KATV Uses Twitter, Blogs, Webcam for ‘Choose Your News’

Fisher, online, on Twitter

Fisher, online, on Twitter

We’ve been following KATV-TV, Channel 7, reporter Kristin Fisher’s new project, “Choose Your News,” on Twitter here. Now Arkansas Business media reporter Mark Hengel files this piece on how the local ABC affiliate is using new media to engage Arkansas viewers.

Fisher uses the online tools to keep readers interested the stories she’s pursuing, from conception all the way to air. She even lets viewers vote to determine what story she’ll cover that day. Throughout the reporting process, she updates her progress via Twitter, via her blog and on Webcams at her desk, on the road — even via cell phone — allowing readers to see the story come together first hand.

Broadcast news is all about “eyeballs,” … [KATV News Director Randy] Dixon said. Fisher’s Web site’s purpose is to drive more of those Arkansas eyeballs from the Web – the youth’s domain – to the newscast – the land of the aging.

“It’s drawing viewers because it’s so unique,” Dixon said. “We have always used our broadcasts to drive viewers to our Web site. Now we are using our Web site to drive people back to our newscast.”

Hengel’s story and Fisher’s activity on Twitter also show how news stories continue after they go to air — and make print. Here’s Hengel’s first line to the Fisher story, as it appeared in Outtakes:

It’s not about news value. It’s about selling the talent and creating interaction between the viewer and the station.

By Monday morning, Fisher had read the story, forwarded a link to the story to her followers on Twitter — and she even voiced her opinion about Hengel’s piece:

@markhengel Thanks for writing the story! I respectfully disagree with the opening line. But other than that, very well done. Appreciate it.

Read the whole story here.

Related:

Defending Twitter, sports news on The Ladder.

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