Consider the source
We’re journalists who cover your city, county, and country. And we’re bored.
On deadline, we always interview the same old white guys. They’re experts in their fields, and they’re great quotes. But we want to replace them.
We seek younger sources. LGBTQ+ sources. Sources of color. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been interviewed before. We’ll train you. For free.
From TV anchors to newspaper reporters to magazine writers, journalists are desperate to interview more diverse sources. It’s good for them, and it’s good for their viewers and readers. It can be good for you, too.
How to become “a source”
Reporters typically seek out two kinds of sources: Experts and regular folks. Interestingly, you can be both at different times.
For example, maybe you’re a veteran teacher who can comment on a story about how different generations of children behave and learn. You might also be a local resident who has a compelling story about how inflation is cutting into your budget.
If you volunteer in your community – whether it’s for a charity or a church – we want to know what you know, because we want to share that with local news media.
We’re creating a database of these new sources, so your local journalists can contact you when stories arise.
How we help you – and protect you
Speaking to journalists can be nerve-wracking. What are the rules? What are my rights? We’ll make sure you’re comfortable and knowledgeable. The nation’s largest journalism organization offers you training both in person and via Zoom. You’ll learn tricks of the trade:
- How to look good on TV – which isn’t the same as looking good in person.
- How to speak succinctly so your thoughts get across accurately. (Journalists aren’t mind readers, after all.)
- What your rights are when speaking to a journalist. (How “off the record” really works, for example.)
The beta test
We’re launching this grant-funded project in the Tampa media market. We seek potential sources and open-minded journalists to not just go through this program, but to help us define it. We’ll expand it throughout Florida and then seek nationwide funding through the SPJ Foundation, which has underwritten our other programs, including our most recent: The SPJ Race & Gender Hotline and The ReNews Project, which is restarting dormant student newspapers on HBCU campuses.
Will you let us buy you a meal so we can chew on this topic? Contact us below, and we’ll be in touch soon.
The volunteer staff
Source Force director
Daylina serves on the SPJ Florida board of directors and is a multimedia journalist at WUSF Public Media, the Tampa Bay region’s NPR station. While they cover a variety of beats, their main focus is on the LGBTQ+ community and how it’s impacted by state legislation. Daylina earned their bachelor’s degree at the University of South Florida in mass communications and a master’s degree at Full Sail University in new media journalism.
Source Force assistant
Michael is SPJ Florida’s president and editor of Debt.com. He’s been a reporter for the Athens (Georgia) Daily News, the Florida Times-Union, and the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the editor of a 10-title magazine company, managing editor of the nation’s largest jazz magazine, and editor/associate publisher of two alternative magazines.
We want to hear from potential sources and open-minded media outlets. Click below to email us, and we’ll reply within 24 hours…