April 18, 2005
Being a reporter or researcher is always a challenge, in addition
to being fun, if you consider intellectual pursuits enjoyable.
Lord knows there are hundreds of thousands, perhaps even
millions of sources on the Internet for getting answers to
tough questions. There are the obvious generic sources like
Google, Yahoo and MSN, as well as Ask Jeeves and other favorites.
Yet, they are not the ultimate resource for reporters, editors,
producers and others trying to get to the bottom of a story
A great source of help, more highly organized than most,
has now come to the rescue right here at HalEisner.com. The
premiere of the remodeled website last week, a collaboration
of Hals high energy and drive for perfection, and the
technical brains of the site's webmaster and designer Jocelyne
Rohrback, is pretty amazing.
Its not easy for most of us computer users to expand
our horizons to building web sites, and some of us are lucky
to just find our way around the various sites. I have been
writing a column here for almost eight months now, and it
took the redesigned website to show me all the available resources
for news media pros and others needing accurate information.
Take a little tour with me and discover what lies beneath
the new colorful look of HalEisner.com and see why as an information
pimp, I'm excited about the new look.
I started with the Reporters Toolbox and found links leading
to other links in the areas of legal issues in the media,
media industry news, journalism organizations, broadcast history,
jobs in the news business, and so many available awards and
scholarships for aspiring news junkies.
Each link leads you to other links and all of a sudden, its
like Internet dominoes as you race through the literal Information
Superhighway. I never really though of the Internet as an
Information Superhighway when it was first touted as such.
I thought of it more like a junkyard or garage sale where,
if you looked long enough and hard enough, and got lucky,
you MIGHT find something worth taking home.
That has all changed with the ease of use of Hals and
Jocelynes new hot site. Heck, in just looking at the
getting an agent, resume tips under the Jobs
& Career section of the Reporters Toolbox, youll
find 75 links to media job search engines, employer sites,
the whole ball of wax. What a time saver!
The News Directory on the left hand side of the main page,
right below Reporters Toolbox, is even more spectacular with
14 major areas and hundreds no, thousands - of subsets
for news and information sites once you start clicking the
links. There are a couple of dead or changed links here and
there, but rest assured that Hal and Jocelyne will clear that
The next button, the Archives, is another treasure trove
of great info from the media experts who have been providing
their expertise to HalEisner.com since it began operations
in 2001. You cant buy great tips and ideas like these
from people who are in the business and working it every day.
Site maps on many websites arent much help, but this
one is easy to navigate and gives you another way of finding
what you need. And if youre wondering what kind of compulsive,
obsessive personality takes the time to make sure this site
is a solid resource for media pros as well as aspiring news
geeks, take a look at About HalEisner.com and
see for yourself what drives this man.
Ive had the pleasure of working with Hal at Channel
13 years ago and following his career before and since. These
days he spends five days a week in Santa Maria covering the
Michael Jackson circus. These are long days, with court starting
at 9 a.m. and his live reports wrapping up in the 10 and 11
p.m. news hours on KTTV (FOX Channel 11) and KCOP (Channel13)
Yet, the taskmaster extraordinaire is on duty to make sure
the website is coming together for the next week. I am a night-owl
type, working until the wee hours of the morning, and it is
NOT uncommon to get emails from Hal Eisner at 2 or 3 in the
morning. That is dedication. Or lunacy!!
No matter what you call it, dedicate some of your precious
time to exploring this website and making it easier to do
your job and do it well with all the tools Hal and Jocelyne
have provided us.
I am deliberately keeping this column shorter than usual
so you can start your exploration. And by the way, you cant
beat the cost for so much value.