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All Content © 2005, Kyril (Ky) Plaskon 

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Economic Boosting Ideas

The Reno Gazette-Journal is soliciting ideas to boost Reno's economy. I sent in a couple of ideas and since I sent them for anyone to look at, I figured I might as well publish them too. You can send your ideas to Mark Robinson at I hope you enjoy my ideas and if you decide to put them into action I would be happy to help.

IDEA 1: Buy Local App

We all know that “Buying local” is a big economic booster because money spent here stays here. But how do you find the locally-owned places that have what you want to buy? Well, a “Buy Local” application for smart phones that allows you to search for products seems like a no-brainer right? Believe it or not, I could only find one “buy local” app in Apples App Store. It is produced by tourist powerhouse The City of Orlando. Reno could partner with this prime tourist destination to expand the buy local app nation-wide, catering to locals in every city. The app would be exclusive to locally-owned businesses and provide discounts to customers that mention its name. Producing an app like that would also raise Reno’s image as a tech-savvy spot. The app should give some control to the businesses themselves so that they can automatically control their discounts and update information.

IDEA 2: Video News Releases Direct

Until recently, television has had a stranglehold on advertising. But increasingly the public is searching the net for detailed information about businesses and products they are considering buying. Small local businesses can now have longer-format, news-style advertisements posted on YouTube and other sites for these customers to view with unlimited access at a fraction of the cost of a television advertisement. On-line video news releases are tremendously valuable to customers. The numbers don’t lie. For instance, Plato’s Closet Reno has an advertisement posted on YouTube from Fox 11. It only has 145 views. However, a Plato’s Closet in Fort Collins has a lengthy YouTube video explaining what they will buy. In just 6 months, that video news release has more than 10,000 views. By producing a local video news release you can have nearly unlimited “air-time” and market direct to your customers with valuable information they need.

Ky Plaskon is owner of Video News Releases Direct (, a former web developer and news anchor with 20 years of award-winning media experience. He is author of Silent Heroes of the Cold War and a fluent Spanish Speaker. Find him on Twitter @kyplaskon.

Tue, December 25, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Backcountry Snowboarding

The first time I ever went backcountry snowboarding it was in a snow storm in an avalanch shoot in a class four avalanch area outside of Las Vegas. There are avalanch dangers in the Lake Tahoe area too, but it is an incredible experience. The high mountains and viewes offer an unparalleled experience. Here is a short video of the second time I went boarding. I used my iPhone to make it.

If you are interested in backcountry skiing or boarding, start with the Backcountry Forum posted on the left hand side of this site:

Click on Backcountry Ski/Board Trip Reports and General Guide

And then Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Tours - FREE MAPS AND DETAILS!

It has logged more than 43,800 views. See you on the snow!

Tue, December 18, 2012 | link          Comments

Monday, December 10, 2012

Student Broadcast Syllabus

The following is a syllabus that I developed for the UNR Spring 2013 broadcast journalism course. Please send your feedback to

Journalism 490
Wolf Pack Week - Spring 2013
Tues & Thurs 9:30-10:45 AM
RSJ 110

This is a tremendous opportunity. We produce Wolf Pack Week (WPW) using all the equipment of a modern television station. You will be applying all your broadcast skills, collaborating in this newsroom and in the field to create weekly newscasts that represent the university and RSJ. Make no mistake, this course is a job.

Just like the news business, the demands of WPW are tremendous. We focus on news story selection, deadlines, performance, teamwork and social media. Successful students will gain the complete tools for a career in broadcast journalism in terms of skillset, mindset and a resume reel to demonstrate those skills to get that first job.

Understand the complete TV newscast process and do it routinely.
Strengthen story-telling abilities and report engaging video news packages.
Lead and take direction behind the scenes.
Develop on-air skills such as live shots and anchoring.

Kyril “Ky” Plaskon
Office: RSJ 108
Office Hours: By Appointment Only
Cell Phone: 702-716-0334 (Call anytime)

There are no formal texts for this class. However you will be required to follow the news, provide weekly story ideas and write broadcast stories citing sources.

Resume Reel and Anchor Reel examples are available at my web site under the web archive on the right hand side of the screen. You may wish to search on-line for more examples.

Portable firewire or USB 3.0 500 GB hard drive for storing your high definition files.
Headphones for editing so that you don’t disturb others.
AA batteries for microphones and lights.
Video cameras will be provided. Using your own camera will be more convenient. Loss or damage to school equipment will result in financial liability.

This course is a job. It is designed to go beyond what you get in an internship and give you realistic on-the-job training. All work is in the context of producing news involving issues working at the professional level. It may seem fast-paced, complicated, unexpectedly change and overwhelming at times, but that’s the news business. By challenging yourself, you will work faster and more efficiently.

Journalists are working 24-hours a day. You are encouraged to use the facilities at any time to produce news stories. This is a team environment. Every aspect of this process involves input, feedback and assistance from your co-workers.


