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Media Forum

9. The Editorial Process

[Robb Leer] Explain to the group here about how editorial meetings work in a newsroom.

[Kelly Huffman – Fox 9 News Director] Our editorial process has to do with the report… you know, we talked about people first. We'll do reporters first.

You know, we rely very heavily on our reporters that are in the community for their context with people like you and other groups to bring story ideas that are unique to the…to the table.

And sort of kind of go through the things that are out there that… that we must cover.

You know, tomorrow's Super Tuesday, you know, that sort of thing, but also what story ideas that our reporters are bringing from the field with their connections to…

[Robb Leer] So it looks like a big giant roundtable and you got reporters and you've got everybody sitting around.

It's a collaborative process, is it not, Stacey, could you just address a little bit about how all these ideas come together and where the ideas come from?

[Stacy Nogy – KARE 11] You know, reaching out personally to… to a reporter. And, you know, social media has made it so much easier, I mean you can friend these guys on Facebook and have a conversation that you could have never had 15 years ago.

You know, you'd have to leave a voicemail or something. And I just think that it's a matter of developing a personal relationship and letting them understand your story and then that would be brought to a meeting.

And if a reporter was standing there saying, "Hey, I have been having this dialogue back and forth with, you know, this woman" and, you know, whatever the story is, I mean, everyone's going to listen to that.

We might not be able to do it that day because, you know, maybe it's Super Tuesday, but we will put it up on this… on what we call the parking lot.

You know, if it's a story we really like, we're going to get to it. By God, it might take four weeks, five weeks, but we'll get to it because it's a good story and it deserves to be told.

[Jennifer Mayerle – WCCO TV Reporter] I think the best stories come from the community, and that's who we learn from, that's who engages us, and that's how, you know, we find stories.

And we can't tell the story unless you bring it to us. We can't tell your story unless you bring it to us.

The other thing to keep in mind is when you want us to tell your story, you have to be ready to tell it.

A lot of people will give us information and say, "I want you to look into this and I want you to this, but I'm not willing to go on camera about it."

Well, that's hard to do because for TV you need someone to talk about it. Even for a newspaper, you need someone to be that voice.

And so that's, you know, when you are wanting to get a story forward or talk to a reporter or, you know, talk to a newsroom, it's important to know where that voice is going to come from.

If it's not you, maybe it's a friend of yours that has a story to tell.

[Robb Leer] Paul?

[Paul McEnroe] Let me give you an example.

I think in the next two weeks - I want to say March 15, but I'm probably off - I heard there was a… there is a planned event at the rotunda at the Capitol on behalf of caregivers who demand that they have a wage increase for working in group homes, sheltered workshops, those kinds of employment issues that affect all of us.

They're organized. They're getting ready to put out a media packet.

They're getting ready to contact in an organized way the reporters, the producers, the news directors, the editors. I think that's a classic example of what needs to happen when you want to get your point of view across, your story across.

This is a civil rights issue at its core.

Chris talked… Chris is talking about baseline.

What you're really all in here about, in my mind is, whether it's a Special Olympics event in the 100-yard dash, or it's some kind of a legislative issue you're trying to get across, this is a civil rights issue. And if you keep banging on the door that it's a civil rights issue, you're going to get a lot farther.

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