Crime correspondent – Sandra Laville

Posted on May 31, 2012

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“Our job is to be the eyes and the ears” Sandra Laville Crime correspondent at the guardian for seven years… certainly knows what she’s talking about.

Sandra came to Falmouth University to talk to Journalism students about the realization of what you will face if you chose to go down the career path of a crime correspondent. Sandra’s professional advice was that you should always go to the scene of the crime for both insight and eye witness accounts. You will be there to “shed light on injustice”. She pushed the fact that “if you don’t get up and travel to the story, there won’t be story”. This means you need to pick up the phone; we live in society full of advanced technology so there’s no excuse or room for laziness.

Being a journalist means being prepared to go the extra mile to make sure you get the information you need. Such as making informal contacts. Sandra because of her role as a crime correspondent was called to give evidence at a Leveson Inquiry. She openly spoke of how she has to rely on informal contacts with individual police officers to maintain the information she needs to do her job, due to the clamp down after the phone hacking scandals.

She reminded the students that “these are people you are dealing with” whilst reporting you need to have a respectful and empathetic approach. It all circles around the basics Sandra made it clear that “people won’t trust your journalism if you can’t get the basics right”. That’s from checking the names, facts and figures and insuring you have been thorough and accurate.

Sandra is unsure of how the Leveson Inquiry will affect future journalists.

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