South Side Weekly Workshop Series: Reporting on Public Meetings
PEN America is partnering with the South Side Weekly on a series of eight hands-on workshops for different journalism skills. How do you report on public meetings? Why would you want to? In this workshop, you’ll learn about what reporters and residents can learn at public meetings, what the rules around meeting access are, and tips for effectively reporting on one. You’ll have the opportunity to practice finding and preparing to cover a public meeting, so bring a laptop if you can. Public meetings are great for learning the ins and outs of local government and gaining knowledge that spurs deeper stories; feel free to bring an idea of a public body you’d like to know more about.
Olivia Stovicek is a senior editor at the Weekly and a contributing editor at The Trouble. She’s covered public meetings for local outlets including City Bureau’s Documenters program, from City Council committees on zoning to the City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees. Her public meeting live-tweets have been called “?,” but she still hasn’t figured out the best way to have lunch during a seven-hour committee meeting. She recently completed a reporting fellowship at Injustice Watch focused on investigating the criminal legal system and judges.