Journalists talk about their own door-knocking experiences

Unless you’re a robot newspaper machine, you probably have to knock on doors for your job. Or you have. Or you will. After a Houston TV station sent out a no-knock memo (following a gun-answering incident,) we asked journalists on Twitter about their own experiences knocking on doors.


That story won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for feature writing.

The best tip may be to put down the camera and the mic, if you work with those tools, said Poynter’s Al Tompkins, who wrote about the Houston TV station’s memo, and knock without filming. But he understands why broadcasters knock and film.

“It’s web gold,” he said, “no question.”

There’s also no question that going to people helps tell the story, Tompkins said.

“Just putting your eyes on the scene gives you some information,” he said.

On Twitter, the response was pretty strong — you have to knock on doors to get stories, and yes, sometimes it can be scary (and involve pitchforks.) Here’s what we heard from journalists on their door-knocking days.

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