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  1. 1. Useful Stuff Edition 23 – May 2006 Stories, ideas, inspiration, hints, tips and links to help you do your journalism better. Compiled by Peter Stewart at BBC Training & Development "Every man has a right to be wrong in his opinions. But no man has a right to be wrong in his facts." Bernard M. Baruch +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ So, the big announcement from the Beeb on future creativity. There’s loads of ideas here on what’s happening in this country and around the world in news and in media in general. Ideas to adapt, steal, clash with existing ideas … or laugh at and then work out why you’re doing so! And then realising that in fact it’s a great idea after all… For example: • How to connect with ethnic audiences • How men and women use news differently to manage anger • Hoaxers who’re scamming google news • Courses and meetings on investigative reporting • Why news media have an incentive to distort information • How to write English for journalists • New radio formats around the world: talk formats, Bacardi radio, ‘All Jewish All the Time’ radio, radio for prisons, ‘The Voice of Iraqi Women’ radio, radio for farmers, radio from newspapers • Why 17 stations played the same song over and over .. for a whole day • Instruction on creating and broadcast your own radio • Ideas on stunts and competitions (‘look into my eyes’!) and features … and what not to do with a cream cake • The impact of TV on Arab families • The Turn-off TV campaign • Why violent TV costs children their friends • What TV can learn from The Apprentice • Jon Snow who says news channels have no long-term future, and CNN’s founder Ted turner who says cable news is ‘crap’ • Why potential organ donors are scared off by TV • Stats that say British TV is the most popular in the world • Why networks are turning to the Web to get ideas for attracting men to watch TV • The new device that could force viewers to watch TV ads • And what TV news themes are conveying in their music Plus more stuff where the worlds of TV/radio/web/mobiles collide and what we can learn from what’s happening elsewhere on the planet, the Two Minute Top Up on basic radio and TV reporting from our exclusive serialisations of the best books on the market, links to nearly a dozen news story ideas that you may not have considered, ethical journalism (a couple of great stories this month), journo books and films to rent or buy … and some fun stuff (Mug of the Month, how to funk up your i-Pod, why ‘Siemens’ is a banned word, brutally honest film reviews, and the survey that works out if you’re a serial killer…) We have a special birthday edition of Useful Stuff next month, and ahead of that I’d love to know what you find most interesting. Useful Stuff 1 Complied by Peter Stewart
  2. 2. Feel free to message me with any comments on what you’d like to see more or less of. Peter.Stewart@bbc.co.uk +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ “Thanks for this. It just gets better.” Mark Turnbull, BBC R Cleveland “This is stuff that’s very useful for me to know, as we need lots of bits of knowledge like you send out, and my boss sends me stuff all the time to stay on top of media developments – I can now tell him about you!” Kate Saunders, Research Assistant, Research & Learning ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ General Useful Stuff about Media and Journos China bans foreign broadcast news sources (UPI) China has prohibited local TV and radio stations from using international news coverage from foreign news services. Local broadcasters must restrict their coverage of overseas events to reports generated by state-run China Central Television and China Radio International. http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060413-031529-5387r Media tune in to ethnic audience As immigration rates soar, broadcasters, cable channels, newspapers and magazines are taking notice. Wall Street's estimation of ethnic media could skyrocket depending on the outcome of Univision's current search for a buyer. The Spanish-language broadcaster is valued at some $10 billion. http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2006-04-07-ethnic-media-usat_x.htm Mass media giving way to participatory media People no longer passively "consume" media and advertising but actively participate in them, a change that has profound implications for traditional media business models, says a special report on new media in The Economist. The gazillion dollar question: So what is a media company? http://www.economist.com/surveys/displaystory.cfm?story_id=6794156 James Murdoch: 'Media is the most exciting industry in the world' BSkyB head James Murdoch is rumoured to be the heir apparent to father Rupert at News Corp., but he won't discuss any such possibility. Media "is the most exciting industry in the world," he says. "It's the business of ideas, of developing customer habits, of macro-societal change." http://www.worldscreen.com/interviewscurrent.php?filename=murdoch0406.htm Media hiring bias? Following the blogging debacle at washingtonpost.com, Howard Kurtz asks: Do the hiring practices of big newspapers, magazines, networks and Web sites tilt toward people of the liberal persuasion, thereby requiring hand-wringing about intellectual diversity? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2006/03/28/BL2006032800582.html see for yourself…. Political Compass “The old one-dimensional categories of 'right' and 'left' , established for the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789, are overly simplistic for today's complex political landscape. For example, who are the 'conservatives' in today's Russia? Are they the unreconstructed Stalinists, or the reformers who have adopted the right-wing views of conservatives like Margaret Thatcher? After you've responded to the following propositions during the next 3-5 minutes, all will be explained. In each instance, you're asked to choose the response that best describes your feeling: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree or Strongly Agree. At the end of the test, you'll be given the compass, with your own special position on it. Remember that there's no right, wrong or ideal response. It's simply a measure of attitudes and inevitable human contradictions to provide a more integrated definition of where people and parties are really at.” Take the test: http://www.politicalcompass.org/ Useful Stuff 2 Complied by Peter Stewart
  3. 3. Men and women use news media differently to manage anger Does this article make you angry? Men choose to read articles that will fuel their anger, while women choose articles that will dissipate it, says a study published by Human Communication Research. News consumption is sometimes motivated by "a need to regulate our moods." http://www.emaxhealth.com/32/5482.html Hoaxsters love scamming Google News (CSM) Are "aggregators" providing the news — or are they diluting it with fakery, hucksterism, and puffery? An entire industry has sprouted up to ensure that press releases pop up next to stories from major newspapers when users of Google or Yahoo go trolling for news. http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0329/p01s01-ussc.html Investigative reporting • Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. http://www.ire.org • Investigative Journalism – UK site: The 2006 Summer School will be held at the Cass Business School, City University, London. A full programme of speakers, fees, topics, debates, workshops and accommodation http://www.investigativereporting.org.uk/index.htm Accuracy ... or not? If a media outlet cares about its reputation for accuracy, it will be reluctant to report anything that counters the audiences' existing beliefs because such stories will tend to erode the company's standing. Newspapers and news programs have a visible incentive to "distort information to make it conform with consumers' prior beliefs." http://www.slate.com/id/2139172/?nav=ais Media professionals come 14th in ‘happiness ratings’ People who work in the media are said to be "rather happy." They rank 14th in a poll of the happiest workers in the United Kingdom, according to the City & Guilds. Media workers enjoy their careers more than bankers and lawyers, but are not as happy as social workers and clergy. http://www.brandrepublic.com/bulletins/br/article/549668/media-professionals-e14th-happiness- ratings/ NewsNow This site checks 21,703 news sources every five minutes. www.newsnow.co.uk Newsplex They say ‘where the futures of journalism and news technology intersect’ and then ‘a skunkworks for the news industry and journalism education’ http://www.newsplex.org/home.shtml The Flying Eye Get satellite images and maps from news events across the world, and sign up to get an alert when a new one is published. http://www.alertnet.org/thefacts/satelliteimages/index.htm The Screen Writers Store Software, seminars and script consultancies … how to write comedy, articles, news, "The resources and backup you get from The Screenwriter's Store are beyond what anyone who has ever dialled HELP has a right to expect. It's like calling your mother..." - John Madden (Director - Shakespeare in Love, Mrs Brown, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Proof, Killshot...) http://www.thescreenwritersstore.net/index.php Secrets of Pulp Fiction (Slate) Bryan Curtis: Dan Brown, author of the mega-selling The Da Vinci Code, has brought forth his most Useful Stuff 3 Complied by Peter Stewart
