• Spencer Norris

Rabbit holes and skyscrapers

Right now I'm trying to rejigger my approach to my beat coverage. That means picking off stories that are fairly achievable and will demonstrate some degree of enterprise without going down a rabbit hole.

I'm currently working on a piece about eviction and crime free housing programs in the city. Seems fairly achievable, and won't require a ridiculous amount of effort, so long as I'm careful about what I'm going after. This has lots of data visualization potential too, which is good! And it's rooted in public records, which is always fun.

The rabbit hole has been a problem in my enterprise work to date. It's very, very easy to get bogged down in the minutia, or lose sight of what the story is about. It's even worse when you don't take a step back and realize how your story has ballooned into something untenable. It's like getting hung up on a couple of screws when inspecting the blueprints for a skyscraper.

That started to happen with my missing persons story. For that reason, I've put it on the backburner and focusing on work I can deliver on within the coming weeks. I have plenty of other stories that I'm confident I can square away before the semester is out, so long as I keep my eyes forward and don't chase rabbits. Community policing, substations, firearms, evictions... these are manageable. Can't get nervy, just need to keep working away.

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