How the Media Works Miguel Navrot, Tierna Unruh-Enos & Rick DeReyes
Local Media • Five Television Stations • KRQE/KASA (CBS) – 13/2 • KOB (NBC) – 4 • KOAT (ABC) – 7 • KNME (PBS) -5 • KLUZ (Spanish Univision) – 41 • Two Daily Newspapers • Albuquerque Journal • Daily Lobo • Several Weekly Newspapers • The Alibi • El Semenario • New Mexico Business Weekly • Several News Radio Stations • KKOB • KUNM • One Monthly Magazine • Albuquerque the Magazine
Television Organization • Each newsroom is managed by a news director • The assignment editor controls the stories and who covers what. • Each station has about 5-10 reporters. • The majority of reporters are general assignment reporters.
The “Desk” • The Desk is manned about 24/7 by an assignment editor or a producer. • Majority of calls go through the Desk. • The desk has: • Three police scanners • Several televisions to watch the other stations • Assignment Board
Newscasts • All Stations have a morning, evening and late night newscast • Two stations have a noon newscast. • Scripts are supposed to be written about an hour before the newscast. But breaking news, late reporters, inexperience, etc. can factor in.
Anchors • Anchors sometimes work on stories or write copy. • Often work on something called an “anchor package,” shot solo by a photographer or a sweeps piece • Anchors are among the most well paid people in the news organization • Some can make more than $100,000 a yr.
Television Reporters • Along with videographers are the workhorses of the organization • Are required to come up with at least one story a day • Some are required to have as many as three stories a day. • Have very little time to do their stories. • Average life span is 2 to 3 years • In Albuquerque, almost all are working to get to a larger market (i.e., Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, etc.)
Television Investigative Reporters • Sometimes can have several days or weeks to work on a story…often, pressured to produce a story in a day or two • Can be more experienced or have been in the market longer • Are looking for: • Scandal • Waste • Abuse • Corruption • Rarely do positive/”fluff” stories.
TV Brass • Two of the three stations are owned by a national corporation such as Hearst and Emmis. • Goal: Turn A Profit. • General Manager is the top local official. • News Director runs the newsroom • Assistant News Director makes details happen • Executive Producers run the shows. • Assignment Editors manage the daily content. • Make sure everyone is doing what they are suppose to do.
Resources • Local television stations have bureaus in Santa Fe and Roswell (frequently, one-man band) • Trucks that can broadcast live by being able to point a microwave antenna at the top of Sandia • Have at least one satellite truck that can go live anywhere in the world • One station has a helicopter on site and a full time pilot. • KOB & KRQE share a helicopter based at Double Eagle.
Nielsen Ratings • Occur four times a year • Referred to as “the book” or “sweeps” • Determines how much television stations can charge for advertising • Are monitored on a daily basis • Television news is extremely competitive. • Month long investigations are rolled out. • Every one in the organization is expected to have a good “sweeps story” • Ratings mean everything – Jobs depend on it. • Crime/Fire drives 80 percent of the news coverage (stories easiest to get to/require little research/more visually interesting than meetings • “If it bleeds it leads”
Meetings/Deadlines • There are two meetings a day –(9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.) - attended by assignment editor, news director, executive producers, show producers and reporters • Meetings determine what stories they are going to run with and for what newscast
Checks • Reporters are given several areas or beats to check. They call PIOs and sources every day before the afternoon or morning meeting • Every morning all television stations send someone to Metro Court and they read the criminal complaints of everyone who was arrested the day before on felony charges. • Every afternoon they check search warrants at District Court.
Access • All media has access to: • Jail Mugs • Criminal Complaints • Court Files • Police Reports • Business License • Tax records • Professional License • Salaries of public employees • Citizen Complaints filed with the IRO • Personnel Files
Daily Newspaper Organization • Each newspaper is managed by an executive editor • Paper is divided into desks and each desk has an editor • City Desk • State Desk • Business Desk • Sports Desk • Papers have several Bureaus that are also considered Desks. The Journal Has • Santa Fe • Rio Rancho • West Side • Las Cruces • State Capitol • Washington D.C.
Newspaper Reporters • Unlike television, newspapers are very reporter driven • Journal has 40 reporters. • Newspaper reporters average lifespan is 10 years. • Half stay in one market for their entire career • Strict beats are adhered to. Average about three stories a week • Have more time to do stories and do more in-depth work. • They cover big crimes or events, issues and features, in depth work
Editorial Board • Every newspaper has an editorial board • Every day there is a staff editorial that is published. • Editorials are the newspaper’s opinion. • They take a position on controversial issues • Every day the board meets to discuss what they are going to editorialize • Most of the time editorials are written without any chance for one side to comment. • Editorial boards make political endorsements
Deadlines • Every morning, reporters are expected to notify their editors about potential stories. • Desk editors go to a meeting and talk. Reporters are not allowed. • By 4 p.m. reporters put what stories they have on a “budget.” • Editors meet at 4 p.m. to go over their budgets and determine what stories are going to go into the newspaper and where. Stories will hold. • Reporters must make these deadlines to meet the following editions: • 6 p.m. – Statewide • 11 p.m. – City/Final
Newspaper Business Model • Newspapers don’t have ratings • Ad rates are determined by circulation • Papers do not make money off of the sale of the newspaper. Sale covers cost of the paper • Money is made off of advertisements • Most papers in the country are owned by a large corporation like Gannett, Knight Rider, Times Tribune • Journal is one of the largest locally owned paper in the country • Journal has an owner who is from Albuquerque and is involved in the operation.
Newspaper Resources • Have the staff and money to send reporters to national events • Most newspapers have a Television partner in which they share photos, videos, resources and stories. Journal partners with KOAT
Newspaper Brass • Executive Editor is top decision maker. • Editorial Page editor holds a lot of power. • Desk editors make sure the beat reporters are doing their work. • Senior reporters have a lot of say and influence with the editors.
What Makes a Story • Timeliness • Did it happen recently • Proximity • Are readers/viewers effected • Significance • Are a lot of people effected • Prominence • Are famous people, politicians or people who hold the public trust involved • Human Interest • Is it different. Have you heard of anything like this before? • Television Key Demographic • Does it effect the people who are likely watching the news i.e. Hispanic women 35 to 49 • Newspaper Agenda • Some newspapers have agendas that are priorities. The Journal has made DWI its top agenda.
Ethics-Newspapers • All Journalists are supposed to adhere to a set of ethics • Newspaper reporters say ethics are much more strict than in other mediums • Newspaper reporters get in serious trouble when there is a “correction” in one of their stories • Most newspapers have an ethics guide journalists are supposed to sign.
Ethics-Broadcast News • Broadcasters have “Payola” clauses in their contracts • Broadcasters can do corrections during newscasts (placement of correction is very important) • Journalists are supposed to be fence walkers • Reporters are required to remove themselves from any conflict of interests