What is this News You Speak Of?

Consuming the News

I recently read an article on the Online Journalism Blog called 16 reasons why this research will change how you look at news consumption. The article talks about research done on people and how they consume the news, but it was done differently than just asking people through a survey. This study watched people and recorded what they actually do to consume the news, not what they might say they do in a survey.

One specific example that is talked about in the article is that when people read their news, the tend to remember it. Reason being, is that they had to put time aside to actually read what was happening. Listening on the other hand, such as radio news or even TV news, doesn’t scratch the surface as much because a lot of people seem to simply have these on as background noise.

I think this research is important to future journalists because it allows them to get a look at how the majority consumes their news. They can take the results of this research and use it to be successful. If you are a TV reporter and realize people retain more information from a story through reading, then maybe you should make a web copy of your stories available for your audience to read.

Here’s a good video that talks about what kind of news Americans consume and prefer to consume. This video has some great information for future journalist that they can use to decide how and where they want their content to be seen.

Creating Content for Social Media

The second article I read was also from Online Journalism Blog called Why do you optimize content for search and social? 4 reasons and a mnemomic to boot. This article talks about creating content for social media and the steps to take in order to be successful. With reporters being able to put their own work on social media these days, they become more than just reporters. They now have to decide when to publish stories, what stories should be published, and the angle they take on reporting the story. They become more of a whole newsroom wrapped into one person.

I believe this is important to future journalists because they need to be prepared to have content to go on social media. Whether it’s their own Twitter account or a company account of some sort, they need to know what stories get the most eyes and at what times. If you publish a story on social media at a random or bad time, it’s likely to get overlooked altogether.

Knowledge Gained

The super semester has more or less been a roller coaster ride for me to this point. You have weeks that seem to go by without a hitch, while others seem to never end. One of the best things that I have gained from the experience so far is how important time management is. If you get behind at all, it’s very hard to get caught up.

Another thing I’ve come to learn in this news world, is to take everything with a grain of salt. There’s no reason to get stressed out over something small that is out of your control, especially if it consists of these four letters – AVID. In the end I’m sure I will look back at some of the things I have done and laugh, but for now, my head is down and I’m staying focused.

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Citizen McCaw

Journalist’s may be “in the truth business,” but publishers aren’t always journalist as we saw in Citizen McCaw. All of the writers and reporters of the Santa Barbara News Press were definitely in the business of reporting the truth regardless of what their boss, Wendy McCaw, had to say. Eventually it cost most of them their jobs.

I really don’t think Wendy was in the newspaper business to make money because she obviously didn’t need it. I think her reasoning was to use the paper as a way to get her personal problems into the media. One example would be her view on being a vegetarian, as she released an article in the paper talking about how you can get the same amount of protein out of beans and rice as you could a piece of meat.

Another point were Wendy used the power of her own paper was when she had people removed from the beach below her home. Mind you here house sits on a huge cliff with no direct access to the beach below, but she didn’t like seeing the people on the beach. McCaw repeatedly published articles in the paper about her own personal quarrels or articles trying to protect her friends.

I can see were someone who was a publisher in the business to make a profit could publish some articles that sway on the truth. Reason being, so they can sell more copies of there paper, in return making more money. I don’t believe, however, that this is ethical in any way. The previous owner and publisher of the Santa Barbara News Press made a great living in the newspaper world and he followed every journalistic guideline possible. I think the reason the paper was so great in his ownership was because the people of Santa Barbara respected him and everything he published.

So Much To Do, So Little Time

This is Stressful

The past couple of weeks have put me in two of the most stressful positions I’ve had this year. One of those being getting a package shot, wrote, and edited in a matter of about 5 hours. The other was producing a newscast with content nobody else had taken a stab at yet.

Your Time Starts Now

So I recently returned from a 10 day trip to Canada where I was filming for a TV show on Sportsman channel, but before I left, I had one evening to put a package together to air while I was gone. The package was over the Lindenwood Shotgun Sports team moving practice facilities from Bridgeton to Eureka.

The team had practice at 4pm the night before I left for Canada, so I ran down to Eureka and shot everything I needed, including a look live tease and two stand-ups. I rushed back to campus and began writing the script, which I had to save as a google doc for my GA so she could write it in iNews the next week.

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I finally got the script done and went downstairs to record my voice. When I finished recording my voice it was 9:17pm, the editing lab closes at 10pm. Needless to say, I was in a little bit of a rush to edit. I threw everything together, including a couple of still images, and transcoded the package about 10 minutes until closing time, I was pretty impressed by myself.

I still had to go home and pack everything for Canada that night too, but that’s a story for another time.

You Want to do What?

Monday was my second round of producing and I had a few new tricks up my sleeve, providing they all worked out.

The first thing I wanted to do was a 3-shot of the anchor desk and plasma set for the weather toss. This didn’t turn out too bad, other than the script the girls wrote was a little cheesy. The second thing was using monitors instead of graphics for the over-the-shoulder shots.

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The over-the-shoulder shots turned out awesome, I really think they add a “cool” element to the newscast.

The one thing that really got under my skin on Monday was the lack of focus the talent seemed to have. I felt like since this was everyone’s second time through, they just kind of went through the motions. Honestly, the live show was embarrassing to me because I was in charge. It really sucked that my newscast was the first one to be totally re-shot, but I guess that’s the chance you take when trying new things.

