Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Local news on the Web to cover your own backyard

The Media and Marketing section of Wednesday's Wall Street Journal included an article titled, "Lagging Online, TV Stations get Moving." It seems, without argument, that all media is headed toward the Internet in one way or another.

At Medill, we are constantly bombarded with 20/20 and moving toward technology in the future, taking the form of Web casts and online interactive tools to reach our designated audiences. And now it might just be that newspapers, like the Journal, are proclaiming their faith in the future of Web for journalists.

The Journal's article suggested that today's media needs to move with quick feet to the Web in order to succeed in today's interactive world. In particular, the Journal said local stations need to realize their capabilities to extend their information online. What I noticed from the article is also its emphasis on localization in news coverage.

Additionally, I listened to a guest speaker from the Sun-Times in my Arts and Entertainment seminar Wednesday who focused on local news' necessary movement toward hyper-local news. Local news depends on covering your own backyard to gain the greatest interest. He said he grapples with the challenge to balance local news and unique news. Each locale has their unique elements, he said. Hyper local news allows the media to report on those unique elements.

In this sense, local TV is headed to a more wide-spread medium, the Web, but is focusing in on subjects specific to a particular area. On a side note, this concept of gaining a broader venue to find a focus reminds me of an outlook on life that I was taught growing up: The importance of traveling throughout the world in order to focus on finding yourself and developing a sense of self.

Perhaps in an abstract way, journalists, encompassing local TV and broadcast and radio and print, need to experiment on venues that reach wider audiences in order to focus on the real meaning, or unique meaning, of their stories.


At Sunday, April 15, 2007, Blogger MK said...

Moving to the Web and doing it quickly seems imperative for traditional media outlets. While most are out there in cyberspace, they are not all equal. Consumers want great Web content and there needs to some differences between what you could read in the Journal and what you can read on their website.

Traditional media outlets need to realize their sites should not merely be supplements to the rest of their content, they should be partners. If not, we'll be left with guys like and his sponsorships as our online "journalism" leaders.


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