Journalism and the art of delivering of the news come in many forms. Some approaches to news gathering and reporting are known to be more popular if compared with the rest. Some reporting techniques are also considered specialized and best done by certain journalists who are trained in this specialization. Take the case of beat reporting- this is one form of reporting that is highly specialized and will normally focus on a very specific aspect of an issue, industry or even sector. It is a normal practice that beat reporters should not be new in the field. These are the reporters that are allowed to grow in their jobs. The beat reporters will be assigned a niche, industry or focus and they are expected to familiarize themselves with the available topics and issues that may arise. They are expected not just to deliver the news but they are also expected to come up with informed observations and commentaries on the latest news and issues for a given time. The delivery of facts is just the start; it’s now common to see beat reporting that involve some insights and commentaries. The ability to come up with insights and commentaries help the beat reporters define themselves from the typical journalists in the field and in the offices.
How the Beat Reporting Developed
Beat reporting is actually influenced by the term ‘beat’. This is based on the ‘beat’ noun that will refer to the usual road or path taken by a person on a regular basis. For example, this will refer to the same path or road that is taken by the police officer. Using the same concept, the journalism industry has also adopted the word. This time, the term ‘beat’ will refer to the topic or niche that is assigned to the reporter on a regular basis.
Beat reporting is considered an important aspect of journalism and this is seen by the awards that are given to successful beat reports. For example, there was the Pulitzer Price for Beat Reporting. Unfortunately this award was cancelled in 2007. Another award that is regularly given is the National Newspaper Awards given in Canada.
Popular News Beats
- Arts and entertainment
- Census 2000
- City and suburb
- Crime courts law
- Politics and policy