Grading local TV news

Local TV news directors feel pretty good about the job they do. According to a TVNewsCheck survey, about 90% feel optimistic about the future of the local TV news business over the next five years. Though only 6% say they do an excellent job overall, the survey finds two-thirds of news directors ranking their work …

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Investigative reporting needs improvement on TV news

Even those in charge of local TV newscasts say that their record on investigative reporting is pretty weak. A TVNewsCheck survey found that just a small percentage of news directors feel local TV news does a good or better job of digging deep to uncover investigative stories. …an overwhelming majority (81.5%) feel that they do …

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The best local TV news stations to work for?

News directors from around the country say Hearst Television deserves “the prize for best overall news” based solely on reputation.  That’s according to a TVNewsCheck survey. The station group garnered 29.9%, or 23 of the 77 votes cast. A clear second was Belo at 16.9% with 13. Scripps, Cox and Raycom followed with seven, six and five votes, …

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When writing, remember the verbs

Some things rarely change. TV news writing is one of them, unfortunately.  More than a decade ago, I noticed something about both network and local newscasts that drove me nuts and wrote a column about it. This morning, I got a message from Rick Tillery, an anchor in Medford, Oregon. “It appears this needs to …

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Tips for taking better notes

“Leave the notebook at home.” That’s what one journalism site recommended when reviewing Evernote, a digital service that stores notes, pictures and Web clips online so users can access them anywhere from any device. It’s a cool tool but it hasn’t replaced my reporter’s notebook and I don’t think it ever will. A pad and …

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Better blogging made easy

If blogging is just writing, why is it so hard to do well? Maybe because it’s not just writing, or at least it shouldn’t be. Journalism students who ought to know the basics seem to struggle with blogging as much as anyone else. They aren’t sure what to write about or how to make it …

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How to think strategically about interviewing

Interviews are an essential building block for just about every news story, so it’s obviously important to know how to conduct a good one.  Most interviewing advice comes in the form of tips and hints, like these dos and don’ts from Canadian journalist John Sawatsky and the suggestions we’ve previously posted here. But sometimes it’s helpful …

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Talk to yourself when shooting video

by Mark Anderson, former NPPA photojournalist of the year Some of you may know that my dad recently passed. He was my hero and defined the words gentleman and optimist. When he was stationed over in France for the war, he and his Army buddies loved to read Shakespeare. Growing up in Iowa he quoted …

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How to deal with confidential sources

How far will you go to protect the identity of sources who give you information on the condition that you not reveal their names? If you haven’t thought about it, you should. Every reporter eventually runs into a story so important that it’s worth getting the information on a confidential basis. But you’d better understand …

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How to sound more conversational

I’ve always been a huge Robert Krulwich fan. His stories on NPR and ABC News break through the standard news blather thanks in part to his memorable delivery. Unlike so many reporters who tend to “announce” their scripts, Krulwich just talks, or at least that’s how it appears to the listener. But don’t be fooled. …

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