Social media verification tips

Social media verification tips

A new social media journalism venture has had its hands full since launching on January 5. Within 48 hours, the Reported.ly team was scrambling to cover the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris from its posts in Ireland, Greece, Italy and the United States. Staffed by veterans of NPR and public radio, among other news outlets, Reported.ly is […]

How to make data visual

How to make data visual

Smooth as silk. I’m sure that’s what the developers had in mind when they named Silk, a free tool for creating interactive visualizations. The online software can build tables, charts and maps in just a few clicks. It’s what I used to create our new list of journalism awards and prizes. Silk lets you upload data from […]

How to find stories by listening

How to find stories by listening

One of the most basic skills every journalist needs is the ability to come up with stories worth reporting. It may be basic, but it’s not always easy. Some reporters have lots of ideas but they fail the “so what” test. Just because something’s interesting to you doesn’t mean it’s going to interest your audience. Other […]

Journalism awards and prizes

Journalism awards and prizes

We’ve updated our list of national awards and prizes open to broadcast journalists. Click “explore” in the upper right to sort the list by deadline, application fee or prize money. Please note that the number before the month is not the exact deadline; it indicates the month numerically so you can sort the list. Feel […]

How to earn respect on the job

How to earn respect on the job

You’re hired! Now what? That first full-time job in a newsroom can be an intimidating experience. There’s so much to learn, and most of the veterans are way too busy doing or protecting their own jobs to help a newbie out. But it’s critically important to make a good impression; the reputation you earn early on will follow […]

Advice for contest hopefuls

Advice for contest hopefuls

It’s that time of the year again: time to enter a journalism awards contest. NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism competition opens for submissions today; RTDNA is now accepting entries for the Murrow Awards. If you’re sending your work to any of the award competitions, give yourself the best possible chance of winning by reviewing these tips from a frequent […]

Screw-ups of the year

Screw-ups of the year

A television station runs a photo of the mayor and wrongly states she’s flashing a gang sign. TV reporters share photos of themselves on social media appearing to make light of serious stories. Two Chicago stations can’t get the facts right on a jail sentence. What a year for journalism ethics. Ironic, don’t you think, that […]

NewsLab's Top 5 for 2014

NewsLab’s Top 5 for 2014

It’s always edifying to me to look back at the year gone by and see what posts have been most popular at NewsLab. It reminds me of what NewsLab readers are most interested in, which helps me plan for the year to come. This year-in-review post also serves another function: to draw your attention to popular […]

TV investigation requires multiple cameras

TV investigation requires multiple cameras

It started with a tip from a source to KNTV. It sounded crazy but it turned out to be true. The world’s biggest food distributor, Sysco, was storing raw meat, milk and other food in unrefrigerated storage units before delivering it to restaurants. NBC Bay Area eventually aired a series of reports on the scandal that let […]

Patience pays off for investigative reporter

Patience pays off for investigative reporter

If you tell an investigative reporter they’ll never find what they’re looking for, you can bet they won’t give up until they get it. Just ask WRC reporter Tisha Thompson, who spent 6 years unearthing the State Department’s list of accident reports and driving violations committed by diplomats in Washington, DC. The project started when Thompson […]

How to shoot better vox pops (MOS)

How to shoot better vox pops (MOS)

Whatever you call them, “man on the street” interviews are a staple of TV news. Done well, they can reflect public opinion on important issues in your community. Done badly, they’re just a waste of air time. So how do you shoot them well? Start by thinking very carefully about where to go. Many stations […]

How much local TV news is too much?

How much local TV news is too much?

The graphic is a bit of an overstatement. WISH-TV in Indianapolis does not air news 24 hours a day. But it’s moving in that direction. Starting in January, the station will air 9 1/2 hours of local news every weekday, adding four hours to its current schedule. The extra hours are spread across all day parts: […]

Great TV storytelling tip: Connect the moments

Great TV storytelling tip: Connect the moments

You’ve probably seen the story. By now, millions of people have. Reporter Boyd Huppert of KARE-TV in Minneapolis calls it the story that broke the Internet–a feature about a little boy and his elderly neighbor that’s been viewed and shared all over the world. Plenty has already been written about why the story touched so […]

Newscasts of the future?

Newscasts of the future?

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A local TV station is creating the “newsroom of the future.” It will soon launch “an interactive, social newscast with viewer generated news content.” This time around, it’s the Fox station in Philadelphia, announcing a weekend morning show with “unique” content provided by “regular contributors who are not reporters, but news makers […]

When to use hidden cameras

When to use hidden cameras

The video is black-and-white and grainy, but it makes the case. A manager at a company selling what it claims is health insurance instructs employees on what to tell prospects on the phone: “Tell them any f—ing thing,” he says. Reporter Jeremy Finley’s story for WSMV-TV in Nashville about United Benefits of America eventually put the company out of […]