Welcome everyone! I'm a broadcast news professional working as a manager at a television station in a major (slowly becoming medium!) media market. I'm also a Master's degree student at West Virginia University, hoping to earn my degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications next spring, and taking IMC 619 New Media this semester. In this blog I'll be posting my thoughts about emerging media, and some (but not necessarily all) of my musings will reflect on the impact new media is having on my business.
For someone like me who has a career invested in what some might call "old" media, the idea of new media is a little bit frightening. It's threatening the very basis on which television news was built, and we're already part of the revolution that will change us. For example, our website. Five years ago my TV station had a good (for the times) website, staffed by webmaster (the best in the world, BTW) Jen who worked days M-F in the office, and off hours from home. In addition to containing the usual content you'd expect from a TV station website (information about the station, its anchors & reporters), the website mostly re-purposed in written form content that had already been broadcast.
Fast forward to today: the website is now staffed by four people (Jen is the boss!) and covered 6am-midnight seven days a week. The site breaks news all the time, not just waiting for a story to be broadcast before it's published to the web. Site visitors can not only read written versions of most stories, they can watch them on-line. Plus the website offers tons of web-only content including blogs, slideshows, web chats, web casts, links, live video streaming of breaking news events to name a few.
I bring this up to make the point that, in a world where people want their information when they want it, where they want it and how they want it, making an "appointment" to sit down and watch an entire newscast on TV is something that a lot of folks aren't willing to do any more. And thanks to new media (in this case our website) they don't have to. Even older people are catching on. I got an e-mail from a viewer the other day who saw a promotion for a story about the dangers of some osteoporosis medications, and was irritated that she had to wait through our entire 5 o'clock newscast (it aired around 5:55pm) to see it. She said "next time I'll just wait to watch it on your website." That one statement has interesting implications for the future of local broadcast news!