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10 Story Ideas for May and the Summer

10 Story Ideas for May and the Summer

As you ramp up your story ideas for your May calendar, here is a selection of high impact stories to help.  Some of these can be a quick turn idea for May and others can be considered for your summer planning.

1 - More pets are making their way onto airline flights…are they legit?  Emotional support from ducks and pigs?  Are they crowding out human passengers?  WINK TV outlines how to investigate this growing trend

2 - It’s the season for outdoor birthday parties for kids across the whole country. Would you allow your kids to play in those popular bounce houses - the ones that can easily blow over or even fly out of the yard?  A safety and security alert for your viewers in this Today Show report.

3 - Botox is not just a facial fix for middle aged Americans - millennials are in love with the 15 year old lifestyle drug. 

4 - We’re on the brink of the worst year ever for Lyme disease. How do you guard against the dangerous ticks?  Keep your family safe this summer.

5 - Walmart or Amazon? The big box giant is under attack from the digital giant. Who wins this war for your wallet?

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Turning Your Smartphone Into a Super Snackable Machine

Turning Your Smartphone Into a Super Snackable Machine

The value of video, particularly short social mobile friendly videos that many call “snackables”, becomes clear as your team works across all platforms each day.

To help your team create these videos which are often consumed by smartphone users, you don’t have to look beyond the smartphone itself.  As someone at the BBC described it, journalists need to go from their pocket where we keep our phones, to the pockets of today’s news consumers.

Today your smartphone is not just a high definition camera but also a video production tool and social media content creation platform.  It also allows you to rethink how you cover stories, as lightweight gear that we always have with us, your team can be more nimble and less invasive in covering stories.

For these reasons leading news organizations are using smartphones to shoot, edit and share stories that connect them with their audiences around the world.  From the BBC to ABC (from down under), journalists are beyond experimenting with mobile journalism, they are regularly producing stories using their smartphones that are intended for their audiences watching on smartphones.

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Hot Clips: April 2017

Hot Clips: April 2017

April comes with some new weather ideas, a traffic hit that comes and goes, and two digital posts built to take ownership of two viral stories...

First Alert Weather (WWBT, Richmond): cleanly embedding a First Alert Weather Day into the 7-Day forecast, with a bonus digital mention off the top too

The Weather Meter (KWCH, Witchita): watch the needle spin as it tracks upcoming weather events

United Fiasco FB Video (SBS World News, Australia): did you produce a social media version of this mega-viral video? Here's how one international news source treated it.

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Facebook Outreach To Local Media: Practical Insights and Advice

Facebook Outreach To Local Media: Practical Insights and Advice

Under increasing scrutiny from the press and public due to the role social media has played in recent news events including the United States election, there has been an increase in activity from Facebook to explain themselves and the role they play as many people’s “front page” of content consumption.



Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that he believes in a “strong news industry” (his recent manifesto to the world is here) but while he has shown concern about the issues of fake news, he hasn’t specifically addressed the massive distribution and economic disruption created by Facebook to local publishers.  

MEDIA OUTREACH

Facebook clearly would like to have quality content be a larger, not smaller part of their engagement machine going forward.  To that end, they have launched a series of meetings and presentations for national and local media to explain the ways that Facebook works and wants to collaborate with news publishers.  From the new head of news partnership, Campbell Brown, hosting exclusive meetings at her New York City home with media elite to the Facebook Journalism Project, Facebook is reaching out with three messages: Collaboration on new products, training and tools for journalists, and training and tools for “everyone” in an attempt to improve media literacy.

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5 Seed Stories for March

5 Seed Stories for March

Need a little mid-March content bump, or building your calendar for the Spring?  Here are 5 stories to seed your story planning...

The Invisibile Hazard Impacting Thousands of Schools

9 Things In Your Home That May Be Spying On You

Is Your Vehicle Being Towed Without Authorization?

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Hot Clips: March 2017

Hot Clips: March 2017

Our March collection of Hot Clips is full of spots, a hot start to an AM show, and something we've never seen before from a station vehicle dashcam...

