Spot news was the focus of our studies this week, the kind of news that occurs unexpectedly and can be reported immediately. Generally, this sort of news is easy to cover, dramatic and enticing to the reader. This is great for both early and late shift journalists as there is often little to cover during the wee hours.
To find spot news, it pays to have a widespread social media network so you can be aware of events and stories as quickly as soon as develop. As a journalist you are never off duty.
In terms of coverage, you become the eyes and the ears on the scene. It is essential that you document the moment, take photographs of what is happening. Ask questions, particularly of anyone directly involved that you can gain access to, or even witnesses and those standing by. You must keep to a certain code of conduct in these conditions however, it is imperative that you avoid conflict and arguments, be polite and courteous and conduct yourself professionally.
In many instances, you may be faced with road blocks or cordons from police or fire services. To gain access to these areas find the nearest relevant authority and explain who you are, identify yourself as a journalist and you may be granted access.