Monday, 28 June 2010

Where the stories are born

Many have asked me how I get ideas for blog posts, and the truth is that almost everything I've been writing about has come to me via public sources on the web - nothing anybody else couldn't do.

A lot of the stories on this blog - almost all 143 previous posts under the label Council of the European Union - have been born by going through the EU Council RSS feed of Latest Public Documents which can be found in the long list of Council RSS feeds that you may also want to follow if you'd like to get an idea of what the member states are actually (not) doing in different policy areas.

Since the stream usually also includes Commission documents (like Communications) sent to the Council, you also get hold of what the Commission is sending publically to the Council and the Parliament.

I'm still amazed talking to journalists here in Brussels who are not even using this kind of source. With a little extra research, a Council document can easily become a full story, especially when you have good contacts.

But often one fresh original document already tells more than 10 press releases (here's the latest example on this blog)...

PS: If you still don't know what RSS is and why you need that, I recommend reading Jon's post on the matter.