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 […]

More stations air more local news, but who's producing it?

More stations air more local news, but who’s producing it?

There’s more local TV news on the air than ever, and more is on the way. That’s the headline from the latest RTDNA research conducted by Bob Papper. The median amount of news aired on weekdays, 5.5 hours, broke the old record by half an hour. More than a third of stations surveyed said they […]

Morley Safer: One of the greats

Morley Safer: One of the greats

He was a courageous reporter, a gifted writer, and a man who loved to laugh. Morley Safer spent more than 50 years at CBS News and is best known for his work at 60 Minutes, which aired a fitting tribute to him last week. He died just days later. He was 84. It’s hard to sum up […]

What makes people trust the news?

What makes people trust the news?

You already know that Americans have little confidence in what they see, hear or read in the news media. Last year, according to Gallup, trust in media set a new low with just 7% saying they have a great deal of confidence in the news. What’s to be done? A new study offers some clues. The Media Insight Project asked […]

How to find an expert in a hurry

How to find an expert in a hurry

When you’re on deadline and you need an expert on a particular subject, where do you turn? Google is great, but it’s massive. Type in “stock market expert” and you’ll get 34 million results in seconds, with the top links offering advice on how you can become an expert. Not quite what you were looking for, […]

Story first: Digital strategy in a multiplatform world

Story first: Digital strategy in a multiplatform world

My hometown newspaper, The Washington Post, has been rocketing up the comScore rankings of top digital media companies. Last August, it wasn’t even in the top 50. Two months later, the Post ranked 36th, beating the New York Times (37th) for the first time ever.  How much of that improvement is due to different paywall strategies is for others to debate. […]

How to search social media by location

How to search social media by location

How do you locate sources and original content during a breaking news event? Every newsroom turns to social media, but some are more efficient than others at finding what they’re looking for. In these newsrooms, lots of journalists know how to search for information quickly by specific location. If you’re not one of them, it’s time […]

The Genius of annotation

The Genius of annotation

Have you ever had more to say about a story than you could fit in? Of course, you have. Even on the “bottomless” Web, reporters have to leave things out. But what if you could make additional information or background easily available to readers and what if they could do the same, not in a […]

NewsLab's top 5 in 2015

NewsLab’s top 5 in 2015

Looking back at the year gone by always gives me some insight into what’s most important to you, NewsLab’s readers, and you never let me down. You care deeply about doing good work and about the future of the news business. No surprise, then, that most of the top five posts in 2015 offered tips you […]

Using social media for daily reporting

Using social media for daily reporting

For journalists, there’s no getting away from social media. Just about every newsroom expects reporters to be on Twitter and Facebook, at a minimum. But how are they using these platforms? Most reporters tell me they post breaking news and links to their stories on a regular basis, but that’s about it. For them, social media is […]

Finding stories by asking your audience

Finding stories by asking your audience

Having trouble coming up with story ideas? There’s an app for that: a new service designed to help newsrooms find “stories hidden in plain sight.” According to a review on Poynter.org, 20 news organizations are piloting Hearken, developed by a former Chicago public radio reporter. Hearken combines a variety of different functions to give audiences a voice in the […]

The writing wisdom of Yogi Berra

The writing wisdom of Yogi Berra

As a baseball fan, I’m saddened by the death of Yogi Berra. He was one of the greatest catchers of all time. Even if you didn’t much like the Yankees or Mets (count me in that number), you had to appreciate Yogi’s career as a player and coach. But what I really loved about Yogi was his […]

TV news goes all-iPhone

TV news goes all-iPhone

You knew it had to happen, right? A local TV news station has gone “100% iPhone.” The station in question is based in Switzerland. Over the summer, Léman Bleu outfitted each of its reporters with an iPhone 6 kit to shoot their stories and to use for live shots. News director Laurent Keller says Léman Bleu actually isn’t the […]

Live shots and security

Live shots and security

The murder of two TV journalists by a former reporter at their station has shocked us all. They were shot to death in the middle of a live report or the morning show at WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. Viewers heard reporter Alison Parker scream. Photographer Adam Ward managed to capture an image of the shooter, who was quickly […]