• Strong Example of Investigative Follow-Up

    June 18th, 2011

    Ask the tough questions, and keep on asking. Even if you don’t get answers to all your questions, viewers appreciate your extra efforts.

    Here’s a strong follow-up from ABC News to an investigative report about how much tax money goes to a deeply discounted gym for U.S. Senators and Congressmen.

     

    Posted in Bob Kaplitz video, Power Tools for TV Journalists, TV news training | No Comments »

  • Investigate Where Your Tax Money Goes

    June 15th, 2011

    Viewers go out of their way to watch stories revealing where their tax money goes. This is especially the case when the people in charge want to keep information secret. This story represents a good example of revealing where the money goes while showing the news gathering process.

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    About Bob Kaplitz: He knows something about investigative reporting. Back when he was a reporter, Bob was honored as Best TV Investigative Reporter in the U.S. and Canada by the Radio-TV News Directors Association. Many of his stories appeared on the CBS Evening News.

    Posted in Bob Kaplitz video, broadcast journalism, Multimedia Journalism, Power Tools for TV Journalists | 1 Comment »

  • Investigative Reporting is Alive and Well

    June 12th, 2011

    Here’s a strong example. The reporter focused on a hot topic, wisely taking credit for the original story she broke.   While many stations have cut back on their investigative reporting, WSMV in Nashville continues to deliver with its I-Team.

     

    Even if you can’t deliver on this high level of reporting immediately, take the first steps.  Ask questions when it comes to taxpayer money and salaries for public officials.  The more questions you ask, the more you can discover.

    And WSMV News Director Matthew Hilk emails us:  “Our Channel 4 I Team was just at IRE in Orlando accepting the national IRE award for “breaking news investigations” for our work uncovering government agency missteps during the great flood of 2010 here…that stuff is all on the site as well.”  Congratulations to Matthew and his team!

     

    Posted in Bob Kaplitz video, broadcast journalism | No Comments »

  • Strong Example of Digging Deep and Getting Credit for It

    April 22nd, 2011

    Going the extra step to fact find and take credit make this story by KEPR’s Lena Vargas worth watching.

    News Director Robin Wojtanik provides consistent feedback to her staff — a major reason why this Tri-Cities, WA station delivers on its brand of journalism so consistently.

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    Posted in Bob Kaplitz video, broadcast journalism, Multimedia Journalism, Power Tools for TV Journalists | No Comments »

  • Asking Tough Questions: Tips from a News Director

    April 7th, 2011

    Many multimedia journalists seem reluctant to ask tough questions. They don’t want to burn bridges with officials or cops.

    The news director of our Corpus Christi client station, KRIS-TV, Sandra Richards, offers her insights.

    Posted in Bob Kaplitz video, broadcast journalism, Multimedia Journalism, Power Tools for TV Journalists, Social Media | 1 Comment »

  • Smart Way to Tap into Social Media for Your Next Story

    November 25th, 2010

    This clever approach can get you big results with few resources.

    Wendy Norris, an investigative reporter and Knight Fellow working on web and mobile civic engagement applications at Stanford University, motivated a community to do that with a simple tweet. Norris was investigating whether locking up condoms and keeping them stored in pharmacy shelves in Colorado was depressing purchases, especially those by younger people, who might be too embarrassed to ask a clerk for help.

    Norris used Facebook and Twitter to recruit 17 volunteers to go to 64 stores in one week and find out whether the condoms were displayed freely on shelves across the state. When all was said and done, the distributed reporting actually disproved the rumors in the community. Social updates and e-mails from the field showed that condoms were stocked on open shelves in 63 of the stores canvassed. One of the stores did not sell condoms at all.

    “The investigation was fun to report and a great public service,” Norris said. “I’ve researched quite a few other stories using social media… But this was the most fun example of how it can work well for investigative reporting.”

    Norris outlines seven quick points that were key to her success, as reported in www.mashable.com:

    1. Employ a sense of fun with the request.
    2. Make the task discrete and easily accomplished.
    3. Explain the purpose as a larger public service.
    4. Set a reasonable time frame for task completion.
    5. Allow volunteers to overlap tasks as built-in fact checking.
    6. Provide immediate feedback to questions/responses and encourage retweets for additional recruitment.
    7. Build public interest in, and anticipation for, the story.


    Robert Hernandez, an assistant professor at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, said if journalists connect with their communities through the social web and encourage and engage in a dialogue, they’ll be more likely to get tips for stories that are worth investigating. But it’s all about the relationship.

    “Social media has amplified our reach and network to increase the size of the of the crowd,” Hernandez said. “Investigative reporters need to be committed to social media to build that brand, so that one day, the investment pays off.”

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    Posted in Bob Kaplitz video, broadcast journalism, Multimedia Journalism, Power Tools for TV Journalists, TV news training | No Comments »

  • Multimedia Minutes: Investigative Visual Storytelling

    October 16th, 2010

    Learn about strong investigative visual  storytelling.

    This report took time to develop, but many of the takeaways are quickly do-able. 