  4. 4. thrilling piece of writing to date: a court document. Like the hidden ciphers the heroes of his book pursue, this is the Dan Brown Code — the key to understanding the secrets of a pulp novelist. http://www.slate.com/id/2138483/nav/tap1/ English for journalists The unique English course developed by the National Union of Journalists as an online interactive tool providing grammar and literacy skills. English for Journalists comprises eight modules. Each of these covers a different aspect of English usage and regulation, from the strict rules of Grammatical Terms to advice and assistance in What Not To Write. Each course is comprised of information pages and interactive quizzes. http://www.nujlearning.com/ Events New Media Knowledge events 25 April 2006 - 06 June 2006 Various locations, London Events and courses hosted by New Media Knowledge (NMK), covering e-marketing, internet innovation and digital storytelling. NMK events Voice of the Listener & Viewer conferences 26 April 2006 - 18 May 2006 VLV holds regular Conferences and Seminars at which you can find out about the latest developments in broadcasting of concern to listeners and viewers. Voice of the Listener & Viewer Bafta events 01 May 2006 - 17 May 2006 Events and screenings organised and hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, London, covering all aspects of film and TV production. Bafta events Global Forum May 3 - 4, 2006 London We Media is about how we create a better-informed society by collaborating with one another. http://www.mediacenterblog.org/events/06/wemedialondon/program/ Sony Radio Awards 08 May 2006 - 08 May 2006 Grosvenor House Hotel, London For nearly 25 years now the Sony Radio Academy Awards have truly celebrated excellence within the UK radio industry. Sony Radio Awards Internet World 09 May 2006 - 11 May 2006 Earls Court 2, London Internet World is the UK’s leading business event for internet professionals. The event has leading exhibitors as well as a free educational programme. Internet World Red Button - The iTV Applications Event 16-17 May 2006, Renaissance Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA Red Button '06 is the first live industry event to show-off the next generation of interactive services – and the developers, artists, and engineers who create them. http://www.scievents.com/redbutton/ Interactive TV Advertising Show 23 May 2006, CBI Conference Centre, London, UK Useful Stuff 4 Complied by Peter Stewart
  5. 5. The IPTV World Forum is aimed directly at the industries supporting the markets growth; telcos, broadcasters, content providers, device manufacturers, technology providers, software providers, system integrators and broadband providers. http://www.iptv-forum.com/2006/ Streaming Media East 23 May 2006 - 24 May 2006 Hilton, New York Streaming Media East is an event for business and technology professionals to meet, discover the latest advancements in streaming and digital media and do business. Streaming Media East The Digital Radio Show 1-2 June 2006, Olympia, London, UK Leading Digital Radio Show - with key platforms speaking; Digital One, VDL, Sky Interactive Key European radio broadcasters speaking; RTL, Chrysalis, GCAP Media, BBC, Danish Broadcasting Corporation, NRK, Channel 4, NRG International, Virgin Radio Leading digital radio technology enablers; Arquiva, RadioScape, VT Communications, WRN Manufacturers & Retailers at the forefront of the market; Roberts, Morphy Ricahrds, Comet, House of Fraser Networking area with 20 companies exhibiting - and exhibition only passes available Industry networking party on 1st June http://www.digital-radio-show.com/ Webby Awards 06 June 2006 - 06 June 2006 Gotham Hall, New York The leading international award honouring excellence in Web design, creativity, usability and functionality. Webby Awards Broadcast Digital Channels 6-7 June, 2006, London With the digital switchover timetable now confirmed the UK is well underway to becoming a wholly digital TV market by 2012. But what will these changes mean for broadcasters, producers, advertisers and audiences in the future? http://www.emapconferencesites.co.uk/DigitalChannels/homepage.asp Future TV 19-20 June 2006, Copenhagen, Denmark A world class conference where broadcasters and network operators meet the production companies and channels to discuss exciting new opportunities in the world of media convergence. http://www.futuretvshow.com/ Broadcast Live 20-22 June 2006, London Exciting new business opportunities are opening up across the content chain in HD, IPTV, desktop- editing and mobile TV. Brought to you by Broadcast magazine, Broadcast LIVE is the new exhibition and conference to address these issues and the future of the industry. http://www.broadcastlive.co.uk/ Eastern Europe IPTV World Forum 22-23 June 2006, Marriott Hotel, Budapest, Hungary Eastern Europe and the Balkans are likely to become one of the most exciting marketplaces for broadband and IPTV over the next ten years as the combined effects of privatisations, EU accession and continued deregulation in candidate EU countries leads to more competition, network upgrades, greater broadband penetration and falling DSL access line costs. http://www.iptv-easterneurope.com/ Useful Stuff 5 Complied by Peter Stewart
  6. 6. Monte Carlo TV Festival 26 June 2006 - 01 July 2006 Grimaldi Forum, Monaco As well as the awards ceremony, the Festival's conference programme covers new trends and developments in the TV industry. Monte Carlo TV festival Showcommotion 29 June – 8 July 2006 Sheffield Showcomotion is the longest established children’s film festival in England and Wales: we’ve been entertaining, educating and inspiring young people since 1999 http://www.showcomotion.org.uk/ The Radio Festival 03 July 2006 - 05 July 2006 Cambridge - An essential event for anyone working in radio. The Radio Academy Festival Royal Television Society events Various dates throughout the year RTS events Broadcast magazine: events Broadcast magazine's list of events and important announcements. Broadcast Events Radio Academy Events The Radio Academy organises a range of events throughout the year, throughout the UK Visit http://www.radioacademy.org/calendar/index.shtml for more information. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Useful Stuff about Radio What local talk radio could be Mike Siegel was a host on all-talk WLIE in 2002-2003. He has hosted radio talk shows in New York City, Boston, Miami and Seattle. http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opsie234712831apr23,0,1618791.story?coll=ny-viewpoints- headlines Talk radio listeners want entertainment US talk radio listeners are tired of political preaching and would rather be entertained, a study called ‘Talk Radio in America’ indicates. http://www.newkerala.com/news2.php?action=fullnews&id=44382 Music stops for a pirate radio station; 2 held. For months, Creole and Caribbean music had flowed from a pirate radio station stashed behind a Fort Lauderdale music store. http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/states/florida/counties/broward_county/14402103.h tm Skillnets backs radio training project Skillnets Ltd, the State-sponsored body which backs enterprise-led training networks, recently approved €300,000 in funding for the radio industry training. http://www.unison.ie/business/stories.php3?ca=80&si=1599913 Lothian radio station's new licence bid It seeks to improve community understanding and collaboration between the varied groups and organisations, and to continue delivering radio training skills ... http://news.scotsman.com/entertainment.cfm?id=591362006 Useful Stuff 6 Complied by Peter Stewart
  7. 7. Bacardi to start radio station The spirits company is launching a branded online radio station, Bacardi B Live Radio, that will be available via the Internet and mobile. http://www.bacardibliveradio.com/ CRTC OKs Jewish AM radio station for Montreal The Montreal radio station whose slogan is “All Jewish, All the Time” has received approval from the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for a spot on the AM band http://www.cjnews.com/viewarticle.asp?id=8873 World Bank organises training for women radio journalists Ten women journalists from community radio stations across East Timor have been participating in a 16-week media training program organized by the World Bank. ... http://www.ijnet.org/Director.aspx?P=Article&ID=304851&LID=1 The station director and most of the D.J.'s are convicted murderers KLSP, a radio station with one turntable, six employees and a $48 weekly payroll, has limited reach over this patch of swampy farmland and razor wire northwest of Baton Rouge. It is meant to be that way. (read more - NY Times) Government licenses first two private radio stations Residents of Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, have heard their first independent radio broadcast. http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/66ee2a9b4a24b03b71d56c9f4da981d0.htm Radio Al-Mahaba, Baghdad's "Voice of Iraqi Women." The station, which debuted a year ago, wants to educate women about their rights in a country where those rights are in a state of flux. It also gives Iraqi women a chance to express their opinions on everything from husbands to politics (read more - Deseret News) Radio Free Palmer It hopes to serve its listeners by providing community news and music -- and by sparing them lengthy government meetings. Members of the newly formed non-profit hope to create a radio station in Palmer that's big on citizen participation. Supporters of Radio Free Palmer are seeking a Federal Communication Commission broadcast license to operate as a community radio station (read more - Anchorage Daily News) Now, exclusive radio station for farmers Asia’s first broadcaster dedicated to the farm and the field. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1462041.cms Bob Dylan playing weatherman in XM Radio debut Bob Dylan will on May 3 unveil his XM Satellite Radio show "Theme Time Radio Hour With Your Host Bob Dylan." http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx? type=musicNews&storyid=2006-04-20T121152Z_01_N20270274_RTRIDST_0_MUSIC-DYLAN- DC.XML Washington Post's big radio play debuts The Washington Post is launching a broadcast operation on two local frequencies, delivering news and commentary from the newspaper's reporters and columnists. Washington Post Radio is expected to be a major promotional vehicle for the Post and its news staff. http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2006/03/27/daily19.html Public radio plays same song all day in protest The 17 stations of the Mexican Radio Institute, a decentralized public radio network, have played the same song over and over all day long… http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/miami/17572.html Useful Stuff 7 Complied by Peter Stewart
