Interesting Facts at #NYC12: To Develop a Beat, Follow This Mashable Reporter’s Tips

Mashable reporter Brian Anthony Hernandez covers quite possibly the coolest beat in the world: social media, pop culture, and Internet memes.  He meets famous people regularly.  He works in New York City.  He writes for a site scoring 20 million unique visitors a month.

In an NYC12 session earlier today, the soft-spoken (at least during the 50 minutes in which he presented) 25-year-old outlined tips for covering beats less cool than his.  What struck me most: His advice was so elementary (in a good way)!  It’s proof that even as journalism 1.0 discombobulates and reimagine, certain core tenets remain.

The gist of Hernandez’s talk on how to develop a beat: build a contacts list, get on relevant mailing lists and list-servs, set up related Google News alerts, interact and learn from your colleagues and competitors covering the same or similar beats, and read, read, read all you can about items related to your beat and current events in general.  His most well-received mantra: Don’t be a byline.  Instead, interact with sources at times in a manner that doesn’t simply scream “I’m on a deadline.”

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