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VIDEO: Reporters offer tips for covering emerging communities

By Chhaya Nene

Minorities will account for more than a third of U.S. households by 2025, according to a recent study. Molly Hennessy-Fiske, of the Los Angeles Times; Momo Chang, independent journalist; and Ravi Kapur of WRJK-Chicago shared their best strategies for covering emerging communities on a deadline.

After the session, Hennessy, Chang, and Kapur shared their tips for verifying the authenticity of a source and navigating reporting challenges. Watch the video embedded on the right.

Tips from the session

Four ways to stand out from the competition:

  1. Flee you neighborhood/comfort zone and visit places you would never normally go. There are a plethora of stories in places like parks, grocery stores, bus stops and town meetings. Never be afraid to talk to someone who is different than you.
  2. Harvest technology big and small: Use social media to find out more about your sources. Watch how your sources engage with social media. Use these platforms to authenticate your sources.
  3. Challenge the mainstream narrative: There is always more than one side to a story. Challenge what you are being told and your story will be richer.
  4. Expose telling details/changes and embrace complexity. Accents, stereotypes and taboos will enrich your storytelling if you can find ways to describe them with vivid details.

Top tip:

There are tons of free broadcast channels that only require rabbit ears to gain access to ethnic programming. Tuning into these stations will give you a better sense of a community.


Chhaya Nene is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California, where she earned her Master's Degree. Nene's articles and photography have been published in The Washington Post, Religious News Service, The Global Post,, and

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