Covering Texas Politics

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It’s sometimes difficult for local newspapers to cover Texas politics without having staff in Austin.

GCJD, in partnership with Houston Community Newspapers, brought together employees from various small newspapers around east Texas to help them creatively solve that problem.

Editors and reporters from newspapers in cities including Humble, Tomball, The Woodlands, Conroe, Cleveland and Houston came together to get tips, guidance and to share best practices.

Alexa Ura, who covers politics for the Texas Tribune, and Dr. Jason Enia, a political science professor at SHSU led sessions aimed at helping journalists credibly and efficiently gather information when working on political stories.

“Jason helped me to think about my own bias. Alexa helped me understand capital coverage and how to localize it,” wrote one attendee. Another called GCJD an “invaluable resource for the community.”

Ura focused on helping journalists get access to the most up to date information on legislation, and to identify various quirks in the system that could get in the way of accurate reporting.

“You are in the best position to follow up on laws and policy changes for the people in your community because you see how it plays out in real life,” Ura told participants.

Enia helped journalists pose questions and gather information objectively, by recognizing how their own political leanings and perspectives come into play.

“There are intended,and unintended consequences for every decision made by politicians. Unbiased reporting can help policymakers clearly see the impact, and prompt them to take action", he said.

GCJD has worked with local Texas reporters before to help them better cover law enforcement. The center is committed to meeting community needs by working to foster information accuracy.

 


Global Center for Journalism and Democracy
Dan Rather Communications Building, Room 201, Huntsville, TX 77340
Phone: (936) 294-4399