What do you typically cover?
I cover arts and entertainment in Salem and the Mid-Willamette Valley for the Statesman Journal. This can be anything from a new venue opening to a musical to bands, festivals, community events and more. I also cover film and TV when it has a connection to the area.
On the weekends, I cover breaking news, as well. This can be anything from car crashes to rallies at the Oregon State Capitol.
What guides your coverage?
I aim to highlight local people, places and events that are making an impact on the community through things to do.
I dig deep into Salem’s entertainment scenes — music, theater, art — and find ways to show how important they are to a thriving community, not only for those who regularly create and participate in entertainment but also for those who consume it.
Who are your sources?
I work with a variety of sources, including venue owners/directors, theater founders, bands, artists, marketing managers, public relations officials, dancers, singers, actors — you name it. Sources change depending on the story, but I have a network of sources I meet with regularly to ensure I am up-to-date on what’s happening in the city.
It would be rare for me to use an anonymous source in one of my stories because of my beat. Anonymous sources are used rarely at the Statesman, in general, unless the story typically involves a life-or-death situation for the source/subject. We sometimes leave out names to protect minors or young adults in juvenile facilities who will be released.
We make sure to fact check all claims by our sources, regardless of if they are on or off the record. We will include in the story if someone’s name has been left out for a particular reason.
How do you vet sources?
Making sure we are using credible sources is critical. We do this by conducting background checks (through public records), court documents and social media. If a source is making a particular claim, we look for other sources and experts who can confirm or correct that information.
Does your newspaper use wire content?
We have a partnership with different wire services and publications that allow us to share content from outside our newsroom. This includes articles from other properties in the USA TODAY Network, the Associated Press and more. Our editors and producers decide what content is appropriate for our site.
How do you balance stories?
Journalists follow the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.
I do not publish anything in the paper or online that I have not fact-checked with a source close to the topic, if not an expert on it. This is common practice with all sections of the paper and journalists at the Statesman.
While reporting a story, I check my biases, fact check, aim to include multiple sources/perspectives on the topic, among other practices.
We also encourage community members to help hold us accountable for being fair and accurate. If you think something inaccurate was published in the paper, please reach out with a correction.
Do you need help from readers?
Entertainment includes a lot, so I encourage readers to send me story ideas/pitches. I try my best to get events in the paper or online in some capacity — whether it be in things like Fun at a Glance, a weekly feature in the Thursday paper, or a standalone story online. I cannot be everywhere at once, nor do I know every single thing happening in the area all the time.
So, if you know of something happening in the area you think we should cover, let us know! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.