Reporters at city hall have a choice. They can write only process stories or they can take the harder path of writing about results. Here’s how they can cover both process and results . . . and why they ought to.
We live in a country that believes power is best exercised by a herd and not a shepherd. So for reporters to learn how government works, they must be good at seeing and reporting on collaboration. Here’s how to do that and, along the way, discover what makes some governments succeed.
You cannot reform an organization without the support of those who work in it. But to gain that support, you must give up the habit of blaming others when things go wrong and persuade others to give up the habit as well. Only then can you pinpoint problems and begin fixing them . . . as a team.
Compromises are ways of opening the door to change by reducing the objections of interest groups. They are at the heart of decision making in city halls and are the closest thing in politics to an art form. Here’s what reporters should know about how compromises come about . . . and why.
Perhaps the most underanalyzed but important part of local government is the city council. The key is knowing how much councils are shaped by their form of government and election processes. Here’s a look at how council members work with mayors, city managers, and one another, and how these habits are influenced by structure and representation. Don’t worry: There are some good story ideas here, too.