Adding a Global Perspective

Making a story more than “merely local.”

During her time as Managing Editor of the Northwest News Network, Cathy Duchamp would often fill in for N3 reporters based throughout the region. In this short essay she shares how she was able to globalize a local spot story about a tax proposal in Sandpoint, ID.

SPOT INTRO: How can Northwest resort towns pay for growth? A drink tax may be part of the answer in Sandpoint, IDS. Correspondent Cathy Duchamp explains.

THOUGHTS ON GLOBALIZING: Globalizing a story means calling MORE THAN the people in the local city where the story is happening. In this case, I called Sandpoint, ID about its proposed drink tax. But, I also called Oregon Dept. of Revenue, Washington Dept. of Revenue, Idaho Tax Commission, and the city of McCall. Those calls led to other story ideas. I got this amazing spreadsheet from the Idaho Dept. of Commerce/Tourism about what various cities across the region charge when it comes to hotel taxes. Wow! Lots of variety and in some cases taxes tack on about 20% markup to cost of a hotel room. Egads. Might be a nice consumer/”did you know?” type story down the line. Globalizing a story means looking for the threads that connect a local story to a broader issue/theme in the state/region. In this case, it was connecting a novel tax proposal to the issue of how to pay for growth, with which the entire region grapples. Also, the growing popularity of local option taxes, which I found out about by talking to state revenue departments.