Predictions 2008

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Lots of people are risking future derision by telling us what to expect in 2008. Consider some of the dumber predictions from years past. Back in the 1940s, the head of 20th Century Fox didn’t see any kind of future for the new kid on the block: television. …

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How histograms help

Most digital still cameras have the ability to display a histogram–a graphic display of brightness levels in a scene. Photographer Michael Reichmann calls it “the greatest invention since the built-in light meter.” If you’re not using your camera’s histogram function, you should. A histogram basically lets you know whether your image is properly exposed. The …

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Breaking news literally breaks in

Breaking news is a staple of local TV, but it doesn’t often happen like this.  Two minutes into the 10 p.m. newscast on Chicago’s WLS-TV on Dec. 23, 2007,  a minivan crashed into the studio.  The driver later was quoted as saying he “wanted to be on the news.”  Here’s how anchor Ravi Baichwal reacted: …

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Twittering traffic

Some news organizations have used the microblog site Twitter in the past to send updates about breaking news stories like the Minneapolis bridge collapse and the California wildfires. Now the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is “twittering” in a slightly different way about a local highway construction project. The paper has recruited a “twitter team” of commuters, …

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Layering the news

Slide shows, videos, flash animations–there are lots of different ways to tell a visual story online. Now you can add one more: the photostory collage. A new service from VuVox allows journalists to build multimedia stories in layers. Watch Richard Koci Hernandez of the San Jose Mercury News demonstrate and explain how he uses it: …

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Students covering campaigns

“Fresh political coverage like you haven’t seen before.” That’s how KDFW-TV in Dallas describes what it hopes will result from a new partnership with Southern Methodist University. FOX 4 News has teamed up with the school to cover the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary. Eight student journalists will cover the events extensively, providing instant …

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FCC changes ownership rules…again

It took 32 years, but the FCC has now said broadcasters in the country’s 20 largest television markets can also own a newspaper in the same market. But, if ever there was a continuing story, this is it. According to the Associated Press, Congress is likely to weigh in on this issue again soon, but …

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Convergence in the trenches

Convergence is a reality in local TV newsrooms, but what does it look like? A new research study finds that in most cases what stations call convergence is just repurposing, not truly reporting across media. The researchers surveyed producers and reporters at small and medium-market stations across the country. Almost all of the respondents indicated …

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