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WJLA’s Lord Drops Gauntlet, Institutes Ingenious Web Rules

Now that WJLA is in charge of TBD.com, suddenly web guidelines (the same ones TBD asked for at the launch but they weren’t met with such glee) are all the rage. Yes, now the web is such a splendid idea and everyone must contribute, even TV journos. They’ll even be getting smart phones (as many as they can) for the cause. Go figure.

In an internal memo sent to WJLA, NBC8 and TBD.com staff (some of whom are really pissed off by the way) WJLA V.P. Station Manager Bill Lord implements strict guidelines for the web.

Examples:

1. Everyone employed in the news operation will contribute to web E content.   Television, Cable, and Web employees will participate.  No exceptions.

2. Everyone who goes into the field on a breaking story will be expected to report back to the assignment desk within the first five minutes of arriving on a scene.

We requested comment from Lord on the matter. He replied: “Simple answer:  This is the way we plan to operate today and into the future.  The content we develop will be available for both TBD.com and wjla.com. I am looking forward. I don’t have time to look back.”

UPDATE: Asked for comment, former TBD GM Jim Brady weighed in, telling FishbowlDC, “I fully support everything Bill has mandated. But it should have been mandated last summer when TBD was launching, and it wasn’t. Just find it ironic that the web has suddenly become a focus right about the time when the people who know it best are all leaving the company. Or maybe that e-mail just got caught in a time warp.”

All Concerned,

Please take a moment to check out the following operational guidelines for developing online content.
Our goals are to be fast, accurate and comprehensive.   We will engage our readers and viewers in the newsgathering process to make sure they come to us first, stay with us longer and interact with us in every way we can devise.  To that end I ask your immediate cooperation on the following points.

1)      Everyone employed in the news operation will contribute to web content.   Television, Cable, and Web employees will participate.  No exceptions.

2)      Everyone who goes into the field on a breaking story will be expected to report back to the assignment desk within the first five minutes of arriving on a scene.  That means reporters will feed back information, photographers will feed back video as soon as possible, everyone will feed back cell phone video or stills. (we are working acquiring smart phones for as many people as possible)

3)      During the course of the news day each story we cover must be updated regularly so web content can be refreshed.

4)      No content will be withheld from the web.  As soon as we have the news we will disseminate the news.  Again, no exceptions.

5)      Look for opportunities to gather user generated content by asking on and off the air for people to send stills and video to iwitness@tbd.com or iwitness@wjla.com

How will this information get back to the desk?   We have a new email address which can accommodate text, stills and smart phone video.    webnews@wjla.com

If you need to speak with a person, the web producer on duty can be reached at BLANK.   Also, the web producers will be instructed to call reporters and photographers in the field for updates.  Please help them when they call.

We are still some weeks away from the re-launching wjla.com but I would like these guidelines adopted immediately.

If you have questions or comments, please see me.

Thanks.

Bill

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