  8. 8. Radio ads targeting aging boomers: report Radio advertisers are shifting their attention away from younger listeners to the growing population of aging baby boomers. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v4/sub/MarketingPage? user_URL=http://www.theglobeandmail.com%2Fservlet%2Fstory %2FLAC.20060330.RRADIO30%2FTPStory %2FBusiness&ord=1145364275284&brand=theglobeandmail&force_login=true Report: Americans still rely on radio Americans rate the importance and relevance of local commercial radio very highly, according to a survey commissioned by radio brokerage firm American Media Services. http://www.billboardradiomonitor.com/radiomonitor/news/business/ratings_research/article_display.jsp ?vnu_content_id=1002383489 Jones Radio network See what talk and music programmes they’re syndicating across the States … maybe some ideas that you could develop? (Such as the Something You Should Know programme…) http://www.jonesradio.com/ Music & the Spoken Word On Sunday morning, April 30, KSL Newsradio 1160 AM and 102.7 FM, along with KSL 5 Television, will broadcast nationwide a special edition of Music & the Spoken Word, featuring, among other elements, a recorded introduction from President George W. Bush. That April 30 broadcast will be the 4,000th consecutive broadcast of the weekly program, which aired its first edition on July 15, 1929, and is the world's longest-running continuous network radio broadcast. KSL Newsradio 1160 AM Radio firm offers phone downloads The company behind the Heart and Galaxy radio networks is to test a scheme where songs played on the stations can be downloaded to mobile phones. ... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4882926.stm Musiwave launches Smart Radio The Smart Radio service allows mobile consumers to access customized and streamed music programming, based on their personal tastes. http://www.cbronline.com/article_news.asp?guid=D674DC6C-4DE8-4DEE-A091-459DA1A83C4F Welcome to custom-made online radio Pandora.com and Last FM do their jobs in different ways, but both are that future: music boiled down to a science, where radio plays only the music you like. http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0604220250apr23,1,657343.story?coll=chi-business- hed&ctrack=1&cset=true Create and broadcast your own radio station Thousands of people just like you have created Internet radio stations! With Live365, you're the DJ. Start a station to share your tastes and talents with a global audience. http://www.live365.com/broadcast/index.live The One Hit Wonder Weekend! All weekend, you dig into the dustbin and pull out those cosmic one hit wonders. It sounds great on the air because it's interesting and fun musically, and it's packed with information. What happened to this artist? Where are they now? If you're considering a One Hit Wonder weekend, here's a great website to help you get prepped. www.onehitwondercentral.com What’s happening at BBC Radio Newcastle “We're using little MP3 flash music players here with some success as a recording tool. They have a Dictaphone function which is pretty high quality, they're very small and store hours of audio. And the big thing is they only cost £70 so if they're lost or broken, it's not the end of the world. Here's the model we use: http://www.iriver.com/html/product/prpa_product.asp?pidx=71 “ Useful Stuff 8 Complied by Peter Stewart
  9. 9. Satellite radio to compensate music industry? A bipartisan group of lawmakers is said to be introducing legislation that would require satellite radio companies to compensate the music industry for downloads. The legislation is aimed at compensating copyright holders as satellite radio services become distribution services. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002386071 Station’s audience getting good reception Relatively new Australian station Vega, which broadcasts to baby-boomers in Melbourne and Sydney, has had a far from spectacular launch with unexpectedly disastrous ratings. So executives were not amused when the pranksters from ABC-TV’s “The Chaser” program, which specialises in cheeky stunts, turned up at the studios of Vega 95.3FM with a group of 12 extras and told a receptionist they'd brought the station’s entire audience into the studio, to save the station the cost of broadcasting. A toast to digital radio Dualit, the company behind those swish expensive toasters, has decided to launch a digital radio, that rather disappointingly doesn't make toast. But it looks just like a toaster. Designed to complement other products in the Dualit collection the new radio promises DAB and FM reception and a polished aluminium casing and softly rounded corners similar to its Vario toaster. Sound is provided by the 8W, 4-inch speaker and there are a measly five presets for FM and DAB modes allowing you quick and easy access to a few of your favourite radio stations. Between the two control knobs on the top of the unit is a large white-on-blue easy-view LCD display. The radio incorporates a built-in rechargeable NiMH battery and promises 3-4 hours in DAB mode and 7-8 hours for FM. Those short of a kitchen timer will also be pleased to hear that the radio has one built in so you don't burn the dinner. The Dualit DAB radio comes in three colours: polished aluminium, black and cream, and will be available in the UK from mid-May 2006 at John Lewis. http://www.dualit.com/index2.htm Engineers American radio engineers website http://www.beradio.com/ The Public Radio Exchange A non-profit service for distribution, peer review, and licensing of radio pieces. This site is a superb resource for speech radio producers. http://www.prx.org/ UGC story ideas? Go to this site and see intriguing questions and answers that you could adapt for user generated content of your own. http://www.questionswap.com/featured.asp The good old days Oldradio.com's mission is to find and share information about the pioneer broadcast radio stations and current industry issues, as well as links and references to other locations containing accurate materials on broadcasting. The emphasis is on professional broadcasting, but we can "wander" a bit from time to time. The goal is to shed light on your questions, and clear up some myths. http://www.oldradio.com/ The National Broadcasting Society This US group “goes beyond the classroom to prepare college students and entry-level professionals for careers in the electronic media.” http://www.nbs-aerho.org/ Listen on line Listings for internet radio stations worldwide http://www.live-radio.net/info.shtml TV and radio bits Useful Stuff 9 Complied by Peter Stewart
  10. 10. Old TV idents and radio jingles, Radio Times covers, TV schedules, station histories (BBC Radio Southend anyone?), screen grabs of old presenters, key dates … and for some reason a special feature on BBC tv news in London and the South East (Town and Around, South East at Six, Sixty Minutes, London Plus, Newsroom South East …) http://www.tvradiobits.co.uk/index.htm What are you looking at? Consider this novelty, which comes to us by way of Pensacola, Florida. It’s called StareMaster, and it’s basically…a staring contest. After a warm-up phase during which eye blinking is allowed as long as eye contact with the competitor is maintained, the two contestants enter the “Dry Eye Death Phase” where any blinking interruption ends the match for the offending party. The contests became so popular at bars in Florida, that originators Jaimes Miller and Sean Linezo made a documentary, appropriately titled “StareMaster: The Movie”. Before you soften the contest elements (like the Dry Eye Death Phase) for AC radio and stage your own staring contest at a club, car dealer, or shopping mall, conduct your own research by “Googling” the category or visiting www.staremaster.com. It’s interesting reading. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,99840,00.html Danish radio hosts fined for cake-throwing prank A Danish court fined three radio talk show hosts 10,000 kroner each for urging a listener to smash a creamy cake in the face of a bakery shop employee. http://www.canada.com/topics/news/oddities/story.html?id=9c6f45e2- a9af-4e39-8caa-39365eb8d6a1&k=44406 Radio show isn't just fun and games Rafael Pulido's blend of bawdy humour, on-air jokes and popular Mexican music has turned his Spanish-language radio show into a ratings smash on WOJO-FM 105.1. http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/site/premium/access-registered.intercept DCF may discipline worker for radio stunt A child abuse investigator from Palm Beach County may face disciplinary action for disrobing twice on Howard Stern's Sirius satellite radio show. http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/local/14298581.htm Creative radio • This went out in the New Music Express (NME) and is for XFM's new Manchester based station. They are using a ticket giveaway to tempt listeners http://img105.imageshack.us/img105/548/xfm2rz.jpg • This second piece is for Manchester United Radio (yes, they have their own radio station). The ad is pointing to an upcoming fixture that can be listened to on the AM band. http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/93/manchestunitedradio1bg.jpg • The last piece of creative is for Premier Christian Radio and uses a small girl with her 2 "grandparents" to pull on our heart strings. They give out all their ways of listening including Freeview, NTL and Sky. http://img128.imageshack.us/img128/4964/premeir0dh.jpg RCS rolls out GSelector Billed as “music scheduling reinvented,” RCS has rolled out its newest product, "GSelector." http://www.billboardradiomonitor.com/radiomonitor/news/business/programming/article_display.jsp? vnu_content_id=1002384664 Study: All-Xmas music the gift that keeps on giving Christmas music can be the gift that keeps on giving -- even until the end of the year -- for AC and top 40 stations that flip to all-holiday formats. http://www.billboardradiomonitor.com/radiomonitor/news/business/ratings_research/article_display.jsp ?vnu_content_id=1002423241 Law of the Playground Useful Stuff 10 Complied by Peter Stewart
  11. 11. Releasio, bulldogs, half-circle and other games, taunts, tricks and jokes from your playground years. A relatable phone-in starter? “A Puerile and Disturbing Dictionary of Playground Insults and Games”. http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0091900301/qid=1142249469/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_2_3/026-6 054924-7355637 Green is the colour greenbookofsongs.com gives information about finding songs about any subject instantly through "The Green Book Of Songs By Subject: The Thematic Guide To Popular Music"-5th Edition-Expanded & Updated. This new music reference book locates songs and album tracks by themes and concepts, representing all genres and eras, with listings including titles, artists, discographies and labels. http://www.greenbookofsongs.com/ Budding radio presenters wanted Wiveliscombe’s own radio station could be back on air later this year and locals are being asked to join in on10Radio. http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/display.var.733590.0.budding_radio_presenters_wanted.php Who wants to be a … radio presenter? The company behind the Millionaire show has radio aspirations http://www.celador.co.uk/crb_history.php Aircheck of the Month History of Rock and Roll – 1981 http://www.reelradio.com/cl/horr81excerpts.html#horr81excerpts Presenter of the Month Kevin Sylvester and guests tell you what's happening in your world - whether it's down the road or around the globe. Ontario Morning is the wake-up show for listeners in Southern Ontario outside of Toronto, from Sarnia in the west to Cornwall in the east, to Parry Sound in the north, and to parts of the Upper Ottawa Valley. http://www.cbc.ca/ontariomorning/ Station of the Month NewsRadio 750 KXL’s morning newscast has been named the “Best Newscast” in Oregon by the Associated Press. The morning newscast, hosted by Steve Leader and Rebecca Marshall airs weekdays from 5:00 AM - 9:00 AM http://www.kxl.com/ Webcam of the Month Live Webcam in studio - Radio SiTy 107FM in Bratislava, Slovakia. http://www.radiosity.sk/?id=webcam +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ What do you think? What idea has worked at your station? What great angle, phrase or music have you used on a recent feature? Don’t sit on it – tell us: Peter.Stewart@bbc.co.uk +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Useful Stuff about TV Meet discusses impact of television on Arab families Impact of the media, especially television channels on Arab families were discussed by a panel of experts at a seminar organised by the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp? section=Local_News&subsection=Qatar+News&month=April2006&file=Local_News2006041722045.x ml Internet-protocol television Possibly the hottest set of letters in Hollywood, it stands for Internet-protocol television - something few studios are using at present … Useful Stuff 11 Complied by Peter Stewart
