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 […]

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 provide effective feedback

How to provide effective feedback

One of the first things to go when a newsroom shrinks is regular feedback. Everyone has more work to do, including managers, and there just doesn’t seem to be time to give employees feedback on their work. In many cases, what happens instead is an APOP review–an “annual piece of paper” that spells out how […]

Advice for assignment managers

Advice for assignment managers

by Joe Enea All stations have about the same equipment and physical resources. What makes one station different from the rest? The people working there. Chemistry among the team is important in this business. Dealing with people under pressure with major time constraints is sometimes difficult. It’s amazing how different people can become once the […]

Building a coaching culture

Building a coaching culture

Television news has always been a team sport. Almost nothing gets on the air that hasn’t been touched by several sets of hands. Reporters, photographers, video editors, producers and managers all influence the content. But in many TV newsrooms, there’s rarely much discussion about how to improve the content. As my former CBS colleague Wally […]

Journalism values on display

Journalism values on display

Awkward. Inspiring. Hilarious. That’s how it looked from my seat at last night’s RTDNF dinner honoring some of the biggest names in broadcast news. Awkward? That would be ABC News president David Westin speed-reading his way through remarks accepting the First Amendment leadership award just a week after announcing plans for drastic staff cuts. When […]

How open is your newsroom?

How open is your newsroom?

Phone calls, email, social media: Journalists today are more accessible than ever. Soliciting comments, video and photos on the Web opens up the newsroom for input from the community; so does crowdsourcing on Twitter or Facebook. But how much interaction with readers, viewers and listeners takes place face to face? California Watch, an investigative start-up […]

Disaster coverage tips

Disaster coverage tips

The earthquake in Haiti was devastating for the country and a challenge for journalists trying to cover it. Now, a month after the quake, it seems like a good time to share some lessons learned there and in other crises that could apply when disaster strikes closer to home. Amy Webb at IJNet says many […]

Build a better news meeting

Build a better news meeting

Want to improve your newscasts? Improve your planning meetings. Meeting time may be the only time during the day when a critical mass of news staffers are off the phone and paying attention to the overall content of upcoming newscasts and the Web–not just their own piece of the puzzle. If you can make your […]

Show meetings make a difference

Show meetings make a difference

By Michael Castengera, University of Georgia Increase efficiency. Improve morale. Reduce turnover. Raise the ratings. How, you ask? One word – communication. Yes, I know that sounds like a trite answer, but a professor at the University of Miami has done a survey that ‘proves’ just that. Terry Adams at the University’s School of Communication […]

Organizing an internship program

Organizing an internship program

by Margie Ruttenberg I remember that big, bright, noisy newsroom. I was 18 years old. I was an television news intern, and I must admit, I was a bit intimidated. But soon, everything that seemed scary started to make sense. Grateful for that experience, I jumped at the chance to manage the intern program at […]

RTNDA seeks to become more relevant

RTNDA seeks to become more relevant

What’s in a name? A lot, says RTNDA chairman Stacey Woelfel, which is why the organization will soon become RTDNA. “It’s not a typo,” Woelfel says. “It’s a big change for the association.” The Radio-Television News Directors Association, founded in 1946, is becoming the Radio Television Digital News Association. For years now, the organization has […]

How to manage 'generation next'

How to manage ‘generation next’

Boomer bosses, take note. It may be time to change the way you look at your younger employees. So says Mary Rogus, a veteran TV news producer who now teaches at Ohio University. Yes, the Gen Y-Millennials are different from their older colleagues. They care much more about having a personal life so they’re sometimes […]

TV health reform coverage, in depth

TV health reform coverage, in depth

The ongoing debate over health care reform is a tough story for local television news to cover well. Angry protesters and emotional testimony at town hall meetings make for good video but add little to public understanding of the issues. Recognizing that, stations across the country are reforming their coverage of health reform. WFOR-TV in […]

How to build a beat system

How to build a beat system

It’s hard to sustain a beat system in a short-staffed newsroom and even harder to build one from scratch. While many TV stations still have a medical reporter or a consumer reporter, it’s rare to find a station these days where most reporters are not considered general assignment. But as one news director put it, […]

How newsrooms deal with trauma

How newsrooms deal with trauma

Some news stories have lasting psychological effects on journalists. Just ask anyone who covered the 9/11 attacks or the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But traumatic effects like stress disorders aren’t confined to major national disasters, as the staff of WGAL-TV learned in October 2006 when a gunman killed five little girls and injured five at […]