It’s always edifying to me to look back at the year gone by and see what posts have been most popular at NewsLab. It reminds me of what NewsLab readers are most interested in, which helps me plan for the year to come. This year-in-review post also serves another function: to draw your attention to popular posts you might have missed. Once again this year, readers seemed to gravitate to two subject areas: “how-to’s” and “state of the news business.”
Should a journalist ever be a paid spokesman? The answer to this question seemed obvious to me. Frankly, I was stunned when I learned that a local TV reporter was being paid by several companies to promote their products on social media, and even more surprised when her boss said he was OK with it. It’s not OK, any more than “native advertising” is OK. Don’t believe me? Believe John Oliver.
The benefits of live tweeting a meeting. Beyond the immediate payoff of engaging social media followers in an ongoing story, a local TV reporter’s live tweets from a city council meeting also encouraged viewers to tune in for her on-air recap. It was also the perfect story for me to tell on Storify.
Beat reporting: Crime and justice. One of several beat reporting tip sheets posted this year. Others covered education, government and politics, and the environment and science. No suprise, I guess, that the crime tips were most popular, given that crime is the one beat most local TV stations actually cover.
Avoiding the PIO trap. Some PIOs seem to think their No. 1 job is to limit access to information, not to provide it. This post offered suggestions for getting around or through the roadblocks PIOs throw in front of reporters.
Newscasts of the future? Untethered anchors and viewer-generated news content were two “innovations” one local TV station promised this year. Trouble is, those ideas have been around for at least five years and they haven’t exactly set the world on fire.
We’ll try to provide more of what you’re looking for in 2015, if we can stay up and running. Your support in the form of a donation would help. NewsLab has no outside funding whatsoever, so we depend on you, our readers. Thanks for your loyalty, and Happy New Year.