Crime reporting tips

For many journalists, covering crime is their least favorite part of being on general assignment. The late shift at many stations is a steady diet of crime scenes and victims. Lots of newsrooms send their greenest reporters out on crime stories, perhaps figuring they’re easy to cover with cops providing “the facts” and with “good …

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Surviving the epic fail

Everybody makes mistakes. The trick is to learn from them and survive them. CNN has generously shared “epic fail” moments from nine of its journalists, including anchor Brooke Baldwin, who admits to having locked up during a local news live shot. Several of the screw-ups are good reminders of the importance of checking the basics–like …

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CNN’s O’Brien on what’s different for today’s journalists

When Soledad O’Brien joined NBC in 1991, she says the woman training her gave her some bad news. “She said that the evening news was dead,” laughed O’Brien.  “Now, I just avoid the naysayers.” Twenty years later, the evening news is still on the air and so is O’Brien.  Now working as a reporter and …

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Must-haves for mobile journalism

“Everyone should have a smartphone in the future; it’s baseline gear,” says Damon Kiesow of Speaking at the Society of Professional Journalists convention in New Orleans, Kiesow says newsrooms have to get more “intentional and strategic” when it comes to mobile. “It doesn’t work to just go buy 20 iPhones and tell the reporters …

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Prize-winning local TV strategies

If you’ve been feeling despondent about the current state of local TV news, just take a look at the latest issue of Quill, the SPJ magazine. Here’s all you need to know about the section that cheered me up: Despite the cutbacks in TV newsrooms, some local stations are still producing truly excellent work. The …

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Newsroom goal? Any screen, any time

Bill Tallent’s company has an impressive client list.  From USA Today to Fox News to Showtime, Mercury has an app for that. Yet, his view is that news organizations need to have more than a three-screen strategy, they have to have an all-screen strategy. “We have a handheld and a lap-sized screen now, but we’re …

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NBC stations have new hiring initiatives

According to TV NewsCheck, NBC’s O&Os have just started two new programs aimed at recruiting new, diverse journalists. The News Associates program focuses on finding recent graduates, and the Reporter Training program is designed to target journalists who may be working in print or online media. Valari Staab, president of the NBC Owned Television Stations …

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From Classroom to Newsroom: Finding story ideas

So, you just got your new job in a new city and your new boss expects you to have new story ideas on a daily basis — lots of them. “We are supposed to have three “leadable” stories every day,” says Allison Croghan, who got a reporting job at KSN/KODE in Joplin after graduating from …

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Why journalists should check out Google+

Media Shift’s Idea Lab said it well. You should be on these sites to understand how people are communicating and the vocabulary of this communication. If you ignore these sites, you will fail to understand how a growing portion of the population deals with the flow of information, and inevitably how more people will deal …

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Are your online ethics different?

The Washington Post has now put its digital publishing guidelines online. Section titles include: Social Media, Taste and Tone and Third-Party Content. The Post’s ombudsman says that some people aren’t going to like the fact that the guidelines allow reporters to sometimes post directly to the Web without the content going through an editor. Others, …

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