Reporting tactic: Soliciting leaks

Reporting tactic: Soliciting leaks

Less than a week into the Trump administration, multiple government agencies have told their employees not to speak to the news media or release information to the public. Journalists have responded by spreading the word that it’s easy to reach them, securely and confidentially. Many news organizations use SecureDrop, which describes itself as “an open-source […]

TV storytelling one on one

TV storytelling one on one

Who comes to mind when you hear the words “TV news” and “storytelling?” For me, it’s a short list. The late Charles Kuralt and his On The Road stories for CBS News. Steve Hartman, who revived the On the Road franchise for CBS. Bob Dotson of NBC News and his American Stories. And Boyd Huppert […]

How to find an expert in a hurry

How to find an expert in a hurry

When you’re on deadline and you need an expert on a particular subject, where do you turn? Google is great, but it’s massive. Type in “stock market expert” and you’ll get 34 million results in seconds, with the top links offering advice on how you can become an expert. Not quite what you were looking for, […]

How to search social media by location

How to search social media by location

How do you locate sources and original content during a breaking news event? Every newsroom turns to social media, but some are more efficient than others at finding what they’re looking for. In these newsrooms, lots of journalists know how to search for information quickly by specific location. If you’re not one of them, it’s time […]

Using social media for daily reporting

Using social media for daily reporting

For journalists, there’s no getting away from social media. Just about every newsroom expects reporters to be on Twitter and Facebook, at a minimum. But how are they using these platforms? Most reporters tell me they post breaking news and links to their stories on a regular basis, but that’s about it. For them, social media is […]

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 […]

Must have mobile tools for TV reporters

Must have mobile tools for TV reporters

by Deb Halpern Wenger When Tony Russell heads out to cover a story for KOTV in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his toolkit includes two phones and a host of apps.  His favorite is Instagram. “I use Instagram because I like to show viewers what I’m working on,” said Russell, who goes by @tonyrusselltv across social media. “I […]

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, […]

So long, Bob Schieffer

So long, Bob Schieffer

This time, Bob Schieffer says, it’s for real. After 46 years with CBS News, he plans to step down as host of Face the Nation and retire this summer. He’s talked about retirement before, but it didn’t take. The truth is he was having way too much fun to quit. “It’s been a great adventure,” he said in announcing […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Beat reporting: Environment and science

Beat reporting: Environment and science

One of my last beats as a network TV reporter was the environment, and I covered everything from air quality to endangered species to climate change. I found it fascinating and complicated–drowning in jargon and tinged with politics–and often hard to visualize. What to do? When dealing with these kinds of stories, journalists need to be familiar […]

Beat reporting: Education

Beat reporting: Education

The education beat is a wide umbrella, covering everything from preschool through higher education, and from school funding to learning outcomes. The beat has become even broader and more complex in recent years in part because of the expansion of charter schools, the increasing popularity of homeschooling, and federal achievement standards. These days, education stories […]