Entries from February 2008 ↓

So much to catch up on

I am currently teaching more than double the number of students I’m used to teaching. It’s a challenge to make sure they get the same kind of attention that a smaller class would get from me. The reason I increased the size was twofold: 1) More broadcast journalism students should get the chance to think outside the box and share news and information in non-traditional ways and 2) I have two websites that need upkeep – my news website and the election website that I’ve been trying my damnedest to get up and running to the level it should be.

So far, I have some very committed students. They want to learn, they want to succeed and they’ve really picked up on the job pretty well. I also have a group of reports and editors who are a part of the journalism school’s convergence sequence. These reporters and editors are trained earlier in their journalism experience to think outside the box. They have helped put together some very nice, clean informational graphics.

A year ago I preached the need for video. People love video. I think that still holds true. The trick is, viewer-generated video has more demand than video from a newscast. At this point, a news website is expected to have its newscast content online. But now I am seeing other expectations. As a visual medium, broadcasters need to think of every possible way to tell the story. Flash-animated infographics are a part of that expectation.

I have not figured out an effective work flow that will help a broadcast newsroom produce in-house topical infographics. I haven’t even figured out effective work flow to keep my entire web staff communicating with each other. The graphic that you see here was worked on all evening by one person and when it was time to add it to the website, a number of people working on my news site had no idea of its existence. When my web staff doesn’t know about it, how the heck can it get properly teased on the air? I’ve found additional material that is placed online does not get as many eyes on it (or clicks) unless it is promoted on the air: Broadcast needs online and online needs broadcast.