Remember the audience

Remember the audience

When you produce a story, are you thinking of how people are going to consume it? Mick Côté, digital news editor at The Canadian Press, says that in most newsrooms the answer is typically, “No.” And that’s a shame. “We’re so drawn to our own stuff we forget to take a step back and ask, ‘Is […]

Storytelling now -- and back then

Storytelling now — and back then

Sometimes I think the process of journalism has changed so much since I started it’s almost unrecognizable. (Scroll down for some early career memories.) But then I consider how much hasn’t changed. Good writing is still good writing, and will be forever. It’s still a craft you can learn, you can always get better at […]

Tips on using drones for news

Tips on using drones for news

with Deb Halpern Wenger Drones have already proved their worth in national and international news coverage, adding fresh perspective to reports on natural disasters and environmental issues. Now, drones are being used more widely by local news organizations, and DJI‘s Jon Resnick says it’s a no-brainer to get in the game. “[Drones] let us tell stories more effectively, […]

Using .GIFs for news

Using .GIFs for news

You can’t help but notice when short video loops or animations pop up in your social media channels. They’re designed to draw your attention, and they do. It’s time to get over yourself and get on board with Harry Styles https://t.co/LERM5ebV8k pic.twitter.com/18lL38CXxB — BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) April 23, 2017 GIFs (images in graphics interchange format) have been […]

"Fake news" and how to stop it

“Fake news” and how to stop it

By Dylan M. McLemore, University of Central Arkansas, @voiceofD After the dust from our toxic post-election discourse settled, the talk of traditional and social media turned to “fake news” – a term that has taken on new meaning in recent years, and new prominence in the 2016 presidential race. In this iteration, fake news doesn’t refer […]

Podcasting tips from a pro

Podcasting tips from a pro

If it seems to you like podcasting is making a comeback, hold it right there. It never went away, according to Michael O’Connell, host of the It’s All Journalism podcast and author of the forthcoming book Turn up the Volume: A Down and Dirty Guide to Launching a Podcast. “Thousands of podcasts were out there, […]

Not your enemy

Not your enemy

Attacks on the news media are nothing new, especially from American presidents. Even that vocal defender of a free press, Thomas Jefferson, had it up to here on occasion with newspapers and “the malignity, the vulgarity, and mendacious spirit of those who write for them.” Richard Nixon’s famous “enemies list” included more than 50 print and […]

How newsrooms stay on top of the news

How newsrooms stay on top of the news

Running a newsroom is both a sprint and a marathon. You have to move fast as things change, sometimes minute to minute, while also planning for the long term. How do you manage? Some of the most popular tools in newsrooms are free and open source, like Twitter and Google Docs. Whatsapp has proved useful […]

Reporting tactic: Soliciting leaks

Reporting tactic: Soliciting leaks

Less than a week into the Trump administration, multiple government agencies have told their employees not to speak to the news media or release information to the public. Journalists have responded by spreading the word that it’s easy to reach them, securely and confidentially. Many news organizations use SecureDrop, which describes itself as “an open-source […]

SEO for journalists

SEO for journalists

I’m a reporter. What do I care about SEO? The answer should be “plenty,” if you care whether anyone sees that story you worked so hard on once it’s posted online. Here’s why: The digital audience is made up of seekers and scanners. People seeking information about a particular topic will search for it online. […]

How the Wall Street Journal boosts social sharing

How the Wall Street Journal boosts social sharing

Every news organization wants its stories shared as widely as possible. Managers encourage reporters to share their work using their own social media profiles, while the social media desk (if there is one) posts to the newsroom’s main Twitter feed, Facebook page, and other outlets. But, if we’re honest, it can often be a bit […]

Reading lists

Reading lists

Sometimes it just takes a little nudge. I’ve had a couple of reading lists on this site for years, and it’s been a long time since I updated them. So I’m grateful to the reader who pointed out that a lot of links were out of date and motivated me to fix them! I’ve just updated […]

What's changed since the Roanoke TV murders?

What’s changed since the Roanoke TV murders?

It’s been a year since that awful morning at WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia. A year since a promising young reporter, Alison Parker, and a well-liked photographer, Adam Ward, were shot to death during a live report by a former employee of the station. The murders caused soul-searching in some TV newsrooms about the security of […]

Ethical editing

Ethical editing

It was only eight seconds. Eight seconds of silence between a question and answer. But it didn’t actually happen that way. And now, the decision to insert an 8-second pause in a documentary about a controversial subject has become a controversy of its own. The director of the documentary film Under the Gun says she made a “creative decision” […]

Local TV news viewership declines again

Local TV news viewership declines again

The latest report from the Pew Research Center on the state of local television news is anything but upbeat. According to Nielsen data, the local news audience shrank again in 2015 in all key time slots–morning, evening and late. Late news took the biggest hit, down 5% from the year before. And the long-term trend isn’t pretty. Since […]