Little research has examined how local TV newsrooms determine the type and scope of technological innovation they will embrace. Given the importance of local TV news in keeping the public informed, it is critical to understand this process that could help sustain the industry into the future.
Professors Debora Wenger, Ph.D., who is also the interim dean of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, and Iveta Imre, Ph.D., recently learned that their article “Where Newsroom Leaders See Technology Facilitating Innovation in Local TV News” has been published by SAGE Journals.
This study explores technology-led innovation in local television newsrooms within the U.S. Analysis of interviews with TV newsroom leaders from a broad cross section of small, medium, and large markets identified three primary areas where they say they are innovating including live reporting, social media, and on-demand television services. Three motivating factors for media innovation were also identified: audience preferences, economic drivers, and corporate influence.
“I hope this article will show that local newsrooms are trying to be as innovative as the national counterparts,” Imre said. “There is a lot of good happening locally, and our article sheds light on local newsrooms that are trailblazers in this regard. I hope our readers take away from our article that local TV newsrooms are not disappearing. They are thriving and making every effort to stay competitive in today’s market.”
Wenger said the workload for newsroom leaders has never been higher.
“It can be difficult to find the time to learn what’s going on across the industry,” she said, “so we hope this article can make understanding approaches to innovation within the industry a little easier. For educators trying to prepare journalists for work in newsrooms today, this research should help guide them as to what technologies to help students master and help them determine where innovation may be going next.”
Wenger said she hopes the article offers practical knowledge that can be used to make local TV news and broadcast journalism stronger and more resilient.