Covering the Legislature


By Miranda Hutchison

At the National College Media Convention last Friday, Alexa Garcia-Ditta, a staff reporter for Austin’s Observer, gave a presentation about covering the state legislature.

“It is your job to figure out what is missing in the coverage and give a unique perspective to it,” she said.

Garcia-Ditta said the state legislature’s job is to set the state budget. She said the journalist’s job is the ever important rule: follow the money. She also advised us  to get to know the legislative staffers well because they are the best sources and reachable if we establish a strong relationship with them.

She said at an early age she became interested in politics, geared towards covering healthcare issues. She said Texas is an exciting place to cover
such topics because reproductive health is a controversial subject.

Garcia-Ditta said writing about these issues is important because it holds the legislators accountable for the statements they make.

“Are lawmakers keeping the promises they made?” Garcia-Ditta asked.

I  cover campus politics for our HSU student newspaper, The Lumberjack, trying to bring attention to student government issues such as tuition increases. It was helpful to hear Garcia-Ditta’s perspective about coverage of other political issues. It gave me a look at what else is out there.


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