Small markets, big dreams

Every journalism student hears the same advice: Plan to start small, and work your way up. But what does it really mean to “start small?” Will your first job in TV news be easy? Glamorous? Lucrative? Not likely. You’ll work hard, make personal and financial sacrifices, and learn a ton of things they didn’t teach …

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A social media ethics code you can support

If you’re a journalist and you use social media, you’ll want to read this.  And if you work for a news organization — from student media on up to the top markets, you’ll want to read this, too. According to the Online News Assocation website, “The ONA Social Newsgathering Ethics Code is a document that …

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Mobile journalism now easier on Android devices

When I conduct training on using mobile devices as news gathering tools, the room is generally filled with journalists wielding iPhones. However, in a recent podcast produced by journalism.co.uk, some mobile experts are suggesting that 2015 was a game changing year for producing news content with Android devices. Florian Reichart, the man behind @smartfilming on Twitter, …

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Investigative journalist shares tips for tough interviews

You don’t have to be an investigative reporter to find yourself asking tough questions, but you can likely learn something from the way WFTV investigative reporter Christopher Heath does his job. Heath, who has been at the Orlando station since 2013, says one thing you have to be prepared for is the non-answer. “When faced …

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How safe are live shots?

The murder of two young TV journalists while they were on the air live has unsettled many newsrooms and classrooms. Reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were shot to death by a former reporter at their station in Roanoke, Virginia. He had been fired two years earlier and who held a grudge against both of them. It …

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Behind the scenes in TV news

Producers, assignment managers, directors–viewers don’t see what they do but TV news couldn’t exist without them. San Francisco station KRON has decided to share The Backstory in a six-part series, taking viewers behind the scenes. “There is something naturally compelling about a newsroom and what it takes to gather news every day,” says general manager Ashley …

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Must-have multimedia tools for TV journalists

When Tony Russell heads out to cover a story for KOTV in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his toolkit includes two phones and a host of apps.  His favorite is Instagram. “I use Instagram because I like to show viewers what I’m working on,” said Russell, who goes by @tonyrusselltv across social media. “I also like how Instagram …

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How to put together a TV news package

One of the strongest broadcast journalism programs in the country is located at the University of Montana, and Professor Denise Dowling is one of the best instructors in the school. She gets students started on video storytelling by following a simple formula. “Begin and end every story with natural sound,” says Dowling, “include a nat …

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Whatever happened to audio?

In television, sound is the other half of the picture. No matter how gorgeous your video is, its impact depends in part on the quality of the audio. Lousy sound can ruin even the strongest pictures. So if sound is so important, why aren’t more students being taught the basics of audio production? The question comes …

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How to shoot good vox pops (MOS)

Whatever you call them, “man on the street” interviews are a staple of TV news. Done well, they can reflect public opinion on important issues in your community. Done badly, they’re just a waste of air time. So how do you shoot them well? Start by thinking very carefully about where to go. Many stations …

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