Ever wonder how Globe reporters get in touch with the dodgy folks who often end up as sad sack poster children for Globe stories? For example last month, the Globe ran a “tough economy” story that featured a family who had moved to Maine and were suffering from high gas prices. But both mom and dad still commuted to work from Maine all the way to Massachusetts. I asked how does the Boston Globe always find "poster children" such as this?
Here is one way. The Globe’s main web page solicits people to get in touch with reporters who are working on future stories. From reading the solicitations, it appears that the story line is in place long before the story’s sad sack poster children are chosen. Here are 5 of the first 6 solicitations found on the Globe website today:
Hard economic times and spring break
Are hard economic times forcing you to forgo Disneyworld with your kids this spring break? Please tell us about your closer-to-home spring break plans. Send emails to email@example.com.
Own an SUV?
As gas prices rise, the value of SUVs is dropping. We're looking for SUV owners who've found the trade-in value of their SUV is less than expected. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Summer camps and the economy
Has the tough economy affected your plans to send your child to camp this summer? Globe reporter Erica Noonan would like to hear your story, please email her at email@example.com.
Taking money from your 401(k)?
Have you had to make a ''hardship withdrawal'' from your 401(k) retirement savings account? Globe reporter Ross Kerber would like to hear about your experience — email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retired but still working?
Are you retired from a corporate job and now working some place else -- like at a Home Depot or Borders -- because you want or need to continue working? Contact email@example.com to tell us about it.
Do you feel you are a victim of hard times? Call us now, please!