Resources for Aspiring Online News Producer?
August 12, 2008 11:42 PM   Subscribe

Resources for learning more about being the "web producer" (aka online content manager, etc) for a small-market TV news outlet?

I'm on the verge of landing a gig as the "online content manager" at one of our local TV stations (network affiliate); they are trying to make a big push onto the web, and my passion for current events, love of my community, and 8+ years as a blogger (familiar with CMS, social media, minor techie skills, etc) seems to have convinced them that I am the right guy. For me, this is a Dream Job. Seriously.

The position seems to be part-time content blogger, part-time "in the field" gathering material/stories, and part-time business & analytics (who visits, why, stickiness, etc).

But with no formal journalism education/experience, I want to learn as much as possible as fast as possible. I follow some of the major blogs that discuss the intersection of news & new media, such as Lost Remote and Media Bistro/TV Newser, but I would really appreciate any other sources and links. Thanks, gang!
posted by davidmsc to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by mrmarley at 6:58 AM on August 13, 2008

Best answer: Your job may involve taking Teleprompter scripts and converting them to readable news stories. My job involved that, when I worked for the NBC affiliate here in Richmond as one of two online editors.

If you have any decent writing/spelling/grammar/punctuation chops, making sense of your coworkers' scripts will drive you absolutely crazy. Bonus: most of them will have no idea that they actually don't know how to write.
posted by emelenjr at 8:15 AM on August 13, 2008

I was the Senior Web Producer for two years at a cable TV network you've probably heard of. Unfortunately, I knew of no good resources or peer/community groups for what I did! I basically talked to people in similar roles who I already knew from our network and our sister networks. E-Mail me if you want to talk.
posted by Asparagirl at 2:06 PM on August 13, 2008

I work with a lot of folks who are in the same or similar roles as you, and one good thing to do is to hang out where they do, and don't be shy about emailing people who are doing work that you admire. Romenesko should be a must-read for you, and start following the blogs of folks like Jay Rosen and Jeff Jarvis. (I'm friends with both of those guys, but I do understand that reading their sites might fall more under the category of "work" than "play". :)) A little more inside-baseball, but still useful, are media analysis columns like what Rachel Sklar does at Eat the Press.

Also, take some time to find the personal blogs of the folks who do similar work at other affiliates or at local-based blogging sites like Gothamist. While you can learn from the things they post at their day jobs, it's often just as insightful to see what they're complaining about or excited about on their personal blogs or Twitter accounts.
posted by anildash at 8:43 AM on August 14, 2008

Response by poster: Great tips & links, folks -- very much appreciate your insight.
posted by davidmsc at 2:44 PM on August 14, 2008

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