editor on the verge

Online musings from the newsroom and beyond . . . by Yoni Greenbaum

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Can you spare five minutes for a better story?

December 20th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Conversations between reporters and editors are a great thing. But at many newspapers, they don’t happen nearly often enough and when it comes to covering breaking news, I’m afraid they happen even less.

We all are familiar with this scenario: The police scanner suddenly crackles with the news of a fire, reports of smoke coming from a house at 123 John Smith Lane. Additional radio chatter includes something about residents possibly trapped. A desk editor looks around the newsroom trying to make eye contact with a reporter to send out to the scene.

“Hey Joe,” the editor finally says. “I’ve got a fire and I need you to go out to it.” Joe raises from his seat, slow enough so as to allow the editor to realize that he has two other stories he’s already working on.

“The address is 123 John Smith Lane, I think that’s off Main Avenue,” the editor says, now shouting a bit and clearly ignoring Joe’s body language. “And grab a photographer on your way out.”

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→ 1 CommentTags: Beat Development · Best Practices · Breaking News · Online · Training

Office Hours — Your local reporter is in

December 19th, 2007 · 5 Comments

Reporters who are interested in spending time out of their newsrooms while still pleasing their editors and maintaining productivity might consider adopting a simple practice — holding office hours.

In many cases, just the phrase “office hours” evokes thoughts of college or grad school, of meetings with professors and teaching assistants in musty, windowless offices. But reporter office hours are quite different and can actually be, dare I say, enjoyable.

This is different from the listening post concept, in that with office hours, you get to interact with people and are not simply an observer.

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→ 5 CommentsTags: Beat Development · Best Practices · Innovation · Local Newspapers · Reporting

A little applause please

December 18th, 2007 · No Comments

Please join me in congratulating the four Ottaway newspapers who are finalists in the Newspaper Association of America’s Digital Edge Awards.

I’m proud to be able to say that I work with the talented people at these sites and I’m happy, especially at this moment in the groups history, for them to be receiving this recognition.

Most Innovative Use of Interactive Media
Circ. less than 75,000

CapeCast (Cape Cod Online/Cape Cod Media Group)
NHPrimary.com (The Telegraph)
PigskinReview.com (Amarillo Globe-News)
Studio55 (NaplesNews.com/Naples Daily News)

Best Local Guide or Entertainment Site
Circ. less than 75,000

CoastalBeat.com (Scripps Newspaper Group – Florida)
Lawrence.com (The World Co.)
SouthCoast247.com (South Coast Media Group)

Best Design and Site Architecture
Circ. less than 75,000

209vibe.com (The Stockton Record)
Caller.com (Corpus Christi Caller-Times)
LJWorld.com (The Lawrence Journal-World/The World Co.)
Prepzone (CJOnline/The Topeka Capital-Journal)
Savannahnow.com (Savannah Morning News)

Circ. 75,000 – 250,000
DaytonDailyNews.com (Dayton Daily News)
Knoxnews.com (Knoxville News Sentinel)
Quickdfw.com (The Dallas Morning News Co.)
Varsity845 (Times Herald-Record/Hudson Valley Media Group)

→ No CommentsTags: Awards · Best Practices · Industry · Innovation · Online · Ottaway

Nicely said

December 18th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Ryan Sholin had a nice tight post today.

Sweet and to the point (if he wrote for Gannett, corporate would have been proud) he recommended that reporters resist the urge to stand on the “sidelines,” and offered four ways for them to get involved including sharing bookmarks with del.icio.us. Great suggestions.

The only caveat I would include is for reporters to resist the urge to do what I would call “reckless bookmarking.” To try and follow Sholin’s tight model, here’s what I mean:

Don’t bookmark to show that you read an article, explain why your readers should read that article.

‘Nuff said? I hope so. What do you think Ryan?

→ 1 CommentTags: Best Practices · del.icio.us · Innovation · Online