My time as an Assignment Editor provided many stories on which I shared in my first blog.  While I'm no longer On the News Desk, the stories and lessons shouldn't be forgotten. 


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Musings and thoughts

Tweeting with the enemy

February 19, 2010
Earlier this week I had to take time to think before I responded to two different Tweets to me. One of which I discussed with a manager before answering. I know I did right in my answers, but I still feel, well, dirty about it.

My mantra in using social media has always been: Be Smart. Social networks are tools you decide how to use; you don’t let them use you. This includes doing all you can to know with whom you’re interacting and why.

First I responded to a Tweet from a journalist at a competing media outlet. If you didn’t read this person's bio you might not know what his job is, but I read every bio of every person I respond to and read the bios before I follow anyone. So I knew who I was talking to and why he’d asked me the question.

Sometimes it’s okay to play nice with the competitor. I admit though it went against my natural instinct.  This person asked me if information he had was the same as the information I had. I thought about two things before answering honestly and saying yes the information was the same:

First, I thought about how long the photographer we had at the scene had been there and if we’d lose anything by saying we had the same information. The answer was no, we wouldn’t lose anything. The photographer had been on scene for a while getting good video and the Public Information Officer was there talking to media.

Second*, the journalist didn't ask me to give him information he didn't have. He asked me to verify I had same information as he did. I would never give a competing journalist exclusive information,** but I felt in this case I was fine confirming the information.

The second Tweet asked me a question about changes in the station’s news programming. Normally, I answer all programming questions without thinking about it. This time however the Tweet came from person who has chosen to keep his/her identity secret and writes a blog discussing and analyzing the local television newscasts.

I’ve Tweeted back and forth with this person before, but I am always aware of what I’m saying and I know at any moment my Tweet could be used as a quote, or used as a source. (Now, the same can be said for all my Tweets, all my facebook posts, all my social networking interactions. I’m always aware of this.) To not know who this person is and what, if any, motivation there is in the question, is what bothered me.

I decided before I responded to the Tweet that I should discuss it with a manager. I never doubted I wouldn’t give an answer, but I wanted to make sure my wording was acceptable. It was, so I responded. Now I’ll watch to see how, if at all, my answer will be used by this person.

I feel I was right in my decisions and answers, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t rush home to shower to get that slight dirty feeling washed off!***

*I'm pregnant and have found myself losing words, phrases and even entire thoughts. I lost this second point when I originally sat down to write this post a few days ago and was so very frustrated! I wrote the rest of the blog without the second thought, but was determined to get the thought back again. Out of nowhere tonight while sitting on the news desk, the thought popped into my head!  Just had to share cause I'm too excited not to!

**I know my Twitter stream is being monitored by other journalists and media outlets. I'm always aware of what I'm posting. I protect exclusivity when necessary. There have been events I'll Tweet about knowing I won't be able to send a news crew to it. In that case I share all information knowing full well what I'm Tweeting may be the tip off to another media outlet to send a crew.

***Who am I kidding? I'm pregnant and currently still exhausted ALL THE TIME. I didn't take a shower when I got home. I ate a little something to stave off the nausea through the night and I went straight to bed.

If you're willing collaborative journalism is easy and rewarding

January 8, 2010
Media organizations have partnered for as long as I can remember. CBS4 News used to partner with The Rocky Mountain News before it closed. Now the station partners with The Denver Business Journal. KUSA and KMGH also partner with local print organizations. There are various partnerships with local radio stations as well. These partnerships will continue but need to go beyond media organization to media organization.

Collaboration is a term being used more these days to describe a wide variety ...
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New TV faces because of unexpected bridge between viewer and news

December 22, 2009

Face it.  There are a lot of new faces on TV News in Denver.  Last week I was one of those new faces as I did a live question and answer session with the anchors during the 6pm newscast. The following day I was live in two newscasts talking social media and the station’s Emergency Toy Drive.

The morning I was in the first newscast, and before I knew I was going to be on the news, I spoke to a group of local business leaders about using social networks in the newsroom.  We also discussed ho...

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Seeking advice for a Twitter dilemma

December 17, 2009

There are very few reasons I block anyone from facebook or Twitter.  Pure spam.  Porn.   Insults just because I’m a member of the media. These types of accounts I block.

I’ve never stopped any other journalist or news organization from following me; not even direct competition.  To do so goes against all I preach about using social networks.  Plus I want to follow them to see what they’re doing! 

One local journalist has a public account but has blocked me and @cbs4denver.  I’m gue...

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I share press releases as news content

December 17, 2009

This week’s Journchat was lively as usual. Question one lead to a good discussion on press releases used as news.  (You can view the Archived Chat.  Question one and the comments start at 7:07pm.)  I answered as soon as I saw the question. 

Last night was a no brainer.  As I’m shouting out to coworkers about an email from Denver Police on a missing grandmother and her two-year old grandson, I’m saving the press release, a PDF file, so I can upload the release to Twitdoc.  I knew t...

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I am using Google Wave, the mess that it is, for news

December 8, 2009
I’ve spent the last two weeks playing around in Google Wave. I see its potential as a collaborative tool to share information during news events, such as a snow storm. I see it being used as a comment tool much like people comment on facebook or retweet with a comment on Twitter.

I’ve joined waves that were created to discuss the use of social media and/or Google Wave in journalism and in news. I’ve reviewed other media outlets use of Google Wave. I’ve read articles on using Google W...

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Bad journalism and bad Twitter critique frustrates me

November 18, 2009
By now I believe my social media mantra is clear. Be smart. If you choose to use social media in any capacity know why, know your purpose and be smart in all you do. I need to extend my “be smart” advice to media that decides to critique social media use.

Saturday morning while curled up under a blanket on the couch and sipping a mug of coffee I scrolled through Twitter on my cell phone.  I saw a Tweet from @DaveWebb that said The Colorado Independent had called out The Denver Post for its...
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Use social media, but don't give away your competitive edge.

November 14, 2009
I’ve made it obvious that I believe traditional media should use social media. I advocate knowing why you’re using social networks, have goals and have strategies to reach those goals. So I find myself a little surprised at the thoughts that went through my head this afternoon. Is it possible to tweet too much?

If you’re giving away your competitive edge, yes you can tweet too much.

When I share what’s happening for me on the news desk and in the newsroom I am always aware that I have...
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Concept: provide news packages when they're ready, not after they've aired on the news

November 11, 2009
I talked with a reporter last week about social media and the news. She kept asking, “can social media get us another ratings point?” I said that it could by simply connecting our product to new viewers who are using social networks, but that it would be hard to analyze the numbers. Numbers don’t tell us why we get numbers. Could it be our promotions? Could it be our community efforts? Could it be our efforts on social media? The analytics just aren’t there like they are with the Inte...
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Facebook News Feed finally makes sense... sort of

November 3, 2009

I normally don’t like the changes facebook rolls out as it tries to expand and evolve.  No, I don’t fully understand the different feeds in facebook.  Until tonight the two feeds, Live and News, have been bothersome, filled with stuff I just don’t care to see, and items I can’t figure out how to not see (like who friends who.)  Tonight though, I actually saw a benefit of the News Feed. 

Early in my shift On the News Desk I posted a status update that was really a request for Molly H...

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About Me

Misty Montano I am a Journalist using Social Technologies and Interactive Media to connect with news consumers. I am the Digital Content Manager at 9News in Denver, CO. Previously I was an Assignment Editor at CBS4 News in Denver where I won my first Regional Emmy for my work and spent the first 10 years of my career. I truly grew up On the News Desk.