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 […]

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 […]

TV news goes all-iPhone

TV news goes all-iPhone

You knew it had to happen, right? A local TV news station has gone “100% iPhone.” The station in question is based in Switzerland. Over the summer, Léman Bleu outfitted each of its reporters with an iPhone 6 kit to shoot their stories and to use for live shots. News director Laurent Keller says Léman Bleu actually isn’t the […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

TV news producer memories

TV news producer memories

Forty years ago, as a newbie producer at the ABC affiliate in Washington, DC, I had to juggle live coverage of the Watergate hearings. The length of our midday newscast depended on when the network dumped out, and they usually gave us little warning. Some days we’d run an 18-minute newscast; other days we’d have to […]

When to break exclusive news and where

When to break exclusive news and where

You’re working on an exclusive story for tonight and the Web and social media team wants a piece of it, hours before air. Should you share? If you thought that question had been laid to rest years ago, think again. In some newsrooms, the answer still is, “It depends.” Brandon Mercer, news director at KTXL […]

Network newscasts more different than ever

Network newscasts more different than ever

For years, critics have complained that the nightly national TV newscasts are all basically the same, leading with the same stories, covering the same developments, often in exactly the same order. And the networks have been criticized for ignoring international news unless the U.S. was directly involved. There used to be some truth to all […]

Dictionary required?

Dictionary required?

ABC’s This Week featured an unusual graphic during one of the program’s round-table discussions last Sunday. When host Christiane Amanpour described Ben Franklin as “perspicacious,” up popped the definition, pronunciation guide helpfully included. Entertainment Tonight writer Ken Tucker found that insulting and appalling. “It’s also a depressing, dismaying precedent to set,” he wrote, for the network […]

Does commentary belong in local newscasts?

Does commentary belong in local newscasts?

Wearing dark sunglasses and a baseball cap, Bubba the Love Sponge brings it on. “Oil prices are a scam,” he roars. “A select few people are getting ultra-rich on the backs of the American family!” It’s classic Bubba, the same shock jock shtick he’s been doing for years on the radio. What’s different now is […]

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.

Local long-form revival

Local long-form revival

Stories on local TV news just seem to keep getting shorter. From all indications, the average big market package runs about 1:15 these days. So it’s unusual, to say the least, for a station to not only buck the trend but to create a new program to showcase longer stories.But that’s exactly what’s happened at […]