John Hanlon Reviews

John’s Monday Tip of the Week: You asked. We listened. We built (a news editor)

Good afternoon, here

Every week or so, prostate I receive e-mails from some of you asking about the breaking news stories on your sites.

There are times when that news story doesn’t reflect our values. There are times when that story isn’t of interest to your listeners. There are also times when the biggest news story in your area isn’t being reflected on your site.

I often receive e-mails from our good friends in Orlando (shout out to WORL!) noting that competing Newstalk stations are covering local viral videos (shark bites, carjackings etc.) that aren’t appearing on our site at all.

I’m happy to announce that the days when we don’t have access to the breaking news story on our homepages are over.

That brings us to John’s Monday Tip of the Week.

Our development team has just finished up building a News Beam tool for our Newstalk sites. This lets you– the stations– create and highlight local news stories that your listeners are interested in.

Using a new functionality in the admin tool, you can go in and create your own news stories. All you need to do is log into this new tool and add in a title, an abstract (the one-sentence highlight of the story), and an image and then you can set up your new story to be the “Breaking News” story on your homepage.

After you publish the story, you have to feature it so that the story remains in the “Breaking News” spot on your site. When you feature it, you can choose the period during which it will be featured.

For instance, if there’s a shark attack in Orlando, WORL can go in and write up a brief piece about the story and then feature it on their homepage. If they set it up at 9 AM on a Monday, they can set it to be the top “Breaking News” story on their homepage all morning so that when users come to the site that morning, that will be the top story waiting for them.

Once the “featured time period” has ended, the regular national news stories will return. With this in mind, this isn’t a tool you have to use. It’s something you can use to make sure that the news that our listeners are interested in appears on the site. (If you don’t have the resources to use this tool, the news will continue to come in as if nothing has changed.)

An additional quick note on this: John Butler and I have deity access to this tool so if there’s a national news story that isn’t being featured on the sites, we might go in and add a nationwide top story just so we make sure it’s on our sites.

If you’re interested in this new tool, let me know and I can set you– or someone at your station– up with access. If you let me know you want access, I’ll give you a call tomorrow so we can have a brief training session on this tool. The training should take 10-15 minutes so let me know when you’re free and I’ll do a personal run-through with you.

Please make sure that you have the rights to use the stories that you feature on the sites. We definitely don’t want to get into any copyright issues so if you’re quoting a source, please make that clear. If you want to quote a story, you can but make sure you include the source’s name and a link to their page (Here’s a good example of that:

In conclusion, I just wanted to say how excited I am for this new tool. Now, our Newstalk sites have the ability to highlight the local stories that we aren’t getting from our sources AND we can highlight the national stories that aren’t being covered in the mainstream media.

Stories like the Planned Parenthood videos might not have been covered widely (or at all) by our news sources but now we have the opportunity to make sure stories like that– which our listeners are interested in– are featured on our sites.

Again, if you want to start using this tool, just let me know what e-mail address should have access to this and I’ll make sure you’re set up in the system and I’ll give you a call with more admin details.

This has been John’s Monday Tip of the Week.

Have an awesome week everyone!