Podcast: Behind the Scenes of a Newscast

22 May



Behind the Scenes of a Newscast

Host:  Heather Warner




Anything at all..

21 May

The Nerdist, The Mighty Mommy, The Storynory oh my!

Which to choose… which to choose?  First of all, I had no idea the vast array of subjects one could find in a podcast.






I’m impressed with the selection!   I decided to check out the Nerdist Podcast with Tina Fey because I am a fan of Tina Fey.  The guy behind the podcast is actor Chris Hardwick.

He joins two of his friends every week to talk about just about anything.  On this week he ditched his friends   because he landed Tina Fey.  It was a one hour interview with Fey along with a quick “shout-out” to a sponsor off the top and some music bumps.

Not overly impressed

I don’t know what I was expecting, but I found myself absolutely struggling to get through the whole hour.   Tina Fey is a funny gal, yet this Chris Hardwick guy  just wasn’t that good.  Technically speaking, the audio on the podcast sounded hollow….just wasn’t great quality.  I thought Chris could have used some funny clips of Tina Fey “doing her thing.”  He referenced some of her work on Saturday Night Live and on 30 Rock and I just think it would have added to the podcast tremendously if he had a few clips to reference.  For someone who never saw her on those shows, they wouldn’t have a clue what the two of them were talking about. Although, I guess people who never saw her really wouldn’t be checking out this podcast.   The content was just so-so.  Chris asked Tina about being a working Mommy and about what it’s like being able to write for 30 Rock.  I found her answers interesting.  On the subject of leaving SNL after her daughter was born she said, “I felt like a senior, the time had come, I just wanted to be home with my kids.”  She added that the time was short lived, as she’s back to work, now at 30 Rock.

Moments of enjoyment

When the podcast first began I had some hope that it would be good.  Chris seemed like he’d be offering some good comedy.  He joked around about being late to the interview for Tina Fey, saying he ran in at the last minute, all sweaty.   The format was very loose. He seemed like he was just chatting with you.  Unfortunately, the chat became pretty boring, pretty quickly.  I found it interesting when they began to talk about one of Tina’s appearances on Catherine O’Hara’s late night show.  They talked about how people were encouraged to bring their dirtiest material.  Tina said she had come up with something that was so funny but she could never “clean it up” enough to make it okay for broadcast.   They got into some details about the skit–pretty much playing it out.  This was a reminder to me that there is little censorship when it comes to podcasting.   Chris did put some music bumps into the podcast which jazzed it up a little…but it needed, in my opinion, much more than music.   He said at the end of his podcast I hope everyone enjoyed today’s talk, and if you didn’t, I’m sure you’ll post it.   That’s another thing about podcasting–you definitely open yourself up to feedback, whether you like it or not.

Interest in Pinterest?

21 May



Take the plunge! 

Pinterest, in my opinion, stands out among the other social networks…especially among college students.   Facebook and Twitter are popular…but how many students are really checking out Shippensburg’s Facebook page on a daily basis?  They go to their personal pages of course.  There are about 9,000 people following the University on Facebook and it did not appear to have much back-and-forth posts among students.   Pinterest  is a network that provides an opportunity to connect on a huge variety of interests.   And there are some really cool topics the University could pin.


Show off your school spirit!

What I really love about Pinterest is it seems to show off school spirit and I think it’s a great way for alumni to get involved too!   The pins that I saw are so varied and are sure to attract every student as long as the University chooses the right topics.

Flashback, girly game-day, campus eats–I would imagine these would be topics that generate interest simply because they are fun and “relevant” to college students.   Decorating a dorm room, checking out team logo options, and 100 things to do before graduation–more topics that I would think college students would really get into.

The numbers tell all.  

Pinterest is generating more visits than Twitter and I think the numbers will only grow.  Why not jump on board.  At the very least, I think Shippensburg University should allow interns or graduate assistants to try to get the ball rolling.   It wouldn’t cost the University much at all and if this is where the trends are going, why not get ahead!

