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WGN News anchors just want to have fun

If you ever wonder what TV news anchors do during commercial breaks, just watch WGN-TV’s Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange. The weekend anchors have a handshake routine that spans a couple commercial breaks.

Let’s go to break…

Negotiating your first contract at your first TV news job

Claudia with her co-anchor, Brian and news director, Kevin Osgood

Claudia with her co-anchor and news director Kevin Osgood

There I was receiving my second contract offer since starting my job hunt four months ago. The last contract negotiation was an utter failure and it cost me a job. This time I was prepared.

A few months before this moment I had the pleasure of meeting mentor Rebecca Aguilar at a Society of Professional Journalists conference. She is one of those strong Latina women who goes out of her way to help other Latina journalists starting off in the business. “Latinas have to have each other’s back,” Aguilar said.

To this day those words resonate, perhaps the most important thing I heard the entire conference. Her years of experience are immeasurable. Even this post doesn’t do justice to the amount of help she has been to me.

I was ready to negotiate my contract this time with my handy list of tips that I had made based on Rebecca’s advice.

MY LIST OF TIPS

  • First things first, attempt to negotiate your salary for a better deal. Explain to them that you have student loans, car loans, etc.
  • Ask for outs to be written in, for example if a top 50 market comes knocking you want to be able to break your contract as easily as possible.
  • Have the company pay for your trips to journalism conferences and your membership fees, after all it’s training that will help you be a better reporter in their newsroom.
  • See if the company will pay for your cellphone bill or at least part of it. This day in age reporters have to be on all forms of social media and your company should pay for the extra data usage.
  • Ask for moving expenses. You’re a recent graduate and money is tight, this is a very reasonable thing to request.
  • Check to make sure they have a budget for wardrobe and make-up. It’s hard to make sure you have enough clothes to appear on TV without repeating an outfit within three weeks.
  • Request that the company pay for your business cards. You’re going to be an outgoing journalist in a new community and you want something to give your new connections.

Thanks to all this, my contract negotiation went off without a hitch and I’m now the new Anchor/Producer for the new Telemundo station in Abilene, Texas.

Claudia Tristan is a graduate of Texas Tech University. She started her new job at Telemundo Abilene on July 7th.

Breaking into Sports Journalism

Several sports reporters and editors were part of the panel “Mastering the Sports Beat” at the 2014 SPJ Region 8 Conference in Houston, Texas.

Ted Dunnam’s message was simple – just go for it! Dunnam is currently sports editor of the Pearland Journal, Friendswood Journal and Bay Area Citizen newspapers and has served in that capacity the past nine years.

 

Here are Twitter highlights with more from the sports panel.

Mike Wallace: The Master of the TV Interview on 60 Minutes

Photo Courtesy: CBS

Photo Courtesy: CBS

There is no one like Mike Wallace today. The former 60 Minutes correspondent was often called “the master of the TV interview.”  Before he passed away in 2012 he had spent more than four decades on the top-rated news show on CBS.

Today on throwback Thursday we take a look at Wallace in action. He was fearless, relentless, direct, and often got the answers he needed, even silence from those he chased down added to his stories.

Wallace said “I’m nosey and insistent, and not to be pushed aside.”

We strongly recommend you watch this 60 Minutes piece on Wallace. As journalists we can all learn from his style of getting the memorable interview.

 

Mike Wallace helped create 60 Minutes at the age of 50. He earned his 21st Emmy award when he was 89-years-old.

 

MIKE WALLACE INTERVIEWING TIPS:

  • Be nosey
  • Be insistent
  • Don’t be pushed aside
  • Have confidence in the questions you have compiled.
  • Do specific research on questions you want to ask.
  • Establish a chemistry of confidentiality with the person you interview.
  • Make interviewees comfortable, it helps them forget the cameras.
  • Nothing is wrong with a “tough” question for the truth.
  • Don’t ask questions to create drama.

 

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter, social media consultant and former TV commentator .She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news. She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Journalist Amy Goodman on covering politicians

Source: BrainyQuotes.com

Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,200 public television and radio stations worldwide. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its “Pick of the Podcasts,” (more on Amy Goodman)

Reporters should be able to interview everyone

Courtesy: Media Matters

Courtesy: Media Matters

Get the facts about the changing face of journalism

This infographic looks at the changing face of journalism as it transitions from the traditional to the contemporary.

  • Is it old news?
  • Old school journalism on the decline.
  • People are finding new ways to get information.
  • The news is moving online.
  • Journalism careers
  • Which states have the highest employment?

 

Traditional Journalism: Is it Old News?

by WorldWideLearn.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Shining a light on foster care, and how one Dallas anchor changed the lives of many kids

WFAA-TV anchor Gloria Campos gets big surprise

Today there are children sitting in foster homes waiting to find out what will happen to their lives. Will they go back to their parents? Will they move from foster home to foster home? Will they live the rest of their lives in a foster home and then age out of the system?

As journalists you can make a difference and help get these children get noticed and adopted.

In Dallas, Texas, WFAA-TV anchor Gloria Campos profiled foster children who were abused or neglected. These were children who needed loving parents.

Campos started profiling these children in 1989. Her stories helped several hundred children get adopted. When she retired a few days ago, her work came full circle in a nice surprise by a young man who Campos profiled not once, but twice.

Can you imagine how many children could be adopted  if every news media outlet just took the time to profile one child a week? These are stories that are very easy to find, and Child Protective Services is more than willing to help make it happen.

Thank you Gloria Campos for finding families for many children. As journalists we have the power to help.  Now do your part for foster kids.

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter, social media consultant and a current TV commentator on The Texas Daily.  She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

Photo Courtesy: RosalindWiseman.com

Photo Courtesy: RosalindWiseman.com

February is when we celebrate the love of Valentine’s Day, but it’s also teen dating violence awareness month. When love turns to violence and sometimes murder.

A study by the Center for Disease Control revealed that more than 9 percent of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend.

The CDC describes teen dating violence as  physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship, as well as stalking. It can also happen face-to-face and/or on the internet.  It can happen between a current or former dating partner.

According to SafeHorizon.org teen dating violence can happen to both girls and boys, no matter your social or economic status, your race, or whether or you’re straight or gay.

WHO IS EFFECTED BY TEEN DATING VIOLENCE

Here are some facts from SafeHorizon.org on who most effected by this kind of violence.

