Getting Your News Delivered by Mobile

Sourced from: Advancing the Story  Posted by Deb Wenger on 12/04/09 •

When I took a spin through the first 200 or so news apps on the Apple Web site earlier this year, WKRG in Mobile, Alabama, was the only local TV station featured. So, why is that? It may be that many local news organizations are not yet trying to capitalize on the mobile audience.

David Rencher, interactive media director for WKRG, a Media General-owned station, thinks that’s a mistake.

“Well,the way I see it is that we can’t just look at ourselves as a TV station,” Rencher said. “We are a content creators and we have to provide that content on whatever platform the user wishes to consume it.”


Looking for help to jumpstart this process in your newsroom. Call or email me.  270-443-3089 or

Reviews find ‘dangerous pattern’ in morning shows’ health coverage

Coffee is good for your heart, coffee causes dementia, Orange Juice is good, Orange Juice is bad.  For years, I have coached writers and producers to view medical claims with skepticism.   Few things in life scare me more than a tease offering “new hope for women with breast cancer”,  or “Could this odd looking device end your back pain forever?”

Morning Show Health Coverage needs Rx
Morning Show Health Coverage needs Rx

Now, monitoring the health claims on television has become a vocation.   HealthNewsReview is put together by University of Minnesota journalism professor Gary Schwitzer and his team of two dozen health-news reviewers.  Every producer in the country should be looking at this.

More from Susan Perry at the MinnPost:

I seldom watch the morning network news shows. For one thing, I’m usually at my computer in the early morning hours, writing this blog. But I also like to keep my blood pressure at a low, calm level. I find much of the news reporting on the morning news shows frustratingly shallow.

Wanting to throw a cup of coffee at the TV set is not good, I believe, for one’s blood pressure.

University of Minnesota journalism professor Gary Schwitzer and his team of two dozen health-news reviewers do watch the morning news shows — or, at least, the health segments on them. They then publish their reviews of those segments on Schwitzer’s indispensable (for health consumers as well as health journalists) online site HealthNewsReview.

What they’ve found lately is disturbing, if not all that surprising. As Schwitzer wrote Monday in a “publisher’s note”:

By reviewing health news coverage every day, we are able to see big pictures of clear patterns unfolding that the casual day-to-day news consumer may miss.

One picture is quite clear. The morning health news segments on ABC, CBS and NBC do the following regularly:

• Unquestioningly promote new drugs and new technologies

• Feed the “worried well” by raising unrealistic expectations of unproven technologies that may produce more harm than good

• Fail to ask tough questions

• Make any discussion of health care reform that much more difficult

He then lists some of the network news segments that back up those perceptions. Here are a few recent examples with Schwitzer’s comments: Continue reading “Reviews find ‘dangerous pattern’ in morning shows’ health coverage”

The lesson of the Inauguration for local news

Obama Pennsylvania Ave.We don’t have numbers yet, but predictions are that Obama’s inauguration will be the largest television event in history. Here are my Outside The News Box thoughts on this historic occasion.

Our future is in television events
From covering big events like Super Bowls and Inaugurations, to our approach to Breaking News, we have got to elevate our presentation to produce a steady stream of “events that viewers will find engaging, exciting, and wonderfully unpredictable. We must be “live” on all our platforms. Our future is about “currency” and “urgency”

Social Networking is still more about engaging than numbers
Alot of people are engaging us in new and exciting ways, but their numbers are still dwarfed by television viewing. Facebook and CNN provided a great service today, allowing me to watch and network at the same time. Twitter had its biggest day ever. But I saw as many “crash and burns” as I saw success stories. I really just wanted to sit and soak up the history. That said, the marketing of social engagement tools says a lot about your organization and servicing this audience is IMPORTANT brand management.

We have got to hire smart people
Today, it was Charles Gibson on ABC who never seemed to be at loss for words. As importantly, he knew when to stop talking. I was in a small golf community last week during the Emergency landing in the Hudson River. The young talent blathered on, repeating themselves, and offered little insight.
We have got to identify new talent, mentor them, give them opportunities to exercise their skills. Insist they know the news of the day, every day! They need that knowledge to ask relevant questions and fill in the gaps as the story plays out.

It takes a plan
We can’t rely on good people to just wing it. When we are executing our latest event we need to planning the next one. Plan, De-brief, then Repeat. Planning helps eliminate repetition, encourages confidence, and identifies where we need to improve.

Your thoughts?