School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Hiott: Media sharing means you win

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 by

You may have noticed a familiar name while watching your television news last week. The Austin American-Statesman recently announced plans to team up with KVUE to share longtime reporter Tony Plohetski, and he hit the air with his first stories of the new partnership.

Plohetski, 35, has had a key role in building up our investigative coverage over the past couple of years. Before that, he was on the police beat for many years and one of our go-to reporters for big news, from Hurricane Katrina to the plane that was flown into the IRS building in North Austin.

All along the way, Plohetski has occasionally scratched an itch to try out the different medium of television with appearances on “Nancy Grace,” “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” and notably on KVUE, where he earned awards from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters for one report he worked on with the station’s anchor, Tyler Sieswerda, and another he worked on with former KVUE reporter Keli Rabon.

So we finally formalized a loose partnership that allowed Plohetski to go on the air every now and then with KVUE. Now you will see him there regularly.

You’ll also continue to see his investigative work in the pages of the Statesman and on Through this partnership, we hope to do stories that will span print, broadcast and online, and provide you more angles and information on the subjects he’s covering.

It’s a natural for us to look to KVUE as we consider partnerships such as this one. Like the Statesman, they’ve been a strong, steady source of news in the region for decades. They share the same core values we embrace regarding ethics, community and investigative impact.

The partnership should benefit readers, viewers and both media properties.

For the Statesman, it’s yet another opportunity to reach our audience through whatever format the audience wants the news. That means you’ll find us reporting the region’s news in lots of different ways: in newsprint on the breakfast table, through Twitter feeds and text alerts on the smartphone, in an iPad or Android app, on the desktop website, and now on the 6 and 10 p.m. KVUE news.

News consumers are demanding more and more of that broad array of information sources, and we’re working hard to keep up with them.

That doesn’t mean picking up a new platform and abandoning an old one (don’t worry, we’ll still bring you a copy of the news in print every day). What it means is finding ways to use lots of different platforms to provide the news and information. The number of people we reach through all of our platforms is continuing to grow, even at a time when our print edition circulation is seeing some declines.

That’s because we have a newsroom full of smart journalists who, like Plohetski, are evolving to meet that reader demand for the news in different formats.

On MyStatesman, and you’ll find plenty of videos, databases and social media storytelling alongside the stories and photographs we have always done in print.

But it’s not really about the technology we have available now to reach our audiences. It’s about Plohetski and the other journalists. The work you see in new formats online is being done by the same credible reporters and photojournalists you see in the newspaper, with the same high standards for publication.

The more we experiment and reach out to new audiences, the more we’ll ensure that our business – and the newsroom it funds – will be thriving for a long time. The trick is to keep the journalism at the forefront and listen to what our readers, viewers and community expect and need from us. Let me know what you think we should be doing

Hiott is editor of the Austin American-Statesman.

From © Cox Media Group. Published here with permission.

Tony Plohetski is a 2000 Meek School graduate.