COMMENTARY BY J.R. MAHON

What Papers Must Do To Do Video Right

With video becoming a bigger part of newspapers’ online offerings, the industry needs to learn to work with people from the TV world to create, sustain and survive a multiplatform media environment. “Without people on both sides of the fence working together to disrupt a business that needs an infusion of new media, the print world will continue to struggle with what it is and what it’s going to be,” says J.R. Mahon.

COMMENTARY BY JOHN J. MILLER

Defining ‘Journalist’ Is A Slippery Slope

Last week, a bipartisan majority on the House Judiciary Committee approved House Bill 4770, which seeks to define the word “journalist.” The goal is to distinguish between those who should see accident records immediately (vehicle owners, prosecutors, journalists, etc.) and those who shouldn’t (the vulture-lawyers). This comes dangerously close to the licensing of reporters, is is a rotten idea, and liberal societies like our own abandoned it long ago.

COMMENTARY BY TRICIA SPENCER

Memo To Networks: Don’t Leave Us Hanging

It’s never fun to wake up one morning and hear that a beloved TV series has been canceled. But there’s something especially appalling about a show being axed when the current season of that show has just ended on a cliffhanger. When shows are canceled, fans who have welcomed the show’s characters into their lives are simply kicked to the curb along with the show. It’s insulting, so let’s fix the problem with a “Plus 2” rule.

COMMENTARY BY SCOTT R. FLICK

Should It Be Retransigent Instead Of Retrans?

The unavoidable truth is that the rare retrans disruption doesn’t occur because the parties didn’t begin negotiating early enough to get a deal done; it occurs because the parties can’t agree on price and won’t change their views on pricing until the pressures of a retrans disruption are upon them. In the end, private contractual negotiations are about agreeing on the value of an item to be conveyed, and if the parties can’t agree on that, a transaction doesn’t happen. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t change that. To think otherwise is merely to be retransigent.

COMMENTARY BY MATT SINGER

4 Tips To Help Journalists Create More Videos

Matt Singer, CEO of Videolicious, a platform for journalists to create editorial videos using their smartphones, offers four tips for journalists working with video: work with what you have, limit the amount of footage you shoot, edit while shooting and don’t replace your article.

COMMENTARY BY HANK PRICE

Looking Toward Journalism’s Radical Future

Hank Price, GM of WXII Winston-Salem, N.C.: “Who is in the best position to create this radical future of journalism?  Who will create tomorrow’s “trusted choice?” Will it be major newspapers and leading television stations or two kids in a garage?  The answer to that question is up to you and me.  Either way, we will get what we deserve.”

COMMENTARY BY KEVIN DAVIS

Embracing Imperfect In Impact Measurement

Kevin Davis, CEO and executive director of the Investigative News Network, says that before a system of standard metrics to measure journalism’s impact can be developed, there first needs to be a clear understanding of who will be using the metrics and for what purposes. “Regardless of what metrics are developed and agreed upon, adopting repeatable methodologies and standards that can be measured objectively over time will be essential in gauging not only the impact of the organization today, but also its growth,” he says.

COMMENTARY BY JOHN KROLL

Why Newsrooms Need ‘Digital People’

John Kroll: “Digitally native editors will respond to readers in the comments. They will take part in Q&As of whatever format, online or in person. They will find ways to reach out to the community beyond the bigwigs they meet at charity galas or in corporate boardrooms.”

COMMENTARY BY DOUG BENNETT

How Publishers Should Forge Video Strategy

When building a video strategy, the most important question publishers should ask themselves is, “Who are we trying to reach?” Ballantine Communications CEO Doug Bennett: “If the answer is a new audience such as a younger demographic, then the process of producing video must begin with collecting and reviewing data that supports the interests of this audience.”

COMMENTARY BY CHUCK LOVEY

TV Is Cheating New Jersey Viewers

New Jersey’s news sources are disappearing. And there is little of substance coming to replace them. It is time for the rest of New Jersey and its elected officials to speak out. Let us demand that the FCC act to provide us with the news and public affairs programming we deserve.

COMMENTARY BY WALT MOSSBERG

The Many Internet-Video Options For TVs

Watching TV shows, movies and other video via the Internet on your big-screen television has become all the rage. But the proliferation of devices and methods for doing so has made the whole thing mighty confusing. To help sort out the choices, Walt Mossberg has compiled a primer for watching Internet video on a TV, legally.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Papers Should Watch How TV Reacts To Web

Television finally seems to be feeling the Internet’s pinch. Newspapers should closely watch how the TV industry reacts. Anne Crassweller: “All media companies are facing challenges about how their content is being consumed and how to build new business models…. Providing value and habits will bring audiences and success.”

COMMENTARY

Was KVIA Story On KTSM Anchor Arrest Too Much?

