Media Monday: Lisa Loving, The Skanner News Group

Rosalind Brazel / February 4, 2013

Each Monday, we’re giving readers a chance to get to know the media a little better.

With a little flair.

Our goal is to give readers some insight into the work and work style of area journalists, and get to know a little bit about the person behind the byline. Start your week off with an online networking opportunity through our Media Monday blog post.

lisa_loving-picThis week: Lisa Loving, The Skanner News Group

Lisa Loving is the News Editor at The Skanner News Group, and the host/producer of Wednesday Morning Talk Radio on KBOO Community Radio 90.7 FM in Portland, OR.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of story?

A: I have two favorite kinds of stories. One teaches the reader something useful they need to know right now, such as consumer tips and warnings, or bad weather on the way (I am one of those people who can obsess over the weather). The other kind of story I like best is one that advocates for an everyday person who is being treated badly by a large institution, for example here in Portland we are having waves of foreclosures affecting cancer patients and cancer survivors who can’t get their lenders to renegotiate their mortgage loans.

Q: If you could have someone else’s job, what would it be?

A: It would be my mom Bettie Loving’s job — she was a surgical nurse for 45 years and her career spanned incredible leaps in medical science. What a life of service she has had.  But I doubt I have the brains to pass all the biology and other science classes she had to take.

Q: Finish this sentence: “A good PR person is …”

A: …someone who knows who they are pitching a story to, is available for questions RIGHT AFTER THEY SEND THE PRESS RELEASE, and really helps hook reporters up with information. Also, the best of the best are ready with lovely appropriate photos of whatever they are pitching. Good quality photos that fit our community of coverage are solid gold.

Q: What skills do new journalists need?

A: They to have a broad background in digital media; photo skills, video skills, experience uploading content to a website, and social media chops to engage the community they are covering. Engagement is the word of the year for 2013; being responsive and accountable to readers. Also, they need the standard skills of interviewing, writing, editing and research.

One thing that I find lacking in many new graduates these days is an ability to synthesize information. You need to be able to reach into a big pile of noise and pull out a succinct point that you can express in 24 words or less. Be able to put what the story is about on a bumper sticker. This is possibly the single most important skill new journalists need.

Q: What hidden talent or skill do you have that viewers/readers don’t know about you?

A: My hidden talent is hooking people up with the information that flows through my zone, even on the individual level. I get a lot of job leads of all kinds and I forward them to a small and changing group of people who have impressed me with their skills and drive. I see press releases about a certain issue and I forward them to others working on that issue. Occasionally, I get a press release on an issue and forward it to the staff of an elected official with a request for comment, diverting the information stream into an array of channels. Plus, I like to bake cookies! Home baked cookies can change the attitude of an entire roomful of people. They can even bring enemies together, I’ve seen it happen.

The PR Pro Takeaway: Great insight on what makes a good PR professional; preparation and anticipation are important. Also, her take on the magic of cookies is delightful.