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For inexperienced reporters, the greatest challenge of meeting coverage is determining what to emphasize among a number of actions of apparently comparable importance— or unimportance. As the meeting progresses, dozens of agenda items may be swiftly dispatched to committees or disposed of with little comment and no vote. Do not assume such matters are inconsequential. Conversely, do not assume a lengthy, heated debate over a request by the fire chief to attend a convention in Las Vegas is important. Stay alert and ask questions if you are unsure of what is significant and what is not. Let the people factor guide you. As a rule, the news value of city business increases proportionately with the number of people affected.

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Cover of Public Affairs Reporting Now

Note

Important to note for town council stories this semester