Learning Curve:)

17 May

So, I have been out of the classroom for more than a decade now and I am amazed at the advances in technology.  As a journalist, I am familiar with social networking, shooting, writing and editing.   Before this class however, I knew very little about blogging.   (I should say, very little about creating a blog)  It is really addicting once you get started.  I am really excited to be able to use my professional blog in the classroom when my class at Elizabethtown College begins in late August.   I am equally excited about creating other blogs that perhaps could gain some followers.  The possibilities are endless!

Don’t blink!

17 May

How has journalism and mass communication changed over the past decade?  

Technically Speaking:

I’ve been in the business just long enough to know.  When I first began my career in West Virginia 14 years ago, I was a one-man-band.  I shot, wrote, and edited all my stories.  The cameras were extremely heavy and the editing was all done tape-to-tape.  When I  moved on to a much larger market, working for WGAL, I got to work with a photographer every day.  What a relief!   The cameras were weighing less these days…and there was a shift to betacam XS.   The process took some getting used to.  The interviews flew by so quickly!  Once you got the hang of it, it was a much better way of editing.  

 Now, nearly 10 years later, I am working as a News Anchor at Fox43.   Our editing is done on-line on Final Cut Pro.   Interestingly enough, we are heading backwards a bit when it comes to that one-man-band.  Because of the economy, we hire many multi-media journalists who are a one-man-band.  The titles have changed as well.  That multi-media journalist, was once known as a reporter.  The new title, to better explain what it is we do these days.   Back in the day:)– we wrote our stories, edited them, and aired them during our newscast.  If you missed the newscast that evening, you missed our coverage of the daily news.   There really wasn’t a push to get things to the web like there is today.  Nor was there facebook or twitter.  

The way in which we administer news today has changed so much.  When news breaks we better have it on our website within a minute.  It only has to be a line or two.  As we learn more details, we update the story and add more and more information.  A reporter who is on the scene of a fire better snap a couple of pictures and get them to the website immediately.  They must also tweet the picture and the basic information.   Then, after posting to the web, to facebook and to twitter, the reporter can begin working on getting the story together.  It’s exhausting!  

The really cool thing about posting stories to the web is the ability to share the full interview or the full document.  Years ago, there really wasn’t a way to share everything.  Today, viewers can be just as informed as the reporters if they just take the time to read and watch the extra material on the website.     

Creatively Speaking:

I spoke primarily about the technical side of the evolution of mass communications thus far.  Now, I will provide my personal insight into the creative side of journalism.   With society attaching itself to every form of social networking, news organizations have to be willing to adapt.   There is a fine line journalists shouldn’t cross when it comes to editorializing.  I believe we still have to tell both sides of the story, not interject our opinions, and be accurate.   I think there is an opportunity for people who want to share their opinions to be heard in the form of blogs.  I don’t think journalists should jump on board the blog wagon–at least not a blog containing controversial subject matter.   And with so many so-proclaimed journalists posting stories to their blogs every day, we have to be increasingly aware and cautious of the source from which we gather news.  There have been plenty of times that journalists at a news station see a tweet from a source that turns out to be inaccurate.  We must be so very careful to fact check.   Recently, a local news station ran a story that Joe Paterno died.  That is true–but not on the day they reported that news.   They were a day early!  

 The world is rapidly changing and the technology that is being used today will be obsolete a few years down the road.  Journalists need to remember the role they have in society, despite the social media craze.  It’s my belief that we can deliver news creatively, in an entertaining way, while still adhering to the values of journalism.

Reality Check

17 May

Did you know since its inception there have been more than a thousand reality shows on cable television?   Mind you, some of them are more popular than others, but there is a strong appetite for this new type of medium.  In this world of social media, we as a society, have unprecedented access to peoples’ personal lives.  Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and Foursquare are among the hundreds of  social media networks.  Some people have become so consumed with engaging in social networking they cannot stop, perhaps, fearing isolation.  The obsession, so prevalent, some psychologists are coining the term “social media addiction.”   That’s right—addicted to social media. 


