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Bill Seitzler's Articles

Winter Weather: Top 5 Tactics

Here’s the deal Mr. & Ms. TV Meteorologist, they already know the numbers.  Mr. & Ms. Traffic anchor, they’re getting loads of information about the roads on Twitter.  Before they turn on the TV local TV news viewers know more than ever…especially during Winter Weather events. 

Unlike any Winter Weather coverage ever before in the history of time, the average consumer who needs information is finding that information in the palm of the hand and from their trusted sources on social media.

With that in mind here are the Top 5 Tactics for covering Winter Weather in 2015-16:

1.      Start Coverage Sooner Rather Than Later
SmithGeiger research shows local TV news viewers want an advanced warning of all severe weather.  Many local TV News Mets are reluctant to talk about the potential for storms more than 2 or 3 days out.  “What if it doesn’t hold together?”  Guess what?  Our consumers get it, (especially the young demo).  They know weather changes and therefore the forecast will change as well.  On all platforms, tell them about the chance for winter weather 5, 7 or even 9 days out.

Google News Lab - A Tool for Journalists

As we all work to provide more Digital Integration into our newscasts and look for ways to find news with immediacy, it appears Google is here to help.

Recently Google announced their new journalism project called News Lab.

In the words of Google this project is designed to:

“empower innovation at the intersection of technology and media. Our mission is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build the future of media. And we’re tackling this in three ways: though ensuring our tools are made available to journalists around the world (and that newsrooms know how to use them); by getting helpful Google data sets in the hands of journalists everywhere; and through programs designed to build on some of the biggest opportunities that exist in the media industry today.”

Process Journalism: A Key to Success/Survival

In an effort to meet the ever-changing needs of News Consumers in a fast-paced, high-tech world, Local TV News (among others) has embraced a different kind of Journalism. The first use of the term “Process Journalism” is credited to Jeff Jarvis a former newspaper journalist turned professor in New York.

The terms Process Storytelling and Process Journalism are often confused. They have very different origins and very different definitions:

  1. Process Storytelling: Used for years (pre-internet) to describe the practice of reporters writing more about the details of a meeting than the story viewers would find impactful. Reporters diving into this kind of process storytelling interview officials as the key sources instead of hearing from “real people” affected by the content of the meeting.
  2. Process Journalism: Phrase made common by digital journalists. It refers to telling the story as it happens; not necessarily waiting for “a complete” story. For Local TV journalists, Process Journalism will span different platforms. The storytelling may start in the social space, move to a dot-com page and on to TV. Process Journalism can be thought of as “News in Real Time”.

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