Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Keith on Keith

I know I said there wouldn't be much posting here until the new year, but this interview deserves watching. Bill Moyers sits down with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On Hiatus

You may have noticed that there have not been regular postings here the past few days. The semester is ending...final exams are underway. So my students have plenty to do besides checking in here. This site will probably be pretty quiet until early January when classes start to ramp up again. I hope everyone has a great holiday season. We'll see you all here again soon.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Jena Six Debate Continues

I'm just not sure what to make of this story written by the Assistant Editor of the Jena Times. Is this guy just trying to salvage the reputation of his community? Or have we been misled? At some point we all need to take a closer look at how this story was covered...right or wrong.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hybrid newsbox

Here's one way to blend old traditions with new technology. Newspaper editor Scott Walker replaced the guts of a newspaper vending machine with a computer and video monitor. Instead of the front page of a newsprint paper, the window now shows digital pics of the front pages of newspapers from across the country. Here's more about his fun project.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Weather Winner

SIU R-T Alumnus Chuck Lofton has been named National Weather Association "Broadcaster of the Year." Chuck works at WTHR-TV in Indianapolis where he has been a viewer-favorite for 22 years. Congrats, Chuck!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Assignments you hate

Veteran TV photog Rick Portier wonders about the intrusion of cameras and microphones on funerals and grieving.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

This is really neat...and really scary.

Read about Northwestern University's News at Seven here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Congratulations to SIU RT graduate Molly Crow. A newscast that she produced earlier this year at KFYR-TV in Bismark, ND just won a regional Emmy award. Molly has since moved 0n to the ABC affliate in Albany, NY.

A Beauty Pageant Mentality?

No one denies that looks matter in TV news. But former network correspondent Deborah Potter argues that the emphasis on beauty has gone too far...especially for women.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Advancing your Career as TV Audiences Shrink

This article has some good advice for those preparing for a career in broadcast news.....or those already in it. Those who can prepare and adapt for the future will thrive. Read it here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Suspended for Being Insensitive

Just a few days after being named National Association of Hispanic Journalists' Broadcast Journalist of the Year, a Dallas reporter has been suspended by her station. It happened after viewer complaints about the way Rebecca Aguilar interviewed a 70-year-old man who had shot and killed an intruder. Read about it here and comment below.

More PAID Internships

The National Association of Black Journalists offers paid summer internships at selected news organizations around the country. The deadline for application is December 3. You must be a member of NABJ (we have a good local chapter here at SIU).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

TV Time

Americans watch a LOT of television. Or, at least, the TV is turned on a lot. Nielson Media Research says the TV was on more than 8 hours a day in the average home. More here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Live....Local.....and Pointless

Baltimore Sun Newspaper critic Kevin Cowherd takes on the issue of TV reporters standing outside dark buildings where news occurred hours earlier.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Nat Sound Matters for Video

Watch these two versions of the same TV package....one with and one without Nat Sound. What a big difference!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Approaching Sports Differently

Some TV stations have dropped the sports segments from their newscasts...or dramatically shortened those segments. But Kevin Benz of News8Austin thinks that's the wrong approach.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Paid, Yes Paid, Internships

We are fortunate at SIU that the Bayliss Foundation provides us with 6 PAID summer internships in the radio industry. These are available for stations all over the U.S. Plus, you can also apply for a $5000 Bayliss Scholarship. Krissi Geary-Boehm has the applications in her office (1032A).

You could get up to $500,000

Do you have a great idea for transforming community news using new technology? The Knight Foundation is funding the Knight News Challenge. The News Challenge includes $5 million dollars of awards for innovative ideas in transforming news. But $500,000 is specifically set aside for Young Creators (under 25). So, put on your thinking cap and enter here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

BEA Scholarships Available

October 11 is the deadline for submitting applications for Broadcast Education Association Scholarships. There are about a dozen scholarships available, some for as much as $5000. You can get application materials here.

ABC News One Man Bureaus

ABC News says it is opening some new foreign mini-bureaus. The interesting part is that these new bureaus will be comprised of just one "digital journalist" with a small DVCAM and a laptop. Read about it here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Newscasts are dying?

So says KNBC News Director Bob Long. Long was on an RTNDA panel, where he predicted that traditional TV newscasts will die with the baby boom generation. Read more here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How to be a Journalism Student

Paul Bradshaw at the University of Central England has 10 quick tips.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The suspect is described as an hispanic male.....

When is a racial identification useful in a news story? When is it simply meaningless as a description? These are questions newsrooms across the country continue to debate. Viewers and listeners want to know what dangerous criminals look like, but a description like "black male in a green hooded shirt" could apply to potentially hundreds or thousands of residents. So, do you use the limited description you have? Or does it invite racial stereotyping? Here's an article about the current debate going on at the Sacramento Bee newspaper. I'm interested in your comments because there are interesting arguments on both sides.

Another Storyteller

If you've had any of my classes you know I like to show examples from NBC Today Show Correspondent Bob Dotson. Here are some remarks Dotson made about storytelling this past Saturday at Kansas University.

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's All About Storytelling

I spend lots of time in class talking about how to shoot well-composed, exposed, steady video. But in the end, the most important thing is telling a good story. One of my favorite Video Journalists is a fellow named David Turecamo. Watch one of his pieces here and see what a good storyteller can do with just a handheld camera and excellent writing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Is That What I Said?

