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From budget line items to litigation, local governments make decisions that impact every aspect of a person's life. This tipsheet offers ideas on how to find the big stories hiding in small communities.
This tipsheet is essentially all about 527s: political nonprofits that have a major effect on politics but are confusing and hard to understand. Pilhofer discusses the various laws concerning the groups, how the organizations affect elections, and how to report on them in a way that will keep a reader's attention.
Kevin Flowers' tipsheet gives the basics of local government reporting. He suggests knowing agendas, learning how your government works and making friends who are familiar with the inner workings of the city. He also gives hints on getting FOI requests filled and how to spot a good story.
Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette advises reporters how to talk to lawyers, and read GAO audits and federal agencies' regulatory agendas. Other tips are to avoid relying on press releases, and make law your friend.