Al Tompkins

Consulting clients: ABC Owned and Operated Stations, Telemundo Television Stations; Meredith Television Stations; Scripps Howard Television, NBC owned and operation stations Promotions Directors; Stations; Hearst Argyle Television Stations; Gannett Television Stations; Griffin Communications; NBC Owned and Operated Stations; New York Times Television Stations; Cox Television; Cox Cable, Cox Washington DC Bureau, RUV TV (Iceland), Belo Television Stations; Freedom Newspapers of Florida, Freedom Newspapers of North Carolina, The Raleigh News & Observer, Shurz Broadcast stations, Radio and Television News Directors Association; RTNDA Canada; Radio and Television News Directors Foundation; The Ford Foundation; Hampton University, Kings University, Belmont University, Western Kentucky University, Middle Tennessee State University Alabama Broadcasters Association; Arkansas Broadcasters Association; Oklahoma Broadcasters Association; Hawaii Association of Broadcasters; Texas Association of Broadcasters; Ohio AP Broadcasters Association; Pennsylvania Broadcasters Association; Illinois Broadcasters Association; Washington State Broadcasters Association; Georgia Broadcasters Association; Tennessee Broadcasters Association; Louisiana Broadcasters Association; New York State Broadcasters Association; West Virginia Broadcasters Association; Missouri Broadcasters Association; Virginia Broadcasters Association; North Carolina Broadcasters Association; South Carolina Association of Broadcasters; Wisconsin Broadcasters Association; Iowa Broadcasters Association;Oregon Broadcasters, North Carolina Press Association, Alaska Broadcasters Association, New Mexico Broadcasters AssociationNational Academy of Television Arts and Sciences -- NATAS (Pennsylvania); NATAS (Washington DC); NATAS (Miami); WMC-TV; WSB-TV; KXAS-TV; KHOU-TV; WNEM-TV; KPHO-TV; WEWS-TV; WPTV-TV; WESH-TV; WKMG-TV; WTVW-TV; WPBF-TV; WHO-TV; KWTV-TV; WZZM-TV; WNEP-TV; WTKR-TV; KTHV-TV; KCTV-TV; WGAL; WTVF; WSBT See discussion of Poynter consulting in Poynter Ethics FAQ.


phoneburnbed100

Cell Sets Fire to Pillow, Story Sets Fire to TV Station Website

A news report about a small fire with no injuries took the internet by storm last week. The question is why.

The story is about a Dallas area teen who says her cellphone caught fire beneath her pillow as she slept

The teen went to sleep with her Samsung Galaxy S4 under her pillow and awoke to a smouldering mess, according to KDFW, a Dallas-Fort Worth Fox affiliate. The father of the teen told KDFW he thinks the phone battery may have caused the meltdown, Samsung says the battery was not an original part but was a replacement unit.

The video has generated more than 1.1 million YouTube Views, 4 million page views on the station’s website and generated even more for the other Fox owned and operated stations that posted the story. … Read more

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no-fly-zone

Resources for Journalists Covering Malaysian Air MH17

Poynter is assembling a Twitter list of journalists who are on the ground or near the crash site of the Malaysia Airline jet. These contacts may be especially useful to those of you who want to get permission to use images and get information directly from journalists on the scene.

FlightRadar24 is a website that provides global flight tracking. The site provides this data showing where the Malaysia Air jet was last seen on radar.… Read more

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Katy Perry

How Katy Perry, Elvis and Springsteen can change the meaning of your video

It seems that everywhere I turned online this weekend, somebody was flying a quadcopter with a camera through fireworks.

Leaving the wisdom of doing that out of this posting, I wanted to play with how music and special effects would affect the viewer’s experience with a fireworks video shot via drone and published in May. In the original, a classical score and slow drifting shots add drama and elegance to the piece.

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download

Tracking political spending on television ads just got easier

Starting today, all TV and radio stations must send records of political advertising buys to the FCC.  Until now, only 230 stations in the top 50 markets had to file the records online. Starting today, more than 2,000 stations will turn over their records.

It has been a long battle to make it easier for the public to see who is paying for political TV ads, many of them attack ads launched by somebody other than the candidates themselves.  ProPublica has spent two years trying to “free the files.” Other groups have hammered away at broadcast stations for not disclosing what they should about who is buying ads.

Now, the nonprofit and nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation is making it easier to examine the records that involve billions of dollars in ad buys.… Read more

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Supreme Court TV On the Internet

Broadcasters: Aereo decision was not an attack on innovation

Update at 1:40 p.m.: Stock prices for Scripps, Gannett and Meredith were up between one and two percent after the decision. Sinclair, the biggest owner of local stations in the country, saw its stock shoot up a breathtaking 12.88 percent on the news.