Jay Saves Lives (WAFB, Baton Rouge): a proof-of-performance spot showcasing a chief met focused on saving lives, not dressing the part

Kids Acting in Promo (WTVF, Nashville): with a building-boom causing a "Turf War" in Nashville, this spot stands-out thanks to two tiny actors

FB Live Sweeps Promo (WALB, Albany): a new example of a station using Facebook Live for a poll, as part of a targeted special report

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FAIRNESS and FACTS: GOOD WEAPONS WHEN UNDER ATTACK

FAIRNESS and FACTS: GOOD WEAPONS WHEN UNDER ATTACK

The number one question I’ve been asked this year:  What should a local TV station do to sustain and grow its credibility in light of the attacks on the news media?

The question is referring mostly to marketing, but news coverage is, and should be, part of the mix.

The second question, asked in tandem:  Or, should we do anything at all?

Doing nothing is an option—especially if doing something exudes a Shakespearean sense that we “…doth protest too much.”  That we’re denying something so adamantly, we might be guilty. No “protest” or apology is necessary for fair, factual reporting, no matter who tries to bully you.

Inversely, doing something—but using bad word choices in promos, like “fake news”—risks dragging local news into a pool of media to which it need not belong.

  • Research, including SmithGeiger and Pew, shows local TV news is more credible than national TV news, more trustworthy and less biased.
  • If we use pejorative terms directed at national media in our copy—and deny we’re fake news—it forces unnecessary questions about whether, in fact, we could be capable of “fake news.”

LOCAL NOT IMMUNE:  National journalists take more heat—but local news is in the crosshairs, too.  Ask any local reporter about the bad feedback they get on a political story—and they cringe.  Ask managers at local TV stations what they worry about lately—and it’s about unnecessarily angering partisan viewers (on either side) and sending them off to watch their favorite, partisan cable news.

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10 Quick Turn Story Ideas for February

10 Quick Turn Story Ideas for February

Between winter weather for some, Oscars and Grammys for others, here are some TSR ideas to help you through February or into May…many of which have strong shareable digital components and could make for strong utility Facebook Live events.

How Safe is Your Taxi or Uber? - Beyond the driver know what you’re getting into when you rent a ride. From airbags to seatbelts and door safety WPVI reveals there’s more to be on alert for and make you think twice.
  
Uncertified smoke detectors - Is your fire alarm really safe? WAFB investigates just how safe you really are. Tips to make your viewers safer. 

Radon dangers - How pervasive is this danger that has been around for decades? It’s one in 6 homes in New Jersey. 

Sextortion - Online extortion is becoming one of the biggest dangers to kids online. Delve into the two main ways this is happening and concrete tips to make your kids safer. 

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The Latest News Feed Changes from Facebook

The Latest News Feed Changes from Facebook

They’ve gone and done it again!

Facebook announced changes to their algorithm to make sure only the best, most engaging content is coming through on your news feed.

Please click this link for details.

Here are some highlights:

- FB is now using something they call Real-Time Signals to see which posts need to go beyond its Organic Reach
     - Has a friend commented on a post, seems to be one of the most valuable metrics
     - How do these signals change in real time
     - Are some posts Temporarily more important?
         - Favorite sports team just won a game and everybody is writing about it
- FB claims this change with Real-Time Signals won’t affect most pages
     - “We anticipate that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed. Some Pages might see a small increase in referral traffic or outbound clicks, and some Pages might see minor decreases. Pages should continue to post stories that are relevant to their audiences.”
     - TV Station pages aren’t “Most Pages” so don’t be deceived by this notice from Facebook
         - We must earn our engagement more than ever by getting people to “do something” with the post (Click, like, share or comment)
         - But it now appears comments are going to take on heavier weight, especially as it relates to fast-moving topics

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Hot Clips: February 2017

Hot Clips: February 2017

Our latest collection of Hot Clips from around the country comes with pure excitement from a meteorologist, a countdown clock, and a checkmark...

 "Verified" Stories (KPNX, Phoenix): putting the "Verify" label on certain stories within its newscast

Like It, Post It, Share It (WWBT, Richmond): getting the word-out about a missing child from the First Alert Center

Drought Relief Excitement (KGTV, San Diego): an authentic, excited reaction from the morning met to breaking weather news

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