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How to find original news

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How to find original news

Journalism of public interest exists to inform citizens and influence public debate. It is the opposite of journalism nourished by agency cables, in which journalists reproduce what they are fed.

This means that journalists have to set the editorial agenda of the issues that most concern the audience and explain the meaning of the events. Without this, you may think that you are doing journalism but in reality, you are only reproducing public relations or propaganda communications.

The role of the journalist

Journalism of public interest implies deepening where others do not, shedding light in dark places, challenging the powerful and writing compelling stories about real people whose lives are being affected by the actions of others. (…)

When you have completed this exercise you will have the formula to get at least 10 original stories every week that will only appear on the wires or as the subject of a press conference after you have published them. And that is the real litmus test of journalism: that others are forced to follow the business news ledger that you have published. That is the sign of true journalism.

So here I include some tips to get you started. And before saying that this is not possible, I must say that I have done this exercise in several media outlets in Central America, the Balkans, the Middle East and three countries in Southeast Asia, among others.

In all cases, the result was the publication of exclusive articles that the competition has to follow. Think that the stories you find fall into the category “if it had not been for you, the world would never have known.”

Definition of a strategy led by public interest journalism

Gather the editorial team and decide what are the key issues related to your audience. Of course, before you can carry out this exercise you need to know who your target audience is. You should have carried out an audience segmentation exercise and decided which segments to target in your editorial offer.

Wherever you are in the world, you will probably discover that people’s concerns are reduced to problems such as employment, housing, health, education, transportation, law and order, the environment, etc.

It’s funny how this works. You might think that performing this exercise in Guatemala, Belgrade, Baku, Harare, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur may result in different issues, but it is not so. Once approved, these issues become key to your public interest journalism strategy.

When I carried out this exercise in Azerbaijan in 2009, the editorial team thought about the following topics: housing, health, education, jobs (economy and finance), transport, agriculture, crime, environment and new technologies.

There may be less than nine, but at least six usually occur. Try to find 10. Keep in mind that politics and corruption are not listed as key issues, despite being proposed as such almost every time this exercise has been carried out. This is because politics and corruption can affect all the aforementioned areas and are common to all, instead of being problems or isolated issues.

Investigate the issues that affect your audience

Now we have to divide each problem into topics, preferably in 10 sub-themes. In the case of Azerbaijan, we begin the exercise with the housing issue and divide it into groups to reach a maximum of 10 sub-themes.

The housing-related issues elaborated by Azerbaijani journalists are:

1-) Security

2-) Trends

3-) Availability

4-) Accessibility

5-) Maintenance

6-) Construction rules

7-) Homeless people

8 -) Public services

9-) Location

10-) Access to a housing according to social stratum and ethnic or racial group

Original stories about real people

Now we have to go one step further. We have to dig deep so that the original stories about real people that illustrate these issues are understandable to the public and can relate to the topics being explored.

This is where the strategy must be shared with journalists working in the field. What they need to find real stories about real people that illustrate the issues. You must include all correspondents and citizen journalists as well.

This is not as difficult as it seems. You will be surprised by the number of stories your team can find. Everyone knows someone who has a story to tell.

The Azerbaijan editorial team came up with the following idea for a security story related to housing, all based on the stories that had happened to their friends, neighbours and family.

1-) Builders and residents suffered injuries.

2-) Existence of homes in an unhealthy state, which leads to homelessness.

3-) The cost of home insurance.

At the end of this exercise, you should have at least three original ideas for articles on each topic.

Therefore, in the model followed in the case of Azerbaijan, the exercise produced 270 ideas for original articles.

(Nine themes multiplied by 10, multiplied by three stories. 9 x 10 x 3 = 270).

These are now a central part of your editorial strategy to provide public interest topics that contribute to the public debate and allow the audience to make informed decisions. (…)

Become a news leader

Now the fun begins. Soon you will begin to define the news agenda (instead of having to follow what others publish, as before).

Your competition will be forced to follow up on the stories you have discovered. (…)

When we did this exercise with the Serbian radio station B92 in Belgrade in 2005, the competition began to ask where we had obtained the press releases. The competitors were accustomed to obtaining all the news delivered through cables, press releases or through press conferences.