  • About 1 in 5 high school girls say they were physically and/or sexually abused by their boyfriend.
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) teen couples are just as likely as heterosexual couples to be involved in dating violence.
  • 57% of teens say they know of another teen who has physically, sexually, or verbally abused their boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • 33% of teens say they have witnessed the abuse or violence of another teen.

FIND THE STORY IN YOUR BACKYARD

Finding interviews for this story is easy, and it’s a story you can publish or air anytime in the month of February.

  • Call area school districts or high schools to see if they have a program addressing this issue.
  • Contact juvenile court judges who may have had a case like this in their courtroom. How often are they seeing these cases?
  • Contact nonprofits who deal with domestic violence or teen violence issues. They may have the name of a victim who may talk.
  • CDC website is a good place to get national statistics. >>website
  • Contact your police department’s teen violence unit.  They have covered these cases that sometimes lead to murder.
  • Safe Horizon is also good source of information.

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter, social media consultant and a current TV commentator on The Texas Daily.  She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

 

 

8 Fellowships for Journalists: Apply now

Only a few hours or days left to apply for these fellowships.  Take the plunge and try a different experience whether at Harvard or with National Geographic. We have listed several with deadlines. Good luck!

Google Journalism Fellowship- Deadline January 31, 2014

Neiman Fellowship at Harvard – Deadline January 31, 2014

MetPro Tribune Training – Deadline January 31, 2014

Knight-Wallace Fellowship at University of Michigan  – February 1, 2014

Joan Shorenstein Fellowship at Harvard – February 1, 2014

Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling  Fellowship - February 28, 2014

Metcalf Institute Fellowship for Journalists – February 7, 2014

Knight Science Fellowships for Journalists at MIT – February 2014

Use Vine and Instagram to promote your news story

Today every journalist on every platform should be using Vine and Instagram to promote their story. These are  “must tools” to use to let your viewers, readers, and listeners find out what you’re working on right now. And it lets them know what to expect to in your newspaper, magazine, online or television and radio programs.

I’ve been trained in TV news. Television reporters in the field are often required to record a “news tease.” You’ve heard them “I’m Rebecca Aguilar at the scene of the latest Dallas bank robbery. Tonight at 6, I’ll tell you what the FBI has to say about the suspect.”

You don’t have to be a TV reporter to promote your story you’re working on. If I’m a news manager, I would be requiring Vine and Instagram promos from my reporters on a daily basis. A few sentences can attract many new followers and “new eyes” to your story.

NowThisNews does a nice job of using Vine and Instragram. Check these out, and start working on yours today.

Sports story

News story

newsnow2

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter, social media consultant and a currently TV commentator on The Texas Daily.  She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

What TV news reporters can learn from Jimmy Kimmel about live shots

Photo Courtesy:  Jimmy Kimmel YouTube

Photo Courtesy:
Jimmy Kimmel YouTube

I’m a Jimmy Kimmel fan. He’s funny and has a great show.

But I cringe every time he starts talking about television reporters. I want to hide under the sofa when I see Kimmel’s video clips of reporters on live shots.

Kimmel uses the video clips to make his audience laugh, but television news reporters should use the clips to learn from them. You be the judge.

 

LA “Storm Watch”


LA “Arctic Chill”

 

Here’s my advice to all TV news reporters on live shots:

  • Keep it simple
  • Stick to the facts
  • Never exaggerate
  • If the live shot has to be short and sweet -that’s ok.
  • Don’t make up what is not there, the viewer knows better.
  • You’re in control, not the producer or anyone else.
  • Toss it back to the studio when you’ve said enough.
  • It’s your reputation out there–protect it.

And just remember, you don’t want to end up on a Jimmy Kimmel montage. Yes it’s good for a laugh, but as reporters we want the audience to remember us for our reports and nothing else.

 

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter and social media manager based in Dallas.  She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  She’s also the recipient of the 2011 and 2013 national Social Media Leader Award from LATISM (Latinos in Tech Innovation& Social Media.)

Working over Thanksgiving? Reporters there are plenty of stories to report

Some of you have to work over the Thanksgiving holiday.  It’s just another holiday where the news continues while our families gather around a Thanksgiving feast without us.

Ok let’s stop whining and think of a good story we can set up for Thanksgiving day or the day after.

Here are a few story ideas:

1. Review stories for the last 6 months and see who will probably have a very thankful Thanksgiving. A survivor from one of your hard news stories.

2. Call your local hospital and find out if there’s a new mom who has been waiting for a long time to have a baby.  She must be very thankful.  If that doesn’t work, how about doing a story on the nurses who work on Thanksgiving.

3. Call Child Protective Services. Maybe there is a foster child who is about to be adopted. Talk to the child and parents-to-be.  Now that’s a great Thanksgiving story. This story will have to be set up earlier in the week. You can always find a family that adopted last year, and now they’re living happily ever after. Also a good time to remind parents to become foster parents.

4.  Call your local fire department. They have been to house fires where families have been saved. Find that family who has rebuilt their lives and home.  Maybe do a story on the team at a fire house as they are having Thanksgiving dinner.  Go around and ask them their thoughts on being thankful.

5.  Organ donor recipients.  Find someone who is not only thankful he or she is here today, but also someone who met the family of the donor.   Also your story can remind people to become organ donors.

Do you have another idea? Please share it in comments.

These are just a few ideas to keep you off the Black Friday shopping chaos .  Happy Thanksgiving!

Journalists should have diverse voices in their sources and stories

This may sound hard to believe, but I actually know reporters who have never had a Latino friend in their circle of friends.  That is until they met me.  I find that very surprising. My friends come from different backgrounds.

Here’s a fact, the more diverse your group of friends, co-workers, and contacts—the more enriched your life will be. And when it comes to news,  different people bring different ideas and voices to the table.

Media diversity was one of the conversations at the 2013 Online News Association’s conference.  Here are some of the tweets shared from the “Disrupt Diversity” panel. The tips given by the panel would benefit any reporter or news team.


Follow this Link for more: [View the story "#ONA13 tweets on #MediaDiversity " on Storify]

 

 

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter and social media manager based in Dallas.  She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  She’s also the recipient of the 2011 and 2013 national Social Media Leader Award from LATISM (Latinos in Tech Innovation& Social Media.)

Think before you tweet: Learn from Philadelphia Fox anchor

Courtesy: Twitter

Courtesy: Twitter

Here’s what is very important when you are on Twitter—think before you tweet.  That goes to all you journalists who are required by the news bosses to promote your stories on social media.

