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The morning meeting...and the meaning of "Newsfile"




Every morning we have what's called, appropriately enough, "The Morning Meeting," where reporters, anchors, producers, Steve, Station Manager Ken McCoy, discuss the stories for the Noon news.

The meeting usually takes place around 8:45 or 8:50 in the morning, which, in theory, gives reporters about 15-20 minutes from their entry time of 8:30 to make phone calls and start organizing their ideas and contacts for the stories they plan to pursue.

We've begun bringing a list of the previous day's "web highlights" into the meeting to see what stories garnered the most attention from web users; had the most comments or led to the most discussion; and had the most video plays. While not always a "bible," it often helps work as a guide to see what stories are resonating with viewers and which ones, are, to be frank, "bombs."

The ongoing debate about a proposed $200 per child grant for school supplies to those on public assistance has been a big topic of debate on our site - an obvious sign that the story has legs and can be furthered.

Joleen brought up a good point about a similar debate going on with health care for those on public assistance. We decided after her morning trip to Oneida County Court, she should pursue the health care / public assistance issue further.

After she left to get to work on her stories, Evan said he had an interview setup with the President of SUNYIT about the proposed Nanotech partnership with SUNY Albany. He was going to meet up with President Wolf Yeigh in the morning and then head out to Albany during the Noon news to further the story for 5 and 6.

Just before the meeting we noticed that an Illinois woman we interviewed at Boilermaker who was running in honor of her son who is serving overseas was on the Today Show. I made a call to our liaison at NBC Newschannel and asked them if they could send down the story so that we could run it as well today.

Meanwhile, we sent Photographer Tom Geise and Intern Kari to Old Forge where Senator Seward is dedicating Point Park.

Some discussion was had about events and some court cases happening this afternoon, but much of that discussion will be fleshed out more in the afternoon meeting.

So with all three crews scattered, from Old Forge, to Albany, to right here in Utica, we disbanded the meeting, and headed back to the newsroom.

Newsfile On a side note, some people have asked me recently about the use of "old footage," or as it's referred to here "Newsfile."

There are a lot of times when a story happens, or information become available, and we either don't have the manpower to get somewhere for new footage, or don't have time enough before broadcast to do so.

In those cases, you'll often see what's referred to as "Newsfile," where we go through the library of old footage and stories and pull video of the scene, people, etc.

Example situation: Let's say we're talking about Hamilton College. You've got one photographer. Do you send them to get fresh footage of the college if it means the show may not get edited and make it to air?

If the file footage of Hamilton College is from the Fall and we're in the Winter, do we not run the story? Do we run the story and not show any footage of the college and just have the face of the anchor talking for the whole story?

It's not always the optimal situation - but when it comes down to either NOT being able to have the story on the show, or having nothing but a "talking head" anchor reading about it, I'm always one to lean towards the use of Newsfile so there is some sort of imagery.

But, heck, like it, hate it, or indifferent, it's just a choice that you make one way or the other.

I have noticed a lack of identification of "Newsfile" footage on the air as of late, and just addressed our staff today that they need to make a much more conscious effort to identify archived footage as such.

Well, off work for the next few days, but I'll check in again sometime next week.

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