As I stated in an earlier post, I'm taking a look at Washington, N.C. this semester and how their news sources can provide online editorial product that they want. Here's what I've found so far in my research, in classic journalist who-what-when-where format:
What I know
• Fact: Washington has 9,583 people
o This is important because it gives an idea of how many people are in the immediate population the paper is serving.
• Fact: there are 1,219 more women than men in Washington
o This is important because women are likely a larger audience for our newspaper.
• Fact: As of September 2007, the Daily News had a circulation of 8,736 Monday through Saturday and 8,969 on Sunday
o This is important because it we know the size of the population we hope to serve.
• Fact: Washington is 24.7 percent under 18
o This is important because this percentage is the most likely to benefit from our editorial product.
• The median income according to the 2008 census estimate for Beaufort County is $46,574
o This is important because it is below the national average income
• The racial make up of Washington is: 51.8 percent white, 46 percent African American, 0.5 percent Asian
o This is important because it shows that while the town is diverse in terms of not that many white people, but
• Fact: The June unemployment rate for Beaufort County is 11 percent.
o This is important because it is higher than the North Carolina unemployment rate of 10.1 percent
• As of August 31, Beaufort County had 31671 registered voters, 50.8 percent of which were Democrats, 30.3 percent Republican, 18.8 percent unaffiliated, and 16 libertarians.
o This is important because it shows the political persuasions of the county
• At least 60 percent of students at Washington High School are at adequate reading level, making it a “school of progress,” where 35 percent of N.C. high schools are. This is the middle of seven levels.
o This is important because it shows that there are many people, as much as 40 percent, that need catching up to be on adequate levels for their age.
• Washington is in Beaufort County.
o This is important because it suggests the newspaper will serve the people in the other towns within the county.
• Washington is on the coast
o This is important because it suggests tourism is likely an industry of some kind.
• The closest major city is Greenville, 20 miles west.
o This is important because it shows where people will likely go for services you can’t get in small towns.
What I want to know
• Where do people work?
o I’ll find this out by: interviewing the Washington Beaufort Chamber of Commerce
• What are the big controversial issues in Washington?
o I’ll find this out by: interviewing the mayor, keeping up with the Washington Daily News Web site, talking to residents.
• Are people in Washington large computer users?
o I’ll find this out by talking to the mayor and residents.
I almost feel disappointed with my list. As a journalist, why am I having so much trouble coming up with "whens"?