Local Characters: How to Tell the Stories You Have to Tell

DeGregory, Lane
December 2007
Nieman Reports;Winter2007, Vol. 61 Issue 4, p43
The article presents advice for reporters at community newspapers on how they can best find, report, and write stories of interest to their readers. The first suggestion is to make a habit of speaking to strangers in any circumstances, work-related or in personal life. Valuable time can be spent in routine activities such as riding the bus in the community one covers. Public bulletin boards at places such as laundromats and local classified advertising can contain information which will germinate a successful story. Reporters are advised to cultivate an eye for bizarre characters, to favor the anonymous over the better-known persons in their communities, and to work holidays when possible, as news generated from holiday routines has a special connection with readers.


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