Journalism

Behind the scenes: U.S. Elections, Hillary Clinton’s HQ

broadcasters-reporting-live-from-inside-hilary-clintons-election-night-hqAhead of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, our team share their 2016 US Elections live broadcast stories.

Months of planning saw Reuters-TIMA Location Services set up broadcast facilities at multiple locations in New York and Washington DC. This gave clients the opportunity to report live from the scene of one of the most important events of 2016.

We had facilities on the roof of our office in Washington DC which overlooks the White House, and sent several teams to New York to broadcast from the key locations as American voters went to the polls.

Tanya Lezaic, Special Events Coordinator
Hillary Clinton’s US election night HQ, New York

After months of planning the wait was finally over, election week was upon us and I was heading to New York to work at the Clinton campaign headquarters in the Javits Center. This was my first US election and needless to say I was quite excited to be part of this historic event.

“This was my first US election and needless to say I was quite excited to be part of this historic event”

The day before the election all hands were on deck to set up the dish and live positions. Of course we were not the only one’s preparing and I took a moment to look around and take in the surroundings. Media from around the world were setting up on the high risers next to us, domestic networks were setting up on a high riser to the left of us and the Clinton campaign staff were rushing round with union workers prepping the venue for the thousands of supporters expected on election night.

Prep was over and the security deadline was fast approaching, our first pre-election lives had to set up outside the venue whilst a security sweep of the building took place. Before we knew it day 1 was finished and US election day was here!

Walking up to the Javits Center the roads were completely closed off to the public with police at every barricade. Security at the center had doubled from the day before and more was still to arrive in the shape of dumper trucks filled with sand. The morning of the elections was the calm before the storm. The live hits started with Canal 11 Mexico, followed by Al Hurra, Antena 3 Spain and N24 Germany. This increased and the lives followed back to back on both live positions.

“Security at the center had doubled from the day before and more was still to arrive in the shape of dumper trucks filled with sand”

A tag team system had been developed with the co-ordinators. I seemed to spend most of the evening meeting clients and escorting them through the maze of broadcasters that had now gathered, and then up the stairs to our positions on the high riser.

All the rushing did not distract from the mood within the Javits Center. Cheers and singing from Clinton supporters seemed to have softened as the first states began to call their results. Walking through the crowds seeing the shock on their faces and then noticing that some had started to leave with tears in their eyes distracted me, but soon a broadcasters question brought me back to the reality and the work that was still ahead, especially as it was only 10pm est.

“Walking through the crowds seeing the shock on their faces and then noticing that some had started to leave with tears in their eyes distracted me”

The team continued to work hard throughout the night and into the early hours of the morning, even a few minor technical issues could not hold back the crew and the never-ending live hits. As the night progressed, and more states were called, it soon became clear that there would be no party at the Javits center.

“As the night progressed, and more states were called, it soon became clear that there would be no party at the Javits center”

It was finally around 02.00am est during a TV3 New Zealand live hit that the chairman of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, John Podesta arrived on stage to address supporters gathered. Podesta proceeded to thank those gathered and announced that it was time for everyone to go home. His speech was not over and the crowd was already heading towards the exits. For me and the crew this was the light at the end of the tunnel, our last live was being broadcast and the next challenge would be to dismantle the live positions, pack up and move to a new location.

After all the tears and drama the US elections were finally over, the people of America were waking up to a new president, Donald Trump. For the supporters of Clinton the dream was over and for #teamclinton the night was over and sleep was finally on the cards.

Reuters-TIMA Location Services will be covering the 2017 US Presidential Inauguration. Find out how to book your live coverage of this historic event.

