By Ren LaForme
I concluded my internship at YNN Buffalo today. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
YNN has given me hands-on experience, a new set of skills to post on my résumé and some useful insight into the professional world. These past 15 weeks have been some of the best I’ve had at the University at Buffalo, and Time Warner’s little Buffalo news station is partially to credit.
After witnessing the ins and outs, ups and downs and pros and cons of working at the station firsthand, I almost feel obligated to defend the channel when people misrepresent it as something it’s not.
YNN is not trying to compete with CNN (especially since Time Warner owns CNN). It’s not trying to compete with Fox News, MSNBC or ABC News. It’s not even really trying to compete with WIVB, WKBW or WGRZ.
This is evident by the fact that it’s only available on Time Warner Cable. If they really wanted to be the next big 24-hour news station they wouldn’t just stick to one station.
At it’s core, YNN is just a way to draw more viewers to Time Warner Cable. It is a unique service provided exclusively by Time Warner to inform its customers about local events and problems. People want local news, and if they don’t want to wait for it they can turn to channel 9 (14 in the suburbs) to see what’s going on around the community.
It doesn’t hurt that the station is pioneering a type of broadcast journalism where reporters do everything — shoot video, edit and anchor. And who can blame them? It’s cost and space effective. Students should learn all of the tasks involved in journalism while they can if they want to be competitive in tomorrow’s job market.
I’m sure the future of journalism won’t look exactly like YNN, but it’s definitely a step closer to what broadcasting will look like in years to come.