Local TV News Still Looking For Some Digital Magic

Just as  the digital world needs more content, perhaps TV news stations need more journalists -- at a price, anyway.

Fresco News will be working with Fox TV stations, offering to pay “citizen journalists” as much as $50 per video and $20 for a still photograph if their content is used on the air.

Sounds like a good deal for TV news shows, especially considering what local TV news futurists have long discussed about “hyper-local” news efforts: niche, neighborhood-by-neighborhood TV news content.

This goes hand in hand with local TV stations’ plans for local multicast digital signals, as extra TV-media platforms for news and other TV content. To date, few have capitalized on this trend.

People have used smartphones to produce “user-generated video”-- cats riding around on donkeys; young men trying to dunk a basketball in their backyards only to wind up in some dumpster -- virtually all for free to digital video platforms.



But consider this: Cultivating premium local TV news video takes work, and journalistic skills, in determining what is news and what isn’t. Fresco News doesn’t let users go it alone; it has a 24/7 assignment desk where citizen journalists can respond to a potential news situation. Fresco does “qualify” these video shooters, as well as evaluating if the news situations are safe to cover.

For a long time, AOL’s Patch local news effort seemed to play in the arena of neighborhood niche news. Two years ago there was massive layoffs after hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on the project. Patch is now a shell of its former self.

This current citizen journalism local TV effort seem to mimic that effort. But just a cautionary tale here: Local TV news operations aren’t interested in a quick fix, but long-term answers with staying power.

3 comments about "Local TV News Still Looking For Some Digital Magic".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 10, 2016 at 6:09 p.m.

    News is the primary programming expense of most TV stations and, as their national spot sales have declined or gone flat more and more stations are cutting back on their local news staffs or seeking other ways to reduce costs and maintain profit margins. This sounds like another move in the same direction---sad but inevitable.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, March 10, 2016 at 8:53 p.m.

    It is digusting. Keep cutting and all you get is crap and professional journalists get screwed. Worse, the entire population gets screwed. All falls in line with the goal of one corporation controlling the media and the media can get sued if they print something the controller doesn't approve of. 

  3. Jon Currie from Currie Communications, Inc., March 11, 2016 at 1:50 p.m.

    It may be their largsgt expense, but it is their largest revenue center. And in markets outside of NY, LA and maybe DC, the only place where there are very few celebritites of merit and so, local anchors become stars. It is for most local TV stations, their brand.

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