  12. 12. http://smallscreen.monstersandcritics.com/article_1155117.php/Internet-protocol_television Study: Violent TV may cost kids friends The kind of television shows children watch and whom they watch them with can be just as important as the amount of time they spend in front of the tube. http://www.southflorida.com/movies/sfl-kidtvfriendsapr16,0,4112833.story?coll=sfe-tv-headlines Just say no to the television TV-Turnoff Week begins. The goal of the campaign is to get children and adults to watch less television to promote healthier lives and communities. TV Turnoff Week Empowering people to take control of technology and not letting technology take control of them so they can live healthier lives. http://www.tvturnoff.org TV industry to remind parents who controls the remote In a bid to avoid a government crackdown on content, a coalition of television broadcasters, networks, cable operators, satellite television and the consumer electronics industry are banding together for a $300 million ad campaign in June to urge parents to monitor what their kids watch. "We want to tell American parents that they and they alone have total power to control every hour of television programming that comes into their home," said Jack Valenti, the former head of the Motion Picture Association of America, who is helping to lead this effort. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12468807/ The Boob Tube Respected— television without the villains A lot has happened to television in the last few years, and all of it, down to a description of reality- show impresario Mark ‘The Apprentice’ Burnett. http://www.observer.com/20060501/20060501_Rebecca_Dana_culture_books2.asp Spielberg, Burnett to create reality show for directors Movie director Steven Spielberg is joining reality producer Mark Burnett to create a series called "On the Lot," which will seek to find the "American Idol" of unknown movie directors. The series is expected to air on Fox next summer. The New York Times The Hollywood Reporter BBC Mundo to provide news on Latinamerica Television BBC Mundo, the BBC's international radio and internet service in Spanish will, for the first time, provide news content on television. http://www.mercopress.com/Detalle.asp?NUM=7753 Developers make use of movies and television in mobile games Mobile game developers are clamouring at the gates of Hollywood, hoping to obtain licenses to capitalize on popular movies and television programs in their games. http://www.teleclick.ca/2006/04/developers-make-use-of-movies-and-television-in-mobile-games/ Uncut TV may be headed for your handheld Will television shows soon be produced specifically for portable devices? Programming for mobiles could allow for racy material not regulated by the FCC. Also: While television "will never go away," the Internet will allow consumers to control their experiences, says an AOL exec. http://news.com.com/2061-11199_3-6056003.html MTV Networks to debut show via mobile phones in Europe MTV Networks International said it will premiere the show "Barrio 19" on April 24, well ahead of the international TV debut on May 7. The move is a first for MTVNI, which is focusing heavily on a multiplatform content delivery strategy. http://www.c21media.net/news/detail.asp?area=89&article=30082 Useful Stuff 12 Complied by Peter Stewart
  13. 13. Snow: "No tremendous future" for news channels Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow has predicted that rolling TV news channels will become increasingly irrelevant in the years ahead. The news veteran, recently named journalist of the year by the Royal Television Society, thinks that the likes of Sky News and BBC News 24 will lose out as viewers turn to the internet for on-demand news. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/article/ds30955.html Turner dislikes the crap on cable news [TVNewser] Ted Turner took shots at the media for its coverage of sex and violence, at himself for losing control of the news network he founded, and at the Bush administration for going to war in Iraq. http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/cnn/turner_dislikes_the_crap_on_cable_news_34544.asp 'Reality' television usually not worth watching ”I realise that television programming has never been near the zenith of human achievement.” http://www.oudaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/04/19/4446ed777feb0 Why the EU shouldn't prematurely extend Television Without Frontiers Intellect, the trade association for the UK hi-tech industry, voiced its concerns over the proposed extension of Television Without Frontiers. http://www.ovum.com/news/euronews.asp?id=4209 Film, television scares off potential organ donors Emotionally charged television shows have featured fictitious stories about a black market for organs, doctors who murder their patients for their organs. http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx? type=healthNews&storyid=2006-04-25T193101Z_01_COL570238_RTRUKOC_0_US-ORGAN- DONORS.xml BBC HDTV service to kick off with World Cup coverage The BBC has announced that it will provide high-definition television coverage of the World Cup and Wimbledon as part of a trial service starting in the summer, coinciding with the launch of HDTV by satellite broadcaster BSkyB. http://informitv.com/articles/2006/03/23/bbchdtvservice/ http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-collections/football-p1.php The media mash Primetime is dead, and television networks are scrambling to keep eyeballs tuned in to their programming. Welcome to the media mash, where traditional media as we know it is starting its metamorphosis into something new. http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/8772.asp Media stunt 'crosses the line' The chairwoman of the Winnipeg School Division was livid after a television reporter went into boys' washrooms at three elementary schools to illustrate how easily the sexual assault of a Grade 2 girl in Edmonton could have occurred. The male reporter asked for and received directions from adult staff in two of the schools without being asked who he was or why he was there. The Daily Herald Tribune Tween shows tap big audience At a time when niche programming rules, shows aimed at the tween market, including "Zoey 101" and "Drake and Josh," are the exception in their ability to reach a broad swath of the 9- to 14-year-old population, according to tween series creator Dan Schneider. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/artsentertainment/2002945613_tweentv24.html Networks turn to Web to reach young male viewers After years of the Internet and videogames siphoning young men from television, networks are employing the tactics and services of sites like YouTube to win them back. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117941847?categoryid=14&cs=1&s=h&p=0 Useful Stuff 13 Complied by Peter Stewart
  14. 14. Television Q&A: Odd Times an Old Tactic to Keep Viewers Q: Why are certain prime-time programs starting before or ending before or after their normal time? Recently "Lost" ran past the normal 10 pm ending time. http://feed.insnews.org/v-cgi/feeds.cgi?feedid=145&story_id=1775795 AOL wins first iPod Emmy The first recipient of the historic new Emmy Award -- "video content for nontraditional delivery platforms" -- turns out to be AOL's coverage of the Live 8 concerts. However: The tiny-screen iPod is a "godawful way to watch a movie," writes critic Ty Burr. http://goldderby.latimes.com/awards_goldderby/2006/04/daytime_emmys_w.html Will the iPod culture keep shrinking our beloved big-screen treasures until they're this tiny? A film critic looks at the little picture and the legal and technical issues behind it. http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2006/04/23/will_the_ipod_culture_keep_shrinking_our_belo ved_big_screen_treasures_until_theyre_this_tiny/ Broadcasters focus on the challenge from the web Local television stations, seeing their networks potentially bypassing them in the rush to offer shows online, are meeting this week at the annual gathering of the National Association of Broadcasters to figure out how to keep from becoming "less relevant." Ironically, TV-Turnoff Week starts today. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060422/ap_en_bu/broadcasters_show_internet Television stations urged to break a few rules on the web The Web site of WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., generates more advertising revenue than the site of a local newspaper. Television stations are being encouraged to do more "thinking out of the box" with muliplatforming. Says NBC Universal exec Beth Comstock: "It's about staying in business." Broadcasters gather to discuss multiplatform content The theme of this year's gathering of the Television Bureau of Advertising, an organization that promotes broadcast TV, was the importance of the multiplatform. And speakers such as Beth Comstock, president for digital media and market development at NBC Universal, pushed attendees to break with the past: "This isn't just about driving growth. It's about staying in business." http://www.nytimes.com/glogin? URI=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/21/business/media/21adco.html&OQ=_rQ3D1&OP=1307e526Q 2FQ22Q3CQ5CsQ22Q7EcGpXccQ23Q3EQ22Q3EKKQ2AQ22K4Q22Q3E.Q22s,ptgQ5CppQ22- Q5CQ7EtxQ22Q3E.xQ7EGcQ2BDQ23-j TheSmokingGun takes aim at video Court TV's TheSmokingGun, which exposed memoir faker James Frey, is planning to launch a broadband channel, offering video clips of public officials and celebrities engaged in obnoxious behavior. TheSmokingGun "minutes" will also air on Court TV. Viewers to help pick all-star "Big Brother" cast For this summer's all-star version of its "Big Brother" reality competition, CBS is giving the TV audience a say in the casting. Viewers will help choose the final cast from a group of 20 previous contestants. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117941392?categoryid=14&cs=1&s=h&p=0 NBC Universal, affiliates form broadband venture NBC Universal and its affiliates are forming a joint venture to sell news and other video generated by local stations. The new company, tentatively called National Broadband Co., aims to give NBC stations access to millions of dollars in advertising migrating from traditional television to the Internet. http://www.thestreet.com/_tscrss/stocks/media/10280282.html New device could force TV viewers to watch ads An invention from Royal Philips Electronics prevents television viewers from switching the channel during commercials or fast-forwarding past commercials when watching DVR content. Viewers would be released from the freeze only after paying a fee to the broadcaster. Useful Stuff 14 Complied by Peter Stewart