Once you have decided to practice this type of journalism, you should not stop. You will be setting the news agenda. I have done this exercise from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe and in all cases, the results have been impressive.

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How to Prepare for a Long-Distance Move

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How to Prepare for a Long-Distance Move

More than 27,059,000 people move each year, whether traveling across the state or the country. Regardless of when you’re preparing for a long-distance move, there are several things you’ve got to be aware of ahead of time.

We’ve created a checklist that you can use full of packing tips and other things you need to know, like the importance of hiring movers to aid in the big move. The more prepared you are, the easier and more stress-free the move will be.

Get ready to settle into your new home after you check out these need-to-know packing tips below.

Plan Ahead of Time

When moving to NY from California, you need to plan ahead. You need to do this to get everything in order, such as shutting off the utilities and turning it on at the new location before you’re scheduled to arrive.

The last thing you want to do is risk arriving at your new place and not having running water or working electricity when you get there. Another reason you want to plan ahead is that if you’ve decided to hire movers, you’ll need to coordinate the day they plan to pick up your items and deliver them to the new house.

Again you don’t want to arrive at your home and the movers not arrive with your items on the day you expect them to. Not only does this leave you without your necessities, but it could also mean you pay additional delivery fees that you’d not planned for.

If it helps, you could make a list of everything you need to do before you are set to move. We recommend making this list ahead of time so that you don’t feel rushed at the last minute to get everything completed.

Hire Professionals

Moving lots of items a long distance can be tricky, especially if you’re not used to driving a moving truck. Before you’re set to move, make a list of the best movers in your area.

You can do this by creating a list of mover names and estimates from your area. Ensure you have them clarify what you’re paying for because most rental companies provide a specific number of miles locally and out of state that could increase your overall rental price.

You’ll also want to inquire about the insurance needed to schedule movers to come and help transport your items. Ensure you get the estimates for each type of vehicle they offer.

When the move is complete, the larger the vehicle and the more movers you need, the higher the rental price. Once you’ve decided which moving company you’re going to work with, take the next steps to set your reservation.

If you’re making the appointment over the phone, ask the company to send you a confirmation email once the phone call has concluded. This will ensure you have tangible evidence of your appointment reservation just in case something comes up the day of the move where you need to contact the moving company.

Begin Packing Efficiently

When you move a long distance, it’s in your best interest to only pack the items you need and discard items you no longer use. The best way to do this is to take some time to declutter your home before you begin packing.

Make a pile of the items you need to get rid of, whether that means donating or discarding them accordingly. While it might prove to be a time-consuming process, in the long run, it will pay off when you don’t have to do these things while unpacking in your new home.

This is especially true if you’re downsizing and don’t have enough room to store all the items that you have currently in your home or apartment. Another reason to declutter your home is so that you can effectively determine how much packing material you need to pack, such as boxes and packing tape.

Check your local area for packing items because there are several places online where people want to get rid of their extra boxes for free. This can help you to save on packing expenses.

Forward Your Mail

When you move into your new place, the last thing you want to happen is for essential items to be mailed to your previous email. This means you need to take the steps necessary to forward your mail to your new address, which can be done online via the united states postal service website.

When forwarding your mail, ensure you list the names of everyone moving and the address of the new home. Then you will need to specify a date when you want the mail to begin being sent to the new location.

Along with forwarding your mail, you need to remember to change the address on other government documentation, such as:

  • Car registration
  • Drivers license
  • Voter registration
  • Insurance

When you don’t place your new address on these documentation forms, completing other things you need to complete after you’ve moved can become challenging.

When you’re moving a long distance, the last thing you want to do is travel back to your previous residence to take care of things that should’ve been completed before the move.

Preparing for a Long Distance Move & Things You Need to Know

When preparing for a long-distance move, you need to know several things, such as ensuring you forward your mail ahead of time. You should also remember to schedule movers and request estimates to help move your belongings from one place to another.

If you want to know more about this topic, continue to scroll through the posts in this section.

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