Monday, September 1, 2008
Breaking News About Gov. DiFi
San Francisco Chronicle reporter Zachary Coile, that rascal, filed an instructive story last week that led:
"California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has been forced to sit out this week's Democratic convention in Denver because of a broken ankle, acknowledged in an interview with The Chronicle on Thursday that she is actively considering running for governor in 2010."
Several lessons in this story, which got picked up statewide, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/28/MN6Q12K52Q.DTL&type=politics.
First, Coile demonstrated the power of the ask. Sen. Feinstein was in Washington, laid up with her broken ankle. Coile, I'm presuming, simply asked for an interview. He had time, she had time, it's a date. Lesson: Ask, and sometimes ye shall receive. Turned down? Ask again later.
Second, note the adroit timing. Instead of assuming the entire DC political scene was dormant or relocated to Denver, as some journalists -- cough, cough, me -- might, the enterprising reporter cast about.
Third, the story' s construction shows how the nugget of news gets mined from a larger body of material. As the story notes in the 15th paragraph, Feinstein talked about the issue "only briefly - and reluctantly - as part of a (much broader) interview." It's the brief bit, though, that turns the wheel.
Photo: from Sen. Feinstein's Senate web site.