Jim Iovino, managing editor for NBC Washington, is visiting our COMM 361 class today.

Iovino graduated from Penn State with a major in Communications. He first started work in the newspaper industry, jumped to television, and is now doing online journalism.

He graduated from Penn State University with a major in communications. He started working in the newspaper industry, jumped to television and is now doing online journalism.

Online journalism is important because breaking news travels fast, according to Iovino.

“We break a lot of stories on websites now,” Invino said. “We want to be the first one out there with the story so that we can say, ‘we were the first ones with the story.'”

Being the first one to break a story is important, but Iovino also noted that finding an angle is critical.

“Finding an angle shows that you are not going out there and just repeating what someone else has said,” Iovino said. “Viewers will go back to you because they appreciate that.”

An example of a man who finds interesting angles is general assignment reporter Pat Collins, who also works for NBC Washington. Take a look at his Sandwich Girl story.

“Pat Collins is an incredible reporter because he can get people to say something interesting, say something fun, say something that they would never say to anyone else,” Iovino said. “Whatever story he goes on, he finds an interesting angle that no one else gets.”

Collins also interacts with viewers by making vYou videos. With vYou, Collins is able to talk one-on-one with his audience, which allows him to build a relationship with them. Forming a relationship with his audience is important, because when he goes out to gather information, people within the community feel more comfortable going up to him and giving him tips or leads on stories.

VYou has helped NBC Washington be part of the community because it lets the audience know that they are there for them, and that the audience can help them with news as well, according to Iovino.

Aside from journalistic tips, Iovino also showed us some of the newer projects NBC Washington has been working on and/or is part of. See below.

  • The Feast: focuses on restaurants, shopping, plays, music venues, bars
  • Capital Game Blog: stories and videos about athletes in the video
  • Partnership with American University: out-of-the-box stories/ideas created by American University students
  • The 20: finds the most influential people on Twitter in the Washington, D.C. area (allows people to have voice, give them a platform to speak to people

A lot of NBC Washington’s projects consist of short videos about a story. People love to see short, raw, compressive footage, according to Iovino.

“If the video is the best part of your story and that’s what you think people are going to want to see, then that’s what you should focus on and really give them,” Iovino said. “Just let them know what they are going to see, and then let the video run itself. Why would we spend our time to write a whole big thing about this video if it can speak for itself?”

Aside from videos, what’s next for online journalism within the next few years? Mobile, mobile, mobile, according to Iovino.

“Websites as they look today may not look the same as they will two years from now,” Iovino said. “People want their info wherever they are, and they’ll get it somehow, whether if they get it from you or someone else.”