New Tools Old Practices

Posted in Breaking News, Internet, Journalism, new media, News Production on September 7, 2010 by James Rowe

In newsroom management, years ago, I stepped up to the task of teaching the entire news staff how to use personal computers; newly introduced as their desktop workstations. One of the memories of the period was brought to my attention over ten years later when an anchor commented among his cherished possessions was the certificate I awarded him for completing a course in newsroom computing.

He was the journalist who stood up in class in anger and exclaimed “I’m 50-years old, why do I have to learn this now?” I asked him to relax and take break and return when he was prepared to resume. He did and he learned. He made me proud these years since because he confirmed my strategy to educate the staff and reward them for growing.

Using new tools is a matter of survival for journalists. I notice radio reporters learn to edit video, television news people edit and print journalists use audio for more than notes. Broadcast Newsroom Computing writes often about the blurring of skills among old divisions of discipline in news production. It is a subject of continuing growth.

The changes are evidenced in the verbose techcrunch report on Adam Penenberg’s new journalism. The New York University professor returned to daily reporting briefly to break a story traditional media overlooked. Fourteen paragraphs deep into the techcrunch post blogger Paul Carr tells how Penenberg used Twitter to bring to public attention a story other media, new and traditional, missed. The professor forced everyone into “scoop recovery” mode.

Carr writes Penenberg may have developed a breaking news procedure for new journalism in the style he tweeted about Ford Motor Company’s $131- (m) million dollar settlement with the family of Brian Cole. Cole was a New York Mets’ prospect killed in the rollover accident of his Ford Explorer.

Penenberg used old wire service procedure for breaking news. He released short blurbs of information; each adding another layer to the story. The educator’s method was the same way wire services released confirmed information until a write thru of facts could be delivered. The practice allowed broadcasters, in particular, to get word out immediately and build suspense in anticipation of a full report.

The urgent bell rings on wire machines are long gone, replaced by beeps and now, beyond wire services, audible Twitter alerts on workstations to announce breaking news from alert journalists.


James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC


Law and Order for Social Media

Posted in Internet, new media, Operations, Solutions on August 30, 2010 by James Rowe

Social media audiences are growing and aging reports the Pew Research Center’s Pew Internet project. The law and order crowd is growing at double the rate of older users involved with online social networks last year. The attention given social media in traditional media in the past year grew as much from my observation. So, do you know who the audience is? It’s a significant question given the latest research and fresh changes.

A previous post on Broadcast Newsroom Computing announced free one day online meetings for social media planning to explore methods to control images, brands and digital lives. The slide presentation from the webinars evolves into an eBook – “Secrets of Social Media Planning.” The new eBook is posted online. The eBook “Secrets of Social Media Planning” is the companion to the whitepaper “Social Media Simplified” and the video short “Social Media Thinking.” All are posted online.

Here’s the video:

The eBook, whitepaper and brief video are recommended to media organizations searching for simple rules to planning and governing use of social networks and new media technologies. Often myriad new technologies frustrate planners. The free eBook and companion paper bring some order to the development process.

The eBook is an easy, informative and entertaining read. The whitepaper is straight forward with some different sources. The video short is simply a nice respite.

Be social and share the eBook, whitepaper and video with family, friends and associates. Get everyone thinking about professional and beneficial uses of social media. Let’s use the new tools to improve everyone’s life.

In a fun style the eBook promotes simple rules for law and order among vast online social networks and overwhelming number of new media technologies. Mobile telephones and entertainment devices connect users to the Internet and family, friends and associates more immediately and persistently than ever. The always connected nature is changing all forms of media. Click here to answer our Polldaddy question – do you know who your audience?  You can always comment here, too.

Online social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn alter ways friends and family interact. So perhaps a few simple laws are in order to keep everything civil and to make best use of new technologies and new ways people communicate.


James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

Social Media Simplified Webinar

Posted in Education, Events, Internet, new media, Project Management on August 25, 2010 by James Rowe

Join us tomorrow for no cost Internet sessions on how to think about and plan social media for small businesses, medium businesses and community groups.

There are three sessions tomorrow and you can register now for the dimdim webinars.  Invites are limited to 20 for each session and if the meeting you want attend is unavailable we’ll make you aware of new schedules.

Register right now, right here at our dimdim site.

You’ll learn business processes to organize social media strategy.  Register today and do share; pass this information along to friends and associates.

Answer a few questions for us at SurveyMonkey.  Help us serve you better and please respond to the question “How can we serve you right now?”

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

Battlefront New Media – A Patch Invasion Is Underway

Posted in Internet, Journalism, new media, News Production, RTNDA on August 21, 2010 by James Rowe

A classic David and Goliath story is presented in a Radio Television Digital News Association post on America Online’s entry into local journalism. The American broadcast news association’s Communicator page headlines with a report from Steve Safran, Editor of Lost Remote.

Safran writes “Patch is moving in…it’s time to pay attention.” He lays out the conflict between local newspaper, radio and television websites and AOL’s effort to remake itself. AOL’s Patch has 100 local sites in operation at this writing and a plan for 500 before year’s end.

The RTDNA story gives notice AOL has “deep pockets” and is going after market share local media has to reclaim as their own. Safran warns Patch has designs on the territory owned by local outlets and advises there is still time to thwart a “Philistine” like invasion. However he cautions local “Davids” to get their staffs, stones and slingshots ready for confrontation.

The “How You Can Beat Patch” report is one of the more informative posts I’ve read on the RTDNA site. The strategy is as old as media itself and was once a condition of licensing by the United States’ Federal Communications Commission. It’s refreshing to see a return of tried and proven practices almost 30-years since the tactics were abandoned.

This is the pitch made by Tewksbury, Massachusetts Patch editor William (Bill) Gilman and it presents the Patch battle plan.

