chapter  3
Sourcing the news
Pages 23

At the heart of journalism lies the source. Becoming a journalist to a great extentmeans developing sources. As a journalist you need to know a lot – where togo for information, whom to ask. For career development, contacts are crucial. The contacts book

One of the most treasured possessions of any journalist is their contacts book in which sources’ phone and mobile numbers, addresses, fax and pager numbers, email and website details are listed. David Conley (2002: 164) describes the contacts books as the ‘reporter’s bible’. ‘It is a reporter’s lifeline to the community; a bridge to news stories.’ To be safe, journalists should keep a duplicate in a secure place since the loss or theft of a sole contacts book can be disastrous. Many journalists have contacts on a computer file as a further back-up or use personal digital assistants which, at best, can combine the functions of contacts book, notepad and word processor.