Get down to the Source…

I wrote the below piece as part of a college module on a blog I created for the class. Have a read below and check out the Dalton Daily! I will be posting whatever I post there on here too to keep me active 🙂

We were tasked in a recent lecture to write a blog post about why journalists need sources and vice versa. It was an interesting lecture. I had never really thought of the ‘why’ of it all. I just knew that there were journalists and that there were sources.

While I had never really thought about these things before, when my lecturer asked me if I had some names in mind ready to go for a potential story if one popped up, three or four names in my local community appeared in my mind. My work in the community and dream of becoming a journalist had served my address book well.

My contact list comprised of your typical sources; people of note in the community; the local school principal; the community association leader; a local councillor; and members of the local G.A.A. club. Other sources I should have considered were local business people, local members of the emergency services and even other journalists.

But why do I need a source for my story? Can I not just draw my own conclusions from little bits of information I pick up here and there? Of course not! A story needs credibility. The more authority a source has then of course the more credible it is, but one also has to be careful of bias. You must get more than one source to keep your story well-rounded. If someone reads a story that is too one-sided then you have lost some of your audience already.

Why then does a source need a journalist? Well, despite some more serious reasons, people love to talk! Storytelling is a part of human nature. The source wants their story to be heard, or their version of their story to be heard. The journalist wants to tell the full story. Since the dawn of man people have been trying to speak and be heard. The relationship between the source and the journalist is a tale as old as time.

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