06. Getting ready and going out on the field

Choosing the angle is capital. The angle is the road that leads the news to the story.  The double-entry table helps get a wide view of all possibilities and define the trajectory that makes most sense and generate the most information.

Example : a flood in a small town.

1. Build a table :

  • In column : a list of everyone involved in the event (Who?)
  • In line : all topics (What?)

2. Fill up the table with all information gathered: archives, phone interviews, statements, Web testimonies…

3. Find the empty parts of the table: this is where you must investigate to bring added value to the package. In the example we’ve picked, the prefect says nothing about why the flood occurred. This is where we must dig.

4. Find the axes generating the most problematic issues.


Technical issues


Rescue operations

Technical answers




Flooded basement

Transported by helicopter during the night

Ask for subventions to build house back



Was asleep

Too late




Aucune aide de l’Etat pour rénover les digues

Feeling helpless when faced with the flood

Bat coordination, rescue teams came in late

Town’s future endangered





Rescue coordination

The rescue plan worked well

Destroy houses likely to be flooded



Dilapidated dikes



Say that you can’t build on certain areas

Rescue teams/ firemen


Bilan entre sauvés et disparus

Not enough means to react accordingly





Saw the wave two hours before events


Cancel the marina project

Using the same example, it’s possible to cross the actors and the places (WHAT ? / WHERE ?), or the actors and the times (WHO ? / WHEN ?)… and prepare other interesting questions.