3 great tips for better TV stories

KARE-11′s Boyd Huppert is an amazing storyteller.  A workshop with him may be just about equivalent to a master class in TV news.  At the Excellence in Journalism conference, he shared some of the things he wished he had known when he first started reporting — here are Advancing the Story’s favorites: 1.  Keep interview …

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The importance of follow-up questions

News conferences are part of every journalist’s work life. Some reporters can’t go a week without covering several–largely because the newsmakers on their beat hold group sessions regularly but rarely schedule one-on-ones. It’s not easy to get good material from a news conference, but some journalists are skilled at it. What’s their secret? Good follow-ups. Bob …

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Got the interview? Now, get the journalism job

More than 90 percent of journalism and mass communications grads reported getting at least one in-person job interview soon after graduation.  Yet, a little less than 74 percent ended up getting a full or part-time job.  So, what went wrong? News anchor and reporter Byron Brown from WJTV in Jackson, Miss. says there are a …

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Interviewing tips to get vivid sound bites

The elements of engaging stories are universal: strong characters, plot, beginning-middle-end, tension, surprise, resolution. What’s more, they’re central to every kind of story, not just features. Just ask investigative reporter Daniel Zwerdling, who has reported on everything from pesticides to mental health in his 30 plus years at NPR. “You can do the greatest investigation of all …

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Well-chosen details make stories stronger

One challenge TV reporters face is deciding what details belong in a story. Too many and the story bogs down. Too few and it loses impact. What works in a story is “telling” detail: information that conveys a basic truth about a character or situation. Think about the difference between two stories about the aftermath …

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Getting that on-air TV job

First and foremost, it’s not about you. Tanya Carter is assistant news director at WABG-TV in Greenville, Miss.  She’s also one of the primary news anchors, so she’s seen both sides of the job hunt.  She’s says that just having a good camera presence is not enough to get you hired. “So, you have the …

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Tips for multimedia journalists on writing fast

Video journalist Anne Herbst firmly believes in preparation. She does research on stories before leaving the newsroom. She shows up to assignments early so she can meet people and figure out in advance who might be a strong character. And she writes fast–an essential skill when you’re working by yourself and you have to do …

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Video journalism tips from a pro

Darren Durlach left television almost two years ago to try something new. He’d won two consecutive NPPA TV Photographer of the Year awards and, unbeknownst to him, was on the verge of winning a third. He’s now senior multimedia producer at the Boston Globe, where he shoots and edits stories both alone and in collaboration …

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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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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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