When looking to cover multi-faceted national events like the Republican National Convention, which is going on this week in Cleveland, Ohio, it seems as though the angles a newsroom can take are nearly endless. An important aspect of coverage though, especially for community newspapers, is keeping coverage as local as possible.

While you might not have a team of reporters at the convention like The Columbus Dispatch does, we took a look at how GateHouse Media papers are keeping their RNC coverage local for readers and came up with a few content curation ideas of our own.

Name game

Your reporters might not be at the RNC, but Republican delegates from your state definitely are. The Cape Cod Times in Massachusetts and the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Florida, have localized their coverage by running pieces highlighting local delegates at the convention.

Social curation

Twitter widgets and Storifys can be great digital ads to your coverage, but simply searching for the #RNCinCLE hashtag will likely get you just a few more results than you’re looking for. A better idea might be to come up with your own original tag to not only help your followers track your coverage, but to allow for a better conversation to be started amongst your readers like the Herald-Tribune’s #HTpolitics.

Video on the street

There’s no denying the power and shareability of video, so have you tried to use it for localizing your RNC coverage? Tools like Tout make it easy for reporters to head out to the street and ask readers what their thoughts are on the goings on at the convention and then quickly edit and upload them online with links to convention coverage.

Local opinion

If video is not in your plan, another great way to localize your convention coverage is through something you’re probably already doing- a local opinions section. Try planning to run a few RNC-related letters a day – chances are you’re already receiving them – and when the convention is through, create a special section with the ones that received the highest amount of engagement from readers.

In-depth issue impact

Yesterday’s “Make American Safe Again” convention day focused heavily on issues regarding national security and immigration, with the remainder of the week promising to focus on other issues important not only to the Republican platform, but also likely to your readers. We love reading in-depth news and think that tying the specific topics that are being discussed at the convention affect your own communities is a great jumping off point for in-depth reporting. A further engaging social element to your topical reporting can include following up with your readers to see what Republican platform issues they regard as mattering to them personally, similar to how the Providence Journal highlighted its reader’s responses to the controversy surrounding Melania Trump’s opening night speech.


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