Tip of The Week: Finding The Story

Posted November 20, 2019 by Bill Wheelhouse

The tips below were excerpted from a longer story from the International Journalists Network.

Rowan Phillips presented a full article of tips for freelance investigative reporters.   The article is worth a read.  I excerpted these tips which can apply to reporters everywhere.

Tips for finding the story

  • Read or subscribe to lesser-known journals, trade magazines, and local publications.  “Every reporter is reading The New York Times, The Guardian, and others. You need to be reading what other journalists are not.”
  • Use the free resources at libraries, and the knowledge of librarians. One reporter at the session said a librarian’s tip on how to custom-filter results on the library’s LexisNexis search engine was what led him on two-year reporting job.
  • Use your friends and relatives as sounding boards for your story ideas and angles, and ask them the best story they’ve heard. “What’s the most interesting story you’ve heard at a dinner party?” is a useful question.
  • Read court records and blogs whenever possible, and then think about any patterns that emerge.