Sunday, August 21, 2011

Scripps TV promotes investigative stories

Scripps reports that it's hired new staff, and given extra training to others, in an effort to improve investigative reporting at its local TV stations.  While total news staffing is still down, Scripps recently hired 8 new reporters, and has sent 58 others to the recent Investigative Reporters and Editors conference.  IRE's executive director, Mark Horvit, suggested a return to investigative reporting makes good business sense -
“When you cut back service too much you start to lose our audience as well. The only way to have an exclusive voice and stand out is to present something audiences can’t get elsewhere and, in most cases, that’s the enterprise watchdog story.”
Bob Sullivan, Scripps VP of content, said that the move wasn't just about differentiating yourself from other local stations.  "It's not about the old ratings game," he stated. “For me, it’s about serving your community and providing them with journalism and stories they need to know about.”

I hope the move is successful, from both social and media business perspectives.  From a media business perspective, firms need to differentiate in order to compete - cutting resources and standardizing content makes your product less valuable.  For local broadcasting, a better move is to focus on the local, and in more original content/stories.  Investigative local journalism can bring that focus back.

Source - Scripps Bucks Investigative Reporting TrendTV News Check

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