  15. 15. http://news.com.com/Philips+device+could+force+TV+viewers+to+watch+ads/2100-1041_3-6062861. html TV's pundit professors need to be quick with a quote (Chronicle of Higher Education) University administrators applaud professors who engage in public debate, yet they acknowledge that by going on television, academics risk appearing less scholarly. Fellow faculty members may criticize them for oversimplifying complex ideas, yet those colleagues may also envy their popular success. http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=wnt86k5j1y0bzwb782s3d3mp5ntw7qz4 Mediocrity takes over television A wave of mediocrity has taken over the (Indian) television medium as a result, the more gimmicks and shock value you add to the programme, the higher the ratings. http://www.screenindia.com/fullstory.php?content_id=12371 TV stations still can't resist pre-packaged video news Local television stations are again coming under fire from media watchdogs and the FCC for using so- called video news releases during their newscasts without full disclosure. Ethical standards are softening as cost pressures increase, writes Joe Flint. "Using VNRs is about saving money." http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB114591217366434458- e7v3MOPfZ3SvlTL80M28KySEzos_20070425.html ABC exec says iPod platform increases audience Selling programming through Apple Computer's iTunes has increased, not cannibalized ABC's audience, according to ABC Media Networks co-chair Anne Sweeney. In her keynote address at a National Association of Broadcasters luncheon, Sweeney said it was time to give up old business models. http://hollywoodreporter.com/thr/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002386027 BBC looks beyond TV The BBC, saying it no longer thinks of itself as primarily a TV or radio company, announced plans to expand its already-prominent Web presence. Chief among the new projects is a social networking site similar to MySpace.com. http://users2.wsj.com/lmda/do/checkLogin?mg=wsj-users2&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com %2Farticle%2FSB114600098243035689.html%3Fmod%3Dmm_media_marketing_hs_left Are you sure screenwriting is for you? [MBToolbox] Are you an aspiring screenwriter? Think that your movies ideas are the shizz? That your wonderful scripts are the only thing that will keep Brad and Jen in communication? You're ready to hang out at the Ivy and give up all walking privileges? You might want to read this blog entry by screenwriter Josh Friedman before you pack your bags and move to L.A. http://www.mediabistro.com/mbtoolbox/genre/are_you_sure_screenwriting_is_for_you_35510.asp U.S TV consultants “Frank N. Magid Associates, the world leader in research-based consultation, applies the most rigorous research methods available to study behaviours, attitudes, and intentions of your audience. Our knowledge base is substantive, encompassing thousands of research studies and consultation engagements. Our 350 experienced professionals and operations staff serve clients around the world from offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Marion, Iowa.” http://www.magid.com/index.asp TV News theme tunes “We started to wonder about the message behind the evening newscasts' theme songs. What kind of message are they imparting? Does it work? We decided to take a few of those questions to some professionals, who listened to the opening themes of the CBS “Evening News,” NBC “Nightly News,” and ABC “World News Tonight” from last Thursday evening.” (with audio links) http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2006/04/25/publiceye/entry1543521.shtml +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ IF YOU THINK THIS ISSUE IS WORTH READING... Useful Stuff 15 Complied by Peter Stewart
  16. 16. Please forward this entire issue to five of your friends and/or colleagues! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Useful Stuff about New Media Net Stuff • CNN.com presents a new homepage CNN.com is redesigning its home page, aiming to provide "faster access" to news and other resources. The new look highlights the news network's exclusive coverage, most popular stories, live and on-demand video, podcasts, radio and more. http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/03/26/cnn.com.homepage/ • Survey Offers a 'Sneak Peek' Into Net Surfers' Brains Internet surfers pay little attention to pricey banner ads screaming for attention, according to an eye-tracking study by Nielsen Norman Group. Also, people read Web pages in an "F" pattern and are more inclined to read longer sentences at the top of a page. http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/2006-03-26-web-use-study_x.htm • Study: US web radio listening up 50% The percentage of Americans that regularly listens to Internet radio rose sharply this year. http://www.billboardradiomonitor.com/radiomonitor/news/business/digital/article_display.jsp? vnu_content_id=1002344052 • BBC looks to MySpace for web site revamp The BBC is planning to overhaul its Web site to include more blogs, home videos and other user-generated content. It also aims to become the "premier destination" for unsigned music groups. BBC head Mark Thompson admits: The foundations of traditional media are being "swept away." http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/NewsArticle.aspx? type=internetNews&storyID=2006-04-25T171648Z_01_L25721547_RTRIDST_0_OUKIN-UK- MEDIA-BBC-MYSPACE.XML • What will it take to be the next MySpace? Dozens of start-ups are trying to do to MySpace what MySpace did to the first big social- networking site, Friendster. The upstart TagWorld has video and blogging features that are more advanced than on MySpace, claims its creator. TagWorld is also keen on introducing Web shopping. http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB114600135884335697- wB8JtppfyPdA8msP6HCRj8jjnEE_20070425.html • More Americans using the web for life's critical decisions The Internet is playing an increasingly significant role in helping Americans handle critical events, such as buying a home or sending a child to college, according to a survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Better online content is cited as one reason for the increase. http://www.techweb.com/wire/ebiz/186100379 • Yahoo redesign to highlight original news Yahoo is planning to launch a redesign in the coming week to "reflect lessons learned" from the introduction of its original reporting area, "The Hot Zone with Kevin Sites." Yahoo News head Neil Budde says the site will be easier to navigate and will highlight both video and text stories. http://money.cnn.com/2006/04/20/news/companies/pluggedin_fortune/index.htm • Students asked to find 'the next Google of online content' Through a relationship with mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, Cisco Systems is launching a "Digital Incubator" contest that will award 10 student groups with $25,000 in cash to fund projects aimed at developing content for broadband users. http://news.com.com/Cisco+looks+to+university+students+for+ideas/2100-1025_3-6062941.ht ml Ipod Stuff • A state b’caster charging for pods? (ABC Australia) “The ABC making money from programming? Is that kosher? Under the ABC’s charter, commercial sponsorship is definitely out, but through its Enterprise Division it can package Useful Stuff 16 Complied by Peter Stewart
  17. 17. and sell material to the public – which it does very successfully online and through its chain of ABC shops. So why not charge for Podcasts says Management? “ http://www.radioinfo.com.au/forum.php • The new Ouch podcast It has a strange politically incorrect authority about it. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/podcast/ • What have these sites got in common? Examiner.com, CA (http://www.examiner.com/); InTheNews.co.uk, UK (http://www.inthenews.co.uk/ ) ; ISRIA, DC; Al-Manar, Lebanon; KABOBfest, DC; Trading Markets, CA. They're six of the 136 sites that Newsknife found during March for the first time at Google News. http://www.newsknife.com/ • Podcasting shakes up local media The rise of on-demand programming may mean a wider audience, but radio and television affiliates fear losing advertising dollars. The 350 member stations of National Public Radio are worried that making programs available to iPods could bring a drop-off in listeners. http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0417/p02s02-ussc.html • Jellycast We host your podcast, letting you publish and transmit audio files across the world via our service. We provide lightning fast hosting, excellent bandwidth and all the support you need to upload, publish and broadcast your own podcast. And all for as little as a one-off setup fee http://www.jellycast.com/ • No Technical Knowledge Needed to Create Podcasts at Gabcast.com If your goal is to create your own Podcast but you want a zero technical curve, then Gabcast.com might be your service. www.gabcast.com Technical Stuff • New TiVo boxes let users record two shows at once TiVo is to start selling digital video recorders with dual tuners that allow users to record two television programs simultaneously. The new feature can help TiVo boxes compete against generic recorders provided by cable and satellite television operators, which are often distributed for free. http://news.com.com/New+TiVo+boxes+let+users+record+two+shows+at+once/2100-1041_3- 6065029.html • Products woven into mobiles Jon Fine: If advertisers have their way, brands and products will be woven into mobile programming to an even greater degree than they have already invaded movies and TV. Cell Phones, iPods May Be Next Frontier for Product Placement (BusinessWeek) Blogging Stuff • Aggregators, weblogs and portals A whole stash of links and information http://homepage.mac.com/schottjohn/we_media_online.ntweb/?1 • Handwringing by 'old' media execs at broadcasting powwow New-media platforms must be tested to reach younger audiences, says CBS Radio exec Harvey Nagler. "We don't know how much of it is working, but we know we have to be out there." Dan Rather says that blogs can be "a useful addition" to news, but "accountability must play a larger role." http://www.radioandrecords.com/Newsroom/2006_04_25/harveynagler.asp http://www.nabshow.com • Blog readers have distinct characteristics A new survey by Blogads says that different segments of blog readers have distinct characteristics. The majority of mom, gossip and music readers visit blogs for their humour, while most political blog readers like blogs because they provide news they can't find elsewhere. http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3601636 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Useful Stuff 17 Complied by Peter Stewart
