Natural sound stories: A how-to guide

Some of the strongest stories that ever make air or the Web rely exclusively on pictures and sound, with no reporter track. Putting a great nat sound story together isn’t easy. If the result is to be more than just a photo essay, you have to create a coherent narrative with the sound you collect. …

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Local TV station pushes enterprise on air and online

Critics of TV news often cite sensationalism, lack of substance and a preponderance of crime stories as characteristics of many nightly newscasts.  Veteran news director Forrest Carr says, in some cases, the critics are right. “Local TV news in general is infamous for a condition similar to attention deficit disorder, characterized by stories that are reactive …

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News with numbers

A friend of mine calls her journalism students “do-gooders who hate math.” But journalists need math skills to make sense of numbers the way they need language skills to make sense of words. The truth is, math is not rocket science and you don’t need to be a nerd to improve your reporting of news …

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How to engage Gen-Y in news

It’s a common complaint from college journalism professors: Their students, who say they want to be journalists, don’t actually follow the news. They’re on Facebook and YouTube all the time, says Michigan State’s Bob Gould, but even his broadcast journalism students don’t watch television news. And despite their connectedness, many of them somehow managed to …

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A view from the future

What should a group of freshly-minted journalism and mass comm graduates know about the future that awaits them? I asked that question on several social networks to prepare for a recent commencement speech at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Your real education begins today,” wrote Kim Green of WNCN-TV in Raleigh, N.C. …

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NYTimes VJ shares lighting, basic shooting tips

As promised, here’s a bit more from VJ Patrick Farrell on how to tell strong, visual stories.  Farrell says the best storytelling starts with a hunt for information. “Do as much research as possible about what visuals are available,” Farrell said.  He routinely goes online and makes multiple phone calls before shooting the first frame …

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New York Times VJ on Web video

Patrick Farrell is enthusiastic about what the future may hold for video storytelling.   As a video journalist for the New York Times,  Farrell is certainly working for one of the most robust online sites in the world. “Especially if you’re working in journalistic video right now, the doors are kind of open,” Farrell said.  “It’s unlike …

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What national news covered in 2009

According to an outfit called Snapstream, there may be more substance in our network newscasts than TV journalists generally get credit for.  In its news release, Snapstream says it is a “service we run that lets you see how often words are mentioned, over time, on national TV news.  We record and analyze transcripts from national TV news programs …

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Long-form video storytelling

When we used to talk about the advantages of the Web, we often mentioned the “bottomless newshole” - the ability to post more and longer stories online. We’ve learned a lot since then, most notably that the quality of the content definitely matters.  Still, the fact is, there’s more space for long-form video online than in most TV …

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