Though less optimistic than five years ago, local broadcast companies and news directors are overwhelmingly confident in the future of local radio and TV, including local news. The latest RTDNA/Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University newsroom survey shows that local news directors believe in the importance of local news and the unique position of local broadcasters to provide news and information the community needs.
KOMU Columbia, Mo., in DMA138, has taken the plunge into social media news, last week launching a 4 p.m. newscast that makes viewers an integral part of the show. And there’s a social media desk that includes two reporters tracking bloggers, Tweets and online conversations about topics making the news. Industry watchers applaud KOMU for pushing the envelope in its use of social media at a time when many stations are still trying to figure them out. But some question their heavy use in what has always been a sit-back, passive medium.