TIPS FOR KEEPING THAT BIG
PROJECT GOING - -
WITHOUT LOSING YOUR DAY JOB - OR YOUR MIND
1. Getting ideas.
You probably have at least a few dozen good ideas for an investigative
project each year. One or two ideas is all you need. To make sure you're
not missing the most obvious ones, keep a pop-up file. Mark file folders
1-31, and Jan.-Dec. If the county sheriff says results from evidence tests
are due back in three months, you'll remember to ask him what happened
when he doesn't mention them and everyone else has forgotten them. It also
will help you keep on top of your daily beat.
Cover a lot of ground early. I like to make a list of everyone who could
possibly help me and start calling and visiting them. This is the time
before you've narrowed your focus - and maybe before you've presented the
idea to your editor. Now is when I'm looking for that punch-in-the-stomach
fact that will sell the project.
With daily interruptions, keeping your train of thought may be your biggest challenge. Here are a few tricks I use:
Here are some good sources of information:
The oldest person in your newsroom, the Encyclopedia of Associations, Chase's Calendar of Annual Events, your state blue book.