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How Blogs Help Journalists and Other Reporting Tips

Alex Blumberg, a producer for This American Life, who along with Adam Davidson reported and produced “The Giant Pool of Money,” has advice for how to produce in-depth stories on big issues often glossed over by the Mainstream Media.

“The Giant Pool of Money,” produced in May 2008, is a fantastic piece of radio journalism that puts the financial crisis into terms we can all understand. Here is their most recent follow-up: “Another Frightening Show about the Economy.”

Here are some of the subheads on the advice given by Blumberg in a Steve Myers interview at the Poynter Institute:

  • Start with a question that no one has asked in quite the same way.
  • Use your ignorance and your status as an outsider to your benefit.
  • Use the specialty press and the blogs.

Blumberg expands on the blogs:

“I could never have done this story without blogs,” he said. One of his favorites was called Calculated Risk. The blogs, experts and specialty press all spoke a language that was unfamiliar to him, but once he delved in, he started to understand what they were talking about.

  • Look for people who aren’t experts.
  • Make the story concrete.
  • Ask people to tell their stories, ask about key moments, and get out of the way.

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