Let’s be honest—if you’re a TV reporter, you probably end up assigned to more crime stories than you can count over the course of a year! A murder here, a robbery there, another missing person, oh and don’t forget the occasional 12-hour standoff. Reporters cover a lot of crime and because of that, they get to know the police public information officers pretty well. PIOs are an important link between the crime scene and your TV viewers. After all, they usually know many more details about the incident than you do as a reporter. They talk with the detectives on-scene, they’re briefed by the brass, and it’s their job to […]

Jan 152015

The story is a great read. And for journalists – true, capital-J-on-your-chest, I-can-recite-the-SPJ-Code-of-Ethics journalists – this is also terribly disheartening. This is what we’re up against. For better or worse, we can get our “news” from sources that go beyond the traditional (or “legacy,” as I like to call them) media outlets. I am not ashamed to admit, I love me some Daily Show with John Stewart and what was the Colbert Report. First of all, their archive and research department is insane. As a former investigative and data reporter, the number of clips they dig up that add context and show patterns of (in)consistency makes me drool. Second, under […]

One of the most challenging parts of producing is making your meter points. Some stations even penalize if you go over or under time by as little as 15 to 20 seconds, per block. Even if your station is not that picky, you have to make time at the end of your newscast. The problem is, between chat, reporters turning in packages late or providing the wrong TRT and adding live shots and breaking news, it can be hard to time. That’s why you need escape routes for each meter point/news block. So here’s a secret veteran producers know, that helps make sure they hit those key times, every time, […]

The teases section on this website continues to be the most visited section outside of the cliche list! As I looked back through the articles, I realized a very important element has not been addressed. That element: How do you pick which stories to tease in the first place? So let’s get into that, because the answer is not always obvious. Newbie journalists usually go for the packages in the rundown. If a newscast always has world news at 10 after or health at 20, a lot of newbie journalists tease something from those segments. Some will think to go for great video as well. Picking from these combinations is […]

Last week’s episode of HBO’s “The Newsroom” (titled: “Run”) tried to make a statement about journalists use of Twitter. In fact, it appears that TV journalists use of social media is going to be a theme this season. In “Run” the character Hallie sends out a late night tweet from ACN’s account saying “Boston Marathon: Republicans rejoice that there’s finally a national tragedy that doesn’t involve guns.” When asked what made her even think of a tweet like that, the answer is “retweets.” Ok, so we all know this is hypothetical and some might even say “All journalists know better than a posting a politically charged tweet like that one.” […]

I was thrilled when an EP recently asked me to write an article on what makes a teaching newsroom. The more I talk with news directors, EP’s and AND’s the more I realize this is not well defined in TV news. Everyone has their own take on what it means. I think the reason is the concept of teaching or training means “time consuming” to many. While that can be partly true it is also crucial for television news to remain relevant. As we ask journalists to do more and generate different types of content (on TV on website on social media.. etc) we need to help them get the […]

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