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Newsmakers

Small Stations Go Big During Breaking News

ImageWhen a gunman opened fire Oct. 1 in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., KVAL had only two reporters in the rural town. ABC affiliate KEZI had just one. The vast majority of staff and resources for the two Eugene stations, as well as others in the closest TV market (DMA No. 120), were 72 miles north. They sent staff to the hospital and blood bank in addition to the school, while reporters on their own had TVU backpacks and sent content back. The stations dealt with rumors and national media requests, not to mention the aftermath of a tragedy in their backyard, but they nonetheless produced wall-to-wall coverage. "One thing we do not have is a small-market attitude here," said JR Jackson, KVAL Eugene general manager. "We don't think of ourselves as a small-market team."

TVU Networks Streams “Excellence In Journalism” Awards

ImageOn September 19th, TVU Networks, a company that has supported the emergence of bonded cellular transmission devices, helped stream a key part of the Excellence in Journalism conference, the Paul White and John F. Hogan Awards ceremony, held this year in Orlando Florida. It was the first time the awards ceremony had been streamed live. The prestigious event is jointly hosted by the Radio Television Digital News Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Research: RTDNA salary survey

ImageNewsroom salary highlights: TV salaries gain ground, not radio; winners and losers and starting pay; who is under contract... The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey found that local television news salaries rose by 1.9% in 2014. That's up by 0.3 from a year ago, and with inflation an extremely low 1.6%, that means that TV news salaries gained slightly in purchasing power last year. The spread of 0.3 this year at least beats the 0.1 difference a year ago.

Chicago's ABC-7 First to Use Drone In Live Newscast

ImageLast month Chicago videographer Colin Hinkle was granted FAA approval to fly his drone commercially, opening the door for Hinkle to finally use the technology with local news channels where he has worked as a freelance shooter. And last week Hinkle got the call for his first live assignment, an aerial video of the Bloomingdale Trail, a $90 million project to turn part of the old Bloomingdale Rail Line into a 2.5 mile long park. It's a breathtaking view of the trail, and it marks a monumental moment in drone news coverage.

Columbia issues scathing report on 'Rolling Stone' rape story

ImageThe Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism released a scathing report of the 'Rolling Stone' magazine's journalistic practices regarding an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia frat house. The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism issued a scathing report Sunday on the editorial breakdown at Rolling Stone magazine that allowed publication of a searing, now thoroughly discredited story about a woman who said she had been gang raped at the University of Virginia, ending a three-month review meant to shed a light on and calm the storm surrounding a saga that had triggered a police probe and institutional soul searching at the university.

FAA Proposes New Rules for Drone Use

ImageThe Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today's aviation system, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations. News organizations and independent Video Journalists have been experimenting with the technology for about a year and have been eagerly awaiting these proposed rules because UAS 'drones' can provide unique overheard viewing of breaking news stories. The current unmanned aircraft rules remain in place until the FAA implements a final new rule.

Becoming a Journalist in the Digital Age

All of the gloomy reports about newspaper circulation rapidly dropping, network news ratings declining and reporters being laid off might lead you to believe that journalism itself is dying. But journalism is alive and well. It is just that the way reporters do their job is changing. With the growing popularity of the Internet, gone are the days of print-only or TV-only newsrooms. Media companies no longer have to wait for the evening broadcast or tomorrow's edition to report the news. Almost all media outlets are breaking stories on their Web sites, and the news cycle has become 24-7. Journalists need to change, as well. Instead of thinking of themselves as only print journalists or broadcast journalists, they need to think of themselves as journalists, period.

CNN Teams Up With the FAA for Reporter Drones

ImageConsumers may still be waiting for their toilet paper to arrive by drone, but unmanned aerial vehicles will soon help deliver their cable news. CNN announced Monday that it has entered a deal with the Federal Aviation Administration to integrate drones into its newsgathering and reporting. "Our aim is to get beyond hobby-grade equipment and to establish what options are available and workable to produce high-quality video journalism using various types of UAVs and camera setups," said CNN senior vp David Vigilante. "Our hope is that these efforts contribute to the development of a vibrant ecosystem where operators of various types and sizes can safely operate in the US airspace."

Investigation Drives WTHR's Bob Segall

ImageAs a local TV investigative reporter, Bob Segall has exposed a federal tax loophole costing taxpayers billions, busted Indiana officials for exaggerating "economic success stories" and given bullied kids a voice, all while picking up a bunch of big awards along the way. Yet, Segall, 43, who now works at Dispatch Broadcast Group's NBC affiliate WTHR Indianapolis, credits a brief foray into public relations in the late 1990s -- something he "kind of hated every minute of" -- as a defining moment in his career, primarily because he learned how the other side works. "They taught me the art of not answering questions," Segall says. Being trained in "how to redirect questions" and "defending the company when journalists come calling" has paid off time and again, Segall says.

5 facts about the state of local TV newsrooms

ImageThe market for local television stations was bullish in 2013, driven by the growing political ad revenue and fees paid to those outlets by cable, satellite and telecommunications companies for the right to carry their programming. In 2013, about 300 full-power local stations changed hands for a combined price tag of more than $8 billion, as major companies — from the Sinclair Broadcast Group to the Tribune Company — dramatically expanded their local TV portfolios. Despite that boom, a new survey of 1,300 local television news directors produced by RTDNA and Hofstra University paints a mixed picture of the staffing and spending patterns in local television news.