Sometimes good story ideas fall in your lap (or show up in your email). The following is a post from the Criminal Justice Journalists listserv on Friday, 9/21/07:
If all goes according to plan, the FBI will put out its 2006 crime stats on Monday, 9/24/07.
Criminologist Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri-St. Louis is working on using these stats to do an immediate ranking of metro areas.
He hopes to have this by midday Monday if the FBI puts out its stats first thing.
Those of you who might want to cover this for Mon. night/Tues. should watch this list for a link to his material. This should be much better than the Morgan Quitno rankings that compare central cities and other not-very-comparable areas.
Getting an early look at these numbers with some expert analysis may help you do a better job of putting them in perspective for your audience.
Reporters often use listservs (Internet mailing lists) to find expert sources and locate “regular people” who can help illustrate a particular story. Lists also help journalists monitor discussions on beat-related topics.
To get on the Criminal Justice Journalists listserv, follow this link: http://www.reporters.net/cjj/listserv.html
Another excellent listerv is run by the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization. You can subscribe through the following link: http://www.ire.org/membership/subscribe/ire-l.html