Recent posts

StateImpact Network News: February 25 – March 3

Spotlight: What To Do When Event Planners Want You

Susan Phillips gets asked to be on a lot of panel discussions, which is great for getting exposure for StateImpact Pennsylvania and creating dialogue on her topic. But she’s learned that no two events are the same, and asking some basic questions upfront can avoid surprises. Read her Nine Tips For Being a Panelist.

Hanging Out Online With Mose Buchele

Mose Buchele takes part in a Google Hangout organized by Minnesota Public Radio.

Mose Buchele of StateImpact Texas had a two-panel day last Tuesday.

During the day, he participated in a Minnesota Public Radio video discussion related to fracking. The panel was conducted via a Google Hangout. And despite some technical troubles (another one of the panelists had a bad internet connection), the result was a good example of how to use Google’s video conferencing tool to create a work of explanatory journalism.

In the evening, he moderated StateImpact Texas’ second live event in a month. This one brought four state legislators together to discuss ways of managing the effects of Texas’ oil and gas boom. More than 110 people came out to listen to the conversation and participate. “We got really awesome questions from the audience,” Mose said. Terrence Henry worked the mike through the crowd, while sending out snippets of the conversation on Twitter. Terrence filed a radio story related to the event, and audio and video from the event have filled multiple subsequent blog posts. Continue reading

Nine Tips For Being a Journalist-Panelist

Participating in local and regional events is a great way to build your relationship with your “core communities.” Sometimes these are events that we organize. But other times, we’re asked to be part of a panel discussion on a topic. And while these are great opportunities to interact with people who care deeply about the subject you cover, the role can be challenging for journalists.

Susan Phillips of StateImpact Pennsylvania, who gets asked to participate in many community events, offers some tips for how to navigate the role of “journalist-panelist”:

WHYY StateImpact event

WHYY's Chris Satullo moderates a community event with Susan Phillips and Scott Detrow. Having audience members write their questions on index cards for the moderator to read is one way to maintain control of a program.

Shale drilling is a very polarizing topic in Pennsylvania. Each side throws out “facts” like confetti, hoping to plaster the streets with their view and no one else’s. So the StateImpact team here is often called upon to sit on panels as the “honest broker.”

We never sought this role. We usually say yes, although there’s never any compensation, rarely any food, and it often requires a long drive. That said, it does give you exposure and helps you meet potential sources.

So if you’re asked to be on a panel, here are some tips that I’ve picked up. Continue reading