Author: Tanya Lezaic, Special Events Coordinator

5 Emerging Content Opportunities Your Newsroom Should Be Trialling Now

SOURCE: Poynter SOURCE: Poynter

Facebook has been coming under fire for how it describes itself recently along with its handling of trending topics and showing (or rather not showing) specific content.  Big questions are being asked about the future of the big blue misery machine but for many newsrooms just being seen would be a great problem to have.  All content is created equal on Facebook but that’s sadly where the truism ends once it goes into the endless content sausage factory.  After content is lovingly crafted in the status editor box and sent into the ether, numerous answers to questions are applied so that Facebook can determine where in the Newsfeed it should be “shown”.  Knowing and understanding what is working then becomes mission critical for many news outlets.  It would be unfair to say however that the various platforms aren’t offering newsrooms an array of tools to help newsrooms.  Below are five such tools that newsrooms are failing to jump on (for a wide variety of reasons).  With clear strategies I believe the following tools offer the next way outlets grow audiences, find news ones, make new revenue and reduce risk:

1) Facebook Live…as a programme
Reuters UK is doing a great job of extending the news product runway with Facebook’s live streaming platform, Facebook Live. Beyond simply entertaining a somewhat captive audience the team are smart and mention other products and areas of interest for the viewer during the broadcasts about the markets. Timed well in the morning with a good pace and level of depth the team has a great opportunity create a new audience and then push them around the Reuters ecosystem.  NPR, The Verge, The Young Turks and Digiday are also worth a look for inspiration.   Telescope.TV and Groovy Gecko offer teams a variety of set-ups should your strategy go beyond simply point and shoot.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Sponsorship, Product Placement, Branded Content, Partnerships, Ads…it all depends on what your brands is comfortable with… and that you don’t break Facebook’s community rules.

2) Instagram (and Snapchat) Stories…as a story

A huge opportunity springs from corporately owned Facebook in the guise of the shockingly copied Snapchat feature but with a few tweaks. Quartz, Cool Hunting and others all show the potential for this sort of reporting tool and reaching the audience that Snapchat and Instagram boast is important for any news organisation.  No-one is getting it right straight away but the numbers are impressive.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Terms of Service for Snapchat are different to Instagram but it’s somewhat the Wild West still out there at the moment.  So long as anything paid for is labelled ‘promo’ or ‘ad’ (however faint!) it is usually ok. Naturally partnering with either of these monsters (should they ask you) isn’t a bad strategy either.

3) Animated infographic video…as an entire news product
Different brands report different amounts but between 50-85% of videos viewed on Facebook are viewed without sound. A growing trend in the newsfeed is being based around silent video products (audio costs and people are generally using Facebook in a variety of scenarios where sound is undesirable (toilet, bus).  GOOD Magazine’s ‘Data Vizeo’ series is a good example.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: In-house or externally this can be done efficiently.  Companies like Wibbitz (FD: now working with Reuters) offer to create high-quality videos for very little extra work once the story has been created by the editorial team at the news organisation.

4) Facebook 360 Photos/Video…as an extension strategy
You don’t have to buy the $30,000 camera that Facebook have open-sourced to create beautiful and useful videos of news you are covering. Instead, a regular smartphone, Go-pro or a mid-range drone often will create a high-enough quality product. 360 Video projects need to be carefully thought out (sometimes a fly through adds little) but as the cost continues to fall, these interactive products can add new dimensions to reporting.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: From sponsorship to product placement – it’s all a question of ethics and transparency…

5) Messenger Chatbots…as a hook to other places
My experience with Chatbots has been clumsy to date but the technology is improving fast and will not always be so creepy and lackluster.  A good experiment, with the right product push strategy, could see some significant traffic pushed into downloading an app for example. Chatbots will also likely see a lot of attention now that Facebook has begun allowing payments to be taken through Messenger. Perhaps a new subscription model looms?
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chatbots have the potential to revolutionise the way we consume news…if we let them. Instead of a ‘show us everything and let us decide’ model we could morph news consumption into something entirely new. Perhaps a more ‘choose your own adventure with some weighting’ type scenario feels right or maybe even as a way to personalise your reactive website experience.

Creating a valuable editorial product remains a hard thing to achieve at scale and speed especially for the “snack-news” world we increasingly live in.  While there remain some obvious focuses (video) and simple wins for Publishers, it is increasingly clear Facebook wants Publishers to pay to play in their sandbox.  While this may be grating, Facebook clearly owns the sand and sandbox – Publishers can get angry and be cautious but you could also choose to create exciting things which, if used correctly, could help you get your target group to want to exit the sandbox.

