Future Focused

via newhorizonchurch.tv

via newhorizonchurch.tv

This piece in Reuters got me thinking. I know I’ve talked about the next step in stories, but I wanted to jump in a bit deeper into what most, if not all, stories should showcase for the reader.

I’d have to agree with John Loyd quite a bit with his column.

“Why didn’t journalists see the financial crash coming? Why didn’t they know there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Why didn’t they warn about Enron’s house of cards? Why didn’t they do more, in advance, on the climate changes that helped cause Hurricane Sandy in the United States last October? Journalists sometimes join in on this to beat themselves up – especially on the Iraqi WMD issue – because they feel foolish about giving credence to claims that turned out to be wrong, or about not asking the right questions.”

Now, what I’m covering is nowhere near the importance or magnitude of those questions, but the idea is the same. It’s hugely important for all news to have a specific direction. And that’s towards the future. Yes, people need to know what’s going on now, but what will happen to them next? What will happen to their taxes next year, or two years down the road?

At the Chronicle, we have this focus. With a three-reporter staff, it’s tough to keep on track of everything. We do our best and our focus is to inform the public and make them aware of what IS and WILL happen to them. The trick is to get the public interested in it and to have them understand it.

We have yet to do any long-term series of any kind, since I’ve been at the Chronicle. The staff is too small, but we really would like to.

Lloyd is also right, in that, we have “the tools” to make sure we do our jobs, and do them well. With the resources available to newspapers and reporters, we should have more future-focused stories.

Do you agree?

Jonathan

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8 Responses to Future Focused

  1. opiningquill says:

    Your premise as expressed,” It’s hugely important for all news to have a specific direction” is also part of the problem. Far too often news as written or broadcast today does precisely that, it takes a specific direction of personal bias and presents it as fact. The slant of news particularly that of a political nature has fallen to the level of mediocrity. Investigative reporting has nearly disappeared and been replaced with the pabulum of the press release.

    • I’d have to agree with you.

      Take Rubio’s water bottle moment after the SOTU. There was more coverage of that 10 seconds than anything else he said. I think that ties well into where you are going.

      That quote you have, isn’t meant for politics, it’s meant for local, just happened yesterday news. I’m not writing from Washington D.C. I’m writing from cow towns with real problems that need fixing. My stories should reflect those problems and how they are going to get fixed. The post is about being “future focused,” not what direction I’m leaning on the political spectrum.

      And on investigative reporting, it’s too expensive. There is neither the money or time for reporters to devote to single stories, when pages need to be filled with the regular copy. I’d love to do different series and investigative stories, but there has been no opportunity. I’m sure that’s the same everywhere else.

      Jonathan

      • opiningquill says:

        “cow towns” Really? Can you actually find a cow outside a barn in Coventry? LOL I recognize your challenge to make reports relevant to the future, I am not suggesting you are bias or being critical of any bias on your part. Unfortunately your level of equality is not always reflected in national media.

      • Haha. I’m sorry. Cow towns was harsh.

        I do agree that certain orgs and news outlets have agendas. We can all see them. They aren’t hiding them either.

        That said, it is pretty frustrating to see others try and pass off their work as objectivr. It gives all reporters a bad name.

      • opiningquill says:

        Reporters? In some cases bias is endemic to an entire organization or network.
        The only qualification for Coventry to be a “cow town” would be the burgers at the Bidwell which we may have to investigate someday, while discussing issues of the day.

      • Oh, I’d have to agree on that level, as well.

        What about Hytone Farm on Route 44? Doesn’t that make Coventry a cow town?? LOL

      • opiningquill says:

        Nope sorry. Hytone cows are kept inside like house cats they never roam a field. To qualify as a “cow town” one must be able to, at the very least, see an actual cow out in the field. Finish the burger and we’ll order rocks and wings this could take a while. LOL

      • They let them out sometimes, but they certainly aren’t free roaming.

        And that sounds pretty good right about now.

        -Jon

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