  18. 18. What do you reckon to U/S? What do you want more or less of? Please let me know so it can be made even more useful! Peter.Stewart@bbc.co.uk +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Two-Minute Top Up Further thoughts on basic ideas “The Emergency Services The police, fire, ambulance and coastguard services have a unique relationship with the media - both sides need the other. Information from these sources is often the staple diet of dramatic stories featured in local radio news bulletins. As publicly-funded organisations, the day-to-day work of the emergency services should be accountable. They often need to use the media to put over preventative messages about crime and safety as well as appealing for witnesses. Regular check calls must be made to all the emergency services, usually to a recorded voicebank system. Sometimes, the emergency services will call you with tip-offs. Make sure you have met the press officers in each service and ensure that a good relationship continues. If you fall out (maybe a story was given to your rival station), make it your business to resume friendly relations as soon as possible. Stories from the emergency services are made available to the media via regularly updated voicebank recordings on special phone lines. Some police forces also use the Internet with access through password-protected websites. Some district reporters still have regular meetings at local police stations. However press officers are not the only sources of news stories. For example, a good local newsroom will not only make a point of speaking to the press office or listening to the voicebank recording regularly, but also talking direct to the operational officers on the ground and ‘teasing’ out some of the offbeat stories which occur. Build relationships with people when the news is good. Then when a bad story breaks, you already have the contacts – and they owe you a favour! Visit your emergency services PROs as often as you can. Then when there is breaking news, they can put a face to a name at an incident. Information is much more forthcoming and you may be put top of the call sheet or given the interview ahead of your rival. A word of warning: the police do not always observe the laws of libel and contempt as well as they might. Treat all information from them with care and subject it to the same legal tests as you would any other story. News Releases News releases are an excellent source of basic information but need to be looked at carefully. They are distributed by people who want you to express a story in their terms. In reality, what they want to say may not be a story - for example, shops putting out ‘statements’ about winter sales. Alternatively, it may be genuine news but one-sided - for example, a release from a political party. (FIGURE 3.6) In most cases, you will need to contact the source of the release to verify facts, get more information or set up an interview. Phoning people about their releases can be an education, particularly when public relations companies are involved. There are good, efficient PR companies who earn the fees they charge their clients by releasing factual, well-researched and well-angled information and make covering a story easier. There are also incompetent firms who waste time and money all round. Be particularly wary of any PR company sending out a press release to radio stations enclosing photographs (think about it!), referring to your ‘readers’, inviting you to a photocall, omitting phone numbers or forgetting to include the date of a forthcoming event. When you do make contact, among the most idiotic responses are: ‘Why do you want to talk to anyone? It’s all in the press release...”; “We could get someone to talk to you about this towards the end of next week”, and “You won’t actually want to record this, will you?” Useful Stuff 18 Complied by Peter Stewart
  19. 19. However, if the release comes from an ‘amateur’ source, you can be more forgiving about errors. Local people like charities, pressure groups and religious organisations do not know the rules like you do. Audio News Releases Some public relations companies send audio clips or full interviews with their news releases as another incentive to get their story on air. These are known as Audio News Releases or Electronic Press Kits. County councils may send stations an interview with the chief executive, the fire brigade with an officer at the scene of a fire, or a film company an interview with the Hollywood star of a new release. You must decide whether you are going to use interviews with such people who have not been subjected to independent questioning. You may not be able to get an interview with a fire officer any other way than agreeing to broadcast a piece from the brigade’s press office, but should you run an interview with the council’s chief executive about job cuts if they have not been rigorously cross examined? Similarly, should you run an interview with a movie star who is advertising a film they appear in, if you refuse to run something similar from a local store which is also advertising a product? Public Utilities The organisations which supply our electricity, gas, water, communications and run our trains and buses are all promising sources of news as what they do will touch the lives of most of your listeners. Treat their news releases with caution as they will usually be ‘slanted’ towards the most positive angle. As with the emergency services, ensure you are in touch with the relevant press officers. Make sure you have the names and numbers of local managers too, especially if the main press office is a long way away. Get to know them better by taking up invitations to visit the local sewage works or railway station. It takes some time, but it can be editorially rewarding - and there is usually some lunch laid on as well!” (Basic Radio Journalism – Focal Press © 2003, Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved) “Structure and flow When you’re sitting in a room with someone telling them a story you can usually tell by their expression whether they care or understand. You’re getting feedback while you tell them. They may even ask questions as you go along. But you don’t have that luxury when you’re putting a TV package together. So the order in which you tell the story and put the pictures together - the structure - is crucial in helping the viewer understand your report. Again, imagine telling that friend what the story is and bear that in mind as you put the piece together. Newspaper reporters use the ‘inverted pyramid’, with key information at the front of the article and the less important elements at the back as the story peters out. But if you’re telling a story in conversation you have to maintain interest all the way through - and in some cases build up to a climax. A television story is most easily understood if it is told chronologically, with the elements arranged in the sequence in which they happened. But this isn’t always possible. Much specialist journalism is about exploring policies and arguments which have no strict chronology to them. Whatever the structure, a television news report should flow from the first sentence to the last. Each sentence should flow easily into the next; each sequence into the following one. Joining ideas and thoughts together with no jagged edges and in the clearest possible way. The most effective and powerful pieces are those with elements arranged in the best logical order for understanding and told in a way that holds the viewer’s attention from beginning to end. But sometimes a lack of pictures means there is a trade-off, or tension, between the best order for understanding and putting the sequences together in a way which keeps the audience watching. So it is by no means always easy or obvious. But the ability subtly and seamlessly to turn corners from one sequence to another is often what marks out the really good news writer - pulling the best of the sound, the pictures and the story together to maximum effect. The key to structure and flow lies in two things: firstly, fitting sequences together into an order which best uses their logical and natural connections; and secondly, moving from one sequence to another by relating thoughts and sentences to each other with ‘transition’ words or phrases. You must use the skill and power of your writing to make each new sequence of pictures or interview clip ‘hold hands’ with next one. And always remembering that every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Useful Stuff 19 Complied by Peter Stewart
