Gal Tziperman Lotan, a reporter for the Boston Globe, recently visited Northeastern University to discuss the intricacies of covering metro Boston, which can range from covering meetings to murders.
Lotan, who graduated from Northeastern University’s School of Journalism as an undergrad in 2012, was the guest speaker on Oct. 24 at the “Pizza, Press & Politics,” a weekly speaker series sponsored by the Northeastern University School of Journalism.
Lotan talked about her initial journey in the industry, and how she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do initially as a journalist. She encouraged students to be open to all kinds of opportunities.
Describing her job as a metro reporter, Lotan said she covers everything. She said that local public records and community meetings can be a great resource for story ideas, as there are often many interesting people and there are always different stories brewing inside communities.
Lotan told students to be versatile and flexible in their reporting and be willing to delve into different topics and have base-line expertise. She said having a wide range of interests can help a reporter cover different stories on different beats.
As reporter in Orlando, Florida, she covered traumatic events like the “The Pulse Shooting,” in which a gunman killed 49 people in a nightclub.
Lotan talked about how difficult it was to cover a mass shooting, and other tragedies, and how she deals with it. She described how emotionally difficult it can be, especially interviewing victims. She suggested that reporters should let the interviewee drive the conversation, or the reporter should focus on less traumatic parts of the incident, and get the more graphic details from police reports.
Lotan emphasized the importance of networking, and keeping in touch with people you work with. She said “as new journalists, know your worth, focus on people you’re working with, who will support and help you grow.”