Hire Me Campaign selected me as one of 30 young professionals for college students and recent graduates to follow on Twitter. I am listed as the “all-around journalist” and am very excited to be included on this list of young professional actively using Twitter to share ideas and connect with the world.
Here is where I am featured:
The All-Around Journalist- Lynn Walsh
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Company: WPTV, News Channel 5, www.LynnKWalsh.com
Her Advice: Loving what you do is more important than anything. Seek out positions and companies you are passionate about and if it doesn’t exist do not be afraid to create it.
“30 under 30″ Young Professional Twitter List
Need some advice from a young professional in your industry? Check out our “30 Under 30″ Young Professionals to Follow on Twitter list!From bloggers to entrepreneurs, teachers to engineers, they’ve all given advice specifically for you – the young student or recent grad starting the newest chapter of your life! Make sure to follow them for industry insight, tips of the trade and of course, to make a connection with someone who has been in your shoes and knows how to get to the next level!
An article written for the Radio Television Digital News Association, RTDNA:
Sep 20 2011
By Lynn Walsh, RTDNA Blogger
As the Excellence in Journalism conference looms closer, ask yourself: “Am I ready?”
Yes, you have registered and hopefully already figured out where you are staying, but what about the other details? Have you contacted people to re-connect? Have you made time network with the other thousand or so journalists that will be there? Do you know which sessions you are going and what you will be doing in between the sessions?
Registration and booking a flight are only the first steps. Here are some more ways you can prepare for a conference where journalists from around the world get together to learn, provide advice and most importantly talk business!
Aug 30 2011
By Lynn Walsh, RTDNA Blogger
Journalism is about informing the public and providing information. While we are producing the stories and videos for the public we want them to be easy to understand, right?
When you work to make something informative and also easy to understand it can sometimes make telling the story a little more difficult. Questions like: what details do you include? and what information gets left out? come up all the time!
Those questions can also go beyond facts about the story to information about the people being interviewed in your story. What do you call them? Do you include their formal title that can be a combination of three, four, five and sometimes more words or do you just shorten it to make it faster to say on-air?
A story written for the Society of Professional Journalists’ Generation J committee and the Radio Television Digital News Association:
Aug 17 2011
By Lynn Walsh, RTDNA Blogger & SPJ Generation J Committee Head
Are you a multimedia journalist or a video journalist? Or are you a multimedia producer? Or maybe you consider yourself a digital journalist?
As the technology in the newsroom continues to change, the responsibilities of each person in the newsroom is also changing.
A reporter may now also be considered a photographer, an editor, a web producer, etc. More and more of us do more than just write stories or make the phone calls and do the research for the stories. We are also responsible for taking the pictures, shooting video, creating an online story and more, all while still reporting.
Aug 09 2011
By Lynn Walsh, RTDNA Blogger
As news consumption and delivery continues to change, your role in the newsroom probably continues to change too. Sometimes probably more quickly than you would like.
While you cannot always control what story you are covering on a particular day, you can work to help shape the topics and stories you become remembered and known for.
I think the best way to do this is to think about what you want to become an expert in. Think of it as the go-to person in your newsroom when someone needs a source, story idea or advice about a particular story.
You could be an expert in almost anything. Maybe it is a particular beat (city council, the local school board political races, etc.) or maybe it is a type of reporting (investigations, consumer, breaking news, etc.) You could also become an expert based on mastering certain skills (mobile reporting, creating multimedia and interactive web tools, public information requests, etc.)
Make Reporting Life Less Hectic: How to Manage Story Ideas & Keep Your Quotes
By Lynn Walsh, RTDNA Blogger
While I am not sure anyone can ever have all of it “under control” there are some ways to make small tasks like phone calls more manageable. This is the third of a series of tips I use to help keep my life a little more orderly and less overwhelming. First was phone calls, second was FOIA requests, and the last is story ideas and background information.
Step up and become a newsroom leader
By: Lynn Walsh
As young or new journalists many of us are faced with the stigma associated with being “the new guy.”
The extra phone calls, the posting of web content, the small errands — the list of assignments you receive can sometimes bring you back to the days when you were just an intern.
Just because you are “the new kid on the block” it doesn’t mean you are not a valuable and important part of your news organization. Even though it may not feel like it at first or the adjustment period is taking longer than you would like, hang in there, because they would not have hired you and picked you from probably countless other applicants if they didn’t want you there.