News routines are broken up into primary duties: Producers, Reporters, Anchors and a Video Editor. You will be assigned to work in one of two teams and then choose your job duties within the team. You will be allowed to rotate job duties. You will have approximately a week and a half to complete the job duties before broadcast deadline. All content must be complete by the Tuesday prior to the Thursday newscasts.

        1 Executive Producer (EP)
            Organizes flow of newscast. Tracks progress & Collects content.
            Works closely with News Director.
            Writes 4 Anchor reads
            Collaborates with team 2 to avoid duplicate topics.
            Times show.
        2 Producers
            Collect, organize content for segments 2 & 3.
            Write 4 anchor reads, prepare interview or performance.
            Collaborates with Executive producer.
            Roll prompter.
        1 Video Editor
            Responsible for tease video, show intros, credits, MOS, breaks.
            Ensures video and stories are uploaded.
            Collects appropriate video for stories chosen by producers.
            Shoots and writes 2 ANCHOR VOs (20-30 sec each)
        2 Anchors
            Produce 1 package for each newscast
            Practice reading newscast content.
            Write 3 ANCHOR Reads (20-30 sec each)    
        2 Reporters
            Produce 1 package for each newscast
            (1:30 seconds, 15 sec intro, 15 sec tag each)
            Live appearance in each newscast.
            Write and shoot 3 VOs (20-30 sec each)

You must “Feed the beast,” as they say in the business. The news business is deadline-driven. Two stories are due at the beginning of each class using the “Story Plan” sheets.  You can use another media source or come up with your own ideas. Your own ideas will reduce the chances of duplicate stories from other students. Missing deadlines is unacceptable. If a story does not look like it will pan out, it is essential that you notify the instructor and your co-workers immediately and come up with another story. Having multiple stories in the works at a given time is a good idea. Having a back-up or “evergreen” story is also useful.

We will collaborate to produce the first show. It will be about the show production process. This way we will become experts with the equipment and technology. Subsequent productions will be produced by each team. The team that is not on air will operate the control room and cameras during newscasts. The semester will include other collaborative projects and conclude with student resume reels. Reel shows will be anchored, highlight the work of each student and feature a short interview with that student about what they learned and the challenges. Broadcast will be at 10 AM Thursdays for 30 minutes. The following rundown is a template. It is only a guide. Creativity is encouraged.

30 MIN                                 (24 min content, 6 min breaks)
SEGMENT I                            (10:00)
Cold Open                              (:30)        Anchor & Co-anchor
Introduction                           (:30)        Anchor & Co-anchor
Live Current Report                 (2:30)        Reporter 1
8 Recent big stories in Reno     (4:00)        Executive Producer
Tease                                     (:30)        Anchor 1 & 2
BREAK                                   (2:00)        Video Editor

SEGMENT II                          (10:00)
Introduction                          (:15)        Anchor & Co-anchor
Live in-studio report               (2:00)         Reporter 2
Anchor PKG                           (2:00)        Anchor 1
8 Recent student-related stories    (4:00)        Producer 2
Tease                                    (:30)        Anchor 1 & 2
BREAK                                   (2:00)        Video Editor

SEGMENT III                         (10:00)
PKG                                      (2:00)         Anchor 2
Interview & Performance         (4:00)        Producer 3    
Tease for next week & social media trending    EP
SHOW CLOSE pics, vid & credits 2 min        Video Editor

Deadline (40%), teamwork (15%), performance (15%), plan (15%), social media (15%).

Tues, January 22                      Introduction, Teams
Thurs, January 24                    Story ideas, Elements, rundowns
Tues, Jan 29                            Stories due.
Thurs, Jan 31                          Dry-run, stories due
Tues, Feb. 5                            Dry-run, stories due
Thur, Feb. 7                            Collaborative WPW #307 stories due
Tues, Feb 12                           Status check, stories due
Thur, Feb 14 (Valentines day)   Team 2 WPW #308, stories due
Tues, Feb 19 (Day after presidents day)        stories due
Thur, Feb 21                            Team 1 WPW #309, stories due
Tues, Feb 26                           stories due
Thurs, Feb 28 (deadline for May grad) Team 2 WPW #310, stories due
Tues, Mar 5                             stories due
Thurs, Mar 7 (daylight savings Mar. 10) Team 1 WPW #311, stories due
Tues, Mar 12                        stories due
Thurs, Mar 14 (Spring Break Special) Team 2 WPW #312, stories due
Mar 16-24                           Spring Break
Tues, Mar 26                        Surprisecast, stories due
Thurs, Mar 28                      WPW #313, stories due
Tues, April 2                           stories due
Thurs, April 4                        WPW #314, stories due
Tues, April 9                        stories due
Thurs, April 11                    WPW #315, stories due
Tues, April 16                    stories due
Thurs, April 18                    WPW #316, stories due
Tues, April 23                    stories due
Thurs, April 25                    WPW #317, stories due
Tues, April 30                    Environmental stories, rundown due
Tues, April 24 (Earth Day Special)        Collaborative WPW #318
Thurs, May 2                        Reel Production day    
Tue, May 7                        Team 1 Reel Show
Thurs, May 9    (Final reels due to instructor)    Team 2 Reel Show

