Posted on October 2nd, 2018 By Jacques Natz
RING A BELL - A trend is sweeping its way across schools in America to start later to give kids more opportunity to get their sleep. The state of California has now banned schools from opening before 8:30. Do an audit of your school districts. Tee up some educators, sleep specialists, students, and parents to weigh in on-air and on Facebook LIVE.
FAKE CHECK SCAM - They look real and people are cashing them, so what’s the big deal? WLS in Chicago focuses on this growing trend that is apparently duping young people more and more. Banks are cashing them and then the recipient finds out they have to return the money. The BBB, FTC, the Postal Service, and likely those within your state government are involved trying to put an end to the trend.
BUS TRACKER - Now that the kids are back in school, how do you know where they are, when they leave home, and when they jump on the bus? There’s an app for that. If your bus company hasn’t made an app available, why not? Another way for busy parents to have a little more peace of mind.
ANGEL SHOT - Is that Tinder date not going so well? Is that guy next to you giving you the creeps? There are now new ways bartenders are stepping up to make sure you’re safe or need to leave the scene. Are your bars hip to the new “angel shot” system to keep women safe?
GASLIGHTING - You may have been a victim of “gaslighting” and didn’t even know it. It happens at work. It happens in relationships. It happens in politics. What is it? How can you spot the signs? How can you avoid being “gaslighted?”
Posted on August 7th, 2018 By Andrew Finlayson
What does back to school time mean to you and your station? For number one stations it means an exciting opportunity to connect with viewers throughout the region. While too many stations confuse back to school with features on backpacks and bus stop forecasts starting up again, smart stations realize that back to school isn’t just about the kids ending their summer break but a fundamental change to the market.
Back to school is back to five important developments that smart stations take full advantage of:
1. Back to School
Certainly there are a big set of stories to be had with back to school, ones that touch almost every part of the station from sales to news, from traffic to weather to the sports department. Smart stations realize that back to school coverage isn’t just aimed at busy parents but recognizes that schools (including colleges and universities) are big employers in the region, are one of the biggest tax spends by local governments, and a new school year speaks to key issues facing the community such as drug abuse, gun violence, and other important issues that often benefit from the station’s investigative team taking a closer look, creating stories that are timely, relevant and speak to the entire market, not just parents.
Posted on August 6th, 2018 By Jacques Natz
BRIDGE TO DISASTER - KSDK investigates the crumbling infrastructure that puts millions in jeopardy in a state near the bottom of the list when it comes to bridges. Where does your state or states stand? The bridge investigation is a data driven effort so here is a different take on how to tackle the story here from the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute.
PUPPY MILLS - Is your state one of those on the “Horrible Hundred” list? What should you look for if you’re looking for a dog? This is a highly shareable type of story that could also enhance your social media efforts as your community weighs in on what they see and hear.
DIGITAL HEROIN - Maybe there’s just a fine line between being hooked on opioids and being hooked on your digital devices. Gaming is exploding, so are esports so what are the clinical signs of screen addiction? Help your audience get out ahead of it so their kids don’t follow in their addicted footsteps.
Posted on July 9th, 2018 By Jacques Natz
1. How Safe is my Son? - As kids get geared up to re-start school and sports programs there are an increasing amount of red flags concerning concussions and football helmets. Riddell, one of the largest helmet manufacturers in America, can’t even find a buyer because of the concussion issue. So, why allow your child to play at all? How safe are those helmets? Provide your audience with an audit of all the major school districts and what kind of helmets they are using. The attached list itemizes the three best football helmets aimed at reducing concussions so you can see if your school districts and peewee leagues are keeping safety as the primary focus.
2. The Eyes Have It - Before summer ends give the parents in your audience a few simple things to think about to keep their kids safe at the pool, on the field or just having fun. This one is a quick way to put together a July story with strong impact.
3. How Stark is your Park? - Ever wonder why your neighborhood park just isn’t like it was when you were growing up? The ball diamond is hardly playable, the tennis courts are full of cracks, the drainage always causes flooding, the retaining walls don’t retain – and the list goes on. In many communities decades of budget cuts and construction delays have led to a growing crisis in America’s parks. Get the ball rolling in your market with a user generated campaign where your audience sends in its thoughts, pictures and videos on which parks need the most attention. Find out how long it’s been since your parks have had a major upgrade - 25, 50, 75 years?
4. Robo Revenge - Sick and tired of those robo calls? Many times these are beyond annoying - they are scams waiting to happen. But, now there are apps for that Robo Killer, NoMoRobo and Mr. Number. Do they work - have several of your most influential audience social media contributors give them a try. Could make for some interesting feedback in a Facebook Live too as others provide other remedies, alert you to scams or are already using a third party app and want to weigh in. Leave your audience empowered with these five ways to try to block robo calls.
Posted on June 6th, 2018 By Jacques Natz
It’s already time to gear up for Back to School. And after some of the recent highly publicized shootings the issue of safety is top of mind both in much of the research results we are seeing and of course in the minds of parents and students. To help you get underway many of this month’s TSRs focus on how safe your kids are in school, on the field and just hanging with their friends.
1. BULLETPROOF BACKPACKS - These days some backpacks actually claim “we’ve got your back.” WINK TV tests two different backpacks and three types of guns - you be the judge if the price is worth the piece of mind.
2. READY FOR THE WORST - Does your state insist on active shooter drills? Many don’t. WSB wonders why Georgia doesn’t. Does yours? If so, what can your child expect…if not, why not?
