Tips for MMJs

Tips for MMJs

If you’re working as an MMJ in your first job and think you won’t do it in your second, think again, says Heidi Wigdahl. She’s been in the business seven years, starting in market 153 at KTTZ in Rochester, Minnesota, and she’s still shooting her own stories in her third job at KARE-TV in Minneapolis. […]

TV news seeks to bolster trust

TV news seeks to bolster trust

We all know what’s happened to trust in the news media.  It sank to a new low in 2016, according to Gallup, with just 32 percent saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in what they see in the news media. What’s to be done? First of all, don’t panic. This […]

Remember the audience

Remember the audience

When you produce a story, are you thinking of how people are going to consume it? Mick Côté, digital news editor at The Canadian Press, says that in most newsrooms the answer is typically, “No.” And that’s a shame. “We’re so drawn to our own stuff we forget to take a step back and ask, ‘Is […]

Storytelling now -- and back then

Storytelling now — and back then

Sometimes I think the process of journalism has changed so much since I started it’s almost unrecognizable. (Scroll down for some early career memories.) But then I consider how much hasn’t changed. Good writing is still good writing, and will be forever. It’s still a craft you can learn, you can always get better at […]

"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 […]

Morley Safer: One of the greats

Morley Safer: One of the greats

He was a courageous reporter, a gifted writer, and a man who loved to laugh. Morley Safer spent more than 50 years at CBS News and is best known for his work at 60 Minutes, which aired a fitting tribute to him last week. He died just days later. He was 84. It’s hard to sum up […]

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 […]

The writing wisdom of Yogi Berra

The writing wisdom of Yogi Berra

As a baseball fan, I’m saddened by the death of Yogi Berra. He was one of the greatest catchers of all time. Even if you didn’t much like the Yankees or Mets (count me in that number), you had to appreciate Yogi’s career as a player and coach. But what I really loved about Yogi was his […]

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. […]

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, […]

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 […]

iPhoning it in

iPhoning it in

Shooting a TV news story on mobile phone isn’t exactly commonplace but it does happen every so often. Shooting a half-hour TV special on an iPhone? As far as I can tell, this is a first. Dallas reporter Mike Castellucci has been shooting stories on his iPhone for a while now, and said he wanted to try […]

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 […]