Today's electronic audio editors make it easy to slice and dice sound files. It's possible to make someone sound like they're saying something that they really never said.

That's why it's important to follow some ethical rules in how you cut audio sound bites.

Mary McGuire has a great list of guidelines here.

It's OK to "clean up" a quote, but never OK to change its meaning.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

SIU Alum Chris Bury has been a National Correspondent for ABC's Nightline since 1993. Now, the network is sending him back to Chicago as Midwest National Correspondent. That's good news on two fronts. First, we'll get to see more of Chris' reporting on other ABC News programs. And, since he's closer to Carbondale, perhaps we'll get to see him more often talking with students.

Chris has always been willing to come back to campus when he can. But now the logistics should be a little easier.

More on Chris' new assignment.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dirty Dancing

A Chicago anchor apparently got in some hot water over his behavior at an off-duty going away party. WFLD's Mike Barz was said to have been "dirty dancing" with a female production assistant at a night club. Read about it here.

So what, you say? The point is...you've chosen a very public business to be in. No, you won't get the same paparazzi treatment as Britney, but you WILL give up lots of your privacy. You will be recognized when you go out. And, if you do something silly, everyone will soon know.

It doesn't always matter that you're thousands of miles from home, as anchorwoman Catherine Bosley found out in 2003.

If you're a woman, everything you wear will be critiqued every day by your audience. Your hairstyles, makeup, and weight will be constantly monitored by your "fans".

Living in a glass bowl is not easy.

Or...you could become a producer. Dress however you want, eat all the Frito's you want, become a regular at the local strip club, and spike your hair. No one will know. And you'll still get to control what goes on the air at 6 pm.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

One of the smartest guys in TV news is a guy named Don Hewitt. He was part of Edward R. Murrow's team at CBS in the in the 50s and 60s that virtually invented TV journalism. Another thing that Hewitt invented is a little program called 60 Minutes. That newsmagazine has been an award-winning cash-cow for CBS since 1968.

Hewitt was kinda pushed aside at 60 Minutes in 2004 in favor of a younger Exec Producer. But it seems Don isn't finished trying to innovate. He's trying to create an online newsmagazine aimed at and produced by college students. Read about it here.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Here's your diploma, but no guarantees

My friend Mindy McAdams writes a thoughtful piece about what you should expect from your college education. And, it's no surprise that she believes your own efforts in your college years are the big variable. Read it here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Richard Jewel is Dead

The story of the former Atlanta Olympics security guard should be food for thought for all of us who traffic in the world of "exclusives" and "breaking news". Read about him here. And here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

There's some discussion in Louisville today over the use of graphic video of a bank robber being shot to death yesterday. WHAS's cameras caught the robber being gunned down by a police SWAT team. And, although the station digitally blurred the image of the man actually being shot, some critics are saying the station went too far.

Watch the coverage here.

WHAS News Director Aaron Ramey defends his decision here.

What do you think?

Monday, August 27, 2007

That's Gotta Hurt

Walking standups can be hazardous. Check it out here.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wearable criticism

Just had to share this shirt. And radio execs wonder why they're losing listeners to Ipods???

You can buy the shirt here, if you're so inclined.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Neat image, isn't it? Especially for those of us who have spent too much time trying to fit just one more mic on the podium. Is this what the Governor sees as he looks out at our raised hands and focused lenses? This image is from photojournalist Bryan Frank. His blog can be found here.

One Strike She's Out

It didn't take long for Anchorwoman to sign-off. After abysmal ratings, Fox canceled the series after just one episode. The rest will be available for viewing on Fox.com.

The hard reality for the Lauren Jones' of the world is....whether you're a real anchorwoman or a fake one, bad ratings will get you quickly replaced.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bikini Model on the Anchor Desk

Fox's "Anchorwoman" reality show debuts Wednesday night. the show features former bikini model Lauren Jones in a month-long stint on the anchor desk at a small Texas station.

Critics say the show mocks journalism. But the small station's general manager defends his shop:

KYTX general manager Phil Hurley says the protests amount to schoolmarmish hand-wringing. “Entertainment and journalism have gone together for years,” he says. “Reporters spend a whole day reporting on Paris Hilton leaving her house, and they're criticizing me? I'm a little lost as to what the problem is.”

There's no doubt Jones isn't the first beauty queen to break into the news business, but most others have also had college training. And none have done the reality show bit. Still, it's hard to argue that TV news isn't largely driven by looks.

Some insiders say Jones actually was good on the desk...good enough that the station offered her a permanent job. She's now in talks with some other stations in larger markets.

"Look at all the women you see in broadcast journalism. A great many of them come from untraditional broadcast news backgrounds," Jones says.

So, for me, I've just been laughing the criticism off, and wondering what we're doing here that hasn't been done before."


So what do you think? Is Jones making a mockery of broadcast journalism? Or does she deserve a chance to prove her worth? Post your comments.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Welcome Back

To RT 311 and RT 370 students: Welcome back to a new semester. For your current events quizzes, you should be preparing by reading at least the online versions of 1) the Southern Illinoisan, 2) the Daily Egyptian, and 3) the Chicago Tribune. For the Trib, I suggest you subscribe to the paper's daily Daywatch Newsletter at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/chi-daywatchnewsletter,0,906514.htmlstory .

You should also keep up to date on national and world news using the sources of your choice.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Links for JRNL 310 Class

Soundslide Example

Mindy McAdams' page on online audio

from Andrew DeVigal's examples of sound/photo stories