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American reporter says find stories that work

February 7, 2015

Schaeffer_1aBy David W. Bulla

ABU DHABI, U.A.E.—Jim Schaefer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from the Detroit Free Press, told journalists on Jan. 27, 2015, to be creative when facing challenges with sourcing.

“I’m not a magician,” said Schaefer, who is the assistant editor for enterprise and investigations for the Free Press, one the 25 highest circulated newspapers in the United States, “and I am not a expert on how journalism is done. What I can say is that if a source or a superior tells you not to do something, then I say go find some aspect of the story you can do or find another stimulating story to do.”

Schaefer was speaking to journalists working in the United Arab Emirates in a symposium at Grand Millennium Hotel at Al Wahda in Abu Dhabi. The Emirates Journalists Association and the U.S. State Department sponsored his talk.

“I prefer documents to human sources because they don’t lie,” Schaefer continued, “but if I can’t find a document, then people are next on my list.” (more…)

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