  20. 20. Transitions between sequences The most obvious transition words or phrases are those like and, so, but, with that, even so, and so. These connect one sequence of pictures or interview to the next and achieve a sense of flow through the piece. At its very simplest: SCRIPT: “….worried that school exclusions have now reached record levels.” [NEW SEQUENCE - TEACHER] SCRIPT: “So Teachers like Sue Bloggs have decided…” Adding ‘so’ makes the transition from one sequence of pictures to the next. Similarly: SCRIPT: “..by rationing the number of students from private schools.” [NEW SEQUENCE - UNIVERSITY] SCRIPT: “But This new university in east London has chosen a different method. It…” Or this could have been: “But that’s not what this new university in east London is doing. It….” Crucially, that little ‘but’ gives a sense of continuity - it flows from the previous sentence - and takes you seamlessly from one set of pictures to the next. Referencing back to the previous sentence has the same effect: SCRIPT: “….will stop at nothing less than independence. “ [NEW SEQUENCE - TROOPS] SCRIPT: “But however hard they fight for that independence, these troops…..” Or into a graphic: SCRIPT: “…are worried that the measures go too far.” [NEW SEQUENCE - GRAPHIC] SCRIPT: “So, what exactly would the measures mean to someone earning £30,000 a year?” Some other transitions: “Nearby….” “Two miles away….” “Within hours…” “Two hours later…” “And this is why:…” “And here’s the reason:…” These are all phrases which help to ‘hold hands’ with the previous sequence or sentence . But try to avoid the over-used, “meanwhile” and “in a separate development”. Too often, correspondents start a new sequence of pictures almost as though they were starting a new piece. Consider these sentences - each beginning a new sequence of pictures in the same piece: SEQUENCE 1: “It’s the first religious festival they’ve been able to have….” SEQUENCE 2: “These survivors may be celebrating today, but the reality…” SEQUENCE 3: “These three sisters are cyclone orphans…” SEQUENCE 4: “This place is between relief and reconstruction..” SEQUENCE 5: “Yet another legacy of the cyclone…” The beginning of each sequence could be the beginning of an entirely new piece. There are no transitions from sequence to sequence. No connections. No flow. Sometimes a transition can be more sophisticated. In a report from Kosovo, for example, one correspondent moved from a sequence of a funeral to one of a soldier returning home with the words: “The funeral was over by the time this man returned home from the fighting at the front.” Again, this took the viewer seamlessly from one sequence to the next. As does this: Useful Stuff 20 Complied by Peter Stewart
  21. 21. SCRIPT: “..the UN is investigating 606 individual cases of murder. We knew some of the victims.” [NEW SEQUENCE - PRISON] SCRIPT: “Now it’s time to meet some of the murderers.” This example references ahead and cleverly sets up the move to the next sequence of pictures: “We knew some of the victims,” over the end of one sequence, “Now it’s time to meet…” over the start of the new sequence. Transitions in and out of interview clips are just as important. CLIP: “…depends on what happens.” [NEW SEQUENCE] SCRIPT: “And what happens depends on this man……” Or into an interview clip: SCRIPT: ”… but locals feel resentful. The question they want answered? [NEW SEQUENCE - INTERVIEW CLIP] CLIP: “Why should these outsiders get special treatment when…” Consider the correspondent’s script in the following examples about suicides in prisons. CLIP (union officer): “It's something that unfortunately we experienced a lot at Brixton. It's quite stressful, and to be honest with you, the staff really are totally and utterly demoralised.” SCRIPT: Last month, 21 prisoners tried to kill or seriously harm themselves in Brixton. The Government says it wants inmates who need help to get the same treatment as on the NHS, but that's far from the case currently. The minister promised extra staff…… The script does not naturally flow on from the sound bite. The union officer is one ‘block’, the script is treated like the next ‘block.’ And the language is ‘stiff’ - “that’s far from the case currently..” is not a phrase you would be likely to use in conversation. The script could have been: CLIP: “…the staff are totally and utterly demoralised.” SCRIPT: “..and that’s not surprising - 21 prisoners tried to kill or seriously harm themselves in Brixton last month alone. The Government says inmates should get the same treatment they would get on the NHS - but that seems a long way off…. This achieves a sense of flow and a conversational delivery. Don’t think of a package as a series of blocks or elements - it should be one continuous flow. If a transition from one sequence to another doesn’t seem possible through language, then use natural sound from the start of the next sequence to indicate a change. (The Television News Handbook Pan © 2003 All rights reserved 2/1) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Coming Soon! Researching Online The internet can really help you track down that elusive contributor - as long as you know how to look, as Paul Myers explains. ”As an investigative researcher, I often find myself trying to trace people and find out more about their interests, activities and involvements. The advent of the Internet, electronic databases, fast searching and easy cross-referencing has revolutionised this. For example, if I'm investigating John Smith, an alleged criminal from Norwich, it's worth me visiting an online electoral role like Cameo. This reveals personal details like the names of family members and neighbours (useful as potential interviewees). More profile information may be found in local and national newspaper searches, online phone books, message boards, the companies house website and even Friends Reunited, but wherever I look, I gather useful extra keywords as I go. The names of his family, the university he went to, causes he is Useful Stuff 21 Complied by Peter Stewart
  22. 22. involved with and even the football team he supports can all help my investigation by narrowing down my searches. His email address is perhaps the most powerful clue you can find. There's every chance that John Smith himself has an online presence, but whilst there may be millions of John Smiths on Google, only one of them will have the email address johncanaries6578@yahoo.com. Not many people think of putting an email address into Google's search box, but as it is unique to the individual it will produce anything they have sent to online message boards, email lists and communities they belong to. If I find nothing for this particular email address I will try searching for the 'user name' on its own as there's every chance he may also have registered johncanaries6578@hotmail.com or johncanaries6578@aol.com. It is easily possible that any personal keywords I find, together with the lateral thinking and sheer persistence I use in my searches, will produce the exclusive information that makes it all worthwhile.” Paul Myers specialises in internet research and teaches web page design and image production. Paul writes for bbc.co.uk and regularly produces internet live chat shows with guests as diverse as Ken Livingstone and Westlife. He also acts as an online research consultant for Watchdog. Improve your research skills: Investigative Research on the Net Part 1 Investigative Research on the Net Part 2 If you are reading this outside the BBC, you can find out more by visiting www.bbctraining.com +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ DID SOMEONE FORWARD THIS ISSUE TO YOU? Subscribe for FREE and receive each issue as soon as it's released! SUBSCRIBE NOW: Peter.stewart@bbc.co.uk and tell us how you heard about it. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Useful Links Classroom bullying Continuing until June, the online and large-scale investigation into what goes on in UK classrooms. With special sections for pupils, parents and teachers. www.thenationalsurvey.co.uk New words Every day new words enter the language. This site looks at the more interesting arrivals and makes up new ones. Look up ‘madeupwordino’! www.neologasm.org Where’s it gone? Vast amounts of content have vanished from the internet, but you can retrieve it if you know where to look. Here you can browse 55m pages archived from 1996 to today. www.archive.org/web/web.php ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Don’t forget our training can be done at one of our sites – or with you round at your place at a time to suit you. We can also do weekend courses or ones in the evening to fit with your rotas. And we can tailor-make or slightly alter a course to make it more appropriate to you and your team. Just ask us what we can do! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Useful Stuff on Stories Ambulance inspections WBZ-TV in Boston made some troubling discoveries when it looked into how safe local ambulances are. Many are not property equipped to save lives. The station analysed hundreds of state inspection records and complaints involving local ambulances. Among the disturbing findings: ambulances Useful Stuff 22 Complied by Peter Stewart
  23. 23. caught without the equipment or drugs needed to treat patients. Some ambulances were unsanitary, and others had crews that didn't appear properly trained. Source: "I-Team Uncovers Ambulance Violations," WBZ-TV, February 9, 2006 http://cbs4boston.com/iteam/local_story_040191134.html College cheating An investigative report by KCTV-TV in Kansas City took viewers inside the world of college cheating. Fuelled by the internet, it's easier than ever for students to avoid doing the work themselves to get a good grade. The station showed just how simple it has become for students to purchase papers and hand them in as their own. The reporter bought a term paper, ironically on "ethics," from a man claiming to be a Harvard grad. The man charges $25 per page to write students papers for them. Colleges are onto this type of cheating and are fighting back with their own high-tech weapon. Some schools now use a system called TurnItIn.com, which can spot whether a paper has been plagiarized and is not a student's original work. For example, the term paper the station bought was analysed by this system and flagged as a fake. Source: "Purchased Papers," KCTV-TV, February 9, 2006 http://www.kctv5.com/Global/category.asp?C=76211 Illegal ID cards An investigation by WBBM-TV in Chicago showed just how easy it is to get fake identification. The station went undercover and was able to purchase ID, a fake Social Security card and a permanent residency card for $220. IDs like these are often needed by identity thieves to commit larger crimes, such as loan scams. Source: "Avoid Becoming A Victim of The Credit Con," WBBM-TV, February 9, 2006 http://cbs2chicago.com/investigations/local_story_040214306.html Freegans WHDH-TV in Boston reported on a strange new lifestyle choice: freegans. As a statement against America's waste and over-consumption, freegans eat food they find for free. Often this found food comes from restaurant and