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 […]

Can We Rethink Live Shots?

Know Your Newsroom, Reporting, The Latest Comments Off on Can We Rethink Live Shots?
Oct 142018
Can We Rethink Live Shots?

It is time to talk about live shots: Why do them and how do they benefit the viewer? This is not the first time Survive has talked about live shots, (You know our logo shot!) including how to make a boring location more compelling, especially at night. But this issue keeps cropping up, so let’s focus on it again. Live shots are such a tremendous part of the day-to-day news cycle. Yet they are misused much of the time. They really are. Here’s why I say that. Live shots which are just “live for the sake of being live” used to be a common marketing gimmick in the 90’s and […]

Are Facts The “New” TV Stars? Thank Millennials.

Social Awareness Comments Off on Are Facts The “New” TV Stars? Thank Millennials.
Nov 292017

In the past two weeks, the TV news industry has taken a very bold stand. The fact that both Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer where fired over sexual harassment allegations is huge. Many old timers are shocked that it was not just swept under the rug or they were told, “Hey just don’t do it again (wink wink).” But I am going to argue that these firings are not necessarily a symbol that harassment is no longer acceptable in the workplace. Instead I am going to say this: Content managers just got a lot more power. Use it wisely. NBC and CBS did not do this completely to be PC. […]

Mass Shootings: How to determine what to cover and how much?

Honing Skills, Survival Kit, Writing Help Comments Off on Mass Shootings: How to determine what to cover and how much?
Nov 072017

Unfortunately covering mass shootings keeps happening. I might even argue that journalism schools should seriously consider offering courses or at least workshops on the ethical challenges of covering these types of events. Journalists need guidelines. The coverage of these events can truly make or break our credibility with the audience long term. The subject matter is getting harder and harder to take as an audience. They are all too happy to be done with you and your coverage. In my current role, I am finding myself having to train producers and managers on how to cover these events not only as they happen, but in the days after. RTDNA came […]

Can you really tell the difference in news philosophies during daily coverage?

Survival Kit, Writing Help Comments Off on Can you really tell the difference in news philosophies during daily coverage?
May 092017

When I talk to journalists, one of the first questions I always ask is what is your news philosophy? It is pretty surprising how few can actually give me a defined answer besides, “I love breaking news” or “We do new, now, next” at our station. Some even go on to say, “Does it really matter if I have one? “ You can work at places with different news philosophies. I did. But I stuck to stations that had the same basic core beliefs in what journalism means. The one time I did not stick to that, I was so miserable I literally hated work. You need a news philosophy […]

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