Today I’m learning about Joyce Evans, a reporter and anchor at the Fox station in Philadelphia.  She’s still defending her tweet that she posted on October 6, 2013.

Here’s how it read:

 

Evans claimed on Twitter that her critics missed the point about her tweet.

 

 

I don’t know Evan’s personally, but even though she defends her tweet, I call it lazy social media.  I understand that she probably has to promote her news, but piggybacking off a popular television drama was a lazy way of getting attention on a news story. It was also in poor taste.

She probably knew everyone looking for information on Breaking Bad would run across her tweet. Unfortunately the real news got lost in the controversial message.

No one in social media is talking about the real story–the 6 people shot. Right? Big mistake.

Tips for good tweeting:

  • Think at least two minutes before you post a tweet.
  • Run it by your news manager if the topic is controversial.
  • Don’t piggyback off a television show or celebrity–unless the story involves them.
  • Reporting crime is no joke on Twitter.
  • If you work for a company, ask yourself if the tweet will reflect badly on you and your company.
  • Ask yourself if your tweet will hurt someone else or get you into legal trouble.
  • Make sure the tweet is a fact.
  • Don’t tweet “Watch my story” –those are 14 wasted characters.
  • Write a tweet like a headline in a newspaper or a television news tease.
  • It’s OK to admit you were wrong. Apologize on Twitter and move on.

 

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter and social media manager based in Dallas.  She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  She’s also the recipient of the 2011 and 2013 national Social Media Leader Award from LATISM (Latinos in Tech Innovation& Social Media.)

 

Summer 2014 paid internship opportunities at The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe runs one of the top programs in the nation, giving 10 interns the opportunity to work as reporters, as well as photographer, designer or copy editor.

The largest group of interns works in Metro on general assignment. Other intern reporters are assigned to Sports, Living/Arts, and Business. There are also intern positions in the Photography and Editorial Design departments, and on the copy desk.

The copy editing position may be filled by a Newspaper Fund* intern, and a Health/Science position is provided through the Kaiser Foundation.**  Internships are NOT limited to students with undergraduate journalism majors.

Who can apply?

All students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program or who will be graduating in May or June may apply, as well as journalism graduate school students who have NOT had professional journalism experience.

The 12-week paid internship places reporter-interns in our Metro, Business, Living/Arts, and Sports departments; the photo intern shoots stills and video for all sections, the design intern creates sections fronts and information graphics for print and online, and the copy editing intern works on local, national, foreign and business copy.  The Boston Globe provides guidance and direction, as well as a writing coach dedicated to the interns.

Globe interns produce every day and finely polish their journalism skills over the summer.

Deadline: November 1, 2013

More information on the program and an application can be accessed from our website: www.bostonglobe.com/newsintern.

TV live shot surprise: Monkey gets frisky with Sacramento reporter

Courtesy: YouTube

Courtesy: YouTube

I’ve said it before, always be prepared for the unexpected when you’re doing a live shot on television.

Sacramento reporter, Sabrina Rodriguez knows what I’m talking about. Her live shot at the Lodi Grape Festival is going viral.

Here’s what happened. She was doing her live shot with Mickey, the baboon–when suddenly the monkey got very frisky. He started groping her.

Watch the video.

Kudos to Sabrina for handling the situation with a smile. I can’t imagine what she was thinking.  Also nice job by her cameraman who knew not to sit on a wide shot while this baboon was holding on to her.

She did the right thing–stayed calm, didn’t miss a beat and tossed it back to the studio.  We can all learn from this live shot surprise.

 

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  She’s also the social media coordinator for the Hispanic Communicators DFW and social media contributor for the Society of Professional Journalist-FW chapter.

Story Idea: Cancer survival linked to marriage

How many married couples do you know where the spouse was diagnosed with cancer and their husband or wife became the strong shoulder to lean on?

Harvard researchers  have discovered that people who are married when diagnosed with cancer live longer than those who are not.

Here’s the study:  Journal of Clinical Oncology

Turn the story today:

  • Contact local oncologist for quotes/soundbites
  • Find a couple. The doctor probably knows a few.
  • Use good facts and numbers from Harvard study

 

Hispanic Heritage Month: Don’t ignore it, honor local Latinos

Photo courtesy: US Defense Dept. & Peter Hemmer

Photo courtesy: US Defense Dept. & Peter Hemmer

National Hispanic Heritage Month  is an important month which runs from Sept. 15- Oct. 15.  It celebrates the history, culture and contributions of Hispanics in the U.S. Personally, I think we should celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of Hispanics all year round.

To all news managers and news reporters, don’t ignore this month.

Managers if it wasn’t in your plans, you still have time to send your reporters out to find the stories.  It’s just as important as Black History Month.

You don’t have to be Hispanic to find the stories in your city or town. Today there are Latinos in all areas making an impact: politics, nonprofits, social services, sports, business, health, legal, law enforcement, and the list goes on.

Hispanic city leaders and community activists each have their own story on how they got inspired to follow their path in life. They are the obvious choices to profile. I’m not saying ignore their stories, but you need to “take the layers off the onion.”

I always try to find the Hispanics who you don’t see. Maybe the Latina foster mother who has taken in 10 foster children or the Hispanic lawyer who works by day in the courtroom and teaches people to read by night. Maybe there is a non-Latino who is putting together a program to help Hispanics succeed in education.

Find the stories that may not be right in front of your eyes.

Find Hispanics who may not have high-profile positions in your community, but they’re  making a difference.  You have to dig and find them.

DON’T IGNORE THIS IMPORTANT MONTH

I have worked at seven television stations. Many times I was the one who brought the issue to the attention of my news managers. I started the conversation, and I had no problem doing so.

I made sure I had story ideas  we could do to honor Latinos in our community.  Often I had to persuade managers that this was a great way for non-Latinos to learn about the Hispanic community.   Hispanics are much more than just the undocumented worker or Cinco de Mayo stories.

Again, you don’t have to be Hispanic to cover these stories. You don’t have to be a Latino journalist to start the conversation in your newsroom about Hispanic Heritage Month, and it’s never too late. Go for it!

If you have your own ideas for a story for Hispanic Heritage Month, please leave those ideas in the comments section.

 

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  She’s also the social media coordinator for the Hispanic Communicators DFW and social media contributor for the Society of Professional Journalist-FW chapter.

Job Openings in TV News, Apply Now

Thanks to everyone who sent us these job tips.  Please leave any other job openings in comments.

