There are a ton of differences between reporters in small and large markets. Here are the nuts-and-bolts quickie differences:

Small-market media reporters are jacks of all beats.

  • They juggle multiple beats every day
  • They typically produce more than one story per day
  • They can typically react faster to story requests. This is because they are often pushed to produce content volume in newsrooms that are short-staffed
  • They are also more likely to do rewrites of press releases because they simply don’t have time to do more thorough reporting
  • Generally, small-market reporters are easier to approach because they are often looking for story ideas. If they keep busy by having their own story ideas, they avoid having editors dump undersirable assignments in their laps

Large-market reporters are usually more beat specific and often produce only one story per day.

  • They are much more picky about what they will cover
  • These reporters can receive dozens of media releases each day. They often get shoved to the sides of their desk
  • These reporters are far more difficult to approach. They bristle at being told they SHOULD report a certain story
  • These reporters (and their editors) have a much more stringent ‘filter’ for deciding what is and what isn’t going to be covered
  • If you’re making a pitch, you’d better put your news editor hat on and be able to complete this sentence yourself, long before you make a pitch > “This angle is newsworthy and impacts a large audience because ……”