Let’s talk about good journalism

Journalism and new media tools enthrall me. Whether it is a new mobile app or a tool to create incredibly engaging and informative web content, I welcome and experiment with them.

My passions go beyond new media, social media and multimedia though. I firmly believe in our constitutional rights outlined in the First Amendment. I take my role as a journalist to heart and am always trying to produce the best stories while upholding the tenets of journalism ethics and standards.

As an active member of the larger journalism community, I care about the future of journalism, whether it is my work or the work of others across the country and around the world. Read about my thoughts on journalism innovation and the state of the media below.

Why I love my job: Multimedia investigative producer

Most of my friends don’t get it. “Why are you following (insert elected officials name here) around?”

My family still sometimes doesn’t understand why when they watch a story I produced they don’t see my face on camera. “That was great Lynn, but we didn’t see you. Was that the correct link?”

And on first dates, let’s just say, they seem to think it means I work with James Bond. “So, you go undercover all the time? Hide out in vans? Cool!”

And the reality is my job is cool (or at least I think so.)

Originally published as a blog for the Society of Professional Journalists.

6 Things to do when they just won’t call you back

We’ve all been there. Whether it is a simple question about employment or a response to a question that could cause problems for an elected official, sometimes, a return phone call is hard to get.

Nowadays, it seems everybody has a spokesperson or public relations representative you are told to go through. You would think this would make things easier for a journalist, in some cases it can, but in my experience it often lengthens the time period it takes to get answers.

So, what do you do when they don’t respond? Here are some things I have tried and have found helpful.

Click here to read the full blog for the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Five things to add to your news website

It’s not news to anyone that more and more news is being consumed online. Yes, people still read the newspaper and watch television and listen to the radio, but the Internet and social media are becoming the popular choice for consuming news.

So, we know this, but how are we capitalizing on it? And are we doing it often enough?

I would argue journalists can always do more with web content. More videos, more social media interaction, more interactives, the list goes on and on.

Here are some successful web content elements I have created.

Click here to read the full blog for the Society of Professional Journalists.

Journalists need ground rules for sources

Our business is all about obtaining information. As journalists we use a lot of tools to get that information. From resources on the internet to books to court documents, we look for information anywhere we can find it. I would argue the best source of information is: people. Those people range from anonymous contacts, organization insiders, parents, friends, family … the list goes on and on. We all have people who are our “sources.” But what is that relationship like? How close are you with your sources?

Since our sources vary greatly, our relationships with them probably do as well. Some of your sources may have started out as close friends before they became sources while others may have turned into friends as you continued to work with them on stories. Because of the varying degrees we have with sources, sometimes working with and dealing with sources can be tricky, which begs the question: What is appropriate when dealing with sources? What is inappropriate? How close can you get without crossing the line?

As I continue to develop sources and work in this industry I have often thought about these questions. While I think a lot of these questions need to be addressed on a case by case basis, I think there are a few things that apply 100 percent of the time:

Click here to read the full blog for the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Leverage social media in your reporting

Tweeting, pinning, liking — we are all using social media. We share our stories, spread the word about breaking news developments and more. But what about using it as a news gathering tool?

I am sure many of you do this every day without even realizing it. Here are some ways I use social media to develop and find new stories.

Click here to read the full blog for the Radio Television Digital News Association.

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