In Dan Kane’s 35-year career, he’s developed a way of choosing the stories he should start poking around.
The investigative reporter at The (Raleigh, North Carolina) News & Observer thinks of them as triggers, and they’re set off by “harm, cost, power, complexity and secrecy,” he said.
Most recently, those triggers helped him uncover a conflict of interest in a story that took more than a year to publish.
In the nonstop news cycle, it can be hard to develop systems like Kane’s, and it can be hard to slow down. In fact, it might feel like the absolute last thing a local reporter should do. But this week, we have three projects that show why you must:
As we see with Kane’s investigation, it takes time to see what the records say when people won’t talk. In Columbus, Ohio, the online nonprofit Matter News found it takes time to do work that gives context to better understand the news. And in New York, the weekly Highlands Current found it’s worth the time to think through the ethics and consequences of a story.
What’s your local newsroom working on? Share the work that you’re proud of, and I’ll reach out if we decide to feature it.
All the answers shared here came through a Google form and have been edited for length and clarity.
“… Complicated and controversial stories take time to do right.” – Dan Kane, News & Observer
Newsroom: The (Raleigh, North Carolina) News & Observer
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2019/it-took-the-news-observer-a-year-to-get-the-story-but-the-persistence-paid-off/