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Seven Reporting Tips from the Planet Money Team

Chana Joffe-Walt

Have you ever found yourself listening to NPR, completely engrossed by a story about credit-default swaps, or the banking industry in Iceland?

If so, you have Planet Money to thank. It’s the reporting team that proves economic stories can be educational and fun.

I recently had the privilege to hear Planet Money’s David Kestenbaum and Robert Smith reveal some of their best practices – how they do what they do. And instead of hoarding that knowledge, I figured I’d share it.

  1. Prepare, plan, prepare

  2. Make your own action

  3. ABR – Always Be Rolling

  4. React as reporters

  5. Get people off balance in unusual situations

  6. Take control of your own story

  7. Do a rough edit as a group – listen to audio before you write a script

And just as a bonus, here five ways they often approach a story:

  1. Find the Person Who Does the Thing

  2. Find the Person Strangely Affected

  3. Tell the History

  4. Explain

  5. Solve a Mystery