A typical day for a Biz Journal reporter
UNC-Chapel Hill professor Andy Bechtel interviewed Triad Business Journal reporter Luke Bollinger about his job.
Here is an excerpt:
Q. Describe your job. What is your typical day like?
A. My beat has many facets. Though my official title is “economic development reporter,” my beat includes manufacturing, aviation, tobacco, textiles and furniture.
The Triad area is a 12-county region, with the larger cities being Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point. So economic development news can mean a lot of different things depending on the place.
In High Point, for example, you’ve got the furniture market and furniture manufacturing (yes, there are still furniture manufacturers in the state). Then you go to Winston-Salem where’s Hanesbrands is headquartered. Greensboro has Qorvo, a semiconductor manufacturer that is a huge supplier for Apple. My point is, the beat delivers a wide range of stories.
My typical day usually starts around 9 a.m., unless it’s Thursday, when I’ll wake up at 5:15 a.m. for a business news segment on WFMY News 2. I’ll start by checking my email and Google alerts to see if there are any stories that need immediate attention.
Because of the broadness of my beat, I’ll sometimes need to prioritize two or three of the total possible stories that day. I then pitch those stories at our daily stand-up meeting. We’ve got a close-knit newsroom of four reporters, an editor-in-chief, a managing editor and a design and visual contact editor. It usually takes about 15 minutes to get through all the pitches, wrapping up around 10:30.
I’ll then start crafting my story for the 3 p.m. newsletter. If I haven’t done all the reporting the day before or earlier that morning, I’ll make some calls. I try to have every interview I need by about 12:30 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. at the latest. Next, I’ll start making calls for stories I have working for the next day’s morning newsletter. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll have my reporting done by 4 p.m., and then I’ll start writing.
Any typical day can also be punctuated with meetings or events outside of the office. Sometimes I could be in Winston-Salem or on the opposite end of the region in Burlington. Who knows?
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