Check All Angles

While on deadline, it can be easy to miss things.

I can admit that I’ve not called as many people as I should have.

I can admit that I’ve missed certain aspects of a story.

It happens, but you have to keep on top of it.

It’s easier said than done. I certainly realize that.

Some of the angles that you’ll have to check aren’t easy. Every story has an angle, but it’s a wise practice to search out other possible “avenues” for the story.

If it’s a “gotcha” story, you have to cover your bases and make people uncomfortable, before you go to print. Now, that should be common sense. If you are going to call a person or town out, you have to make sure you give them a chance to speak. If you don’t, you’ve lost all credibility with your reader. Anyone can write a “bash” story and not call the people it involves, but not everyone can get on a phone and make the tough calls.

With those stories, come angles that need to be uncovered.

You are going to upset people in this profession and if you aren’t okay with that check your major. Stories upset people. It’s that simple. I don’t know how else to explain it.

From blight issues to town’s trying to get roads paved, someone will be upset and you have to do your job as a reporter and check everything out.

It may take a little while longer to get the story, but that’s your job. You have to “clear” people and put them on the hot seat.

My editors make a point to tell us at the Chronicle to do exactly what this post means. They want to prepare us for life.

This could even work for going to a doctor’s appointment. If they don’t know the answer, ask them why. If they don’t know the answer after that, then you ask them to follow up with you. I’m not saying piss off your primary care physician, but definitely push some buttons.

That’s how I look at stories, from time-to-time. You have to ask the tough questions.

If you don’t who will?



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