Want practical tips that you and your newsroom can use to do your job better? You've come to the right place.
Ed Talks is RTDNA's series of best-practices videos highlighting the exceptional work of Edward R. Murrow Award winners and other expert contributors. Each video is brief and tightly focused on a single, actionable skill or technique that journalists can put to immediate use.
Ed Talks is an exclusive benefit of RTDNA membership. Members can view new episodes under the training tab by logging in to your member portal
. The first three introductory episodes of the series were made available without a password, so you can see examples of the great training our presenters offer. They're available at the bottom of this page.
Members-only episodes: See them in the member portal.
It used to be only television journalists in the smallest markets that set out on the street as "one man bands." But today, multimedia journalists in small, medium and large markets, in television radio and digital newsrooms, are doing it all. Working as an MMJ has many challenges, but for those who strive to improve and learn the tricks of the trade, there are great stories to be told. In this edition of RTDNA's Ed Talks, contributor Donna Francavilla interviews Simone Eli, a sports reporter/anchor of WIAT-TV in Birmingham, Alabama, who talks about her experiences working on her own in the field.
One of the strongest tools in your visual storytelling toolbox is your wireless lavalier microphone. There are many reasons why the lav is a better choice than a hand-held stick microphone for recording great audio in the field, both for the reporter and the person being interviewed. In this edition of RTDNA's Ed Talks, award-winning multimedia journalist Joe Little discusses the two biggest reasons for using a lav. MMJs and traditional crews will benefit by simply "ditching the stick" and showing some "lav love."
With the excellent studio and field microphones available today, recording good, clean audio for radio newscasts, television or podcasts is easier than ever. But when it comes to recording telephone calls away from the studio, it can get a little dicey. We've all tried holding the microphone up to the phone, using speakerphones or other low-tech solutions. There are apps out there to record calls on your smartphone, but most have costs attached, such as monthly fees or storage charges, and some use unusual proprietary audio formats that aren't easily used by editing software without conversions. But with a Google account, the right connecting wire and your everyday audio recorder, you can record calls using Google Voice, and get crisp digital audio without the usual external phone noise. In this edition of RTDNA's Ed Talks, Matt Sepic from Minnesota Public Radio demonstrates how he uses Google Voice to record telephone interviews he can easily edit and use in his stories.
As more televisions stations assign multimedia journalists to work alone in the field, those journalists face a number of challenges. Gathering information, lining up interviews, making interview subjects feel at ease and shooting B-roll are plenty of work for a team, let alone a solo reporter/photographer. And for stations that require packages to include reporter standups, it takes some ingenuity to get the material you need. Even without a partner to help set up, frame and focus, shooting a good standup can be done with some creative planning and practice. In this edition of Ed Talks, KARE-TV's Adrienne Broaddus has some tips for shooting your own standup and making it look good.
Rivet Radio's Charlie Meyerson takes a closer look at headlines. What makes an effective headline to intrigue your would-be audience, and encourage them to look at your story, whether audio, video or digital content? We'll have tips to help your work cut through the clutter.
Breaking news can happen at any time. Are you ready to hit the road and be gone for an unknown period of time? Are you prepared to work in difficult weather conditions, travel to remote locations or be gone from home at least overnight if not longer? It doesn't take long for reporters, photographers, truck operators and others who make their living in the field to realize they need to be prepared... not just with the gear they'll need like cameras, tripods and microphones, but with some gear for themselves. For many, that's what a "go bag" is all about. Photographer and journalism professor Bradley Pfranger has put together this month's Ed Talks, focusing on the go bag and what you might want to have in yours in case you need it.
Journalists of all stripes are being called upon to use their voices to tell stories. Whether you're working in radio, television, digital platforms or for print publications, the use of video, audio podcasts and other recordings continue to grow. And whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, sometimes your vocal technique could stand a bit of improvement. In our latest edition of Ed Talks, you'll see Amy and George explaining some of their key tips, recorded at a recent training session. You'll learn about marking your scripts, using the speed of your delivery for emphasis, how to breathe, warming up, good posture and more.
You've seen them on the networks for years: Interviews carefully set up with three different angles, to show the subject head on, a close up and a wide angle view from the side. In the finished piece, the editor cuts between angles, even during a single sound bite. They look cool and provide visual variety to longer interviews. But you may have wondered if it can be done without a big crew to make it happen. The answer is yes, you can achieve that same professional look on your own. KARE-TV's Carly Danek explains how one person can set up a multi-camera shoot, get all the raw material you'll need to take into the edit bay, and she'll demonstrate an easy way to make sure all three videos stay in sync.
One of the newest ways for reporters to broadcast in real time is Facebook Live. Already, some reporters are using it, and discovering that millions of people are watching. Kevin Benz will show us a couple of examples of how to use the platform for breaking news and for in-depth coverage, along with a checklist you should consider before going live.
How can you shoot broadcast-quality video with your phone, and use it to tell great stories? In the latest edition of Ed Talks, WFAA-TV's Mike Castellucci shows us some of his Edward R. Murrow Award-winning techniques to make the video look and sound professional. He talks about the gear he uses and demonstrates how creativity can yield excellent results.
Introductory episodes - No password required
ABC News Radio's Alex Stone spends a big part of his working life on the road, far away from a foam-lined room with perfect acoustics. So how does he make his audio tracks sound great? He'll show us a couple of tricks of the trade you can start using today to avoid noise and echoes, and give your voice a studio-quality sound in some unlikely places.
SFGate's Brandon Mercer has a pair of tips you may not know about, that allow you to edit the images in Facebook posts, even after they've been posted.
Multiple-Murrow Award winner Boyd Huppert from KARE 11 in Minneapolis talks about the 'handshake shot,' as a technique to draw viewers into a story and introduce a memorable character.