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 So I’m grateful to the reader who pointed out that a lot of links were out of date and motivated me to fix them!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 […]

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 […]