Perspectives

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From category archives: Blog

News and the Newsroom - all day parts,all screens, from breaking news to back stories

Process Journalism: A Key to Success/Survival

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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Late News Weather for May Sweeps

Late News Weather for May Sweeps

Weather. It’s May sweeps again – severe weather season in many parts of the country is already upon us. Weather. How much more is there that we can say about weather? Weather. In your planning for sweeps have you brought together news managers and weather teams to talk about how weather will recruit viewers and drive ratings in May – especially to late news?

As a SmithGeiger client you certainly have known for some time that weather is the number one reason for watching local news. But did you also know that weather now is one of the main reasons for changing the channel or turning off the TV? In many cases, weather is the number one cause of repetition in our local newscasts from daypart to daypart. This means viewers will actually turn the channel to see what the other meteorologists have to say. Do your viewers see the same weathercast in late news they saw at 6 p.m.? If so, you are in danger of creating an ejection point at a critical juncture in the newscast.

As you prepare for the May rating period – we believe one strategic move you should make is to take time to look at what you are going to do to win late news weather. More than likely it is time to recalculate how we present late news weather.

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News Studio Set Design Tips

News Studio Set Design Tips

So, you’ve already selected your set vendor- or maybe you haven’t- but either way there’s plenty of heavy lifting ahead. Whether it’s SFX, Devlin or one of the other vendors you’ve got the responsibility to make sure the backbone of this set has the flexibility to last and evolve for the next five years- maybe more. One of the most important considerations involves the brand positioning for the station. If you want to make sure you gain traction in urgency and immediacy, for instance, make sure the new design ideally integrates those elements and components.

Here are three top considerations whether you’re going all in with an entirely new set and graphics or doing the proverbial “facelift” to buy you time to look less dated and to become more functional:

1. ANCHOR- Some of our research clearly points to the power of the anchor stand-up and how compelling the interactive/touchscreen TV can be as a breaking news device.
2. MORNINGS and URGENCY-As important as weather and traffic are in the morning – allowing for a team sensibility there also makes a lot of sense. More and more AM shows are including a breaking news anchor and setting.
3. INTIMACY- Whatever you do be careful that it doesn’t completely neuter the sense of intimacy some expect with anchors. Make sure you allow for the audience to feel connected to the news team.

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