That said, being new also means you have to prove yourself, gain trust and in turn gain more responsibility. You are not going to get any of those things though without stepping up and becoming a leader, someone your boss and colleagues can count on.
For me that has meant being willing to train and be patient with my fellow reporters as I teach them basic video skills like shooting and editing. It has also meant using my love of social media to let my editors know about new online tools that may be great additions to our website or social media coverage.
How do I do this? By sharing and communicating with fellow reporters and editors about interesting websites, great news stories and local events that I find interesting and could see as possibly being worthwhile to my news organization.
You can do this too! It really is not that hard and you are probably doing it already don’t even realize it. The great part about it is that it doesn’t even take that much time. It can be as simple as sharing an e-mail with fellow staff members or spending a few minutes a week just talking to your editor or boss about industry related news. (Sometimes conversations with editors or supervisors can get too caught up in the daily beat you cover. It’s OK to break away from that once in a while!)
The worst thing you can do is assume that everyone else at your news organization has heard about the great new FREE audio recording app you found for your smartphone or that everyone else has also received an invitation to try out a beta version of an up-and-coming social media site.
This goes beyond gadgets and technology too. Just because you signed up to receive updates form the FBI or Department of Justice doesn’t mean everyone did. If there is ever potential for a story based on information you received from an e-mail alert or press release, do not hesitate to speak up. The worst thing someone can say is that they saw it or that they are not interested in having anyone from your news organization cover it.
One thing to keep in mind: do not overwhelm anyone either. Forwarding press releases form the Governors office daily or stories from ESPN and other national news organization may get a little redundant and become annoying, especially if there is a pretty good chance the person is already aware of the situation or story.
Whether you feel like the “newbie” or not, now is the time to step up and show your newsroom what you can do as a journalist!
Lynn Walsh is an investigative video journalist for Texas Watchdog, a nonprofit online news organization that focuses on government transparency and government accountability. Lynn is also the committee chair for Generation J. She is obsessed with social media, new technology and news; get in touch with her on Twitter @LWalsh or by e-mail Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com.
How to be prepared for a journalism training
By: Lynn Walsh
Being able to attend trainings, especially ones lasting more than a few days, is a privilege in this business. So, when you are able to attend them or selected to attend them, I think you need to treasure every minute of them and most importantly be prepared.
This week, I am attending a Web 2.0 training at the Knight Digital Media Center in California. As this week quickly approached, saying I was excited about the opportunity was an understatement. I was eager to meet fellow journalists, learn new tricks and increase my love of journalism even more.
In general, as a training date gets closer and closer, the key for me is preparation — without it I do not think I would be able to enjoy or really learn much from them. So, as with other trainings I began to prepare mentally and electronically.
Here are some ways I prepare for trainings so I can have the ultimate journalism experience, without interruptions:
* Communicate with your news organization ahead of time. Make sure it is clear what, if any, your responsibilities will be while there. Will you be expected to blog? Post updates on social media accounts? Respond to e-mails? The list goes on and on and I think it is crucial in making sure you get the most out of your training. The best way to approach these questions is by asking and having an open conversation about all of this with your boss and editors.
* Let people know you will be gone. Whether it is a source or colleagues. Take the time to send out personal e-mails or to make phone calls to let people know you will be out of pocket for a while. Be sure to set a vacation responder on your e-mail and your voicemail message. If you are OK with being contacted let people know the best way to reach you.
* Share valuable story information or have it easy to find. While you may not be in the newsroom, it doesn’t mean your beat is going to stop moving. If you were working on a major story, let someone know where it stands and where the information is, just in case anything happens. Forward e-mails to other reporters about story leads you received. Copy documents and databases to CD’s or keep them in a place that is easy to locate just in case someone in the newsroom needs to get their hands on it. The same goes for any social organizations or responsibilities you may have too.
* Make sure you leave home AT HOME. From the littlest things like emptying garbage cans to paying bills, make sure you leave yourself enough time to get things at home done so you are not thinking or worrying about them while attending training. Let friends and family know where you are and give them a heads up that you may be hard to get in touch with during the training.
* Come prepared. Make sure you have enough business cards, all of your electronic chargers, pens, a computer if you need one, etc. You want to put your best face forward, so take the time to cover your bases. Check out what the weather is going to be if you are traveling somewhere and pack accordingly. Not sure what the dress code is, it is OK to ask the organizers. And be sure to bring cash and have some on hand, especially for airports and parking.
