TV viewer feedback (in small doses) adds valuePosted by Albers Communications on June 29, 2010 | Comments (1)
Have you seen the commercials (for a wireless company) that show a very serious news anchor including viewers’ Tweets and posts in his newscast – reading them as though they were “real” news? The commercial is meant to be a parody… but in a growing number of local markets, it actually seems to mirror reality.
In Omaha, ABC affiliate KETV routinely devotes a special segment during its morning newscast to air comments that are posted on its Facebook page. And all four local network affiliates include special sections on their web sites for viewer photos and videos – posting and airing everything from pets in costume to summer storm damage.
These tactics are, of course, a great way to engage viewers. They also are examples of how social media is changing the landscape of local news.
As a former editor and producer, I understand that it is important for newsrooms to have a dedicated army of citizen journalists, armed with cell phone cameras and ready to capture spot news.
I also think that Facebook and Twitter can be valuable newsroom tools – gauging public opinion and providing instant viewer feedback.
This poses a tricky balancing act for newsrooms who must carefully evaluate viewer contributions and make sure they add value to the newscasts.
While I might get a kick out of the photos of dogs wearing Husker uniforms… I’d rather not see the day when these items become sandwiched between every news, weather and sports report.