Notes from an ombudsman

NPR’s Alicia Shepard calls it “the loneliest job in the newsroom.” As NPR’s ombudsman, Shepard serves as a bridge between public radio listeners and staffers, explaining each side to the other. A large part of her job involves responding to complaints and challenging the newsroom to do better journalism. Much of this is done publicly, …

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Award-winning stories on diversity

In all the discussion of journalism’s economic troubles and the need to embrace technological change, it can be easy to forget some of the basic tenets of good journalism. Reflecting the community in your coverage is still critical, and the 2009 National RTNDA/UNITY Awards honor a group of broadcasters who have done that extremely well. …

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Who was Fred Friendly?

“The greatest innovator and producer in the history of television journalism.” That’s how Ralph Engelman of Long Island University sums up the late CBS News great Fred Friendly, even as he wonders whether students today have ever heard of him. Engelman’s new book “Friendlyvision” describes the man who was Edward R. Murrow’s producer on “See …

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Inside a hyper-local blog

What motivates a person to devote almost as much time to a neighborhood blog as they do to a full time job? For Jacqueline Dupree, it’s a desire to document history. Dupree works for the Washington Post, maintaining the company’s Intranet. But she’s also the force behind JDLand, a blog that covers a 100-block area …

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Telling visual stories with “no visuals”

There are few television journalists who have missed out on the pleasure of getting assigned a story where a mug shot is the “best” visual element. With creativity, though, some are able to create compelling stories. So, how do they do it? Bob Kaplitz of the AR&D media consulting company recently posted an entry on …

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How to use Twitter with your blog

Poynter recently hosted an online chat with NYU professor Jay Rosen and PressThink blogger on the subject of teaching people to blog. Advice: Break news, say something that hasn’t been said, collate what no one has collated, and then link to the biggies when you publish. So, why link to the “biggies,” as in popular …

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Broadband growth important to journalists

Forget my MTV, I want my high-speed Internet access. The Pew Internet & American Life Project just released its latest survey on broadband penetration in the U.S., and even in these tough economic times, broadband adoption is growing. According to the survey, 63% of American adults now have high-speed access. That’s up about 15% from …

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Experimenting with digital storytelling

Improv actors, a soundtrack and very little text. Is this the future of online journalism? Consider what staid old Fortune magazine has been doing lately, in collaboration with the online magazine Flyp Media. Flyp has turned some of Fortune’s editorial content into imaginative multimedia features, like this piece on the Bernie Madoff investment scam. Fortune …

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News anchor roles changing

It’s an unfortunate reality that a good portion of students go into broadcast journalism because they want to be on TV.  They dream of being someone like Oprah or of anchoring a newcast because they think it looks fun and easy.  They may be right about the fun part, but it’s probably never been easy, …

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Pros and cons of sharing news video

It’s happening everywhere. Stations from Tampa to Los Angeles are forming local partnerships to share news video. The arrangements vary from market to market, but so far stations owned by Fox, Gannett, Scripps, Tribune and Meredith have jumped into the new pools. The benefits for the stations are obvious. Sending one photographer to cover an …

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