By Kaitlin Dunn
As a formal international editor, I was looking forward to the session Foreign Correspondence and Student Media which was supposed to be about incorporating international reporting into student publications.
I was expecting a panel, or a student or two presenting. I was not expecting a sketchy skype call with the students. I don’t know whose idea this was, but considering that half the audience walked out within two minutes of the start of the session, I think we can agree it was a bad one.
I gave it a shot. I wanted to hear the student perspective about writing from abroad, but the connection was so terrible, I could only hear every other word that came out of her mouth.
I felt generally bad for the guy who was running the session. He seemed like a nice fellow, and passionate about foreign reporting, but the technological difficulties made it impossible for me to get anything out of the session, so I abandoned ship with everyone else.
Instead I went to a session on beat reporting. It wasn’t anything groundbreaking, but it was interesting. I never gave much thought to beat reporting before, but everything that was said made sense.
The most important thing to do with beat reporting is to cultivate relationships, especially with mid level workers such as secretaries, because even if you can’t quote them, they know where you should go and who you should talk to. There is nobody related to your beat that you shouldn’t get to know, follow on twitter or have some sort of relationship with. You never know who will help you out in a situation.
Even though my last session wasn’t what I planned, I still enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.