grocery store dumpsters. They are also vegans - they don't eat any meat or dairy products. The report included comments from freegans in both New York and Boston. Most have jobs and make enough money to pay for their meals. Source: “Dinner from the dumpster," WHDH-TV, February 6, 2006 http://www1.whdh.com/features/articles/specialreport/BO13944/ Surveillance video WFTS-TV in Tampa looked at how the latest technology in video surveillance cameras is impacting the fight against crime. So many stores now have cameras that it's leading to a rise in arrests and successful prosecutions. Digital cameras are now providing clear images of suspects. One police officer says the switch to digital is leading to a "tenfold" increase in the conviction rate. Source: "More crimes being solved thanks to surveillance video," WFTS-TV, February 6, 2006 http://www.abcactionnews.com/stories/2006/02/060206videos.shtml Wrinkle treatment WEWS-TV in Cleveland says a medical breakthrough first developed for patients suffering from AIDS has now become a hot new beauty treatment. A substance called Sculptra was originally approved by the FDA as a treatment for drawn-looking facial deformities caused by AIDS. It's injected to make faces seem fuller and healthier. Now the substance is being used to fight wrinkles. The effects last for about two years. Source: "New Procedure Helps Get Rid Of Wrinkles," WEWS-TV, February 7, 2006 http://www.newsnet5.com/specialassignment/6708964/detail.html Dollar store dangers An investigation by KGTV-TV in San Diego found dangerous electrical appliances being sold at deep discount and dollar stores. The station found hair curlers, nightlights and other products that did not go through inspection by Underwriters Laboratories to make sure they are safe. Some had forged UL certificates. Others didn't have any at all. Many of the products apparently come from China. Without UL testing and approval, the products pose a fire risk. Source: "Discount Store Dangers," KGTV-TV, February 10, 2006 Useful Stuff 23 Complied by Peter Stewart
  24. 24. http://www.10news.com/investigations/6921492/detail.html Fighting bad customer service WHDH-TV in Boston aired a report on a new way consumers can fight bad customer service. Many companies try to discourage their customers from seeking help or filing complaints by using confusing voicemail systems. Consumers get put on hold or can't figure out the right buttons to push to get help. Now a new website, GetHuman.com, is publishing the codes that instantly get callers to actual human beings for customer service help, bypassing the automated recordings. The site also allows people to vote on which companies have the best and worst customer service. Source: "Live on the line," WHDH-TV, February 8, 2006 http://www1.whdh.com/features/articles/specialreport/BO14072/ Jewelry appraisals WCCO-TV in Minneapolis aired a report about a problem that millions of Americans might be wearing on their ring fingers. The station looked at the price consumers ultimately pay for shoddy jewelry appraisals. The station took a ring to local appraisers and found the work and expertise varied greatly. There were inconsistencies about the quality and weight of diamonds, something you'd think would be standardized and beyond question. Many people insure their jewelry, but those policies won't pay to replace the full value of a stolen piece without a proper, detailed appraisal. Source: "Jewelry Appraisals," WCCO-TV, February 8, 2006 http://wcco.com/iteam/local_story_038133219.html +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Any ideas on what can be made more useful about Useful Stuff? Peter.Stewart@bbc.co.uk +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Dilemmas, Doubts and Decisions “ Your station participates in the plan, whereby you broadcast the name, photo and relevant information about a child as soon as possible after an abduction occurs. If the child is returned, and the police report that the child had been sexually assaulted or abused, how do you handle that news? Do you keep using the child's name, or do you stop? ” Ethical Journalism The New York Times has an ethics handbook which you can download right here http://www.nytco.com/pdf/NYT_Ethical_Journalism_0904.pdf as does the Radio and Television News Director Foundation http://www.rtnda.org/ethics/coe.shtml Ethics in a sex sting A broadcast ethicist believes Dateline NBC crossed the line journalistically when it compensated Perverted-Justice as "consultants" for a weekend Internet sting that netted 18 people on attempted unlawful sexual conduct charges. "There are several ethics issues involved in this … There's concern when news departments become an arm of law enforcement. There should be a separation of journalists and police, and our job is to cover what they do but not enable and become a participant in the enforcement." q=cache:utZYDY0lpO4J:www.daytondailynews.com/news/content/localnews/daily/0328ethics.html+ %22There%27s+concern+when+news+departments+become+an+arm+of+law+enforcement %22&hl=en&gl=uk&ct=clnk&cd=1 When should a r eporter help? (CSM) Daily journalism involves many dilemmas. But Western reporters covering developing countries often face unique conundrums: A little humanity — just the change in their pockets — can sometimes feed 10 or 20 people. Such giving can violate a basic tenet of journalism: Observe, don't engage. http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0406/p01s03-woaf.html Fake TV news is a real-life problem Last September, KABC, the ABC affiliate for Los Angeles, aired a story during the 5 p.m. Tuesday Useful Stuff 24 Complied by Peter Stewart
  25. 25. newscast about a blood test to find allergies in kids. It looked like a legit news story, with interviews, graphics, cute kids and a voice-over by a KABC news reporter. It wasn't, though. The report was a canned video news release, or VNR, produced for and paid by Quest Diagnostics, a company that runs labs around the country that do this very sort of testing. There was no disclosure by the station that the piece was an advertorial. www.prwatch.org/fakenews/execsummary +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Useful Stuff is interactive – tell us your thoughts, what you do well and what you’d like help with and we’ll try and help in a future edition. Peter.Stewart@bbc.co.uk +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The Shop Floor The Best Media and Journo books and films. Scoop: A Novel About Journalists - Evelyn Waugh -- One of Waugh's most exuberant comedies, Scoop is a brilliantly irreverent satire of Fleet Street and its hectic pursuit of hot news. http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0141187492/qid=1145372016/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_2_1/026-6 476481-9899664 The Parallax View - Joe Frady is a determined reporter who often needs to defend his work from colleagues. After the assassination of a prominent U.S. senator, Frady begins to notice that reporters present during the assassination are dying mysteriously. After getting more involved in the case, Frady begins to realize that the assassination was part of a conspiracy somehow involving the Parallax Corporation, an enigmatic training institute. He then decides to enrol for the Parallax training himself to discover the truth. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071970/ +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Finally… Mug of the Month Dunker mug - Ahhh yes, the perennial British favourite of tea and biscuits goes together like strawberries and cream, rhubarb and custard, Canon and Ball. Ok, so the last example wasn't so hot but this simple yet excellent idea from the designer Dominic Skinner now lets you enjoy your favourite brew with up to three of your favourite biccies close to hand. Dunking marvellous! http://www.alt-gifts.com/shop/shop/page/product/product_id/2747 Celeb face recognition. Upload your face photo (or not, it will find your face) and get a slideshow of celebrities that resemble you! http://www.myheritage.com Top Ten Things You Don't Want To Hear From Your Weather Forecaster (From the "Late Show with David Letterman," 8/6/01) 10. "It looks like there's about a 70% chance of rain and about a 100% chance I'm going to get blind, stinkin' drunk tonight" 9. "It's going to be a hot one today, so use this as an opportunity to make fun of a fat guy in a tank top" 8. "I hope the heavy rains don't uncover the bodies I buried" 7. "Today I am feeling unseasonably sexy" 6. "Rain, sun, snow, sleet -- what's the difference? We're all gonna die someday" 5. "I have no idea what any of this means, I should probably take a class or something" Useful Stuff 25 Complied by Peter Stewart
  26. 26. 4. "There's a light trickle going on right now, which reminds me -- Sheila, would you get an appointment with Dr. Fisch for me" 3. "Enough with the weather, let's take a look at my recent oral surgery" 2. "After all this talk about rain, I gotta take a wicked leak" 1. "Die, you millions of tiny, pathetic people, die!" Quiz for you: computer programmer or serial killer? http://www.malevole.com/mv/misc/killerquiz/ 50 ways to funk-up your iPod http://www.kottke.org/plus/50-ways-ipod/ Siemens – a banned word This site claims the US government reads your mail looking for banned words … among them ‘Siemens’. Click here for all the words they’re watching and listening for. http://planetquo.net/References/ECHELONKeywords.html Brutally honest film reviews If you've ever looked forward to a movie, and ended up wishing you could throw a tomato at the screen, this is the movie site for you. http://www.rottentomatoes.com 75 bands in the picture They give you one example: a basket containing stem roses and shotguns... "Guns and Roses", get it? How about the number "20" shaped out of matchboxes? Mmm, I found "Smashing Pumpkins" How fun! http://snipurl.com/p5xu +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Useful Stuff is produced by Peter Stewart BBC Training and Development  Peter.Stewart@bbc.co.uk  02 89414 (The small print: Links were checked just before distribution – though some news sites archive their pages and may not be available when you click. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Some sites require free registration. Some links are BBC-sensitive and so are only available via the BBC intranet. Story titles and taster- paragraphs are taken from the sites to which they link, and are not the views of the BBC or suggest endorsement. Other online book/video stores are available) Previous editions of Useful Stuff are archived at www.bbctraining.com/usefulstuff Useful Stuff 26 Complied by Peter Stewart