Photo Courtesy: John Gnann

Photo Courtesy: John Gnann

  • Vice President for News needed at WLRN/Miami Herald News in Miami, Florida. contact here
  • Assignment editor needed at ABC 33/40 News in Birmingham, AL.  contact here
  • News Director/Multimedia content manager needed at WEEK-TV in Peoria, Illinois. contact here
  • Multimedia journalist needed at WMYD-TV in Detroit, Michigan. contact here
  • News producer needed at WKRN-TV in Nashville, Tennessee. contact here
  • Multimedia journalist needed at WKOW-TV in Madison, Wisconsin. contact here
  • Morning anchor/reporter needed at WLRN/Miami Herald News in Miami, Florida. contact here
  • TV Executive Producer needed at WUSA-TV in Washington D.C.  contact here

Apply now and good luck!

Is your pool drain safe? Danger under the water

The 5-year-old son of singer Usher Raymond continues to recover at an Atlanta hospital.  Police say the child’s aunt and housekeeper noticed he was stuck in the pool’s drain.  Two men working inside Usher’s home rescued Usher Raymond V after the women were not able to set him free. The accident happened on Monday, August 5.

Though summer is almost over, it’s still hot outside, and children are still taking a dip in the pool. It’s not too late to do a story on those pool drains.

What many people don’t know is that under the drain cover is a the strong suction force from the swimming pools filter system. Experts say sometimes it is 500 pounds of suction.

According to FortWorthInspector.com:

Long hair can get caught in the drain as well as body parts and the danger is much greater if the pool’s drain cover is loose or missing. There have been cases where children have actually been disemboweled after sitting on the drain and have their intestines pulled from their anus.

FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS

Here is an excellent piece by ABC News. With the help of the network’s ABC affiliates they looked into the dangers of pool drains. Check it out and get some ideas for a local story.

There are federal laws requiring safety covers for pool drains at public pools, but apparently the law does not cover residential pools.  Is there a local lawmaker who is on top of this issue?  Call your local hospitals, and fire departments to see if they know of any cases involving pool drain accidents.

RESOURCES FOR YOUR STORY

 

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. 

13 Television Job Openings, Apply Now

job openings in broadcastingHere are 13 television job openings around the country. Some are on camera and some are behind the scenes. We also have a few management positions available.

Thanks to all the television reporters and managers who sent us these jobs. The jobs are in small, medium and large TV markets. Please share them. Good luck!

JOB OPENINGS

Executive News Producer needed at Fox 5 San Diego, California. They ask you to apply online, they also have a description of job there. Apply online (More)

Weekend Weather Anchor/Reporter needed at Fox 5 San Diego, California. Get the job description and apply online a the Fox 5 website. (More)

Executive Producer needed at WTVM -TV in Columbus, GA. Contact Darryl Huger, News Director, WTVM, dhuger@wtvm.com; 1909 Wynnton Rd, Columbus, Georgia 31906, No phone calls, Full-time Job, job posted on 7/10/2013 (More)

Anchor/Reporter needed at WXIX-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio. Send electronic copy of resume and most recent work to Kevin Roach, roach@Fox19.com or by mail to WXIX-TV, 635 W. Seventh St., Cincinnati, OH 45203, No phone calls, Job posted  7/9/2013 (More)

Content Producer needed at WOIO/WUAB-TV in Cleveland, OH.  Send resume to WOIO-TV, 1717 E. 12th St., Cleveland, Ohio 44114 or email to: tthomas@woio.com, No phone calls, job posted 7/9/2013 (More)

News Director needed at WIS-TV in Columbia, SC. Job description says “Send your vision for making WIS viewers the most well served in the market” to Donita Todd, VP/GM at dtodd@wistv.com or mail to WIS, Attn: Donita Todd, 1111 Bull Street,  Columbia, South Carolina 29201, No phone calls, job posted 7/9/2013 (More)

Reporter/Multimedia Journalist needed at KENS-TV in San Antonio, Texas.  You’ll find much more on the company website. (More)

Photographer needed at KENS-TV in San Antonio, Texas. Find out what is required of you for this job on the company website. (More)

Reporter needed at Fox 4 in Dallas, Texas. Find out more about the job at the company website. (More)

Newscast producer/MMJ at WJHG-TV in Panama City, Florida (More)

Web producer/Reporter at WJHG-TV in Panama City, Florida (More)

Multimedia Journalist/Weekend sports anchor at WJHG-TV, Panama City, Florida (More)

Web producer (Spanish-language) at Telemundo in Houston, Texas. Contact  Manolo Silverio Managing Editor at manuel.silverio@nbcuni.com

Please let us know of any job openings that you hear about.  Don’t wait for HR to post it. Thanks again!

WJAR-TV reporter’s safety story goes viral for the wrong reasons

Julie Tremmel  Courtesy: YouTube

Julie Tremmel
Courtesy: YouTube

Everyone is talking about WJAR-TV reporter, Julie Tremmel. Yes, one of her videos has gone viral.

I’m not sure she thought people would be laughing about it today. I’m also not sure why a news manager didn’t look at it before it aired and realized people were not going to take it seriously.

What I do know is that a serious message about dealing with bears that confront you got lost in the “theatrics” of the production of the story.

Reporters leave re-enactments to the actors. Your job is to report the news–that’s all.

If Tremmel wanted us to get a laugh, she would have been laughing during this story. Right? Watch.

Every reporter wants their video to go viral, but we can’t hurt our credibility in the process. We can’t lose the main message in the production of a story.

I also think that news managers have a responsibility to help a reporter, to make sure the story is well told, not turned into a joke.

I don’t understand why a night side manager did not stop this story from airing. Why didn’t the manager stop it from making Tremmel look bad.

I know we all got a laugh, and maybe the reporter is laughing too. But I’m positive it was not meant to be funny.

REPORTERS ASK FOR FEEDBACK, BEFORE STORY AIRS

Reporters always ask for feedback if you have time before the story makes air.  I also say if you’re a news photographer or video editor and you think the reporter is going to look ridiculous–speak up.

Reporters when you’re cutting a story, ask your photographer or editor what they think. Constructive criticism is a good thing.  Remember you’re a team.

I can tell that Julie Tremmel is a good reporter from her stories I’ve seen on the web. And while many may be laughing about her bear story today, on a serious note– she taught all reporters a good lesson.

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  

10 Job openings at 10 different newspapers

Here are 10 current job openings at small to medium size newspapers. Many have a application deadline in the first week in August. Get your resume in right away.  Good luck!

