Reporter 101: Does Your Story Have To Have Porn In The Title?

Ok, now that I have your attention. Yes, stories that have salacious details and words such as “porn” in the story or title get more clicks. It’s a fact – just ask your web guru. But, for a story to stand out in people’s minds, it has to be memorable. Reporters, that’s your job.

I remember covering 9/11 related-stories back in 2002. And I covered the Staten Island Ferry crash of 2003 that killed 11 and hurt 70-plus. They were such memorable stories to me because of the extreme pain and suffering I saw, that I’d get choked up in the middle of them. But, when I ran into viewers in the street, they remembered a story I did around the same timeframe – I was fishing on a boat. It stood out. It was unusual. You don’t often see a local news reporter on a boat. It was fun, there were some funny moments, and the Captain was a card.

There are reporters that play it safe, and do standups standing up, talking about the story.  And sometimes a story calls for just that. And then there’s Pat Collins, of WRC, the NBC affiliate in Washington, DC. He wore a suit of grapes for this story:

But, interestingly, Collins may be remembered best for another story he did. It was smart, creative and well-done. (and I can’t find any video for it, damn!) Apparently, there were several complaints about an alarm going off in a neighborhood in NBC’s coverage area. From what everyone who has seen it has told me, this alarm was deafening! And people were angry about it. Collins delivered his whole report over the din, or tried to, at least, because you could hardly hear him. He used either cue cards or closed captioning (I’ve heard both) as well, so the viewer could read what he was saying, because you just couldn’t hear him. It brought the point home – this alarm was like a hard punch in the face; it could stop you from living your life. Kudos Collins! Now, about that grape costume………

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