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    Posted in broadcast journalism, Multimedia Journalism, Power Tools for TV Journalists, TV news training | 13 Comments »

  • Multimedia Minutes: A Timely Story Idea Well Executed

    September 19th, 2010

    Start on this story today by making a few calls, then knocking on a few doors.

    You’ll deliver a highly promotable example of what viewers want.  And watch for the memorable on-camera storytelling.

    Even if your station has done this story, follow up on it.  Viewers value follow-ups.

    ————————————————–

    From Professor Ken Kobre who teaches photojournalism at San Francisco State University and author of Photojournalism: The Professionals’ Approach.

    Free Tips from Bob Kaplitz’s Multimedia Minutes

    We found a terrific resource for videojournalism instruction — and it’s free!

    Bob Kaplitz is a principal and senior strategist for Audience Research & Development (AR&D), a TV news marketing firm which he joined in 1980 after a distinguished career in broadcast journalism, which included reports on the CBS Evening News.

    He’s created a slew of excellent short instructional videos that offer tips for improving your video. He offers these “Multimedia Minutes” on his blog.

    What makes them especially valuable is that Kaplitz uses actual footage from pros, and has annotated it with superimposed text that crisply points out the attributes and deficits of various aspects of the video and audio, as you’re looking and listening to it.

    It’s like having the teacher right there at your side, critiquing it as you watch.

    Among his topics:

    * How to Use a Hidden Camera
    * Creatively Shooting Your Own Standups
    * How to Take Control of a Story
    * The Most Important Word in Storytelling
    * So You Want to Save the Best for Last?
    * How to Spice Up a Story
    * How to Use Words Sparingly
    * Shooting Your Own Standups
    * How to Shoot a Story that’s Tough to Shoot
    * Asking Better Questions with Facts
    * How to Lure Viewers and Hold Them
    * Action-Reaction Approach to Strong Storytelling
    * From Ho-Hum to Engaging Storytelling
    * A Lesson Thanks to Jay Leno & Kanye West

    Visit Kaplitz’s blog for free videojournalism lessons from a pro.

    Posted in broadcast journalism, Multimedia Journalism, Power Tools for TV Journalists, TV news training | 4 Comments »

  • Multimedia Minutes: Investigative Reporting with Limited Video

    September 17th, 2010

    Investigative reporting is definitely more challenging — especially when your visual opportunities are severely limited.

    See how KEPR-TV’s Chelsea Kopta overcame the challenges that could have sunk the interest level of her story.

    The amount of wasted video — generic shots that mean nothing to viewers — is surprisingly high when we measure it.  To eliminated wasted video and time, think that every shot should advance your story or don’t shoot it.  Through on-camera torytelling, you can make every shot count.

    ————————————————–

    From Professor Ken Kobre who teaches photojournalism at San Francisco State University and author of Photojournalism: The Professionals’ Approach.

    Free Tips from Bob Kaplitz’s Multimedia Minutes

    We found a terrific resource for videojournalism instruction — and it’s free!

    Bob Kaplitz is a principal and senior strategist for Audience Research & Development (AR&D), a TV news marketing firm which he joined in 1980 after a distinguished career in broadcast journalism, which included reports on the CBS Evening News.

    He’s created a slew of excellent short instructional videos that offer tips for improving your video. He offers these “Multimedia Minutes” on his blog.

    What makes them especially valuable is that Kaplitz uses actual footage from pros, and has annotated it with superimposed text that crisply points out the attributes and deficits of various aspects of the video and audio, as you’re looking and listening to it.

    It’s like having the teacher right there at your side, critiquing it as you watch.

    Among his topics:

    * How to Use a Hidden Camera
    * Creatively Shooting Your Own Standups
    * How to Take Control of a Story
    * The Most Important Word in Storytelling
    * So You Want to Save the Best for Last?
    * How to Spice Up a Story
    * How to Use Words Sparingly
    * Shooting Your Own Standups
    * How to Shoot a Story that’s Tough to Shoot
    * Asking Better Questions with Facts
    * How to Lure Viewers and Hold Them
    * Action-Reaction Approach to Strong Storytelling
    * From Ho-Hum to Engaging Storytelling
    * A Lesson Thanks to Jay Leno & Kanye West

    Visit Kaplitz’s blog for free videojournalism lessons from a pro.

    Posted in broadcast journalism, Multimedia Journalism, Power Tools for TV Journalists, TV news training | 15 Comments »

  • Multimedia Minutes: Pressing a Viewer Hot Button

    September 2nd, 2010

    Many viewers are upset about government overspending and waste, but don’t think TV news devotes enough stories to the problem.

    News director Jenny Kulgin’s station KVAL in Eugene, Oregon tries to.  Watch Kelly Koopmans’ story.  It came from a viewer who was upset when she saw a school throwing out furniture.  Wasting tax money and government overspending represent viewer hot buttons, so this story scores high on the “Do I Leave My Favorite Station to Watch this Story?” list.

    Notice how efficiently Kelly covered the story.  KVAL  invited viewers to call with issues and questions, so the viewer made learning about the problem easy.  Then Kelly met the woman who witnessed what happened at the school, saving time.

    Posted in broadcast journalism, Multimedia Journalism, Power Tools for TV Journalists, TV news training | 6 Comments »