Friday, August 21, 2009

Random stuff

-It was nice to see all that old video of Don Hewitt, the guy who created "60 Minutes." There's a lot of be learned from that style of journalism. Memo to knee-jerk managers: just because a ratings book comes in that doesn't meet expectations doesn't mean you have to change the format. 60 Minutes hasn't changed in 40 years and it still works just fine.

-If you're looking for angry people to talk about health care, you don't need a town hall in your market. Just head for the nearest hospital or doctor's office. I've heard quite an earful from health care workers during some recent medical visits.

-This is almost too painful to ask, but did any of you out there actually get a pay raise when they raised the minimum wage?

-For those of you in college, it might help to have your voice and delivery critiqued before you graduate. (An internship will help with that.) I'm seeing a ton of recent grad tapes from people who have voice and/or delivery problems. Granted, it's not something on the top of most journalism professors lists, but voice problems can get your tape ejected faster than almost anything.

-With the new fall season coming up, it's worth noting that weekends are a good way to get viewers to sample your newscast during the week. Too many news operations phone it in on weekends with skeleton crews and no "hold packages." If you're following a hit show on Sunday night, doesn't it make sense to put out a good product instead of one loaded with feed packages?

-I'm seeing too many packages without standups. Unless you're covering a funeral, you really need to do one in every package. It puts you at the location. Doesn't matter if you're live in the newsroom or out in the field, a standup adds an element and makes you think on your feet.

-Too many montages are way too long. When I see tapes with fifteen or more clips before I get to a package, I grab the remote. Six or seven of your "greatest hits" is fine for a montage, then let me see what else you can do.

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