Ways To Make Live Shots Safer Right Now

Know Your Newsroom, Reporting Comments Off on Ways To Make Live Shots Safer Right Now
Aug 272015





No doubt, the killings of Alison Parker and Adam Ward have really shaken up fellow TV journalists from all over. And whenever a tragedy like this happens there are calls to action. Including two stations in Milwaukee that are not doing discretionary live shots the day after this attack. Several excellent articles have already come out asking broadcasting companies and station managers to consider using live shot delay buttons (similar to what is done in radio), think about the dangers of one man banding  and raise the issue of live crews routinely feeling very vulnerable while on live shots. All of these are excellent points that journalists frankly should push for discussion […]






Hot And Cold: Why Are Job Interviews Taking So Long?

Job Interviewing, Picking A Shop Comments Off on Hot And Cold: Why Are Job Interviews Taking So Long?
Aug 082015





When I would tire of a station or the raise offered was below that of inflation, I always knew it would take about 3 weeks to move on. That was it. Ten or so resume reels, and three weeks. But now, when I coach TV journalists on job searches, I have to tell them there will be a lot of hurry up and wait. Managers are going to seem hot and cold. And the process can easily last 4 to 6 weeks, from first interview to contract signing. The question is: Why? Well, there are actually several reasons. The biggest is that a lot of managers have more day-to-day responsibilities […]






Making Desk Calls: The Risk To Your Credibility

Anchoring, Know Your Newsroom, Producing Comments Off on Making Desk Calls: The Risk To Your Credibility
Jul 262015





Recently there was a bunch of talk on Twitter about why anchors sometimes feel the need to make producing calls from the desk during a newscast. Producers talked about ways they try and prevent this from happening by being proactive before the show. Others discussed how this really causes them to lose respect for the anchors. Mostly though, the discussion centered on why then? Let me quantify, this is not in reference to anchors who also produce the show and have no choice. We are talking about anchors who sit on the desk and ask the producer to move things around in the rundown or say they aren’t going to […]






Does Market Size Matter?

Honing Skills, Survival Kit Comments Off on Does Market Size Matter?
Jun 252015





One thing about TV people… they love numbers: May ratings were up .5 at 6pm in the P25-54 demo. We’re number 2 at 6am, but just .1 behind station X. Year 2 of my contract begins in 2 months and I’m getting a 3% raise. I can’t believe my co-anchor makes $3,000 more than I do (yes, news directors, everybody knows what everybody else makes… they all talk). And oh, I want to make at least a 25-market jump in my next move. And there it is—the TV market number obsession. For people who aren’t very good at math (let’s face it… you didn’t go into TV to solve advanced […]






ON PERMANENT RECORD: Social Media Survival Guide

Social Awareness Comments Off on ON PERMANENT RECORD: Social Media Survival Guide
Jun 182015





In the last few weeks there has been what seems an unusually high number of social media gaffes by journalists. Survive has focused a lot of attention on trying to help journalists avoid this public and frankly permanent record of embarrassment.  It appears it is time for another round of discussion about this. So let’s dive in to the recurring pitfalls that make journalists look bad on social media, and ways to avoid them. Top Danger Zones Selfie backgrounds and tone Opinions Responding to attacks Teasing a story The biggest potential pitfall without a doubt, is the background of a selfie and your tone describing it. Look, I get it. […]






What happened to verbs?

Survival Kit, Writing Help Comments Off on What happened to verbs?
Jun 032015





I have been emailing back and forth with a former TV journalist, who noticed a trend. I am guessing you will notice the same trend once I bring it up here. Verbs have largely disappeared from news copy. Now, I know many of you will dog me for this and go off on conversational writing. “People speak in phrases.” But do they really? And do they as often as you hear it in news copy? I am going to make the argument that leaving out key verbs is not done to make copy conversational. It happens for two other reasons more often: 1) To avoid using past or passive tense […]






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