3. TEEN THREATS - As your kids walk the halls how much safer are they today than before Parkland? What have your schools done to up the security? WNBC examines why the increase in teen threats and what is being done to keep your kids safe.
4. TRENCH COAT BAN - One common theme in some of the shootings even since Columbine: trench coats used to conceal weapons. A check by KHOU found that about half the schools have banned trench coats as part of the dress code. Dig into your school districts - are they doing the same?
Posted on May 3rd, 2018 By Jacques Natz
1. #RIPMedicalDebt - By now you have likely seen the initial KIRO February effort to pay off medical debt of many in Washington. Various stations across the country are jumping into the effort including other Cox stations, NBC owned stations and others. Reporter Todd Ulrich and WFTV, working in concert with RIP.org, make hundreds of lives better in a state where medical debt is a big issue.
And Cox’s Jacksonville station jumped into the effort also, but with a different twist- helping relieve the medical debt of more than a thousand military vets. Here’s an example of their @RIPvetdebt and what they offered their viewers on Facebook.
2. MICROCHEATING - Social media and dating apps like Tinder and Bumble have certainly made it easier to explore new interpersonal relationships. And it has also spawned its share of new problems with existing relationships. Some are now calling that gray area between a full on healthy relationship and separation/divorce “microcheating”. What are the signs? Should you be worried? Just how widespread is it? Empower your audience with how to discover it and how to set relationship boundaries.
3. BATHROOM BACTERIA - OK, let’s face it by now you’re already taking all kinds of precautions when it comes to keeping as clean as possible when you have to use a public bathroom. From hand sanitizer to using paper towels to opening the bathroom door handles. These days so many bathrooms have hand dryers – maybe to save on paper towel costs. But, new evidence shows that they could be a breeding ground for more unwanted bacteria as they “aerosolize” the bad stuff and increase the “ew factor”.
Posted on April 9th, 2018 By Jacques Natz
1. DEBT DONATION: KIRO’s Jesse Jones partners with RIP and spends $12K to buy up $1 million in medical debt. That money helps hundreds of state residents lower their medical debt. Since the mid-February airing the station claims it has rallied the community to help relieve $5 million in medical debt. Please read the original story and follow-up story, as the recipients started to come forward give you a taste of this advocacy consumer journalism
2. POPPIN' FOR PAIN: you pop three pills for intense post-workout soreness, two for a pre-coffee headache, a small handful for period cramps, and suddenly you’re swinging by the pharmacy for a new bottle of Advil. Plenty of people pop non-opioid analgesics — aka everyday pain meds — without a second thought. But are you doing your body more harm than good?
3. RX RELIEF: What’s the best hope to cut skyrocketing drug sticker shock? This opinion piece challenges the Democratic plan to put price controls on drugs. It presents the Dem and GOP plans to those who suffer most and puts a victim panel together with ideas on how to get relief for those who suffer most
4. POOCHES ON PATROL: Getting a home security system is one thing but if you want to add to your safety – how about a pooch? And if so, what kind of pooch is best? KGW tries a test of man’s best friend
Posted on April 3rd, 2018 By Mark Briggs
Amid the flurry of industry headlines regarding the Facebook algorithm changes during the first quarter of 2018 emerged a conversation around the renewed potential for news organizations to use Facebook Groups to connect with their audiences. Facebook hosted a small group of journalists at their Austin headquarters during the SXSW conference in March to take a deep dive into Groups and here are some of the learnings from that session:
The meeting began with an algorithm update: As you are likely aware, changes were made to filter out Tag baiting, Like baiting, and Share baiting; all have decreased importance on Facebook today.
The 2018 Priorities for News on Facebook:
- Trusted sources and Informative content: Prioritizing news that people have told Facebook they find informative
- Local news: 82% of people are somewhat or extremely interested in local news on Facebook
- Local + News source = local publisher (per the algorithm)
Posted on January 16th, 2018 By Jacques Natz
1. Shattered Ovens - A consumer alert for all the folks with Kenmore ovens. Growing complaints over many years but still no recalls for this popular oven and the exploding glass doors.
2. PRP Facials - Rather than putting poisonous botox in your face look younger using your own blood. Find out from dermatologists how this growing trend is doing vs. botox.
3. Bullying Laws - Is your school on the up and up when it comes to reporting what is really going on with bullying? It can make a difference in efforts to keep your kids safe.
4. Dentist rip-offs - Do you really need those X-rays, special toothpaste or bite plates? Health costs are high enough without having unnecessary procedures to pay for. Empower your audience to be smarter before they open their mouths.
5. The Daily Special - What’s really in that soup? What’s really going on in that kitchen? Surface user generated feedback to get to the bottom of what to avoid before ordering the Daily Special.
Posted on November 6th, 2017 By Jacques Natz
1. Do you really need that filling? Are Veneers really the answer? Empower your viewers with what to know and what to ask before they just accept what the dentist tells them.
2. It’s raining needles! Another facet to the opioid epidemic can take you to the landfills and dumps and the environmentalists. This will showcase the needles and the damage done.
3. Is Marijuana legalization the pot of gold or the pot of mold? A look at what happens to home prices and the hidden mold from growin’ your own. If your state is thinking of legalizing here’s a different take on the pro/con debate.
4. As you tackle the pluses and minuses of ACA, here’s a look at how nonprofit hospitals are raking in the profits but not putting it back into the community. Examine how the communities around your hospitals are faring and are they worse off since ACA?
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