Reporter needed at Tahoe Daily Tribune. Apply here

Reporter needed at Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan in Yankton, South Dakota. Send resume, cover letter, samples of your work to: Mr. Kelly Hertz, Editor, Yankton Press & Dakotan, 319 Walnut, Yankton, SD 57078, or email kelly.hertz@yankton.net. Phone: 800-743-2968, ext. 110.

Reporter needed at Lima News in Lima Ohio. Send resume, cover letter, 5-10 samples of our work to: David Trinko, The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road,Lima, Ohio, 45807 dtrinko@limanews.com

Reporter needed at Seneca Journal in Seneca, South Carolina. Send a cover letter, resume and samples of work to jhackworth@upstatetoday.com or call 864-882-6397 for more information.

Reporter needed at Leesburg Today in Leesburg, Virginia. Send resume, clips to: editor@leesburgtoday.com or to Leesburg Today, 19 N. King St., Leesburg, VA 20176. Deadline July 17,  2013

Reporter needed at Valley Morning Star in Harlingen, Texas. Send resume, clips, references and cover letter to: Editor Marci Caltabiano-Ponce,  marci@valleystar.com; or Metro Editor Charlene Vandini, CVandini@valleystar.com.

Reporter needed at Triangle Business Journal in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Contact editor.

Social Media Reporter needed The Durango Herald in Durango, Colorado. Send a cover letter, resume, reporting clips and examples of  social media work to Don Lindley, managing editor at dlindley@durangoherald.com  or c/o The Durango Herald, P.O. Drawer A, Durango, CO 81302.

Reporter needed at The Fergus Falls Daily Journal in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Send resume and writing/photography samples to joel.myhre@fergusfallsjournal.com or mail to: Joel Myhre, The Daily Journal, 914 East Channing Ave. Fergus Falls, MN 56537

Reporter needed at The Brazil Times in Brazil, Indiana. Send resume to The Brazil Times, 100 N. Meridian Street, Brazil, IN, attn: Jason Moon or email scoop1j@gmail.com

Thank you to all the journalists who sent us the information on the job openings. Please keep us posted on any other jobs.

 

Missing man walks up to reporter during live shot

 

Photo courtesy: WMTW-TV

Norm Karkos was getting ready for his last live shot on the case of 72-year-old Robert McDonough.  The elderly man had been missing for 16 hours when he walked up on the WMTW news crew.

Karkos was polite, but really didn’t recognize the man right away.  Law enforcement officers later confirmed it was McDonough. The video tells the story.

 


What perfect timing, because law enforcement officers were about to end the search for the day.

Karkos told the Los Angeles Times that this was a first in his career.  This is just a reminder—during a live shot be prepared for the unexpected.

Cleveland case sheds light on 800,000 children reported missing in the U.S.

Photo Courtesy: abc2news.com

Today parents with missing children got a little hope. Three women missing for more than a decade were found inside a Cleveland home.  Three men are now behind bars in connection with the case.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight were found in a residential area a few miles from where they disappeared as teenagers.

This case is a reminder that 800,000 children are reported missing every year in the U.S.Today is the day to find those parents in your city who may have a child missing.

We tend to be there when a child goes missing, but in time–let’s be honest, the media goes away and the parents remain in agony, waiting to hear word about their missing child.

Here are some facts according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children:

  • 800,000 children are reported missing every year in the U.S. or 2,000 every day.
  • An estimated 200,000 are abducted by family members and 58,000 by nonfamily members.
  • Primary motive abduction is sexual
  • 115 represent the most serious cases in which the child is abducted by a stranger and killed, held for ransom, or taken with the intention to keep.

TELL THE LOCAL STORY

  • Call local police: How many missing cases are they working on? Is there something to be learned from this Cleveland case?
  • Call your local FBI office for information on missing cases.
  • Check your newspaper or TV stations archives for those stories you’ve done on a missing child.
  • Find that high-profile missing child case and see if a relative or parent will talk.

Go help find a missing child. Good luck!

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 31 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  

Story Idea: The state of your local library and how Target is helping

Photo Courtesy:  Target

Photo Courtesy: Target

About a week ago, I took two boxes of books to my local public library in Dallas. To be honest, I had not been inside a library for more than a year.  It was nice to see the place full of people reading books or on the computers.

That day I decided that I was going to visit one of our local libraries at least once a month. When you think about it–libraries do keep us journalists employed. They display our magazines and newspapers on the shelves, and have computers so others can read our news stories online.

But what is the state of your local public library or school library? The American Library Association (ALA) reports in its 2013 report:

Libraries offer resources often unavailable elsewhere during an economic “recovery” that finds about 12 million Americans unemployed and millions more underemployed. And the library community continues to rally support for school libraries, which seem destined to bear the brunt of federal budget sequestration.

TARGET COMES TO THE RESCUE FOR SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Target Corporation plans to renovate 25 school libraries across the country through the 2013 Target School Library Makeover program.  What a great positive story.  I don’t know of any other corporations doing this for our local libraries.  What I do know is that this is a story that can inspire and leave a community feeling good. Target is partnering with The Heart of America Foundation to get the job done.

Here’s part of Target’s press release:

As part of the renovation process, each in-need school will receive 2,000 new books and a technology upgrade complete with iPads, interactive white boards and more. At the unveiling of each library, every student and his/her siblings will also receive seven new books to take home.

“The Target School Library Makeover program is part of our commitment to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015,” said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. “By reimagining school libraries and transforming outdated spaces into state-of-the-art learning centers, Target hopes to ignite a love of learning and put more children on the path to high school graduation.”

TELL THE STORY

What a great people story right in your own backyard.  Maybe Target isn’t sprucing up your local public or school library, but just maybe there is a good samaritan in your city who has made it his or her mission. Find that person or company.  Here are more sources to help you tell the story:

  • American Library Association 2013 Report–good for vital information of the state of libraries today
  • Target’s chosen 25 school libraries–check out the list and find that school now. They plan to have them done by the beginning of next school year.
  • School PTA–call the president
  • School Librarian—she knows the status of the library (closing, lack of books, lack of funds, big donors)
  • Public Libraries usually have “Friends of the Library” groups that help find funds, speakers, donors. Check the website for info.
  • Find a family or one child who spends time at the local library and tell the story through their eyes.

Go save our libraries! Good luck!

