Confrontational interviews

Investigative reporters often have to interview people who don’t really want to talk.  In a courtroom, they might be described as hostile witnesses. For journalists, especially in television, these kinds of interviews require a lot of preparation or choreography, as my former CNN colleague Mark Feldstein puts it. The dirty little secret of TV muckraking …

Continue reading ‘Confrontational interviews’ »


Ten things every journalist should know

Only ten?  John Thompson has posted a terrific list that goes beyond the obvious (learn Twitter, RSS and search techniques) to add spot-on advice and links to more information.  For example: Multimedia for multimedia’s sake rarely works, and is often embarrassing. If you are going to do it, either do it well enough so it …

Continue reading ‘Ten things every journalist should know’ »


Outlook for journalism grads

Imagine you’re a senior journalism major who needs to find a job this May.  Okay, maybe you don’t have to imagine.  It’s a scary time to be looking for work in a business that appears to be imploding. Everywhere you look, some potential employer is laying people off or declaring bankruptcy. More than half the …

Continue reading ‘Outlook for journalism grads’ »


Solutions to newsroom troubles

Amid all the reporting about coverage cutbacks and layoffs in newsrooms around the country, there’s not enough focus on what news organizations might do to reinvent themselves.  Rich Gordon of Northwestern University has been working on and thinking about new media for at least a decade now.  His most recent post on the Poynter Web site has …

Continue reading ‘Solutions to newsroom troubles’ »


Writing for Twitter

Journalists who don’t Twitter are “crippling [their] online publishing effort,” says OJR’s Robert Niles.  In his view, Twitter is the ideal medium for breaking news and delivers information to readers more efficiently than RSS feeds.  But how do you write for Twitter? Start by consulting this primer for Twitter beginners from J-Prof”s Jim Stovall.  He …

Continue reading ‘Writing for Twitter’ »


TV live shot options

New technology and the pressing need to cut costs have led some local TV stations to try new options for going live.  We recently wrote about KIFI-TV’s use of WiMAX technology.  The latest buzz is about TV live shots via Skype, the free software that makes it possible for anyone with a camera, cellphone and …

Continue reading ‘TV live shot options’ »


Six tips for convergence

How is newsroom convergence like a shotgun wedding?  Just ask the folks at Kent State University, where the campus newspaper, radio and TV stations share one newsroom and Web site.  The story behind the story is now online–a humorous and engaging look by professor Fred Endres at how the “wedding” was planned and carried out. …

Continue reading ‘Six tips for convergence’ »


Stuff journalists like

Jargon.  Bylines.  Swag.  Those are just a few of the items on the list of stuff journalists like on the blog of the same name written by two former newspaper reporters in Colorado.  Denver’s alt-weekly Westword calls the site “hilariously astute and uncomfortably accurate.” Browse the randomly numbered posts and you’ll stumble across “stuff” that …

Continue reading ‘Stuff journalists like’ »


A successful reporter’s approach

He’s won three Pulitzer prizes, writes a regular column for the New York Times, and his non-fiction books sell like crazy. Okay, so Tom Friedman isn’t your average reporter, but a profile in the New Yorker magazine offers some insight into what makes him so successful. First of all, he genuinely likes people.  Friedman tells …

Continue reading ‘A successful reporter’s approach’ »