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 […]

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 […]

Another entry in the quest for truly interactive video

Another entry in the quest for truly interactive video

In the early days of online video, interactivity looked something like this: A person on camera would point above, below or to the side of the video frame and suggest that the viewer might want to “click the link” to learn more about whatever they were watching. Awkward? You bet it was. Now there’s TouchCast, which allows […]

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 build a better newscast

How to build a better newscast

6 Lessons from a Murrow Award Winner by Deb Halpern Wenger Lisa Leko is a producer at WBIR in Knoxville, Tennessee, which won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for best newscast among stations in small markets in 2014.  Leko recently took part in an RTDNA-sponsored webinar on what makes a newscast worthy of a Murrow, […]

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 […]

CBS eye turns 60

CBS eye turns 60

Some corporate logos have stood the test of time. Coca Cola’s iconic red script and General Electric’s GE-in-a-circle have been around since the late 1800s. But Betty Crocker sure doesn’t look like she used to back in 1927. And NBC’s logo has gone from xylophone to peacock to snake to giant N and back again since […]

News apps bring data to life

News apps bring data to life

More and more news organizations are creating interactive graphics that help users explore and understand their worlds. Some are pretty basic, others are more visually appealing, but all serve the same function of bringing data to life. On the hunt for some new examples, I searched a Twitter chat last week and found a boatload, […]

New multimedia journalism textbook

New multimedia journalism textbook

Forgive me for tooting my own horn, but I’m pleased to announce the publication of the second edition of my book, Advancing the Story: Broadcast Journalism in a Multimedia World, co-authored with Deb Wenger. It’s available now from CQ Press or Amazon, and we hope you’ll check it out. What’s different this time around? The new […]

Bring paper to life

Bring paper to life

A story based on paper documents or computer records can pose a challenge for television journalists. There’s nothing visual for them to work with so the first resort is often to call for graphics. No matter how attractive your base art is, using full-screen bullet points can bring a story to a halt. And that’s not the only problem with text-heavy graphics.

Making the complicated plain

Making the complicated plain

How do you make a complex issue like health care or the financial meltdown comprehensible? Graphics can help, and they don’t have to be elaborate. ABC News Reporter John Hendren used cartoon drawings to explain how “toxic assets” at banks are like rotten apples at a fruit stand. The analogy helped to clarify the problem […]

The TV ticker parade

The TV ticker parade

For sheer emotional impact, nothing rivaled the pictures. Few people who were anywhere near a television set a year ago this month will ever forget the sight of a commercial jet slamming into the World Trade Center, live. Television has the power to take viewers where they cannot go, telling stories with pictures and sound […]

Effectiveness of animated graphics

Effectiveness of animated graphics

Television newscasts these days are replete with graphics, in part because new, inexpensive technologies have made it relatively easy for even the smallest newsrooms to produce them. There has been little research, however, to determine the effectiveness of different types of graphics in helping viewers understand and remember what they see on the air. A […]

Screen clutter hinders understanding

Screen clutter hinders understanding

By Deborah Potter and Tom Grimes Watch television news these days, especially on cable, and you’re likely to see more words than pictures. The graphic look pioneered by CNN Headline News years ago is now widely imitated. Jerry Seinfeld, for one, doesn’t like it. “Don’t these idiots who run the news networks understand?” he asks […]