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 31 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  

Investigating a Twitter Account? Website Helps Identify When a Twitter Account Was Started

By now you know you have to be careful and double-check whether certain tweets are real news information, and whether they are factual.  As reporters we have plenty of followers feeding information via Twitter. Sometimes when some information seems to good to be true, I start trying to find out more about the person’s Twitter account.

The first thing I want to find out is when was the account set up.  If its been a few hours well that could be a red flag.

twbirthday.com is a great place to find out the “birthdate” of a Twitter account.

It’s FREE.

Have another website you think would come in handy for journalists? Let us know.

Newspaper Reporters and Photojournalists on List of Top 10 Stressful Jobs

There’s something about being a reporter and a photojournalist.  It’s not like any other job. We are where history happens and everyday we do something different and meet new people.

But according to CareerCast both jobs are on its Top 10 list of most stressful jobs in 2013.

Graph Courtesy: FJP

Graph Courtesy: FJP

Here’s a graph that Future Journalism Project put together. We’re in the same company with firefighters and police officers.

Some of the 10 least stressful jobs: liberian, hair stylist, jeweler, and university professor.

 

Story Ideas: New Flu Strain, Morning After Pill, Fast Food Changes, & Fewer Jobs

NT_Notebook_FindStoriesMany national news stories can be localized. Here’s just a few stories you should be producing in your own cities.

  • Morning After Pill could soon be sold over the counter. No questions asked. What do parents think of this move, and how about your local religious leaders? Many assume that girls are going buy it like candy–is that really the case? Let’s talk to the teens.
  • President Obama is about to give back 5% of his $400,000 salary to show support for federal workers who have to take unpaid furloughs do to the budget cuts. What would happen if your school officials took a 5% pay cuts? How many teachers could that keep employed. What if your city or county officials took a 5% pay cuts; where could that money be used? Would they even entertain the idea? Go talk to them.
  • Fewer new jobs. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports only 88,000 new jobs were added in March 2013. Economist hoped for more than 200,000. What is your community doing to put people back to work? Find those unique grass-roots programs or those started by huge corporations. Dig the up. Are more people taking part-time jobs? 12 million people are still unemployed in the U.S.  (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • North Korea threats of nuclear attack and possible missile launch later this month. There are many Koreans who have settled into most of our communities, many are from South Korea with family back in their homeland. Find out what they are thinking about the threats.  Good people story and one with a diverse angle.
  • The CDC says there’s a new strain of flu in China. What is your health department doing to prepare for it, if it ends up in the U.S? Are they staying up with the news of the flu.  Experts say if someone travels by airplane with the new flu strain from China, it could spread quickly. (Source: CDC)
  • KFC is about to go big on boneless chicken. This is just another fast food restaurant make a menu change. This could be a fun story. Ask kids and parents what they think. Also why not talk to a dietitian or nutritionist.

All of these are good people stories. Good luck!

Story Idea: Matching Veterans with New Jobs

Photo Courtesy: Hire Heroes USA

Photo Courtesy: Hire Heroes USA

It’s estimated that more than 700,000 veterans are out of jobs in the U.S.  When was the last time you looked into the unemployment of veterans who live in your community, and who is helping them get jobs?

This is a great people story.  All you have to do is find a couple of veterans who are in need of help and willing to share their struggle.  Find out if the city, churches or a nonprofit is conducting any job fairs.

Hire Heroes USA is one program trying to get jobless veterans prepared for the job market.   Veterans are helped in writing their resumes, translating their military experience into terms that would grab an employer’s attention.

Hire Heroes prepares veterans how to be leaders and competitive in the job market.

Hire Heroes is a good resource to help you localize stories in your cities.  The site lists where it is having job fairs and job workshops.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also has a program called “Hiring of Heroes.” It matches veterans with jobs, and also holds many career fairs around the country. Here’s where you can find upcoming job fairs>>list.

WORKING FOR YOUR LOCAL JOBLESS VETERANS

This is an easy story to tell through the eyes of a man or woman who have served our country and today may need that extra help to find a job.

SOURCES:

Americans are giving people and always want to help those who need a little boost. This is a story that would inspire your readers,viewers or listeners.

I leave you with this quote…

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”–John F. Kennedy

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 31 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  

Good Reporters Are Not Spoon Fed Stories

NT_Notebook_FindStoriesGood reporters don’t wait for someone to hand them a story or a press release. If you’re a reporter, you should be looking for a story while you’re on assignment, food shopping, working out, even driving from location to location.

I won’t mention names, but I know many reporters who just waste time chatting on their cellphones, Facebook or Twitter.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be on social networks, but make it a priority to also use social networks to dig up stories.

WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY

Here are just some of the responses I got when I posted  “Good reporters are not spoon-fed stories. They find them”  on my Facebook page.

Facebook responses:

Jessica D. “Speaking of finding stories, did you know that only 1 out of every 10 Right to Know requests filed in Pennsylvania are from the media? There’s no excuse. Reporters should be filing RTK requests daily.”

Alfredo C. “We dig em out, slowly, carefully and passionately!!!”

Kim J. “Please share that with the students when you come! It’s something so important that many of them need to understand:)”

Sue G. “Ahmen! I try to explain that to my students , that they should be walking around, looking, and always asking ‘why’ “

OFFER YOUR TIPS

Feel free to leave a tip on how to find stories in our comments section. The more we help each other, the better.

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 31 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  

Story Ideas: Make the Pope’s Resignation a Local Story

Photo Courtesy: The Vatican

Photo Courtesy: The Vatican

When the story broke that Pope Benedict XVI resigned, I imagined all these news managers in a frenzy telling reporters “Head to the closest church to get comments from loyal Catholics!”

Within the hour of the announcement, a local TV station in Dallas had a live shot of the outside of the largest Catholic Church in Dallas.  There were no people, just the outside of the church, but it was “live.” I don’t think that was the best way to localize the resignation, but I get that the producer wanted something “local” for the news cut-in.

This is definitely a story that must be given a local angle. According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) there are currently 66 million Catholics in the U.S.

LOCAL STORY ANGLES

Here are some story ideas to give the Pope’s resignation a little more depth than just soundbites from parishioners.

