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hmaxhanson

The perfect social-media newscast, does it exist?

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HLN's attempt at it bombed. Tegna's attempts are somehow still alive even after massive backlash. So now I must ask, is there any social-media focused newscast on TV that doesn't reek of corporate consulting?

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There's definitely a way to do it. Early on, stations tried forcing it by posing a "hot button" question to the TV audience and then read equal responses from social media through a dizzying series of fullscreens. Everyone eventually realized that was a big waste of airtime, and it wasn't a very effective way to engage the online audience.

 

The right way to do it is to post editorial content to social media first and then use it to drive people to watch the newscast. Live videos and other stuff can get tons of views during the day, and then you can use that to get people to watch at 5/6/whenever. KGW's Facebook page is a really good example of this.

 

Inside the actual newscast, social media is a tool that can supplement your own coverage. It's not what drives any story by any means, but if there's a fire somewhere but people post video and pictures online before you can get a photog or a reporter there, then use that. It's certainly better than just a map. You can also run photos and videos after the story to show how big of a story it is if people are posting a lot. But that's a 25 second read max.

 

You have to use it judiciously. You can't overdo it, and you can't force social media engagement if it isn't already there.

 

Also, it's really important to point out how much law enforcement and government agencies have embraced Twitter to publish breaking news. And let's not even get started on the orange man in the White House's Twitter feed.

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Too much focus on trying to create controversy. Too much vapid discussion.

 

Haven't seen it done. Bottom line.

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Good topic.

 

Stations are still trying to beat the internet at all cost. It's lazy journo...

 

And since there is NO a real 2-way conversation with station and viewers...then it will never be legit.

 

Since we all know what happens when we allow the talent to tweet or post without guidelines...

 

Well...

Well...

SM is it's own beast...let it be that...and only that.

 

To cover and fully understand a community you need to go out into that community...NOT cover it via keyboard and Skype.

 

TV news is NOT SM....never will be....nor should it be.

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Good topic.

 

Stations are still trying to beat the internet at all cost. It's lazy journo...

 

And since there is NO a real 2-way conversation with station and viewers...then it will never be legit.

 

Since we all know what happens when we allow the talent to tweet or post without guidelines...

 

Well...

Well...

SM is it's own beast...let it be that...and only that.

 

To cover and fully understand a community you need to go out into that community...NOT cover it via keyboard and Skype.

 

TV news is NOT SM....never will be....nor should it be.

 

Well said. I believe there should be WTSP/KXTV style newscast that's actually designed and created by people of the social-media revolution, not some 50+ year old guy in a suit and tie.

 

I really liked the concept of TouchVision, back when NBC 40 here in town aired a half-hour of it at 5am in early 2015 after First Business got the boot. I found it was very innovative and fast paced. Maybe Weigel killed it off because they knew in advance that it would devolve into another "We Hate Trump" forum.

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People watch TV news for context, and, dare I say it, truth. Newscasts should offer sober facts and not rumors or innuendo.

 

Have the media ownership groups forgotten that?

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A lot of the early social media newscasts were half-baked ideas thought up by people who couldn't comprehend that people on social media aren't watching TV, and people not on social media are going to tune out of a show that's talking about the latest twits and facepages.

 

What I HAVE seen working is shows broadcast primarily on Facebook Live that are formatted for the medium. I know WTMJ has a couple Facebook Live-exclusive shows (I haven't checked yet to see if they're still doing The Now on Facebook Live during the Packers shows on Monday and Tuesdays) that get people watching. These shows barely cost anything to produce and might be more attractive to some sponsors.

 

Shows like the ill-conceived "U_News@4#Sarah Hill" that KOMU had years ago just don't work and won't work. If you're going to have a "social media newscast" it needs to be a newscast formatted for social media, not a newscast about social media.

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We tried a facebook newscast on KBEX many years ago.

 

We had 6 friends...but Dan-Dan (our transmitter man) got drunk and unfriended all 6 of them.

 

Now KBEX-TV doesn't have ANY friends... (sad face guy).

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The problem with 'social media newscasts' is every time you try to engage the viewership, you get what I call the 'Tele-Press Problem'.

 

Basically, our local paper had an open phone line in the early 90s which was obstinately created for people who felt too much pressure to write a letter to the editor, or just wanted to sound off quickly about some issue. It started off as that...and soon the Tele-Press column became overwhelmed by cranks who just wanted to whine about government, young people, politics, and the paper removing the bridge column by a guy who died in 1976 or whatever. Then it denigrated down to community gossip and personal attacks and that's when the paper said 'enough' and pulled the line.

 

Same for WTMJ in the early Twitter/Facebook age (along with an open phone line); we'd get a basic question, and at first intelligent responses were posted. Then the cranks began to overwhelm the responses and soon, sane people didn't want to go anywhere near WTMJ's social segments. The station recovered after Bill Berra cleared out thankfully and has been more judicious about who gets on these segments, so there's fine tuning and moderation that must be done to make these social segments work. And you can't just throw on any old response; you have to do a basic timeline read to make sure some extremist on either side doesn't get free airtime. So I think it can be done, but only if you do the same legwork as you do with a 'man on the street'. And you have to make sure the cranks don't become regulars like your average big-city sports station

 

Another thing that annoys me about social stuff on TV is that they feel like they're not allowed to correct misspellings or fix grammar in postings shown on-screen, or even do a paraphrase (because that would get the 'they changed their words' crowd foamed up). I would be fine with a (sic) and basically capitalization fixes, seriously.

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Two stations ago, I worked for a station that tried an all social media newscast. It failed, miserably.

 

Really? Which one was it?

 

And on the subject of trying to appeal to the younger and hipper crowd, just imagine if Tegna was around in the 90's. Then maybe one of it's newscasts would be something like this:

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