Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

Reporters Can’t Be Shy

Reporters can’t be shy. Plain and simple – there’s no other way to put it. In order to report, you have to approach people, talk with people and gather information.

You can’t hide behind a computer hoping for an e-mail response from a source. You can’t base an entire story from online research and worse yet, trust all online sources. And, you can’t use the excuse – I couldn’t find any sources – if you want to stay employed.

However, if you have a shy nature, there are ways to prepare yourself mentally for the task of breaking out of your shell. There are online sources that can provide multitudes of information to prepare you to ask the questions to human sources that need to be asked. Continue reading

April 16, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Story Sources are E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E

One common complaint that I field in my journalism classes is that students have difficulty finding sources for stories. “So-and-so won’t talk to me because I’m not a ‘real’ reporter” or “I sent three e-mails, but I never heard back” is what I typically hear.

My first response: You ARE a real reporter, so act as if.
My second response: Pick up the phone. Don’t rely on e-mail.

The reality is that sources are everywhere. They are hiding in their offices on campus, protesting on downtown streets, voicing their beliefs on Facebook and tweeting their opinions. As a journalist, your task is to find them, track them down and get the interview. Continue reading

March 19, 2010 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching, Writing | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments