by Deborah Potter, Executive Director
From CCJ partner NewsLab.
Listen to viewers and they’ll tell you flat out: Local television news is boring. One in five of the people we surveyed about local TV news said that’s a major reason they don’t watch. As one viewer put it, “It’s a rehash of the same stories over and over.” And it’s the same thing on every station in town. Same stories, often for the same amount of time, and in the same order.
Why is it that television news is so predictable? It’s because most of us in newsrooms do our jobs in exactly the same way: inside out.
We prepare for each day by reading the same papers, watching the same morning news programs. We gather with the same people, day after day, trying to come up with a newscast that will tell compelling stories and relate to viewers’ lives. Perhaps it’s no wonder we so often come up short.
But what if the process became a little more outside in? At a recent NewsLab conference, journalists worked with storytellers from other media to reinvent the local newscast. Their suggestions ranged from including a non-news person in the morning meeting to putting cameras in the community so people can tell their own stories...