Paul Armstrong, guest writer for Inside Agency, runs HERE/FORTH an advisory that helps business leaders decide how to best use rapidly changing, disruptive and emerging technologies. Follow Paul on Twitter @paul__armstrong or contact him on hereforth.com.

This article does not express the views of Thomson Reuters. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author.

Peter Bohan – Tales from the Trail: A Little Bird Told Me

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In newsrooms around the country, it’s an old saying: “If your mother says she loves you – check it out.”

An age-old truth – you are only as good as your source.

Bedrock journalism. Good to remember as the social media universe floods us with rumors and becomes a playground for hackers.

Social media is rapidly becoming the channel for news consumers with mobile devices.

“Twitter wants to become your go-to source for news” says one recent article while a July 14 Pew Report “The Evolving Role of News on Twitter and Facebook” finds that “that clear majorities of Twitter (63 percent) and Facebook users (63 percent) now say each platform serves as a source for news about events and issues outside the realm of friends and family.”

Mainstream traditional media already Tweet and post their own stories. But Facebook and Twitter are also becoming sources for mainstream media via Tweets and posts. Tweets are sprouting up regularly as sourcing on TV and radio.

That’s the danger zone: if your Twitter says she loves you, check it out.

A feed of Tweets should never be more than a tip wire – and a “live” wire, as in 1,000 volts.

Hoaxers are more active than ever. And hackers – from hoaxers to spoofers, from identity thieves to money launderers, from government spies to terrorist groups – are finding the water fine in the social media universe.

At the other end of a “county news release” may be the North Koreans or the Syrian Electronic Army. Or my own new favorite: Russia’s Internet Research Company.

Sept. 11, 2014. News of a toxic plume at a Columbia Chemicals plant in Louisiana began with a morning text message to a local resident and was spread quickly as “hundreds of Twitter accounts were documenting a disaster right down the road” and “dozens of journalists, media outlets and politicians, from Louisiana to New York City, found their Twitter accounts inundated with messages about the disaster.” Islamic State was soon being rumored as behind the attack.

All fake, according to the New York Times: the handwork of crafty Russians.

“From a nondescript office building in St Petersburg, an army of well-paid ‘trolls’ has tried to wreak havoc all around the internet – and in real-life American communities,” said the Times in its June 2 article “The Agency.”

Good lord: is it that easy to pull off another War of the Worlds, as Orson Welles did?

Well, yes. And how about one a day?

May 23, 2015: Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, an African American investigating alleged abuses by cops after the death in custody of black youth Freddie Gray, says her official work twitter account was hacked – which she announces on her private Twitter account. She does not give details. But her office later denies to Megyn Kelly of FOX News that Mosby “favorited” a racially charged tweet and another one calling the six Baltimore cops charged in the Freddie Gray case “thugs.” The local prosecutor later told Kelly that both Mosby Twitter accounts had been hacked.

The point is that hackers are drilling down more into media sources, not just into media.

Do you think you –or your Twittering sources – are protected?

“To a cyber expert, traditional antivirus protection offers the hacking equivalent of being able to repel a musket ball when today’s villains are firing AK-47’s,” notes Fortune in its fine portrait this month of the devastating attack on Sony Pictures.

It’s not just corporates or government agencies being hacked. It’s the whole expanding Twitterverse.

No one is more aware of this than Twitter. Their hacking team is at hacked@twitter.com and includes their handy how-to triage for victims.

So does this mean we roll back the clock and ignore social media if we want the facts?

Nope. The genie is out of the bottle. Elvis has left the building.

But as journalists and publishers it means we must use Twitter and other social media – not let them use us.

Consider the source. Load up the salt shakers. Pinch early and often.

Be like the Homeland Security official in Louisiana called by the resident in that toxic plume scare last September: “He hadn’t heard of any chemical release that morning,” the Times said. “In fact, he hadn’t even heard of Columbia Chemical. St. Mary Parish had a Columbian Chemicals plant office.”

