Think you don’t need multimedia skills? Think again.

Read this blurb from a DC-based media blog about layoffs/restructuring at a big company there. Here is the money line from the boss-man for those who don’t want to read the whole thing:

In a phone interview this morning, Green told FishbowlDC: “We’re going to be adding positions for reporters who are more web oriented, and subtracting positions for some of the more print focused reporters. We are going to put a lot more emphasis on digital. We’re still going to maintain the quality of our print publications, but like everybody else, we recognize the future is in digital and we need to enhance our presence there.

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Basic broadcasting writing rules!!

These are very basic rules for broadcast-style writing. As you’ll see, many of them have been adopted when different people and groups write for the Web, blog, etc.

1. Use active, strong verbs and the present tense is OK if it flows properly in context.

2. Attribution comes first. Joe Doe says….. In print style, we usually put attribution at the end: Blah, blah, blah, said Joe Doe.

3. Phonetic spellings of complex names/words. My last name might look like this on a broadcast sheet: Kat-er-in-eek-ee-uh

4. Short, simple sentences. Even more important in broadcast because someone is reading these words/sentences aloud on camera, into a mic, etc.

5. Rarely use direct quotes. If you must, keep them short, even 2-3 words instead of a complete sentence.

This is fair game for midterms in all my classes!

Lots of interesting questions raised by this story. Evolution- or maybe devolution- of journalistic practices, PR/promotion in Digital Age, legal issues, maybe even moral ones.

Solid journalism in 3 grafs!

Why do I like the top of this story so much? But there is 1 small issue, can you find it?

Bloggers vs. journalists—student ask good questions and public can see the answers

Interesting take from a successful blogger/journalist. And he did it because a student journalist asked him the questions!!

Good chance something about this will be on midterms in all my classes.

More helpful hints, errors to avoid!

Don’t start sentences with numerals. Check AP style on this. Only exception is when you use a year to start a sentence…and that also should be avoided.

If you must start sentence with a number, like someone’s age, spell it out.
Wrong: 18-year-old Joe Doe said…..
Right: Eighteen-year-old Joe Doe said….

2. News does NOT happen in chronological order. Often, what happened last at an event is the most newsworthy. Think of sporting events or congressional hearings or trials. The beginning and middle are OK, but what do you and most readers really care about? The final score, the final vote, the last answer during tense questioning, the verdict.

3. Don’t rely on your human sources for info you can get from the actual source document or organization. For example, if someone starts quoting from the U.S. Constitution, don’t say that Joe Doe says the Constitution includes a provision that protects XXX. You can quote or paraphrase him and then find the Constitution online…or even in a real library…and confirm it for yourself and your readers.

If a source tells you PETA is now all for people eating meat, wouldn’t you call PETA for comment or at least go to that group’s Web site? You should do that even if the information does not sound odd when someone references another group or organization.

4. A reminder on punctuating quotes. Commas, periods, etc. go inside the quote mark.
Wrong: “I hate Dan’s Comm 421 class”, she said.
Right: “I love Dan’s Comm 421 class,” she said.

Interviewing tips

Some broad, but useful interviewing tips can be found here. Poynter is a great place to look for information about any journalism-related topics that we discuss in class.

Here is another useful article about interviewing tips. Most are perfectly valid for our purposes, except maybe “bring a buddy.”