Mike Pesca makes fun of TV reporters who constantly hold up pages of “documents” to prove they have the goods on whomever they are reporting about.
It is not only a question of whether the emergency responders will answer your call. It is also HOW they answer your call that counts.
In my writing workshops, I often talk about what I consider to be the BIG motivators that make stories work.
You can attach your story to money, family, health, safety, community, moral outrage, curiosity and/or social trending and any story can become more interesting for a wider number of people. The more motivators you can hit, the better.
See how many motivators you can count in this new online ad:
The ad would have a narrow audience if it was just aimed at beer-drinkers or dog-lovers. But it is more than that. It speaks to safety and family. That is why it is a mega online hit.
Of course there is that issue of whether you should drink so much that you are unsafe. But that’s another commercial.
Do you really need a gas mask?
Do you need a helmet, flak jacket and what kind of camera?
Here is some practical advice.
I interviewed a half dozen senior journalists who were on the ground covering the story in Ferguson, Missouri and, interestingly, most said the police treated them with respect.
They said while some officers were hot-headed and emotional, many more were calm and gave journalists the space they needed to do their jobs.
Read the story here from Poynter.org
Other journalists describe very different experiences in this story from Neiman:
Police aggressiveness and media coverage in Ferguson: In the second week of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police, the targeting, threats, and violence toward journalists only escalated, with at least six more journalists arrested, including Getty Images photographer Scott Olson. Ryan Devereaux, a reporter for First Look Media’s The Intercept, spent the night in jail, being arrested (though not charged) because of “failure to disperse,” as he explained in a first-person account.
In addition to the arrests, at least four reporters caught police on tape threatening to mace, shoot, “bust your head,” or kill them. (The officer who made the latter threat was suspended.) Forty-eight media organizations signed a letter protesting the violent treatment of journalists and the lack of information being provided about those incidents and Brown’s shooting. As the week went on, journalists began being harassed and threatened by protesters as well when they attempted to record looting.
Former Photojournalist Lane Michaelsen, an old friend of mine, is the new corporate news director for Sinclair Broadcasting. It is noteworthy that Sinclair, the biggest owner of TV stations in America, now has three former photojournalists in top spots. Why don’t more photojournalists become news managers? I ask people who know in this story for Poynter.org.
Here is a story I wrote for Poynter.org about CNN’s Ivan Watson’s reporting from Iraq. The remarkable story reminded me of a story that Columbia Journalism School called one of the 100 great stories in television news.
The fact of the matter is broadcasting is still profitable. And to stay that way, companies say they have to get bigger in order to negotiate with cable companies and even their own networks. Get the inside look in this article I wrote for Poynter.org.