The Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) is happening this week in Las Vegas along side the annual gathering of the National Association of Broadcasters.

Well respected KGO-TV tech and business reporter David Louie is hosting a panel to help TV reporters file stories from wireless cafes.  A laptop with Wi-Fi connection to the Internet allows a reporter to edit and “file” a story or b-roll from the field.  The technology keeps getting better.  Maybe the wonders of WiMAX could someday soon take things to a new level.

Today I read in the broadcast industry newsletter, ShopTalk, a Television Week story by Elizabeth Jensen. Seeing and embracing change — here are some excerpts from Jensen:

  • “The digital revolution is really hitting home in newsrooms, we find this year, even more than in previous years,” said RTNDA President Barbara Cochran.

  • …the convention played on some of the newsroom’s technology fears with its slogan “Don’t let the digital revolution leave you behind,” Bill Roswell, RTNDA’s chairman-elect and convention producer, has a more embracing outlook. “There’s a brave new world out there that is very exciting,” he said. “We’re not just radio or television stations anymore; we’re information providers.”

  • this year, the topics of interest that came up over and over were such technology challenges as the conversion to high-definition, deciding what material to make available for podcasts or cell phone-casts, how newsrooms can best use Web platforms, the impact of one-person newsgathering, how to bring the audience into the newsgathering process, even the thorny legal issues raised by repurposing material for outlets other than traditional radio and TV broadcasts.

Players involved this year are a nice mix of seasoned journalists, new media pros and technology experts (from Jensen’s story):

  • ABC News video blogger Amanda Congdon: examine “what the next generation of news will look like. [Almost] all the people who are on that panel … come from media organizations or are doing jobs that we wouldn’t have imagined three or four years ago.”

  • Congdon’s session is moderated by CNN’s chief technology correspondent Miles O’Brien, and they’re joined by Zadi Diaz, new-media producer and co-founder of Smashface Productions; Terry Heaton, senior VP, Media 2.0, audience research and development; Elizabeth Osder, senior director of product for Yahoo News; and Michael Rosenblum of Rosenblum Associates, a pioneer in the single-person video journalism world.

For better or worse, in the Bay Area we’ve seen and felt the revolution for quiet some time.  At KRON-TV in the early to mid 1990s, launched their Website and were among the first broadcasters to make news video stories available online.  The station also launched a cable channel called BayTV, where I saw for the first time a “one man band” daily news pro producing, scripting, shooting, editing and reporting.  That was crazy to me!  In 2000, thing began changing even more dramatically and today we’re seeing “single person video journalism” on the flagship KRON newscasts inspired by Rosenblum.

Those may be fundamental changes, but what I learned visiting KNTV this month is even more exciting.  How can boradcasters work together with people — bloggers, citizen journalists — to make the daily news more meaningful to the community.  That pursuit has always driven the best local TV and radio newsrooms.  More people seem to agree that there may be potential benefits to “building community” “reaching out” “involving” the community, rather than just reporting on the community.  This was a major topic exlpored duing the first Silicon Valley Chapter of the Social Media Club, hosted at KNTV.  Here’s a link to my earlier post and links to more info from that meeting from Mario Sundar.

Lots of momentum for change and it’s inspiring to see professionals from different industries come together.  Maybe the real things to observe here:

  1. Technology is ever more important to every industry

  2. Social media is allowing more people to try new things, getting more people involved and participating 

One thought on “TV & Radio News Facing Revolution

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