"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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Who says TV stations can't produce great Web content?

Who says TV stations can’t produce great Web content?

Add another plaque on the wall for New Orleans investigative reporter Lee Zurik of WVUE. His series Louisiana Purchased, co-produced with the Times-Picayune’s NOLA.com, just won IRE‘s small-market broadcast award.  The investigation of campaign finance in Louisiana “exposed…direct influence peddling going on across the state,” the judges wrote. The station has aired at least 40 stories in the series, […]

How to boost audience engagement on social media

How to boost audience engagement on social media

Two things we know about social media. Sharing news is easy. Engaging the audience is hard. So why bother? Engagement is key to building an audience for the journalism you work so hard to produce. Here are three tips for boosting engagement that I shared at the Broadcast Education Association conference in Las Vegas earlier this month. […]

Structure: The key to video storytelling

Structure: The key to video storytelling

Beginning, middle, end. That’s a useful way to think about story structure, especially for video, but it’s not sufficient. Lots of stories start out well and may even finish with a memorable shot or sequence, but something keeps them from being great: the middle. Knowing what you want to say isn’t enough. The order in which you […]

Saving TV news history

Saving TV news history

How many local television stations still have old videotape, or even old film, lying around in a dusty back room or basement? “A priceless perspective on the last half century,” says WRAL reporter Laura Leslie, whose station in Raleigh, N.C., is now digitizing its videotape archive. The nonprofit Internet Archive is doing the same with […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]