) Also, in many cases reporters are assigned to a succession of rounds as part of their training, gaining specialist knowledge in each in turn. Eventually many reporters settle in one particular area, there to build their expertise and become adept at spotting stories on the horizon in their particular field. Many media outlets capitalise on the expertise of their roundspeople and cultivate an image of authority and expertise in areas of greatest interest to their audiences. Therefore, media outlets value roundspeople who have made a name for themselves in their specialties. Roundspeople tend to be more autonomous than general reporters and to drive the news agenda rather than respond to events. The most useful roundspeople will be alert to breaking news early on and will ensure that they are sufficiently knowledgeable about their rounds that they will see new developments coming and understand those developments in as much complexity as possible when they arrive.

Item ID: 23166
Item Type: Book Chapter (Teaching Material)
ISBN: 978-0-19-557410-4
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2012 00:58
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1903 Journalism and Professional Writing > 190301 Journalism Studies @ 100%
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