Soon after reports surfaced that the Seattle School Board was proposing a policy that would subject student journalists to censorship, the group reversed its position. KUOW's Phyllis Fletcher tells Poynter's Al Tompkins how beat reporting helped her break the story:
...you have to find things that haven’t made anyone angry (yet). You’ll find things that are quirky, interesting, odd, or that demonstrate that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. The more you bring these things to light, the more you and your audience learn, and the more you build credibility with tipsters — and with the body you cover. When you first start to cover a legislative body, it’s boring, intimidating, thankless, confusing, and all those things that cause you to question your life choices. Find a way to be amused by the tedium. Bring food. Get into it like you’re watching a movie. If your employer supports it, tweet or blog during the meetings. Notice the speech patterns and trivialities that drive you nuts. If you don’t understand something, ask about it. If people seem to be speaking in code, pay attention to that. Save all your tape. If you cover the same beat long enough, your old tape will be useful to you later.