Posts by Al Tompkins

About Al Tompkins

Al Tompkins is one of America's most requested broadcast journalism and multimedia teachers and coaches. After nearly 30 years working as a reporter, photojournalist, producer, investigative reporter, head of special investigations and News Director, Tompkins joined the Poynter Institute where he is Senior Faculty for Broadcast and Online. He is the author of "Aim for the Heart" a textbook about multimedia storytelling that has been adopted by more than 100 universities worldwide. He has taught in 49 states, Canada, Egypt, Denmark, South Africa, Iceland and the Caymans. Tompkins is the recipient of some of journalism's highest awards including The National Emmy, the Japan Prize, The American Bar Association's Silver Gavel, The Peabody (group award), 7 National Headliner Awards, The Robert F. Kennedy Award and The Iris Award. He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and honored with The Governor's Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Tompkins helped to author the national codes of ethics for both the National Press Photographers Association and the Radio and Television Digital News Association.

Answering journalism questions that arose from #peegate

This is the kind of crazy controversy usually reserved for Florida. Over the weekend, the Canadian Conservative campaign dropped two candidates from the Oct. 19 federal election because of forehead-slapping videos that been around for years. The CBC reports: Tim Dutaud, who was running for the Tories in Toronto-Danforth, was forced out Monday after he was identified as … Read More

Commentary: Trump owes an apology to Fox News' Megyn Kelly

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participates in the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) Leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump owes Fox News' Megyn Kelly an apology. Now. Right now. Friday night, Trump took to CNN to complain about Kelly's questioning in the Thursday night debate. Kelly … Read More

Why the GOP debate matters

The panelists for the presidential debate between President Jimmy Carter and Republican nominee Ronald Regan try out their seats on the stage on Oct. 28, 1980 at the Cleveland Convention Center. From left are Barbara Walters, ABC News; William Hillard, Assistant Managing Editor of the Oregonian in Portland; Howard K. Smith, the moderator for the debate: Harry Ellis, Christian … Read More

The decisions behind the New York Magazine's Cosby cover

When New York Magazine began planning its stunning cover of 35 women who accuse Bill Cosby of assault 30 women had come forward. Now, six months later the number is 46. The magazine had to navigate a range of ethical, journalistic and design challenges. For instance, is it fair to publicly accuse a person when he/she has not been charged? … Read More

What journalists should know about the Greek banking crisis

Greece’s debt crisis most likely touched your retirement and investment accounts today as markets tumble on news that Greece will likely default on a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Greek banks are closed and the country of 11 million people has become a global focal point, again. What’s the Problem? Greece has a big payment due Tuesday. The … Read More

What Brian Williams said and what he should have said

Screen capture from the Today Show.Brian Williams' attempt to explain himself to the Today Show's Matt Lauer didn't explain anything.  And one reason his mea culpa rang hollow is because Williams did what children and criminals do; he used passive verbs when he should have used active verbs. Williams said: "I would like to take this opportunity … Read More

Will Meerkat and Stre.am become the next big journalism apps?

Streaming video to your social followers may be the next big thing and journalists are already buzzing about the Meerkat app, and an even newer app called Stre.am. Meerkat launched a few weeks ago and is currently only available for iPhones and iPads. It makes it easy to stream live video and audio to your Twitter feed. Read More

Journalism Diversity Champion Dori Maynard died Tuesday

Dori J. Maynard She was only 56 years old, but it seems as if Dori Maynard has been teaching, preaching, fighting and encouraging news organizations to embrace diverse thinking for so much longer. Her Institute's website reported this morning, "The president of the Robert C. Maynard institute for Journalism Education and longtime champion of diversity in journalism and civic … Read More

7 things to know ahead of the FCC's net neutrality vote

Protesters demonstrate across the street from the Comcast Center Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Philadelphia. Demonstrators called for further Federal Communications Commission regulation of Internet traffic to support "net neutrality," advocates who want strong government protections for the open Internet. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)After years of hearings, lawsuits and bickering, you would think there is nothing left to say about … Read More

What the FAA's newly proposed drone rules mean to journalists

It will months, maybe years, before journalists can legally fly unmanned drone aircraft to capture video and photos.  But Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) took another step toward issuing new rules that allow for legal commercial drone use. The FAA and the U.S. Department of Transportation propose that drone operators will not have to hold a pilot's license. That … Read More

CBS's Bob Simon Killed in Car Crash

One of CBS News' most honored journalists, Bob Simon, died in a car accident in New York City Wednesday night. Simon was 73. Simon's career spanned five decades from covering the Vietnam War to filing a story last Sunday for 60 Minutes about the movie "Selma." He is the recipient of what is believed to be an unequaled … Read More

Here's why NBC didn't fire Brian Williams

NBC President Deborah Turness announced Tuesday she is suspending Brian Williams for six months with no pay. That could be a multi-million dollar penalty: In December, Williams signed a new five-year deal which Variety reported could be worth up to $10 million per year. But why not fire him, as the pitchfork-bearing critics have demanded? A suspension gives the … Read More