COMMENTARY BY GORDON BORRELL

Local Media Can Level Trust In DMS Space

Social and mobile media can be lovable and annoying, and it’s the annoying part that holds the most opportunity, says Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell. Methods of how to capitalize on social and mobile will be laid out the firm’s Social+Mobile Show Me The Money conference this month.

SALES OFFICE BY DON SEAMAN

End Of Daytime Drama (Not What You Think)

Ah, as the world turns. It’s time to come clean on soaps. And the news is…good. Soaps are back. Well, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that soaps are steady. And that’s something that couldn’t be said just a couple of years ago. The genre still thrives elsewhere, especially in network primetime. For a genre that’s all been written off as a relic, it’s showing that it might just have one life to live after all.

COMMENTARY BY CHAD GUTSTEIN

TWC-CBS Feud Underscores Need For Reform

Television is a public good. We forget that sometimes, but it’s true. But you wouldn’t know it based on the spectacle created by CBS and Time Warner Cable duking it out for billions of dollars and blacking out signals to millions of households in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other markets across the country. But the bigger issue is the system and the antiquated laws that govern it. Congress needs to reform the rules of the game so that consumers’ interests come first.

NEWS ANALYSIS BY FARSHAD FAMILY

Local Television Is A Smart Business Bet

The pace of consolidation in local TV is accelerating. Why? Simply put, the future looks promising for this healthy sector. The major reasons behind the bright outlook of the local television landscape are threefold.

TECH COMMENTARY BY ANDREW DODSON

Twitter: A Home For Broadcast Tech Pros?

My challenge to the engineers who are helping broadcast countless hours of live news each week: Sign up and tweet at least one message a day. Let this community know how your latest ENG gizmo is working out for you. Maybe you just bought some new specialty, point-of-view cameras that you want to tell us about. Let us know that your innovative minds are still churning out new ideas.

COMMENTARY BY DAVID ZURAWIK

Five Things You Need To Know About Sinclair

You have to admire the financial muscle, if nothing else, of Baltimore’s Sinclair Broadcast Group. How many companies in Baltimore can pony up just under a billion dollars and become headquarters to a high-visibility Washington media institution like WJLA, the ABC affiliate in the nation’s capital? Here are five things I consider worth thinking about as Sinclair moves up into bigger journalistic and political leagues with this deal. They are based on two decades of watching Sinclair operate.

COMMENTARY BY BILL HARVEY

How Much TV Should Advertisers Really Buy?

The Big Four broadcast networks’ primetime programming still gets the highest TV ratings, and with them the highest advertising prices. So it’s no surprise to see advertisers and their agencies steadily adding cheaper alternatives, like primetime cable, and decreasing their share of dollars spent with broadcasters. But an increasing amount of evidence suggests that not every rating point is created equal.

COMMENTARY

There’s No Battle Between TV And YouTube

Thinkbox’s Lindsey Clay says that the emotional connection people enjoy with TV makes the so-called battle between TV and YouTube a false one.

COMMENTARY BY AL TOMPKINS

What KTVU Did Right After Its Slip-Up

It was great sport all last weekend for media critics to excoriate KTVU-TV in San Francisco for its announcement of fake, offensive pilot names in the Asiana Airlines crash. There’s no denying KTVU made a big mistake. But when admitting to its mistakes, the station took an approach that other journalists should replicate.

SALES OFFICE BY DON SEAMAN

The Red, White & Blue Of Heroes Never Fades

There was an entire generation of American heroes who were left ignored and unhonored as they came home from a war when our veterans weren’t as readily revered. The heroes of the Vietnam War came home to a much different political reality than exists now. The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters made sure that the Vietnam veterans finally heard those cheers that had so long been delayed.

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS BY BRUCE GOERLICH

The Power Of Local TV, Especially In Disasters

The power of local TV is in its localness — its ability to connect and unite communities. The best example of this is the reaction of TV viewers to traumatic events. Local TV news is still the dominant place to which the public turns in times of crisis.

COMMENTARY

A Shield Law Is Essential To A Robust Press

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) on the creation of a federal press shield law: “Freedom of the press is enshrined in the First Amendment as a foundational freedom upon which our other freedoms — including speech and privacy — are premised. An unfettered press can inform the public about government abuses that threaten our citizens’ rights. This is not a conservative or liberal principle. It’s an American principle.”

COMMENTARY BY GEORGE MUSI

Ad-ID Can Fix Video Asset Tracking

George Musi: “A few months ago, the ad industry had a wakeup call. The SAG-AFTRA and the ANA-4A’s Joint Policy Committee released a mandate for universal adoption of Ad-ID — a critical step forward for the advertising industry in advancing standards across all platforms for identification, tracking and measurement.  The advertising ecosystem needs to coalesce around common methodologies. Ad-ID should be implemented by March 31, 2014.”