ORIGINATOR NAME:    _______________________
ASSIGNED TO:         _______________________
DUE SHOW #:        _______________________


Slug: ________________________________________________________________

Source: ______________________________________________________________


Description: ___________________________________________________________




1. Story meeting & assignment.
2. Tweet & Facebook about story.
3. Collect video & write story.
4. Tweet & Facebook about interesting developments.
5. E-mail script to Producers, News Director
6. Wait for approval & work on next story.
7. Edit story & upload.
8. Tweet, Facebook when story will air.
9. Check in with producer to help and repeat.

TITLE        DUTY                            TOTAL    
EP        4 Anchor Reads                    (4 or 1PKG)     :30 min
1PROD     4 Anchor Reads, 2 VOs or VOSOTS        (6 or 1PKG)     :10
2PROD     Interview, video 2 VOs                (6 or 1PKG)     :10
Anchor     1 PKG                            (1 or 4 VOs)     :30
Anchor     1 PKG                            (1 or 4 VOs)     :30
VO/Assn. Ed: 4 VOs, MOS breaks, stills and show credits    (7-8)         :10
Reporter     1 PKG, 4 VOs, Lives                (5)         :05
Reporter     1 PKG, 4 VOs, Lives                (5)         :05

(INSTRUCTOR USE ONLY)      TUES DEADLINE:         _____20%
(INSTRUCTOR USE ONLY)     PLAN:                          _____15%

Mon, December 10, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Today's Exclusives, US causing afghanistans problems? Lawmakers drive on taxpayer dime, CEOs on tour
Karzia blames US, NATO for 'insecurity' in Afghanistan
In an exclusive interview with NBC's Atia Abawi, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai says that the U.S. is not sticking to a signed agreement

Brian Williams interviews Apple CEO
Brian Williams interviews the new Apple CEO Tim Cook

AP: Lawmakers bought cars fixed by CA

Lawmakers fixed cars on the taxpayer dime and then bought the cars later. No records of where they were driving in the taxpayer funded cars.

CNBC's Becky Quick Sits Down with Bank of America CEO
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.
Thu, December 6, 2012 | link          Comments

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This site  The Web 

Nation's First Cold War Memorial Groundbreaking & Book Signing

The Forest Service members of the CIA and workers from Area 51 were at Mt. Charleston outside Las Vegas for the groundbreaking of the nation's first Cold War Memorial on Saturday, November 17. This will enhance the regions international recognition for its role in America's victory in the Cold War. The Atomic Testing museum with its hands-on exhibits, the atomic test site with its bomb-ravaged structures and now the cold war memorial honoring America's heroes who lost their lives in America's longest war. Vistors can get a signed first-edition copy of Silent Heroes of the Cold War (Stephen's Press 2008) and learn more at this first public event on a multi-million dollar Forest Service project in the area.


Ky Plaskon's web archive

Children's Health Care (Live)

UNLV's 1st News Director

Artifact Theft (NPR)

Construction Defects (NPR)

Mortgage Fraud on the Rise (APM)

Muslim Radicalism (Voice of America)

Vegas Thirst for Groundwater (Living on Earth)

Computerized Voting Arrives (Voice of America)

Engineering Behind Entertainment (NPR)

Wind-powered Car (KNPR)

Industry of Prisoner Employees (KLAS)

Losing it all in Vegas (KNPR)

High-brow Brothel (KNPR)

Desert Con Had Last Word (KNPR)

Money, Blood & Children (KRNV)

Drug Cartel Kidnaps Kid (CNN)

Racist Vegas I (NPR)

Racist Vegas II (NPR)

Revolutionary Janitor (NPR)

Tax Fraud Publisher Jailed (NPR)

Yucca Mountain Gold Diggers (NPR)

U.S. Artifact Plundering (NPR)

Vegas Limits Water Use (NPR)

Torrential Vegas Floods (NPR)

Vegas Police, Wrongful Death Suit (KLAS)

UNLV President Resigns

Sales of Kyril Plaskon's Silent Heroes of the Cold War supports

National Cold War Memorial

The Impact of Governme Secrecy.
Silent Heroes of the Cold War book cover
Only American Account of Transgenerational War Trauma. Click on the Pic for the title at Amazon

Speaking Engagements

To inquire write to

Photography is Not a Crime


Public Radio International

KUNR 88.7 Reno

US Forest Service

Nevada Volunteers

Ky Plaskon * Phone: (702) 716-0334