Saved by the “n” and the “s” — and a good dose of salt.

Twitter or no Twitter: Always let the facts stand in the way of a good story.

 

Peter Bohan was a Reuters journalist for 30 years before becoming Executive Director of Reuters America Service, a product aimed at U.S. newspapers, web sites and broadcasters as an alternative to The Associated Press. Peter – Midwest Bureau Chief at the time – built the service starting in 2010 in tests with Tribune Company, which  became the anchor client for RAST in 2011. Peter spends more time than anyone working with U.S. newspapers to see how Reuters can address their needs.

Reuters Award Winning Journalism in 2015

It’s been a busy time for recognition at Reuters.

Many awards have followed since we were recently selected as finalists at the Pulitzer Prizes and awarded the Sidney Hillman Prize for The Echo Chamber.

On May 9, Reuters journalists Amy Lefevre and Andrew R.C. Marshall were awarded the grand prize of the Human Rights Press Awards for their series on human trafficking in Thailand. Organized by The Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Journalists Association and Amnesty International Hong Kong, the Human Rights Press Awards recognize the best rights-related reporting within Asia.

A team from Reuters received the Overseas Press Club (OPC) Malcolm Forbes Award for best international business news reporting by a newspaper or wire service for their “Comrade Capitalism” series. Investigative journalist David Rohde was honored with the organization’s President’s Award, for, as OPC President Marcus Mabry said, “a career fighting to expose ghastly injustice to the light, from Srebrenica to Afghanistan. For extraordinary courage and determination in the face of captivity. For an historic effort to craft a code of conduct for safely reporting global news. And for his compassion, humility and humanity.”

In Comrade Capitalism, a team led by Stephen Grey dissected dubious Kremlin deals and relationships, exposing, for the first time, how the elite prosper at the taxpayers’ expense in Putin’s Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a ceremony with newly appointed high-ranking military officers in Moscow's KremlinREUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin

This wasn’t the only recognition for the series this year. Among the recognitions the series has also garnered: Comrade Capitalism was Reuters own “Story of the Year” in the 2014 Journalists of the Year awards and won the International Investigative award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) earlier this week.

The Echo Chamber and Farmaceuticals have been named in the New York Press Club Awards contest, The Echo Chamber winning in the Political Coverage, Newspaper/Newswire category and the Farmaceuticals series won the top prize in the Feature Reporting: Science, Medicine, Technology category. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in June in New York. (more…)

Reuters Journalists of the Year Awards 2014

trophiesThe Reuters Journalists of the Year Awards were held in New York last month, honoring the people responsible for the best of Reuters journalism, their strength, passion, courage and commitment.

Steve Adler, Editor in Chief, Reuters said, “On full display tonight is the enormous scope of the work Reuters performs in our 200 locations around the world, and in every medium. I believe we are unique in terms of that astonishing breadth, covering – with equal authority – politics, war, diplomacy, economics, innovation, commodities & energy, natural disasters and general news, health, sports, entertainment, business, regulation, law, every aspect of the world of finance and more.”

We are pleased to be able to share these videos of the nominees in each category and we congratulate all who were nominated and the winners.

Winner of Baron Award: Samia Nakhoul – For her great skill as a journalist, her personal courage, her expertise on the Middle East, her ability to attract top talent both internal and external, and the great regard in which her peers in the industry hold her.

Nominees for Text Reporter of the Year – Winner: Ned Parker – For his agenda-setting scoops and special reports from Iraq’s front lines.

Nominees for Photo of the Year  – Winner: A Brief Encounter: Youssef Boudlal – A girl from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar.

Nominees for Enterprise Reporting of the Year – Winner: The Echo Chamber: Joan Biskupic, Janet Roberts, John Shiffman – For their comprehensive examination of the Supreme Court’s secretive appeals process.