We are converting into a culture so intrigued and entertained by the lives of others, it really comes as no surprise that reality television is rising to the top of the rating charts.  Some of the top rated reality shows right now are Celebrity  Apprentice, Dancing with the Stars, The Bad Girls Club, Kendra, Teen Mom, and Keeping up with the Kardashians.   The subject of some of the shows includes, watching young girls struggle as they face parenthood alone, a former playboy playmate making a fool of herself, and a rich family bickering about what, to most of us, are extremely trivial matters.  When things go wrong on a reality show, we are really interested.  A celebrity dancer hits the floor on Dancing With The Stars or a stunt goes wrong on America’s Got Talent and it goes viral within hours and becomes fodder for satirical television programs.   (The Onion)    Three months ago, Whitney Houston  died in an accidental drowning.  The world watched as the news broke and now it seems the world will watch as her  family, including her daughter, deal with the loss.  Lifetime is launching “The Houston Family Chronicles,” promising to show the Houston family bravely living their lives as they bond together to heal.  (Remote Access-New Reality Show)


Reality television isn’t anything new.  It has been around for decades.  However, in the late 90’s the threat of a writer’s strike brought on a rebirth of reality tv.  CBS picked up Survivor, which is still on the air today.  The Bachelorette season premiere just aired May 14th.  That reality show is in its eighth season.  American Idol is winding down on its eleventh season.   Hunting, fishing, dancing, singing, antiquing, dog training, trucking, dating, parenting, restoring, arresting–you name it, there is a reality show to fit just about anyone’s interest.

As more people become interested and tune in to watch the lives of others, some television stations are finding they are losing rating points to reality shows.  Social media certainly isn’t helping.  Many people are getting their fill of daily news  as they update their status, send out tweets or check-in on Foursquare.  In this forever evolving climate of social media, local news stations must adapt to their new audience.  Journalists  must find creative ways to tell their stories and when suitable, find characters that bring an element of entertainment to the newscast.  If that doesn’t work, there’s always slow jamming the news.



Six degrees of aggregation: response

15 May


Amazing.  What began as a “good read” for Kenneth Lerer turned into quite something!   I really find it interesting that after reading Duncan Watt’s book Six Degrees, Kenneth Lerer was ready for action.  The book was, after all, written in theory.   It goes to show the insight that Kenneth Lerer possesses.   The contents of this article actually prove Watt’s theory.  All of the key players come from different backgrounds, yet together, they contributed to the HuffPost powerhouse.   Watt’s friend Jonah Peretti is a clever guy who knows how to get results.  His foresight to keep the back-and-forth e-mails with Nike proved from the beginning of his career he knows how to work the system to get results.  Kenneth Lerer is an idea man that sits back and listens and puts all the pieces of the puzzle together to make the picture complete.    It was Lerer’s insight that brought Peretti and Arianna Huffington together.  That meeting in Los Angeles was an eye opener for Peretti.  Arianna’s contacts are among the driving forces behind HuffPost and have been from the beginning.   The fact she is the last of the original three involved with the website shows she is as strong woman. 

There were a lot of takeaways from this article.  The example the author provided about the day Heath Ledger died was great.  It just shows you the many tricks involved with generating traffic on a website.   The idea of bringing people to the website that have different beliefs is also a tactic that Watt’s pointed out from the beginning, and a tactic that sure seems to be working.  Huffington Post seems to have it down.  Blogging is so big right now and the fact that they have people writing for their blogs for free just shows you how effective it must be to be attached to HuffPost.    Being in the news business I can understand Cal Thomas’s statement.  However, the world of journalism and social media is evolving so much right now and I think the folks at Huffington Post have the right idea on how to succeed in this environment.  We used to do an interactive segment at Fox43 and I would always go to The Huffington Post for content because there is so much content on the website.  The fact that they have a quarter million comments land in their mailbox each day is incredible.  The comments themselves become a story.  Thirty-seven million invested and worth one-hundred million–perhaps now.   It will be interesting to see if The Huffington Post can keep up with the new sites that are popping up each and every day.