Safety First!

Know Your Newsroom, Reporting, The Latest Comments Off on Safety First!
Mar 122020

Recently I stumbled across an important post to the “Storytellers” group on Facebook. (If you are in the TV news business and are not a member, here is link to join https://www.facebook.com/groups/TVNewsStroytellers/?epa=SEARCH_BOX.) One of the members told the story of recently having to tell the newsroom that, as the field crew, they did not feel safe doing a live shot in the location requested and that they then moved to a safer location. He asked members of the group what they thought. I was so happy to see that everyone who responded did so with the message of safety first. While I believe that this is the overall attitude in […]

How to tell if you are putting too much information into a story.

The Latest, Writing Help Comments Off on How to tell if you are putting too much information into a story.
Mar 032020

Writers are being asked to write more, in different formats and faster than before. You have to decide what is better served on a digital platform (more on that in an upcoming article), or shown on a big monitor. You are told the pacing has to be high, but still understandable. You need to showcase. You need to think of your audience. No mistakes. The list goes on and on. But with all the talk of transforming graduates into the digital age and futuristic journalists, there are still glaring issues in newsrooms today; very little writing training and often even less copy editing. You are thrown into the fire quickly, […]

What does the WTOL morning clip say about the industry?

Honing Skills, Survival Kit, The Latest Comments Off on What does the WTOL morning clip say about the industry?
Apr 032019
What does the WTOL morning clip say about the industry?

It’s no secret TV news is “finding itself” right now. There’s a lot of experimentation. A lot of questioning and a lot of talk of “speaking at the key demo’s level.” We see this play out in the clip that’s gone viral from WTOL, that was meant for school kids only.  Outlets across the nation, initially took this as either a real newscast clip hor a web piece for a general audience. Then they started backtracking and letting people know it was not for a general audience in any way. Just check out the updated mentions at the end of most articles. You can see where they changed their copy to say […]

I am at a serious story and have to post on social media. How can I avoid seeming insensitive?

Social Awareness Comments Off on I am at a serious story and have to post on social media. How can I avoid seeming insensitive?
Dec 162018

  If you read industry blogs, you have seen plenty of cases of reporters tweeting a smiling face at a murder scene, natural disaster or some other similarly toned story. Facebook postings about meeting the national correspondent hero and taking a selfie get plenty of critiques too. This occurs often enough that one has to ask why? Why do so many continue making this mistake?  The answer is two fold. First, many think in order to show they are at a scene, they have to show themselves in that scene. Second, like it or not, many journalists become rather immune to the scenes around them. In a sense you become […]

I keep having to write in the booth. What am I doing wrong?

Survival Kit, Writing Help Comments Off on I keep having to write in the booth. What am I doing wrong?
Nov 112018

More and more I hear producers say they are writing portions of their newscasts in the booth. I have to tell you, that used to be a big no no, unless there was breaking news and you had to write it, to get the breaker on the air. Otherwise, no excuse. In fact, you could’ve lost your producing gig if you were still writing in the booth, a lot. Nowadays I often hear from producers who say things like, “I do alright. I only have to write 4 or 5 stories in the booth.”  Not okay. I understand staffing is tight. I understand some are making their own graphics and […]

How to handle it when asked inappropriate questions during an interview.

Job Interviewing, Picking A Shop Comments Off on How to handle it when asked inappropriate questions during an interview.
Oct 192018

Recently FTVLive reported that someone posing as a recruiter for a network and someone who actually is a recruiter are making uncomfortable statements and asking lewd questions to women being interviewed. Let’s talk about how to handle these situations, specifically blatant sexual comments and/or requests for sexual favors. First, it’s ok to say the question/statement was not appropriate. Responding by saying something like “I am hoping I misunderstood that last question, but this interview needs to remain professional questions only,” is fine. Do it. Yes, this will be uncomfortable. But you have the right to defend yourself and let the person know that’s not ok. You are remaining professional. More […]

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