Posts Tagged ‘journalism’
In the new world at NBC News, I’m now doing general assignment after many years covering various beats. That yields a certain variety to one’s work week.
At 1 o’clock this morning, I was hunched over a spreadsheet calculating word-frequency counts for President Obama’s State of the Union address. Ten hours later, I was writing this:
One of the busiest interstates in the U.S. remained closed Wednesday, hours after a semi-trailer transporting French vanilla coffee creamer overturned in Phoenix, coating more than 150 feet of the highway with a white slick of delicious-smelling traffic hazard.
You never know what life on GA will bring next.
I’ve updated The Reader’s Guide to Journalists with two new entries. Check it out and pass along your proposed rules.
Over at NBCNews.com, we’ve started publishing daily charts tracking what people are saying about the presidential and vice presidential candidates on Twitter and Facebook. Here’s today’s for the weekend (click here for the full-size version):
In my analysis, I write:
In recent weeks, Obama has generally led Romney by two to seven percentage points in national polls, which carefully select their samples to reflect Americans most engaged in the election and registered to vote.
The picture is different among Americans who have gone online to talk about the election, however — NBCPolitics.com’s analysis indicates that that narrower but more diverse sample of the country prefers Romney by 36 percent to 32 percent overall and by 51 percent to 49 percent when they’re compared head to head:
But my employer changed names:
NBC News has acquired full control of msnbc.com and its digital network from Microsoft Corp. and is immediately rebranding the site as NBCNews.com.
Many details of the arrangement remain to be worked out, and financial terms weren’t disclosed.
But NBC News President Steve Capus said the site — one of the news industry’s earliest and most successful online operations — would become part of NBC News Digital, a new division led by Vivian Schiller, the former president and chief executive of National Public Radio. Schiller joined NBC News as chief digital officer last year.
Full story (M. Alex Johnson/NBCNews.com)
Sometimes reporting, editing and producing a breaking news story can be frustrating, because two new developments land on your doorstep before the last one has made it through the production process.
That’s what happened when a gunman entered a real estate office in Valparaiso, Ind., today and took about 10 hostages. So in parallel with writing msnbc.com’s running main story, which you can read here, I also set up a Storify stream, immediately publishing news, images and local reaction as they came in. By the end of the day, it was a lively, largely unintermediated narrative of the entire drama as it unfolded:
Over at msnbc.com, I’ve posted an update on Benjamin Colton Barnes, the former Army private believed to have shot Park Ranger Margaret Anderson in Mount Rainier National Park over the weekend.
Here’s the key passage:
In July, the mother of Barnes’ young daughter said in court papers seeking a protection order that he “has possible PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) issues.” News organizations — including msnbc.com— noted the court filings and reported that Lewis-McChord is considered one of the most troubled bases in the U.S. military, with an alarming record of violent incidents and suicides among veterans returning from Iraq.
But as more has been learned about Barnes, it appears that his troubles may have had little to do with his service in Iraq or his having been stationed at Lewis-McChord.
Senior Judge John Cleland has reversed himself and says he will allow news organizations to report the preliminary hearing for former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky through Twitter, email and text messages.
Pennsylvania law bans “transmission of communications from the courtroom by telephone, radio, television, or advanced communication technology,” but at a hearing Monday requested by news organizations, Cleland appeared to carve out an exception for live electronic text reporting, deciding that the ban applied to “neither ‘tweeting’ or the simultaneous transmission of a reporter’s account or impression of events as they occur in the courtroom.”
The state rule is intended to bar “an audio and/or visual record” of events, Cleland ruled — not the actual reporting of the news.
Over at msnbc.com, I’ve written up the gruesome story of a sick person who has coldly and methodically dismembered at least six cats since October and left their remains on a Florida golf course.
The details of the story are horrifying, raising a serious question: How much is enough in a news story?
Here’s what I chose to report:
Over at msnbc.com, I have a piece looking at the status of President Obama’s ambitious project to bring high-speed rail — think Japan’s bullet trains — to most of the country by 2034.
The assignment was to write about the ballooning costs estimates for the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco project, which has been widely covered. So the challenge was to find A) a new angle on a story everyone already knows about and B) a way to make an infrastructure budget story — a known click repellent — interesting.
The first part was relatively easy: Let’s put the California project into a national context and see what, if anything, it says about Obama’s overall plan. The second part was a little harder.