My 10 Best Journalism Posts of 2018


I’ve made a list of my best journalism posts as part of my trip through memory lane for 2018. I hope if you’re a newer reader, you’ll have a look at these.

The news business is one of the several topics I write about here at Patrick’s Place. So here’s a list of what I’d call the best journalism posts of 2018.

1. ‘Rude Facebook Comments Seem to Unfairly Target Female TV Journalists’

This post was prompted by a Philadelphia TV anchor who posted to her station’s Facebook page that she “didn’t need to know” whether you liked her outfit or not.

It wasn’t the first such response to some mean-spirited comments news talent. But it’s curious how often those comments seem to target women in media instead of men. And it’s even more curious how often the nastiness seems to come more from women.

2. ‘Is the “Breaking News” Concept Really Broken?’

A television editorial on what does (and what should) constitute “breaking news” prompted this post. There’s a lot of legitimacy to arguments that the media is too focused on news that probably shouldn’t be news.

But I have a unique position that allows me to see which stories real news consumers are more likely to actually click on. And those of us who long for the days of hard news aren’t going to like it.

3. ‘When is a Severe Weather Special Report Really “Unnecessary”?’

A former colleague of mine took to social media and prompted this post about people complaining about weather cut-ins during storms. No, no one wants you to miss your show. But when there’s a weather danger, it isn’t only about you.

4. ‘The Main Thing I See in Florence Aftermath? Unwarranted Anger’

Hurricane Florence wreaked a good deal of havoc in North Carolina and northern South Carolina this year. Initial forecasts showed it heading further south, and early coverage prompted evacuations that, in some cases, ended up being unnecessary.

But for the anger around that, one has to ask: Would you rather a coming storm be ignored until it’s almost on top of you?

5. ‘55 Years Ago, The Kennedy Assassination Rocked TV News’

I was surprised this past Thanksgiving Day when almost no one acknowledged that November 22nd happened to be the 55th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.

They made an appropriate level of acknowledgement five years earlier on the 50th anniversary. But this time, it went by with barely a notice.

That day was true birth of breaking news on television, so I felt it was worth a mention.

6. ‘Stop Saying You’re Only Getting News From Facebook!’

I tell people this all the time when they complain that they don’t see what they consider a “big” story as the most recent thing posted on a station’s Facebook page. (Often, they’ll then go to the station’s website and it’s the top story.)

Relying on Facebook as your only source of news is like relying on the gas station convenience store as your only source of groceries instead of going to an actual grocery store.

7. ‘Sales and PR Folk: Think About Timing With Marketing Emails!’

We were in the middle of preparing for what could have been a Category 4 hurricane making landfall in or near our immediate area. In the middle of this, we were getting emails at work about upcoming events from sales and public relations folk who were apparently oblivious to the pending disaster.

Guess what happened to those emails!

8. ‘Tired of Hearing About the Flu? It’s Not Going Away Soon!’

By last February, people were getting tired of hearing about the flu and the need for a flu shot. It’ll be the same this coming February, I’m sure.

There have already been, at last count, 11 people in South Carolina alone who died of flu-related complications.

I’m sorry that you get tired of hearing about such things. I’m sure the families of those who died from the flu might wish you’d pay a little more attention so your family doesn’t have to go through the same thing.

9. ‘Should Journalists Quote Presidential Profanity?’

Donald Trump is certainly not the first president to use colorful language, although he may be a bit more quick to let those expressions fly.

But when you’re tasked with covering the news and maintaining some standards of decency, how far do you when it comes to direct quotes?

10. ‘Should News Anchors Wear Ties? One Station No Longer Thinks So’

I’m a purist when it comes to certain things in television news. And appropriate attire is one of them. Do you mind it if your news anchors don’t wear a necktie?

Yes, we’re a more “casual” society these days…but does that mean that everyone has to be?

That’s my list. I hope you’re able to give them a second (or even a first look)!

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.