At a recent workshop, a reporter complained that she got her assignments too late to do anything creative with them. She worked night side at her TV station and covered a lot of meetings. The assignment desk would tell her what meeting to cover but never provided any background on the topic, and she got the assignments so late in the day she didn’t have time to research them herself.
She didn’t get much sympathy from KARE-TV’s Joe Fryer, who shared this advice:
If you’re night side, think of it as your beat. Make connections. Find out what’s coming up before the city council or the school board. Instead of the station telling you to go to a meeting, you should know what it’s about.
That’s a good recommendation for any reporter on any shift. Get ahead of the story and you’ll do a better job covering it.