Tewksbury Patch is one of AOL’s newest sites. Obviously video is part of the Patch local strategy. To counter AOL Safran counsels local media websites to “use the inexpensive multimedia tools available to them to report, constantly, via a river of news.”

Similar advice is presented often and previously on Broadcast Newsroom Computing. So, I’ll repeat get local and get social. Local media profits by being good citizens serving the audience what they need as much as what you believe they desire.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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Time to Get Completely Social

Posted in Internet, NAB, new media, RTNDA on August 6, 2010 by James Rowe

Using social networks depends on how you interact with people – your audience. defines social as “pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations: a social club.” Translating that to social network technology for business and traditional media requires a strategy.

Pundits attempt to explain “social media” for business. Rich Brooks, president of flyte new media, writes for SCORE, the United States Small Business Administration advisors, social media is “in its infancy.” New social networks enter the game as quickly as you learn of existing networks. You’ve probably read Google plans to create a social network to rival Facebook.

The social media landscape is perplexed like this graphic on flickr called Scoble’s Social Media Starfish.

Scoble's Social Media Starfish by DBarefoot

However, you are urged to beef up your social media aptitude by the author of “SocialnomicsErik Qualman in his YouTube video “Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh).”

HP Labs releases a study on the most influential users of Twitter with part of the headline reading the “research may provide answers.” You can download the newly published research paper on Scribd, a social network. Forrester Research offers some very expensive studies on social media such as Jeremiah K. Owyang’s 15-month old report “Social Media Playtime is Over.” The technology and research is so fluid this report will be aged as soon as it’s posted. Poynter Online presents a one week old post headlined “7 Ways to Use Facebook to Merge News with the Social Web.” Get the message. You need to get social now.

The Radio Television Digital News Association website links to the Poynter article and tweets about it. However the National Association of Broadcasters seems the more social of the two media organizations or clubs when you surf their websites. RTDNA and NAB are clubs and associations constitute social networks in the real world. How you adapt human life to the online world is a blueprint you develop.


James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

Bring Back Investigative Reporting

Posted in Internet, Journalism, new media, News Production on July 29, 2010 by James Rowe

The combativeness between the United States Department of Defense and WikiLeaks is witness of demand for lucid investigative reporting. Traditional media appears to be stumbling over itself trying to play catch up with the whistle blower website located in Australia. Let’s understand wiki technology and its pitfalls before lauding the work of Julian Assange, who in my humble opinion is as transparent as marble.

New media like wikis and tools like smart phones metamorphose news reporting. These new instruments make investigative journalism easier and more treacherous at the same time. Watchdog journalism requires fearless custodians with tremendous ethics.

A Columbia Journalism Review article applauds WFAA TV in Dallas, Texas for its commitment to fund investigative journalism. Again IMHO, traditional media must welcome the expense of watchdog journalism to maintain audience lest the likes of WikiLeaks assumes the role of freedom of information in a democratic society. Local television and newspapers and their websites have the brand to garner trust. Local media also has the resources.

Every journalist should own a smart phone of the brand they choose. The handheld computers have high definition point and shoot cameras and video recorders. They are portable and readily at hand when a reporter stumbles upon news worthy events. The devices also offer the ability to be stealthy.

Wireless transmission of text, photos, video and audio permit 21st century journalists capacity to truly deliver breaking news. The speed of reporting new technology offers is powerful and requires experienced journalist’s oversight to guard truth and life. I believe the maturity of aged investigative journalists at Belo’s Dallas television property contribute to the quality of the station’s watchdog journalism.

Senior journalistic empiricism, new tools, new media, training, commitment, time and money are all required for investigative reporting to return and truly serve the audience. More is available than WikiLeaks to transform watchdog journalism.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

Will A Third Way for Broadband in the United States Work?

Posted in Internet, Management, NAB, new media, television on June 4, 2010 by James Rowe

The United States Federal Communications Commission Chairman believes he has a compromise to the broadband debate.  Julius Genachowski’s strategy to deliver high speed Internet connections to all U.S. citizens takes a new direction.  The kink in the chairman’s proposal is the question of how much authority the FCC has over Internet Service Providers.  Broadcasters are watching closely from the sideline his plan to divide the broadcast television spectrum.

PC Magazine uses the chairman’s own words, “third way,” to headline the FCC’s new plan  Genachowski proposes to redefine the Internet as a telecommunications service.  Doing so gives the federal commission authority to regulate ISPs.  The chairman’s sticky wicket is Net neutrality.  He’s  straddling the divide between consumers and providers, both Internet and television.

The Appellate Court ruling in April of this year bridled the agency’s reach for the National Broadband PlanPC Magazine explains Genachowski’s setback as “reclassifying only the transmission component of the broadband access service as a telecommunications service.”  It’s sort of partial enforcement of telecommunications rules when it comes to broadband.

The Chairman issued a statement saying “the FCC should adopt a restrained approach to broadband communications, one carefully balanced to unleash investment and innovation while also protecting and empowering consumers.”  Where will the balancing act land the broadband initiative?

The commission’s next open meeting is June 17, 2010.  Here’s a paragraph from the news release on the June meeting’s agenda:

“Framework for Broadband Internet Service NOI: A Notice of Inquiry to begin an open, public process to consider possible legal frameworks for broadband Internet services in order to promote innovation and investment, protect and empower consumers, and bring the benefits of broadband to all Americans.” 

The National Association of Broadcasters’ position “is working to promote spectrum policies that do not restrict consumer access to the full potential of digital television (DTV), including high definition (HD) and multicast programming and mobile DTV.”

There is a lot of fence straddling going on with a nationwide broadband plan.  What do you think?  Do you plan to file a comment with the FCC?

Broadcast Newsroom Computing next considers investigative journalism and new technology.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC