How To Cover a Teachers’ Strike

A reporter shares tips on cultivating sources, asking good questions, developing fresh angles
(EWA Radio: Episode 165)

With Chicago teachers on the picket lines this fall — and labor actions in recent months in smaller school districts in California, Colorado, and Washington — hear how Ben Felder of The Oklahoman reported on a statewide walkout by educators in 2018. Like their counterparts in West Virginia and Kentucky, teachers in the Sooner State were seeking more than bigger paychecks; they also aimed to draw attention to funding shortfalls for public schools statewide. Felder shares his experiences as a local reporter covering what quickly swelled into a national story. Which questions yielded telling answers from striking teachers, as well as district leaders, parents, and students? How did Felder build a deep network of sources among union leaders and rank-and-file teachers? And what are story ideas for local reporters covering the teacher workforce, whether or not a strike looms?

This episode of EWA Radio first aired on April 16, 2018.

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