Local news, served fresh. Now pick your variety

In Portland, where I’m at, you can have your pick of news websites. You got your Oregonian, Mercury and Columbian. Portland’s a top 25 market, so you’ve got all four major network affiliates represented and ready to give you news: KATU (ABC), KOIN (CBS), KGW (NBC) and KPTV (Fox). Plus, Oregon Public Broadcasting rolls out news and so does Neighborhood Notes, a hyperlocal blog.

My automatic instinct would be to reach for a newspaper site. Blasphemous and traitorous, I know, since I’m interning at a TV station. But one limitation we have at the station site is our stories (and this could apply to most TV station sites) lack the depth that a traditional print site offers readers.

Either from quick VOs and VOSOTS in the newscasts or reporters’ 1:30 packages, the script is boiled down to only the essential bits of information, since there’s no time for anything else.

It’s just the nature of the medium, and the fact that web staffs on TV sites seem pretty lean across the board, so there’s not enough time nor energy to churn out a more in-depth version of a reporter’s story or a VO.  Or even sweet interactives. NOTE: this only applies to what I’ve seen in local TV outlets, not the giants like CNN and FoxNews.

But, counters my web boss, TV station sites have easier access to more visual elements than newspaper sites. Compelling video is literally a couple clicks away, which is great for the majority of the population that is visually-oriented.  Our CMS has 4 fields with each blank story for inserting whatever video you can possibly imagine. Plus, I don’t think newspapers would send out a photog with a reporter automatically.

Just something I’ve been thinking about, because I have time to do that.


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