They go out and meet people. The thought came to mind when I read the obituary of one of the UK's most respected football writers, Norman Wynne, who died at the age of 77. Norman was an outstanding sports journalist, who wrote for the People for over 25 years. Norman and his colleague John Maddock knew all the gossip on the football scene because they would get out of the office and find out what was going on. The obit printed in the NUJ's newsletter quoted John Maddock: "Norman spent every Friday night during the football season watching either Southport or Tranmere Rovers. He wasn't there for the game but waited for travelling managers or chief scouts to learn the latest gossip."
There's only so much that can be achieved by email.