Nominees for Video Story of the Year – Winner: Ukraine Crisis

Nominees for Scoop of the Year – Winner: Saudis warn of low oil prices: Ron Bousso and Joshua Schneyer

Nominees for Snapper of the Year – Winner: Hezron Selvi – For his efforts training local staff and rolling out Fastwire to Europe. (more…)

A Mobile Master Class from ONA London

london-logo-200x188On March 6, nearly 200 journalists, editors, producers, designers and CEOs traveled to Reuters for ONA London: Mobile, the first Online News Association conference outside of North America. This day-long series of sessions, workshops and networking focused on producing the news for mobile devices, touching on everything from newsroom culture to designing better experiences on mobile.

ONA have pulled together video, audio, presentations and live blogs so you can learn from the expert presenters and knowledgeable attendees. Video recordings and speaker resources from the sessions are only available to ONA members; audio recordings of the sessions and live blogs are available to all.

You can find the full video list and speaker resources here. To find out how to become an ONA member click here.

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OPENING KEYNOTE: BEHIND THE SCREENS: CREATING A GREAT NEWS APP

Buzzfeed’s News App Editor Stacy-Marie Ishmael and BBC’s Mobile Editor Nathalie Malinarich opened the day with an honest discussion about what creating mobile news means in their newsrooms and how they built and relaunched recent mobile apps at their respective organizations.

Recorded video and speaker resources (ONA members)
Live blog

THE MOBILE-FIRST NEWSROOM

Get a behind-the-scenes look at how two different newsrooms are approaching mobile. The Guardian’s Mobile Wditor Subhajit Banerjee, USA Today’s Managing Editor for Digital / Mobile / Social Patty Michalski and moderator Steve Herrmann, Editor of BBC News Online, share how their newsroom teams are set up, how they use analytics in the newsroom, how they respond to trends and more.

(more…)

Tales from the trail: Reuters & U.S. newspapers

PeterBohanPeter Bohan was a Reuters journalist for 30 years before becoming Executive Director of Reuters America Service, a product aimed at U.S. newspapers, web sites and broadcasters as an alternative to The Associated Press. Peter – Midwest Bureau Chief at the time – built the service starting in 2010 in tests with Tribune Company, which  became the anchor client for RAST in 2011. Peter spends more time than anyone working with U.S. newspapers to see how Reuters can address their needs.

We asked Peter to blog from time to time to share how it’s going:

Are newspapers doomed? That often seems to be the accepted wisdom these days. But as with most things we take for granted, perhaps it’s worth another look.

Certainly, a lot of the numbers for newspapers don’t paint a picture of health. In much of the past decade or longer, newspapers have lost advertisers and readers in droves to the Internet. Newspaper budgets get vaporized, staff are cut, and the downward spiral only seems to get worse.

We are left with a portrait of the walking dead.

But this corpse may have a pulse yet.

Some recent trends:

• The digital audience delivered by U.S. newspaper web sites in October 2014 reached 166 million unique adult visitors, a 17% increase from a year earlier.

(more…)

Reuters Stringer Derrick Snyder wins Mo Amin Award

Today at the annual News Xchange conference in Prague, Reuters stringer Derrick Snyder from Monrovia was awarded the 2014 Mo Amin award for his vital coverage of the Ebola crisis. In this video we interviewed Derrick about his work.

The Mohamed Amin Award was established in 1997 in honour of Mohamed Amin, an African cameraman killed in an airline hijacking in 1996. The award recognises outstanding contributions to TV news made by individuals or groups who may not have a high profile or attract extensive publicity.

We recently held a Newsmaker event in New York addressing the Ebola crisis, you can watch the full event here and a film about the epidemic, produced for the event, below.

Hackday Insights: How to make your website stickier and more engaging?

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Reuters recently partnered with the Global Editors Network to present a Reuters Hackday in New York. In this post Eric Frederick, Online Managing Editor of The News and Observer of Raleigh, NC spoke to us about their highly commended project and how to make your website stickier and more engaging.

Could you tell us a little bit about your Hackday team?

Our team represented McClatchy Newspapers. The members were Tom Markart, senior design engineer at McClatchy Interactive; Peyton Vaughn, a senior web application developer (more…)

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