* Contact old friends. This is only if time and the schedule allows for it (be sure to check with your organizers.) Check your Rolodex and contact people who may be in the area and see if they can grab dinner, drinks, breakfast, etc. It can be a perfect opportunity to reconnect to an old friend or colleague.
Keeping these tips in mind has helped me better enjoy and take advantage of all of the learning and networking opportunities a training can offer. Is there anything I am missing? Let me know how you prepare for a training by posting comments below or on Twitter @SPJGenerationJ or @LWalsh.
7 Tips For Better Mobile Reporting
Jan 20 2011
By Lynn Walsh, Texas Watchdog
Working for a news organization means more than obtaining interviews and writing stories. For most of us, we are also writing content for multiple media platforms, expected to keep a social media presence, shoot video, take photographs and interact with our readers and viewers. On top of all of that, a lot of the content we produce happens instantaneously through the Internet and social media networks.
While it can be overwhelming, the great thing about technology is that while it keeps changing it also finds ways to get easier to use and more portable. Using a laptop is great, but even the smallest ones can get in the way when you are shooting video, live tweeting and taking notes.
It is for that reason, that I am thankful for my iPhone. It’s small, extremely portable and does more than I could ever imagine. Here are some tips on using your iPhone to produce content for your news organization.
1. It’s all about the apps! You are expected to do a lot but luckily there are a lot of free applications that make your life a lot easier. From Twitter to Facebook to photo-sharing sites, be sure you have applications downloaded and are familiar with them before you head to the story. Here are some I cannot live without:
Facebook: Great for posting stories on your own page or your news organizations page. The key is to share information that will get comments from viewers and readers and to keep them informed.
Seesmic for iPhone: I use this to monitor my Twitter accounts. There are lots of options out there but this one works best for me, especially if you are going to be doing a lot of live tweeting. It’s great because you can have different windows for different accounts, different users and different search terms. I have windows for my personal account, my news organizations account, #HISD for the school district I cover, all school board members and other reporters covering education in my area. I have my personal account logged in and my organizations account so I can tweet from both if I have to (Seesmic always give you an option to choose which one before you tweet). It also allows you to do share pictures very easily.
Ping.fm bookmarked on Safari: This site, if you are not already using it is a truly a technology blessing. You register all of your social media accounts with the site and when you post something through the home page, it updates all of the sites at once. Another great feature is it allows you to send information through text messages, which can save the battery life of your phone.
Instagram: This is a picture-sharing site that allows you to edit pictures and make them more artistic while also allowing you to share them. It is gaining a lot of users and most recently was featured on the site Mashable for its use by NPR.
UStream, URecorder and Qik: These are all live video streaming applications that will allow you to broadcast live, save video for later and even send notifications to social networks that you are shooting live video on the web. What I love about these is that they work even if you are not connected to a WiFi network.
Cover it Live: A great live blogging tool to use. I have seen most people use it with their laptops but I think the mobile application is pretty easy to use.
2. Reserve the battery and always keep a charger on hand. A dead phone can really set your day behind, so always have your charger on hand. Also, prepare your phone for a longer battery life by trying these suggestion in this article by PCmag.com. I have done all of the suggestions and it really does work. Plus, all of the notifications can just get in the way some times. Live Tweeting can really drain the battery too, try texting tweets using ping.fm to save some of the battery.
3. Inexpensive accessories. The great thing about the iPhone is that it is so small that it is usually easy to keep steady while shooting video. But, to make it easier there are lots of cheap ($10) accessories you can buy that connect your iPhone to Tripod. Along with steady video, sometimes sound quality can be an issue, try getting a microphone. For more information on some inexpensive accessories worth trying I would check out this article by Mashable.
4. LIVE video streaming is a great tool. The great thing about the iPhone is you can stream video live using many different applications. This gives viewers instant access which they love. It also provides you and your station with content a lot faster. If you are streaming the live video to the stations account (which I would recommend) anyone who has access to the account can online and download what you recorded. The video can then be used in newscast or posted immediately to the website and you have a little less to do and can continue talking to people and gathering information.
