Good TV writing checklist

When you start out writing for broadcast, it can be hard to know when you’ve nailed it. Rick Russell is news director at WJTV in Jackson, Miss.; he says the best way to assess the quality of your story is to have someone else read it back to you. “You have to listen to that …

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The power of words

I love using all the elements of multimedia storytelling–compelling video, sparkling sound and great graphics–but words still matter. A lot. A great script can make a story memorable, even if the video isn’t much better than wallpaper. A poorly-written script can ruin even the most eye-catching pictures. “Words are sacred,” the playwright Tom Stoppard once …

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What journalists are missing about mobile

Many journalists have started using their smartphones as a newsgathering and publishing tool, but Mark Briggs of KING5.com in Seattle says mobile devices can be so much more. “Few reporters use smartphones as a research device,” Briggs says, a missed opportunity, in his opinion, because smartphones are “location aware.” As an example, Briggs described how he might …

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Social media in TV news

It’s official; television stations have embraced social networking.  According to TV news researcher Bob Papper, a solid majority of stations are using social media in three key ways: Covering social media topics in newscasts:  67% Using social media in storytelling:  58% Integrating social media into websites:  76% Those statistics have translated into a fundamental change …

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Online video vs. TV news

Should online video follow the same conventions as TV news? Adam Westbrook thinks not. In a provocative essay, he argues that several TV news conventions were developed to help journalists work faster and tell stories in less time–constraints that he believes do not apply to online video. That’s debatable, of course. I’m not sure most …

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Diversity in the newsroom pays off

What happens when a newsroom values diversity?  Reporter Jessica Chapin of KGUN-TV in Tucson, Ariz., says it leads to better storytelling and better decision making. “Tucson is an hour from the border, so diversity in the newsroom and Spanish as a second language is definitely a plus,” Chapin says.  “I’m constantly doing interviews in broken Spanish …

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Help Wanted: TV producers in demand

Where are the jobs in TV news?  Just ask news director Bruce Barkley of WAPT in Jackson, Miss. “Want to be a producer? asks Barkley. He’s not kidding, either.  Year after year, news directors lament that for every reporter job they get dozens of applicants, if not more.  For a producer job, some in small …

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Using Facebook for a TV investigation

Want more proof that social media are great reporting tools? Look no farther than “Keys to the Castle” an investigative story Jace Larson reported for KUSA in Denver that picked up a 2011 duPont-Columbia Award. The story uncovered a housing scam that victimized people facing foreclosure as well as people looking to rent. As the …

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