One other thing that I know you’re going to run into while producing, is people not getting video sent until 5 minutes before we’re live. I realize there are times when you can’t control that, such as breaking news, but when you come in at the beginning of the day with a package or VOSOT, you should be done well before 3pm.

Well, I’m done with my producer rant and all-in-all the newscast wasn’t a complete fail. Now we know what needs to be done to execute a flawless newscast next time.

VO/SOT Please!

Get Me Some Content

Last week was the second week I was on the content week and I managed to put together two different VO/SOT’s. While shooting, editing, and writing these I learned a lot more about what makes a VO/SOT good.

Lou Brock Golf Classic

Lindenwood held it’s annual Lou Brock Golf Classic at Whitmoor country club last week and I was there to cover it for the first part of the morning.

The one big thing I was dealing with was shooting video under a shady pavilion while the sun was blazing in the background. This can make for an exposure nightmare if you’re not careful. The thing I learned here was not to worry about exposing the background correct, but expose the subject in the foreground. After all, nobody really cares about seeing water sprinklers in the background of an interview.

Another thing I learned while doing this VO/SOT was to choose your soundbite carefully. I chose to use a soundbite which stated factual information instead of showing emotion. You can state the facts in your script, but you can’t show emotion, so let your soundbite do that for you.

Also, when shooting an interview, don’t be afraid to tell somebody what to do. If the person is moving around and destroying your framing, tell them to stand still, in a polite way of course. Most people know that you know what you’re doing, so they won’t take it the wrong way if you tell them to do something.

Oh yeah, and Caitlin Baker was there to help me out.

lou brock

Trains, Trains, Trains

The second VO/SOT i did last week was about Missouri Rail Safety Week.

Shooting the VO for this story was actually pretty fun, even though I had to put some miles on to get to a few different crossings. Somehow, I got lucky enough for trains to come by at two of the crossings, which made the VO that much better. Natural sound was really important for this VO because it made you feel as if you were at the crossing.

I shot the soundbite for this story at the Amtrack station in Kirkwood with a spokesman for Operation Lifesaver of Missouri. We did the interview right beside the tracks, and wouldn’t you know it, a train comes by about halfway through. Fortunately, it was an opportunity for me to get great VO, but we had to do the interview over.

The lighting for this soundbite turned out great, but was challenging for me to get right. It was partly cloudy that day, and the sun kept going in and out of clouds, which is hell on getting your exposure right. Finally, I got a big enough cloud that kept the sun at bay long enough for me to get the bite.

What’s Happening Now

Right now I am currently shooting a package on the Lindenwood Shotgun Sports team that will air next week.

I’m leaving for 10 days to go to Canada and film for my personal production company so I had to have something to air the week i was gone. It should be a great package, but we’ll talk more about that next time!

Mobile is the New Way

TV Everywhere

I recently read an article from the Nieman Journalism lab called CNN, anywhere: How TV Everywhere strategy is evolving in the world of cable news. 

The article is about how CNN is rolling out a mobile cable news app called CNNgo. The app allows users to scroll through a rundown on the side of the screen and select stories that have previously aired on CNN. They also stream live newscasts to the app keeping the viewer up to date anywhere.

Here is a quick look at what you can do with CNNgo.

The mobile world could quite possibly be the most important thing for future journalist to focus on, simply because the amount of growth it has seen in such a short period of time. It’s likely that if you are emerging into the world of news or broadcast journalism at this time, you have a good chance of working for a company that does a lot of mobile video or web based content.

Keeping your Audience

Another article I recently read was from Poynter called 4 quick tips for attracting – and keeping – mobile readers.

This article goes over 4 tips compiled from mobile bosses of The New York Times, CNN, and BuzzFeed. One tip that I thought to be the most important was making content available during high traffic periods. Coming from my professional experience, I know about this all too well. I was in charge of social media for the company I worked for and had goals set to reach a certain amount of people each day. In order to hit these goals you had to know what time of day to release each post. For example, the posts that got the most attention were usually in the evening between 7-8pm. This is when most people had made it home, ate dinner, and sat down to watch TV or check their Facebook.

I think this article has some very important information for future journalist because there are a lot of jobs that will require you to post content on the web, which in turn could be published on a mobile app. Having the knowledge of how to get more views and keeping them around for more than just one day will help out anyone in the journalism or media industry.

Mobile Apps are Huge

Here is a video I found about the growth of mobile apps. This a great video for not only future journalist but also anyone in the media world to watch. Most people, it seems, would rather open up an app to read their news instead of turning on a TV or going to a website. You can probably blame that on the crazy hustle and bustle of today’s society. I know for me it is much easier and faster to open up my Fox2 app and read the stories only I’m interested in.

Weekly Knowledge Gained

I would say the most important thing I learned this week in class is to not overload yourself. I saw several students trying to do more than one Package or VOSOT for the same day and I really don’t think this is a good idea. For one, your going to struggle to get both of them done in the allotted time period. Two, the quality is going to suffer drastically. Just because it’s finished doesn’t mean it’s good, and trust me, when you get to the professional level you’ve got to be able to do both. You can achieve this by not trying to do more than your mind and body can handle.

Also, if you’re going to take the time out of your day to shoot video for news, do it right! The extra few seconds it takes to focus, white balance, adjust exposure, and check audio makes all the difference in the world when you return to the newsroom.