Using CAR to Help Develop a Beat

A journalist assigned to a particular news beat (known as a “news round” in some nations) must become an expert in that field. To be effective he or she has to quickly develop trusted contacts and find reliable sources of information. Often, the learning curve will be steep—a process that can be aided greatly through the use of specialized computer-assisted reporting techniques.

In many newsrooms journalists are only assigned to a specific beat after they have proved themselves as a general reporter. In some media organizations there is an unofficial newsroom hierarchy in which specialist beats, some of which are highly coveted, are assigned to experienced and trusted senior journalists. Sometimes one beat, ...

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