COMMENTARY BY CRAIG AARON

Want Better News? Block Gannett-Belo Deal

Free Press President Craig Aaron: “The FCC needs to end this charade. If the agency’s rules don’t allow mergers between these stations, then de facto mergers shouldn’t be allowed either. If that means breaking up a few big media companies along the way and stopping this deal, so be it.”

COMMENTARY BY PATRICK MAINES

News Media Must Adapt To Rebuild Trust

The mainstream commercial media, online and off, face many challenges, most prominently the competitive threat to their business models arising from the Internet generally and Google specifically. In such an environment it is essential that they not paint themselves into a political or ideological corner where only the like-minded feel welcome and trusting.

COMMENTARY BY BRIAN LOWRY

Broadcast Nets Think Inside The Box

Network executives take a ‘What me worry?’ approach despite their medium’s changing landscape. Having consumed roughly two dozen network pilots slotted for the fall, one overarching attribute appears to be how much the current crop of shows resembles the last one, and the one before that.

COMMENTARY BY MIKA SALMI

Why Broadcasters Should Take TV Online

Rather than fighting cord-cutting and unbundling and making a weak effort with TV Everywhere, the top brass should be looking at putting their full broadcast TV channels online — with no restrictions. Not only does the data show that huge audiences are streaming video online, the broadcast channels are missing a unique chance to use their live channels on the internet to take their business to the next level. Here are three game-changing benefits TV content producers and broadcasters could realize by finally putting live channels online:

COMMENTARY BY GORDON BORRELL

Why Ad Cash Is Shifting To Web Promotions

Gordon Borrell: “The money being plowed into promotions isn’t entirely coming from trimmed-down advertising budgets. It’s also coming from things like slimmer profit margins (taken through steeper discounting), the salaries of former workers who used to handle marketing tasks, and from agency fees, printing budgets and postage.”

COMMENTARY BY KEVIN DAVIS

Nonprofit News Dodges Business At Its Peril

The Pew Research Center’s recent report on the health of nonprofit newsrooms says that many of those organizations are finding it “hard to make time for business activities.” But those that don’t will soon disappear. Investigative News Network’s Kevin Davis: “Any nonprofit news organization that doesn’t have dedicated resources in business and revenue generation will simply not survive the next few years, let alone achieve the holy grail of nonprofit businesses: sustainability.”

SALES OFFICE BY DON SEAMAN

2012-13 Season: The More Things Change…

When you look at the results of the past television season, you might just find something interesting. It looks very much like last year. And the year before that, and the year before that, and before that and so on. Over 90% of the top 200 adults 25-54 primetime programs airing during this season were on broadcast.

COMMENTARY BY MATTHEW COOPER

Why A Shield Law Can’t Save Journalists

The only way journalists will be protected is if prosecutors stop being so quick to go after them.

COMMENTARY BY MATHEW INGRAM

Why Scoops, Objectivity Matter Less And Less

Journalism has been evolving away from just a repetition of facts or events and towards context and analysis, research shows — but this evolution has also created tension for media companies because it conflicts with the principle of objectivity.

COMMENTARY BY NICK GILLESPIE

Obama’s Unconstitutional War On Journalism

The AP and Fox overreaches lay bare how too many journalists for too long have been in the tank for Obama — more lapdogs than watchdogs.

COMMENTARY BY JAMES PONIEWOZIK

Six Reasons That ‘The Office’ Mattered

If any TV show is lucky enough, it will last to the point when it will seem tired, repetitive, business as usual. The Office, which ends its last season after nine years tonight, may arguably have reached that point; however well it ends, it will have been punching the clock for a long time. But it’s worth remembering, however much we’re used to the show’s style and comedy now, that network TV sitcoms were a different breed when the American version of the show came on the air in 2005.

COMMENTARY BY KEVIN GOLDBERG

Is McCain Legislation A Bungled Bundle Bill?

True to his reputation as a maverick, Arizona Senator John McCain has authored a bill seemingly designed to please nobody, while arguably disserving just about everybody. Dubbed the Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013, it consists of clumsily crafted legislative language that mashes together in one bill three disparate and contentious aspects of the current video delivery system. In only one of those three areas does McCain’s proposal come to remotely practical terms with the problem it seeks to address.

COMMENTARY BY MIKE PROULX

One Thing That Will Change The TV Business

There are conversations happening in the boardrooms of every TV network and MSO about the one thing that could have the most impact on television as we know it today. And it’s something corporate communications professionals across the industry don’t want to be public about at least not right now. It’s the one thing that gives television its lifeblood and is the backbone of its DNA: TV’s very own programming its content.

UPFRONTS 2013 COMMENTARY

Will Digital Video Be Bought Like TV?

The big challenge is to get the digital agencies to think of, and buy, digital video in the same way they do traditional TV. Some have started to implement buys with a comScore vCE or Nielsen OCR metric, but it’s just the beginning as the original forms of measurement are gradually replaced and client demand for digital video increases.