How CBS Newspath finds good stories

One of the toughest part of a journalist’s job is coming up with a good story to tell every day, but what if you had to find stories that would work across the entire country?  That’s the job of those working for CBS Newspath, the news service that the network provides to its affiliates. Journalism …

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How to build sources as a journalist

Contributed by Lauren McLaughlin A car wreck on I-55, an armed robbery and a significant court case — how can one person cover them all? Lekitha Terrell, an assignment editor at WJTV in Jackson, Miss., has been in the journalism industry for eight years. She says that without sources to help you find accurate information, …

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Top journalism skills in 2012

So, it may seen a little arrogant to assume that our blog can act as a barometer of the journalism industry, but what the heck. If you look at the five most viewed posts of 2012, it seems reasonable to me to make the following assumptions: The fundamentals still matter.  The No. 1 post on …

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Social media as a news source

A recent survey of journalists around the world found that more than half of them use social media to find news stories and about 45% use social media to verify stories. In the United States, over 60% find or check stories via Twitter, Facebook or similar sites. But according to the Oriella Digital Journalism study, …

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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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The cost of social media

The most popular social media sites — YouTube, Facebook and Twitter — are free, aren’t they?  Well, maybe, says social media guru Jeff Cutler. “Social media are definitely a time suck,” says Cutler. “They are shiny and fun and they can waste your time.” But journalists need these tools because they let you be “where …

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Should journalists be sneaky?

I love reading what other journalists have to say about their work and sharing their insights here, but sometimes I find myself in a bit of a quandary. What to make of this comment? “You’re in the wrong job if you think that political journalists can or should be entirely up-front and open in their …

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Planning and rehearsing phone interviews pays off

How real are class-based reporting assignments? Karl Idsvoog, an associate professor at Kent State University, tries to make his assignments as real as possible. “Journalism students don’t learn to play hardball by playing softball,” he writes in the most recent issue of the IRE Journal. For a class reporting project on the fees universities in …

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Five steps to better TV stories

“It’s not about the beer,” says Boyd Huppert, describing an assignment to profile a successful local brewery. Instead, Huppert’s story focused on the family behind the business — tapping into a universal theme. “My goal is to go out and cover a story to make someone care about it,” says Huppert, “make you laugh or …

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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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