Wick Communications

People, paper and places

In journalism on 31 Oct 2013 at 3:17 pm

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Look, maybe you don’t think you need this. Maybe you’ve been a reporter almost as long as Bob Woodward has been a reporter. Be that as it may, take five minutes to listen to a master of the craft tell of the three important sources for news – people, places and paper.

I stumbled on this while visiting the blog of my good friend, R.B. Brenner, deputy director of the Stanford University Graduate Program in Journalism. Brenner was the city editor at the Washington Post and now teaches some very bright journalists who are going to change the world.

Woodward’s advice seems elemental, but I’ve never known a reporter who was particularly adept with all three “Ps.” I’m more of a people person. I always felt I could cajole information out of people more easily than I could find the paper (or online data.) I always admired those reporters who were better diggers than I.

“Places,” as Woodward suggests, is the forgotten leg of the three-legged stool. He recommends you get your ass out of the chair. Say it three times and click your heels together and you might just get to journalistic Oz. …

Which are you more comfortable with, people, paper or places?



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