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Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Would You Watch A Newspaper Reality Show?

Like many work places, newsrooms often come with a set of stereotypical cast members. From the clueless out-of-town editor brought in by corporate to the cub reporter seeking a scandal in every story he covers to the this-trial-ain’t-my-first-rodeo cops reporter to the no-nonsense city editor. (I said stereotypical, didn’t I?)

That makes this announcement that NBC put out a casting call for local newspapers to be at the center of a potential reality show — shared in a posting on the National Newspaper Association website — both unsurprising and exciting. I can totally see how a newsroom could make for a good show — there’s deadline pressure, there’s quirky characters (inside and outside the newspaper), there’s always something new. It will be interesting to see how a “documentary-style reality show” would play out when much of the day in a community newspaper isn’t really dramatic. Sure, there are election nights and breaking news, but not every day, especially in a small-town paper, which seems to be their target. Jim Romenesko posted about the casting and has more details and responses to the idea.
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Reach News Junkies on the Second Screen

A tablet device with a user's index finger resting on the touchscreen.

Today’s viewers aren’t just watching TV as a solitary experience. Whether it’s the iPad, an Android tablet, or even the new Kindle Fire, tablet devices are quickly becoming an integral part of television viewing. Or as Nielsen puts it, cross platform is the new norm. 40% of tablet (and smartphone) owners in the U.S. used their devices daily while watching television, which creates a prime opportunity for news stations and news programs to reach a captive audience.

We’ve talked before about a few tips to define your newsroom’s mobile presence, but let’s look a little closer at a few more ways news organizations can help reach news junkies on that second screen.

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Tips to integrate hashtags into daily news coverage

I may be dating myself here, but I remember when Twitter didn’t automatically link @usernames and when #hashtag was a workaround to make disjointed streams of updates easier to find in their clunky search engine.

Well, Twitter has done a good job of integrating those ideas of its users to make the service what it is today. Why shouldn’t news organizations do the same and take the best ideas from their readers and viewers? One great way to gather their feedback and ideas is to integrate hashtags into your coverage. Here’s a few tips on doing that:

1. Have a standard hashtag for your news organization’s daily coverage. It could be #nyt or #cnntv or it could #[city]news or whatever it is (shorter is better) that is easy to remember and relatively easy for Twitter users to identify. Make sure it’s not already in use by someone else — unless they’re talking about your content. Don’t re-invent the wheel: If your community is already using a hashtag to link to your work, latch on and adopt it! Refer to this often in on air, in print and online so people start to associate that hashtag with your brand and your content. Encourage readers to use this tag when they mention your stories or when they have reaction to, questions about or tips for your coverage. Ask your reporters and staff to include the tag on their updates. That way, there is one stream of information you can send readers to for on-going updates without having to follow dozens or more accounts. The top news should make it there, and user story suggestions get that tag. Read more

NBC seeks to partner with local, non-profit news organizations

NBC announced it’s looking to expand on its successful partnership with the non-profit, investigative news site Voice of San Diego to markets beyond California. Its looking for similar set-ups in other markets where the complany owns local TV stations, including potentially New York City ; Los Angeles ; Chicago ; Miami ; Philadelphia; San Francisco ; Dallas-Ft. Worth ; Washington, D.C. ; and Hartford-New Haven, CT.

In a video announcing the news, NBC VP of News Greg Dawson described what they’re looking for as an organization that complements and expands what the local stations can do. Voice of Sandieo and the local station, for example, partner on three main features, including Fact Check. “The purpose of this is good journalism and serving the city,” Dawson says. “We wanted to do stories that are unique, that you can’t get somewhere else, that you wouldn’t necessarily get on our air, if we were doing it ourselves, or on Voice of San Diego’s website, if they were doing it themselves.”

While they don’t specifically say the applicants for the partnership need to be websites, the application makes it very clear they’re looking for already established, robust online communities by whomever is chosen. They specifically want to know about page and video views and about how much content your organization is putting out on various platforms, including specifically asking about blogs and in a separate question flat out, “How do you use social media?” It’s clear that the TV stations realize that’s how they’re going to reach people interested in these unique, untold stories.

NBC says the deadline for local non-profit, news organizations to apply is July 22. (So pass this link on to your favorite!) It wants to pick at least four other cities to launch these cooperatives in. It will be interesting to see which cities it finds an able and adept partner in, who those partners are, and whether the work there is as fruitful as what comes out of San Diego. What’s encouraging, either way, is that this is an example of a major company deciding to partner with rather than try to start-up and compete with local, home-grown news organizations.