5. Time management is key. Balancing the amount of time you are live tweeting, sending photos, shooting video and responding to comments can be the hardest thing. For me I find it easiest if I do it all in a certain order. For example, live tweeting is something our viewers respond to, so I focus most of my time on that. But, I have to remember to not just continue to send out tweets, I have to look at the account and respond to viewers and answer questions as well. I reserve live video streams for when I am talking to one person and not while they are talking to a meeting. Pictures a great way to show who is at the meeting, what is going on, etc.
6. Be flexible. The great thing about reporting from your phone is that it is so small; you can have it your hand while you are working a camera, taking a picture or recording audio. When I am covering an event or a meeting or working on a story, I always have an audio file recording sound. I use a video camera to record video, but if I move the camera or stop recording for some reason, I always have the audio file in its entirety. For still photographs, I use my iPhone for the most part, but also have a digital camera on hand too. Use your instincts, but the more options you have the more you will be able to offer and take advantage of reporting from your phone.
7. Be organized. When reporting on a story and posting updates on social media it is important to be organized. With the iPhone updates, you can create folders where all of your video applications are in one spot, all of your photography applications are in another, etc. I also recommend keeping e-mail inboxes separate so it is easier to find mail and you are not searching for something in a mail folder that has your personal and professional accounts linked. Keeping push notifications off will keep you more focused and be less annoying (you won’t be interrupted by a friend asking you about dinner plans on Facebook while you are working).
It can all be overwhelming but it actually is also really fun. You get to use so many different tools to connect and inform your audience. The great thing about it to is that since you are sending a lot of things electronically, you have created a trail, that can be used for your reference later on while writing the story.
5 Ways to Use Social Media to Enhance Live Coverage
Jan 27 2011
By Lynn Walsh, Texas Watchdog
Social media and online communication tools are providing journalists with endless opportunities to create more and better news coverage. New technologies also allow us to interact with our viewers and have immediate discussions about the stories we cover every day.
Posting to Twitter and Facebook while covering a meeting or after a story has been published is just the beginning though. What about using social media and online interactive tools while reporting live from the newsroom or in the field? Below are some ways to use social media tools to enhance live reporting.
1. Location-based services. On the scene of a big event? Or maybe there was a big drug bust in a neighborhood? Big stories draw a lot of attention from viewers, especially those living on the same block of the story location. With so many people logging onto websites like Facebook and Twitter from their mobile phones it is easy to see where a tweet or post on those sites came from. Sometimes people do not want to go on camera, but they may share their opinions about the safety of the neighborhood or heavy traffic in comments on social media sites. Look to see where the comments are coming from and if they are close by say that. Think of how much more meaning a comment from someone that is 100 yards from the story has over someone who is on the other side of the city. (I would be careful not to share actual usernames, etc. because you are identifying the persons location.) Try iPhone application Layar, Facebook Places, Foursquare.
2. Behind-the scenes. On top of populating your website, you know have Twitter, Facebook, and lots of other sites to keep active. What goes on behind the scenes during a live broadcast in a newsroom or out in the field is something most journalists see every day, but viewers do not. Use this to your advantage and have someone take pictures, record short videos, etc. and upload them to the station blog, Facebook account or other social media outlets.
3. Don’t tell them, show them. Graphics and pictures of people are great. But what if you can show someone the actual Facebook picture of an alleged criminal? Instead of just taking the picture on the profile and making it into a graphic, why not use your phone, a computer screen or a tablet to scroll through their profile while you are talking about the story? People are so used to doing more than one thing at once that it will seem natural to them. If a story is gaining a lot of buzz online, show your viewers that. Show them how many people have shared it, show them the comments, show them how many people have “liked” it on Facebook. Use the popularity to your advantage because when people think something is popular they general want to know about it too.
4. Record more often. At times, especially when covering a beat, it can seem like there is so much information to share and so many stories to do. And realistically there is, but some are more important than others. Instead of trying to cram all of it into one story or do too many stories on the same subject, try recording shorter, simpler videos about it or writing short blog posts or even uploading documents to the web and sharing the link to them. Then when you are reporting live send your viewers to these resources. Tell them you were live tweeting from the meeting and they can view all of the tweets on your Twitter page for a play-by-play review.
5. Answer Questions. As clear as we think we are sometimes there are always more questions to be asked. Use this to your advantage. Before going live, ask viewers what they want to know about the story and if you do not address it in your story use it in your introduction or your tag. And be sure to say the question came from Twitter or Facebook so viewers know you are monitoring the sites.