Knowing your beat pays off when a big story breaks

30 Aug

It’s a basic principle of journalism, of course. Get to know your beat, develop good sources, and when the big story breaks, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.

Luther Turmelle

The New Haven Register has had a secret advantage in covering the damage inflicted by Hurricane Irene over the past few days, and efforts to recover from it.

Irene’s biggest impact on Connecticut has been power outages. At the height of the storm, more than 760,000 were without electricity. And residents have been told that it could be as much as a week before all customers are restored.

Well, that’s right in the wheelhouse of Register reporter Luther Turmelle. A 14-year veteran of the paper and a past president of the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists, Turmelle has covered the state’s big utility companies as part of his beat over the past few years. He also writes about utility issues in a blog called “Power to the People.”

Turmelle’s individual Twitter feed and contributions to the Register’s regular news coverage over the past few days have been must-reads for a state full of people desperate and impatient for word on when their electricity will be turned back on and how the big power companies are tackling the problem.

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2 Responses to “Knowing your beat pays off when a big story breaks”

  1. exasperated in EH August 31, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    UI has done an atrocious job of providing information to its customers. The web site (which has now crashed) tells you how many customers have been restored. Who cares??? That is useless information.
    When you call them looking for information, they have absolutely none. People need to prepare to survive without power, and are being deprived of essential information needed to do so. UI and Mr. Torgerson should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. Where are you when we need you? I have seen one truck in the past 3 days. Stop giving press conferences and get to work.

  2. Paul September 2, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    The impact of Irene, has left the people of Connecticut a lot to deal with. I do believe that the leaders of the state is trying it’s best to help the state recover from Irene’s wrath. People as well should help out one another.

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