Monday, August 19, 2013

Meet the media: Josh Rosenthal, content producer at KSTP-TV

Josh Rosenthal started his job as a content producer at KSTP News Channel 5 in May. Skogrand PR
minneapolis minnesota news
Josh Rosenthal, KSTP-TV Content Producer
Solutions Blog connected with him to learn about his journalistic style, how public relations professionals can work with him, and more.

1. Tell us a bit about your background.

I’m originally from Maryland, about 20 minutes outside of D.C. I wanted to become a journalist and went to the University of Maryland to major in journalism. I have been on air at stations in Gainesville, Fla., and Little Rock, Ark., before coming to the Twin Cities this year.

2. How have you adjusted to Minnesota weather?

So far, so good. I’ve actually lived here since January, so I feel that I already have experienced Minnesota weather. It’s cold -- I’m not going to lie. I feel that all of the great things about the Twin Cities outweigh the cold weather. I really love the Twin Cities.

3. How would you describe your approach to TV storytelling?

Well, it’s important for people to remember that TV is a visual medium. I look for good, informative stories that our viewers want to learn about. It’s important to find visual stories. It’s important to find things within those stories for viewers to see.

4. Your stories almost have a bit of a theatrical element to them. How do you come up with ideas to demonstrate your stories?

It’s a case-by-case thing. The day of the hail storm recently, I and the photographer tossed some ideas around. It’s a storm damage story. Our morning reporter was working on covering a lot of trees down. We thought that covering hail damage would be good. Spotting downed trees is relatively easy, but finding hail damage is harder.

We decided to go to an auto body shop because we figured there would be people with hail damage there, and it was lines all day long.  

We had our story, and we wanted to do something in the live shot rather than me just standing there. We asked the guy if he had any spare parts that were too far damaged to be salvaged. He had some car hoods. We then went to a sporting goods store, and bought some golf balls. I threw them against a car hood to demonstrate the damage that different size hail can do.

5. How has TV news changed during your career?

When I started a few years ago, social media was not nearly as large of a part of what we do. I can remember one of the first stories that I did in Gainesville, Fla. It was about a guy whose car was stolen and the police couldn’t find it, and he posted on Facebook that his car was stolen. That wouldn’t be a story today, because people post things like that all the time. 

The story got better though, because one of his Facebook friends found the car. That wouldn’t be a story today.

6. What do you see as the future of producing content across various platforms?

I’m not really sure where we’re going. There’s much more of an emphasis on hitting all platforms available to us. Now we’re looking at how to tell the story on social media sites plus the KSTP-TV website.

7. What are some of your favorite stories that you have covered in Minnesota?

I did really like the hail story. 

graphic design
Artist Phil Hansen of Chanhassen
I produced a story a few months ago about an artist in Chanhassen who made his phone number public to everyone on the Internet. He asked people to call him about limitations or challenges that they faced. Maybe they got in an accident or had a rough time with their parents. He wrote the stories on a paper and then put it up on canvas. The way that he put the words from the stories on canvas resulted in one big picture. It was really interesting.  

Any time you can tell a really visual story that makes people say, “Huh,” and think about something, those are my favorites.

8. What are some of your favorite stories that you have covered in your career?

I have few notable ones. Severe weather stories tend to stick out. When I first got to Arkansas, it was
chanhassen minnesota
a record year for flooding and tornadoes. That can be taxing too, though. It really wears on you as a person.  

On a more fun note, in Gainesville, I interviewed Busta Rhymes and The Wiggles later on in the same day. That was interesting.

9. How can public relations professionals help you in your job? What are you looking for from them?

The toughest part of my job is coming to the table with stories for the newscast. I like to hear from public relations professionals. It helps when they have an understanding of what we do. 

It also helps when there’s a relationship there – when people develop a relationship ahead of time so I know my source. I love pitches with good stories and the visual component. Getting to know people can be very helpful – I appreciate calls from PR professionals.

Follow Rosenthal on Twitter:  @JRosenthal13.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...