Oct. 5, 2020  

Why didn’t you cover that? SPJ teams up with the NewsGuild to answer big question

It’s an age-old question for journalists, from sources who don’t understand: “Why didn’t you cover that?”

SPJ Florida and the NewsGuild partnered up to tackled that question. 

In a panel discussion in September, three journalists talked about what prevents reporters from covering the topics their community may want to see in the news — and gave practical tips to help make that happen. 

Panelists could have spent hours answering the big question, but most of it came down to this: Shrinking staffs in a difficult era for the news industry make it harder to cover everything. 

“Despite our best efforts, there’s no shortage of stories to tell,” summed up moderator Giuseppe Sabella. “But there is a shortage of people to tell them.”

But the panelists — The Miami Herald’s Linda Robertson and David Neal and The Bradenton Herald’s Jessica De Leon — offered several tips on how to help journalists cover the important stuff. 

They recommended that those who have a story idea not be afraid to contact reporters and provide sources or documents. Suggest stories that line up with the subjects reporters already cover or that seem particularly interesting. Start a dialogue with the reporter by being polite and helpful, not overly critical. And remember: Journalists want to do a good job. They care about the community, too. 

Watch the entire discussion here: 



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