Crime Reporters: Tips for Beginners

Covering issues about crime is one of the most complex journalistic tasks. A journalist from a crime news center requires integrity, sensitivity, rigor and awareness of everything that is happening around. In the most recent publication of training series, experts of crime journalism lay down the basic rules of police reporting.

People are interested in reading about crime. The police section sells newspapers, advertising and books. They talks about greed, violence, sex and revenge, the really powerful emotions in man. Sometimes, crime reflects important aspects of society: corruption, drugs, indigence, hunger, lack of education, among others. Other times it is simply a good story, without major implications. Either way, it is a sector that must be covered properly. The public expects this. Here are some things to remember when covering crime topics.

  1. Everything is built on the foundations of good journalism

When covering police issues, as in other sectors, the first thing is to have acquired the basic skills of journalism. The story must be rigorous and written correctly. You must handle facts and data that support each phrase you write. The story must be clear and unambiguous. It must also capture the interest of the audience. You must handle facts and data that support each phrase you write.

  1. Success is built on integrity

Your personal and professional behavior must be faultless. You must be sincere, whole, trustworthy and impartial. Accept criticism when justified. Do not abuse the power or responsibility of your position.

  1. Gather all the data

This is a basic requirement of journalism, but perhaps it is especially important in police matters. Readers want to know everything about a crime, what kind of mask did criminals wear, what color was the car they fled? The weather of that day. The more data, the better the story, so work hard, keep looking, keep adding data. The more data, the better the story is.

  1. Know the sector

A good police reporter does not sit down to wait for the next assault on a bank. To work effectively, you must have excellent contacts with all relevant agencies, the police, government agencies, and courts, press officers, etc. Cultivate these relationships. Make sure they have their phone numbers. Work on your contact list so you are ready for the next great story.

  1. Dealing with criminals

Being a police reporter means knowing the criminals. This entails obvious dangers, both for your work and for your personal safety. It is essential that you be totally clear in your relationship with them. Never hide the fact that you are a reporter. Always carry your identification. Take notes.

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