Street Journalist: Understand & Report the News in Your Community
Microcosm Publishing (2019)
Reviewed by Skyler Boudreau for Reader Views (5/19)
In “Street Journalist: Understand & Report the News in Your Community,” award-winning journalist Lisa Loving provides a guide to savvy community news reporting for eager young reporters and industry veterans alike.
This book's striking orange cover is certain to catch your eye. After you pick it up, you will find yourself drawn into Loving's warm instruction and unable to set it down. She is direct and gets to the point with appreciable swiftness. She wants "... to offer everyday people the tools to go into your communities and then educate the world about what’s going on in your zone” (Loving 11).
Loving begins the first section by laying down the “fundamental ground rules" of the job. She also covers the consequences of breaking them. “Good journalism can hold powerful people accountable and shift unjust systems; bad journalism can destroy lives and destabilize nations” (14). A reporting job can have unforeseen influence over the subjects written about. You can “[d]ismantle the structures of evil without being a destructive asshole” (27).
Each chapter ends with a section of helpful exercises and tips on technique. The reader gets to interact with Loving’s lessons and practice what they have learned. Chapter Ten provides the most chance for practical engagement. This chapter covers the construction of a reporter's own digital platform. It discusses behind-the-scenes aspects such as production schedules and effective fundraising practices. This section can also appeal to those outside the field of journalism.
“Street Journalist” offers lessons on a wide variety of subjects. One particularly interesting section is about handing interviews that turn hostile. Another explains basic story structure, breaking it down into a simple format. Loving concludes the book by applying these lessons to one of her own stories. There are also sources to examine beyond “Street Journalist." She encourages her audience to be curious and perform some of their own research.
“Street Journalist” by Lisa Loving is a dreamer’s roadmap to success! It goes far beyond a typical How-To book. Future writers aren't the only ones who will enjoy it. Avid news consumers will love this exploration of the skills that go into reporting their favorite stories.