How to take a global approach to any local beat

Whether you're covering agriculture, education, business or environmental issues, there's a global component to your beat. Journalists increasingly need to understand the big picture to cover their communities.

"The global context used to be too large and abstract to matter much at the local level. And we didn't need to consider this angle to be safe, secure and prosperous," Doug McGill, a journalist who has taken a "glocal" approach to his reporting, said via email. "But today, we absolutely need a global view to ensure our safety, security and prosperity."

McGill believes there's "a definite mindset, matched with a certain set of specific reporting skills, that can help journalists discover and illuminate how global trends play out at the local level, and sometimes break international news locally."

Tuesday at 1 p.m. EST we will chat for an hour with McGill about how to adopt this mindset and apply it to your beat. Among the topics we'll cover:

  • How to find good global-local stories
  • Where to find good sources
  • How to identify connections between your community and global trends
  • How to use social media to research stories
  • How to report on diaspora communities by thinking like a foreign correspondent

Twitter users can ask questions ahead of time using the hashtag #poynterchats. You can revisit this page at any time to replay the chat after it has ended.

This chat is being held in conjunction with a Specialized Reporting Institute, "Covering Globalization at the Local Level: Beyond the G8/NATO Summits in Chicago," to be held in Chicago in March. The application deadline for this free training, sponsored by the McCormick Foundation, is Thursday.

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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