Photo Courtesy: Triposo.com

Photo Courtesy: Triposo.com

  • A Catholic Bishops Journey: Most bishops were once little boys who dreamed of becoming a Cardinal or the Pope.  Maybe you can find a bishop who met Pope Benedict or Pope John Paul II before he passed away. Get their perspective on the resignation.
  • Who has been blessed by the Pope? Find the Catholic who has personally been blessed by the Pope.  There are many Catholics who have been fortunate to have a one-on-one moment with the Pope at the Vatican or during one of his visits to the U.S.  Your job is to find that person and get their point of view on the resignation.  They usually have photos of their personal moment with the Pope.
  • Men in the priesthood: Do a story on men who have just gotten into the priesthood. Statistics compiled by CARA reveals that there has been a huge drop in the number of men becoming Catholic priests.  There were 58,000 priests in 1965, and only 38,000 in 2012.  Is the Pope’s resignation discouraging to these men who have committed their lives to the church?
  • Today’s Lesson at the Catholic School: How did the teachers break the news of the Pope’s resignation to the children in the Catholic schools? It’s always interesting what the children will say.
  • Latino Community and the Pope: It’s well-known that many Latinos are devout Catholics.  In many Latino communities, you’ll find the Catholic church full of Latinos during the lunch hour on a weekday.  This is a good place to get a different angle.

WEBSITE RESOURCES

If you’ve been given this assignment today, it’s easy to do the obvious–a bunch of comments from Catholics.  Give your story more depth and make it memorable.

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 31 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  

Orlando Reporter Jessica Sanchez Praised and Criticized for Live Shot in New Orleans

Photo Courtesy: Facebook

Photo Courtesy: Facebook

Did Jessica Sanchez do anything wrong during her live shot?

The women on ABC’s “The View” got a laughed from it, but today others are criticizing WKMG-TV reporter, Jessica Sanchez. She was doing a live shot on Bourbon street in New Orleans when a woman came up and interrupted her.  Sanchez was there as part of her station’s Super Bowl coverage.

Bourbon Street is known for being full of tourists, people under the influence, and interesting individuals. Sanchez had to be aware that she was in area where she was bound to get interrupted or harassed. Reporter “live shots” are a magnet for people who just want to get on TV.

If you’re a television reporter, you know what Sanchez was going through when the woman approached her.  But it is how she handled the woman that has everyone’s attention.

Sanchez asked the woman “How long have you had an STD?”  The woman responded “I don’t have an STD.”  Here watch it yourself..

Social media is full of people criticizing Sanchez or laughing at the situation.  I did a Twitter search on the reporter’s name and found journalists from all over the country applauding and praising her for what she did, other journalists wondered why she started talking about STD’s.

I’m not here to judge Jessica Sanchez, because I don’t know what she was thinking.  I don’t know what she was dealing with before the live shot, or what her producers told her they needed from her.  Maybe she was tired or just frustrated with people coming up to her.

I’m sure today she is probably re-evaluating her live coverage.

WHEN YOU’RE LIVE, YOU CAN’T TAKE BACK …WHAT YOU SAY

Twitter Search on Jessica Sanchez

Twitter Search on Jessica Sanchez

I’ve written about doing live shots before. You constantly have to be thinking on your feet, because you are “live.”

Yes, people interrupt you, people drive by and honk the car horn, your lights may go dark, your microphone may go silent, a producer may be yelling in your ear to “stretch it” and so many other things can happen.

During a live shot–you must always be prepared for the unexpected AND keep your cool.

  •  Put yourself in a location where you can turn around and see what is happening around you.
  •  If it’s just you and the photographer, find someone–a volunteer from the crowd to watch your back.  People are always helpful. Sometimes there are cops around. Ask them to stand near by.
  •  If someone approaches you on camera,be kind and just say “Hi, I’m on live TV right now.”  Acknowledge them, assess the situation.
  •  If someone approaches you and they are under the influence–play it safe, toss it back to the anchors. “Joe, I’m going to throw it back to you in the studio.” Most  producers will understand you are not taking any chances.
  • Leave your ego out of it. There’s nothing like preparing for a good live shot and one person can ruin it.  It happens. Don’t let it bother you.
  • Keep your cool.Do not get angry or upset. Don’t yell or be rude. Remember everything now ends up on  YouTube FOREVER.

WKMG’s RESPONSE

WKMG General Manager Skip Valet told the Orlando Sentinel “One of the challenges of live television is that the unexpected can and does happen. We are continually assessing how to balance our reporting when confronted with these type of interruptions.”

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 31 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  

How to Find Elder Abuse Stories

Photo courtesy:  Nursing Home Abuse Blog

Photo courtesy:
Nursing Home Abuse Blog

We’re so focused on the abuse and deaths of children, that many times we forget about the elderly. The abuse of the elderly is a growing problem.

Who’s abused the most among the elderly? Do you know? That would be a woman, who is white and around the age of 77-years-old. Most of the elderly victims are abused in the form of neglect.

The National Center on Elder Abuse, Bureau of Justice Statistics reports the following:

  • Number of elderly abuse cases in 2010 in U.S.–5,951,568
  • Percent of elderly population abused in 20120—9.5%
  • Percent of elder abuse victims (women)–67.3%
  • Average age of elder abuse victim–77 years of age
  • Percent of white victims–66.4%
  • Percent of black victims–18.7%
  • Percent of hispanic victims–10.4%

WHERE DO YOU FIND THE ELDER ABUSE CASES?

Lawyers: Find lawyers who are experts in elder abuse.  The ones who take on cases against nursing homes and caregiver agencies. Don’t just call these attorneys when the story breaks.  Always get to know a lawyer so you become the first reporter they call when they get a good case.

Adult Protective Services is a state agency that has social workers who work elder abuse complaints and cases. This is the agency that gets the calls when a loved one is suspected of abusing an aging parent. Get to know who runs the agency and again–call them before they issue a press release about a case. Get to know social workers for APS.

Non-Profits that work with the Elderly: These are the advocates for the elderly. The ones who fight for the protection of the elderly and for funding of programs for the aging.  These are also the people who get calls when someone suspects an elderly person is being abused.

Community Centers for the Elderly: You’d be surprised how many elderly people go to these community centers and start talking. They know who is being abused by a friend or family members.  Sometimes the people running these centers are the ones who call police when they suspect an elderly person is being abused.

WEB SOURCES ON ELDER ABUSE

STOPPING ELDER ABUSE

Elder abuse is like child abuse, we can prevent it.  Find stories that can help people become familiar with signs of elder abuse, and find sources for help. Aside from bringing up the problem, always do stories that offer solutions.  When you do a story on abuse, also offer solutions in your story or in a separate story.

  • How to find background information on a nursing home and caregiver agencies.
  • What questions should be asked if a loved one has to go into a nursing home.
  • The function of Adult Protective Services.