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The U.S. Supreme Court handed broadcast networks and local stations a victory by ruling that Aereo cannot take TV signals and send them to phones, tablets and other platforms without paying for the rights.

The networks told the court that if Aereo was allowed to lease its antennas to users without compensation, cable companies would quickly do the same, which could cost broadcasters billions of dollars.

Journalists outside the Supreme Court during arguments in the Aereo case this past April.

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Supreme Court

Supreme Court Aereo ruling expected soon: Get prepared

UPDATE: The Supreme Court has ruled 6-3 that the signals from other networks captured by Aereo, Inc. are protected under by the transmit clause of the Copyright Act of 1976, and thus constitutes a performance of the petitioner’s works publicly. Here’s Poynter’s story on the decision.

The legal case is called American Broadcasting Companies Inc. V. Aereo, Inc. The stakes are hard to overstate.

Broadcasters say the very future of commercial broadcasting hangs in the balance of a Supreme Court ruling that could come Wednesday, Thursday or next Monday. The Big Four networks all want to stop Aereo from being able to capture their free over-the-air signals and then make the signals available to people who want to watch on mobile devices. Aereo offers to store up to 60 hours of content for $8-$12 a month.… Read more

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Canada Shooting Funeral

Will withholding shooters’ names and photos reduce violence?

Sun News in Canada is not naming the person accused of killing three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers and wounding two others last week in Moncton, New Brunswick. The network said in an editorial:

When it comes to mass murders, too often, it is attention and infamy they crave. Luckily, shootings of this nature are rare in Canada.

And, in the U.S. they account for less than one percent of all gun-related deaths. Far more people have been killed in the bad neighborhoods of Chicago than were killed in all of the mass shootings combined. But these rare incidents are never forgotten. And with the rise of social media, they have become a spectacle.

It is easy to report on the life of the killer, to scour his deranged Facebook page, to speculate about motive, but doing so could actually encourage the perception that his heinous acts are somehow justified.

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featured_image_al

Doubling down on the Triple Crown, A publication’s gamble on Belmont pays off

BloodHorse.com staff started planning for the 2014 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in January. Now, with California Chrome in position for a Triple Crown win, their work has paid off. The 12-person editorial staff has produced a remarkable online interactive website. The story behind this project is both instructive and inspiring. 

Bloodhorse.com is the online site of The Blood-Horse Magazine, which started in 1916 as an authoritative newsletter to the racehorse world. The staff produces a weekly 65-page print magazine and updates its website around the clock. While the Daily Racing Form and The Thoroughbred Daily News speak the language of handicappers, Bloodhorse is more focused on the business of racing, training, breeding and sales.

“At the end of last year we looked at some of the big impressive projects that SBNation, The New York Times and others were doing,” Eric Mitchell, the Editor-in-Chief of The Blood-Horse told me.
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hornestsnestmovie

‘Hornet’s Nest’: Memorial Day war movie by father and son journalists opens

The trailer for Mike and Carlos Boettcher’s new movie “The Hornet’s Nest” that opens in theaters nationwide today says right up front the film is “Not based on a true story.” Then a second message appears on the screen, “This is the true story.”

“The Hornet’s Nest” is a movie with no actors. The shooting, the fear, the loneliness, the bleeding, the dying is all real. “The Hornet’s Nest” is the product of two journalists, a father and a son who risked their lives and spent their own money to tell the stories of soldiers and Marines and their families involved in America’s longest wars.

Mike Boettcher is one of network television’s most experienced war correspondents. In 1985, he was kidnapped and threatened with execution in El Salvador.… Read more

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ktrk_small

No-knock policy bars TV station staff from rapping on crime suspects’ doors

A Houston television station is telling its staff not to knock on the doors of crime suspects. The station issued a memo saying it is too big a risk to journalists’ safety, but others see the move as a way for stations to protect themselves legally. And the president of the Society of Professional Journalists says such a broad order may result in weaker journalism that could be unfair to people accused of crimes.

KTRK-TV Houston News Director David Strickland issued the order to his staff after  reporter Demond Fernandez knocked on the door of a man accused of child sex abuse. The man told the TV crew to turn off the camera (which they didn’t) then he produced a gun.

Strickland wrote to his staff:

I know this will come off as opportunistic in the wake of today but I’ll allow my vanity to take the hit.

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