Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Intern Positions Can Be the Beginning

See that guy on the left?

His name is Matt Roberts.

He's just been promoted to executive producer of The Late Show with David Letterman. He started as an intern at Letterman's old NBC show in 1992.

An intern.

Now exec producer.

It's all about getting your foot in the door....then working hard to prove yourself.

Image from Variety

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We're back...

The school year is starting up again and so blogging here will resume as well.

Today, a story of how major market reporters are adapting to the realities of shooting their own video. From

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Missing Verbs

Where have all the verbs gone? Maggie hits the nail on the head. Why do some broadcasters write sentences they would NEVER say in real life?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Can't Start Too Early

Chris Wallace grew up pretending to be a newsman. Worked out pretty well for him.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Advertising guru Roy Williams has a great example of why we should be careful of how we treat statistics. They don't tell the whole story. And, while Roy's point is for advertising professionals, the lesson equally applies to journalists who are building stories around statistics. Read it here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Birth of Online News.

Check out this report from 1981.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The White House Press Corps

From the Daily Show:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Anchoring Tips

Doug Drew of 602 Communication suggested in today's Shoptalk that more stations may be headed toward solo anchors to save money. He also passed along some solo anchor coaching tips from Gloria Cohn. But this is good advice for my students whether you're solo or co-anchoring:

There are two things to consider: Can the anchor maintain energy throughout the entire show? Can the anchor make each story sound different?

Maintaining energy does not mean talking faster and louder. Varying the reads does not mean merely adjusting the volume and speed. It means learning to effectively use all of the communication skills. When an anchor incorporates all of the tools available, he/she will have a successful show.

The first step to a achieving a positive outcome is this: the anchor must pre-read each story for meaning. Then he/she should choose the communication skill(s) that will enhance the meaning of each story. The communication skills are: pacing, pauses, voice modulation, facial expressions, eye contact and hand gestures.

Voice Modulation:

Every story should sound different. To accomplish this, the anchor must first avoid any patterns like a singsong tone, a monotonous voice and a measured pace. Managing - and varying - vocal pitches is the cure for a singsong tone.

Adding expression and meaning to a word helps prevent a monotone, and well-placed pauses help vary the pace.

Also, at the end of every story, the anchor must change his/her voice as he/she begins the next story. When the talent ends on one note, he/she should begin reading the next story on a different note.

Eye Contact:

Breaking eye contact with the camera is a technique often used by solo anchors. Since there is no co-anchor to toss to, talent can look down at scripts in between stories. They can also glance down when reading numbers, dates or names.

The one thing to practice is timing. You don't want talent glancing down at the script so quickly that it looks as if they were distracted. The look down should be long enough so that the audience recognizes that the anchor is accessing information.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Don't Wait

Sure, you can wait for job openings to be advertised. But the smart job-seeker doesn't start with the HELP WANTED ads. He/she looks first at the "On the Move" or "Names in the News" columns of the trade publications. When someone gets a new job, it usually leaves an opening for their old one.

So, get a jump on your competition. Get your tape and resume for a vacancy to the news director BEFORE the job is even advertised. The ND might be impressed at your enterprise and, at the very least, he/she will remember your early tape.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Advice for Producers

Sorry I've been remiss in posting here lately. Ten lashes with a wet noodle for me.

To kick things off again, here's some advice from a network field producer on now to be a better producer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Protect Your Objectivity

Many of us participate in social networking sites like Facebook. And, we often "let our hair down" on these sites. But don't ever forget that many eyes are watching. When you express opinions about news subjects or promote political're jeopardizing your position as an objective reporter.

Here's an example of one news manager who may be in trouble because of Facebook comments.

We're Back

Now that the new semester is underway, we're back with items of interest for my students (and others who may be watching.

For the students...I suggest you take a look at the archives. There are some good tips in our past postings.

There's certainly a lot to talk about in the current media world. We hardly even need the antics of our Governor to prompt discussion.