We’re all going to be old one day. That’s the simple truth.  Why not look out for these people now.  As reporters, we are their voice.  Good luck!

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 31 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  

Reporters, Make 2013 Work For You

Photo Courtesy: PublicInformation.com

Photo Courtesy: PublicInformationOfficer.com

As we start a new year, let’s take a moment as reporters to reflect back on all the stories we’ve  covered in 2012. We can’t predict what’s to come for each one of us in 2013.  What’s important is to continue having passion for journalism.

Don’t punch in and punch out when you get to work. Get involved, find good stories, tell a good story, flush out corruption, profile a good samaritan, and take time for yourself.

Tips That Will Work For You

To get you started for 2013, I’ve put together some tips to keep you ahead of the game.   Print it out, memorize it, share it with other reporters.  Remember journalism is not about a paycheck….it’s about an experience.

  1. Find more sources. You need them to find the stories that no one else is reporting.
  2. Revisit a story that got a lot of play in 2012. Is there a good follow-up?
  3. Work with your assignment editor not against him/her. Pitch more of your own stories.
  4. Volunteer to work on weekends when the weekend reporter is on vacation. Great time to do that story you just can’t get done on a weekday.
  5. Explore a part of your city or county where you don’t have any contacts.
  6. Meet the brass at your local police department. There are always changes because of promotions/demotions.
  7. Call your District Attorney’s Office for big trials coming up.
  8. Don’t leave your Twitter or Facebook followers hanging, communicate with them, it’s social media.
  9. Have lunch once a month with a co-worker, and get to know him/her.  Do you know your main anchorman’s hobby? Enough said.
  10. Join a journalism organization (NABJ, SPJ, NAHJ, IRE, etc), most offer great conferences with lots of workshops.
  11. Take a refresher class on English punctuation and grammar.  We always need a refresher.
  12. Get out of debt. You never know when there will be a change in your employment.
  13. Volunteer to speak to your local high school journalism class. We need to keep our business alive!
  14. Share any job openings with The News Treadmill and the masses. Don’t wait for HR to post it.
  15. Ask yourself: Do I still have passion for journalism?  If you don’t, time to move on. If you do, thank you.

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter based in Dallas.  She has 31 years in the business, including 27 in television news.  She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  

TV Live Shots: Be Ready for the Unexpected

During a television live shot, the only thing you’re in control of is what you are about to say to your viewers. Anything can happen during a live shot.   You cannot control who may come up and surprise you.

Here’s what happened  recently to a WNBC reporter in New York City .  She was doing a live shot outside  Penn Station when a woman walked up to her claiming she was Jay-Z’s sister.  The reporter kept calm and professional, and did her job.

YOU CAN’T PLAN FOR A SURPRISE VISIT

On a live shot you just have to prepare for the unexpected and stay clam. Thinking on your feet will save you from looking bad or having anything bad happen to you. Here are a few more tips.

1. Before a live shot, figure out a safe place to stand.

2. Seconds before the live shot, glance around you and behind you.  See if there is anyone that appears suspicious or “up to something.” Your reporter gut will tell you if someone appears to be planning to disrupt your shot.

3.  Remind your videographer to stay on alert, and also be looking around.

4.  During a live shot, don’t lose your cool, stay calm and keep going.

5.  If you believe you’re in danger or someone is about to do something violent–toss the live shot back to the studio anchors. Make sure your videographer keeps rolling just in case you have to press charges.

6.  Turn off any monitor you may be using to watch the station’s news. Those are magnets for people who want to see themselves on TV.

YOU’RE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY LIVE SHOT

Most news managers I know believe you’re more important than any live shot.  Think smart out in the field, and don’t be afraid to call 911. Feel free to share your tips with us on the comments section.

Rebecca Aguilar is an multiple Emmy award winning,  freelance reporter in Dallas, Texas.  She has 31 years in the journalism, including 27 years in TV news. She is currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalist and VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.   

Freelancers:What describes you?

If you’re a freelancer, you’re going to get a laugh from this bingo card.  Maybe some of the topics apply to you.  Just have a laugh!

Bingo Card Design courtesy DanWarrenArt.blogspot.com

Reporter Tip: Have A Lawyer on Speed Dial

I was reading the story about the 16-year-old in Canada who witnessed security guards at a mall arresting a man.  The teenager took some photos with his camera.  A security guard noticed the teen was taking photos and suddenly turned his attention on the kid.  According to the CBC, security demanded the teen delete the photo.

Eventually, mall security got their hands on the camera.  The teen has been banned from returning to the mall for six months.  His father told the CBC that security and police got out of hand.  The CBC reported:

“Lawyer Douglas King, of Pivot Legal in Vancouver, agrees, saying that private mall security guards and police have no right to try to seize someone’s camera or demand that photos be deleted — even on private property.”

CALL A LAWYER

I know I don’t have to ask permission to shoot video or photos from a public sidewalk or public area like a city park. With many people having smartphones today, I can’t see every security guard stopping every person for taking photos of any incident at a mall.  But it happened to this 16-year-old in Canada.

When you’re in a mall, you’re still technically in a private business. Are you in the right or wrong?

My advice–have an attorney on speed dial if you’re hassled in such a place. We’ve all covered stories and become friends with attorneys.  I have many lawyer friends who don’t mind me calling them for a piece of advice. In a crunch, cover your behind and make a call.  No one wants to be thrown in jail.

Even when you’re in a public area, you may get hassled.

One time, two immigration officer tried to bully me outside the immigration office in Dallas.  My videographer and I were getting video from a public sidewalk outside the facility.   The immigration officers threatened to call the cops if I didn’t leave with my videographer.  I told them “Call the cops.”   They didn’t want us getting video of  suspected drug dealers they were going to bus to south Texas.

They got nasty and we just kept rolling the video.  I figured either way I was going to use the video of the bully immigration officers or the suspected drug dealers or both.  I called an attorney in front of the feds and asked if I was breaking the law.  He said no. I told the officers what the lawyer said and demanded to see their supervisor.  I kept the lawyer on the phone.  Finally, the immigration officers gave up and walked away.

So when you feel that you’re not quite sure if you’re in the right–call a lawyer. If you don’t have one on speed dial today, find one or two of them.

 

Rebecca Aguilar is an Emmy award winning,  freelance reporter in Dallas, Texas.  She has 31 years in the business, including 27 years in TV news.  

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