Over the past two weeks, I have spent significant time inside multiple TV newsrooms talking to decision-makers about online news video for a client project. After in-depth discussions about the present and future of how news is consumed, I’m convinced that the perception that local TV stations don’t get how badly their audience wants to consume their project online is nothing but a myth. They get it.
All of the stations we talked to – local operations owned by national, publicly-owned groups – hear loud and clear from their audiences that news on TV in the morning, at Noon and at the traditional times of “5,6 and 11” (plus 10pm) isn’t enough for the changing marketplace. They understand that you want information and video on your time and on your terms. They are working hard to develop new ways to allow you to do that – on your computer, your tablet or your phone, then share what you watch via social media.
Some barriers stand in their way. The technology is changing fast. Their news gathering resources have been cut in recent years. Some copyright and union restrictions may get in the way. Then there’s the balancing act between building brand and generating revenue, which is a persistent challenge for all.
In addition to their own websites, some stations are making videos of their news coverage available via YouTube (and benefitting financially from that). Others are exploring new platforms (that we plan to share with you once something is up and running). But all understand that they must meet consumer demand by a public that enjoys significantly wider access to broadband Internet.
Critics of the business charge that traditional news operations are too slow to react to changes in consumer media consumption habits. In this case, though, they’re on it.