By Ren LaForme
Everyone is concerned about newspapers. You think they’re going to die — I get it.
However, nobody is saying as much about broadcast journalism. If the Internet is killing the print medium, won’t it kill the televised medium as well?
Think about it. How many people still pick up the remote and click over to the Weather Channel to find out the weekly forecast? Who turns on ESPN to quickly check the scores from last night’s big games? And do you really want to sit through a 30-minute local news broadcast just to hear one or two stories you care about?
If Internet-based journalism is threatening newspapers, it’s a danger to TV as well. People can log on and find information with a few clicks of the mouse — why would they want to wait for a newscaster to read it to them?
Some stations, such as Time Warner-owned YNN Buffalo, are shaking up the format to cut costs and capture viewers. YNN Reporters like Nicki Mayo shoot video, interview, write articles and then play the role of anchor for their own stories, meaning Time Warner is paying one person to do the work of four.
YNN programming is set up in half hour blocks. The blocks are either filled with the typical noon, 6 p.m and 11 p.m. anchor-centric programming or small 3 to 5 minute packages focusing on one story. The content is replayed throughout the day, 24 hours per day, and new material is added as it’s created. Though the format of the content differs, one thing is the same — each is built, from beginning to end, by only one or two people.
I think that’s pretty groundbreaking, don’t you?
In spite of all the facts, I strongly believe that newspapers will survive for a very long time. I’m willing to bet that broadcast journalism will stay put as well. They might not look the same, as YNN is proving, but someone will find a way to make a profit and keep them in business for some time to come.