Covering #VaGov with @MSchmidtRTD

On Tuesday during our iPadJournos class, Richmond Times Dispatch political reporter Markus Schmidt spoke to us about covering politics as well as different situations to expect while covering such a broad topic.

By Nicole Czaja

Schmidt offered the class lots of information as well as advice to follow when we engage in our campaign and election coverage. One of the topics Schmidt spoke about were the different incumbents and that RTD likes to give those who are not as well known a thorough profile, so readers have a chance to compare all candidates and identify with someone. It was also made clear to us that it is important to double check and sometimes even triple check facts and sources to make sure everything is correct. Even though candidates like having their name in the press, it doesn’t look right if facts are wrong.

Another topic Schmidt spoke about involved how reporters begin working on a politics beat. People who begin reporting on politics usually start out on general assignment, then start working their way up and applying for openings that come up within the company. Because of the availability of the internet, there are many websites out there that make it easy for a political reporter to “follow the money”.

I enjoyed listening to Markus Schmidt speak to us, and I do feel like I learned something a little different compared to guest speakers in past classes. There is more to know about politics, and although it isn’t that easy by any means, it is still not all that difficult when compared to other beats.



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