Monday, February 15, 2016

How creating trusted sources helped one regional newspaper break a major national story

Screenshot of Express-News home page Feb. 13
Creating trust among readers and sources is still the cornerstone of excellent journalism. It's also the main reason the San Antonio Express-News broke one of the biggest national stories in months when it was the first to report that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had died in rural Texas. Even though the story was national, it sets a good example for all journalists that creating trusted sources is a very important part of journalism.

It all started when an Express-News reporter received a tip from a trusted source in the federal government, followed by confirmation from a second source, Benajmin Mullin reports for The Poynter Institute: Express-News Editor Mike Leary "said the Express-News' coverage of Scalia's death shows the rewards that come with cultivating experienced, well-sourced journalists. In the days of dwindling ranks in the newspaper industry, there's no replacement for having reporters on the ground whom people trust. . . . We had local sources. I'm not surprised we broke the story."

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