Once you're assigned to cover a meeting, be sure to study up before you attend. Many of these agencies are not well-known, so walking in prepared enables you to bridge that information gap. If an important issue will be discussed there you definitely want to know a bit about it in advance!

  • Click on "View original meeting details" or "View website" on your assignment page to go to the agency website and learn more about what it does. Take a moment to write out a 1-3 sentence description of the agency in advance of the meeting, and you've already completed something that can turn into one of your tweets or notes entries.
  • Confirm the meeting time and place. Committee meetings at City Hall are often shifted to a different room.
  • Check for relevant previous Documenters content in the Reporting tab.
  • See our Web Research tab for more tips and resources for finding reliable websites and sources that you can post during live-tweeting assignments or hyperlink in your meeting notes.

Questions to ask

  • What is the purpose of this agency?

    • Write up a short description of your agency––you’ll have a stronger understanding if you take the time to put its mission statement or legislative authority in your own words
    • View any available documentation—ex: the official agenda for your meeting, the agency’s website, any previous Documenters coverage and any relevant news articles
  • Who should be there?

    • View elected or appointed agency members names (and headshots, when available).
    • Groups affected by this agency may also be present—see past coverage for mentions of organizations or individuals
  • What is the focus of this meeting?

    • If a detailed agenda is posted, identify 1-3 items you find significant or worth reading up on for you own reference