Trends and Truths About Local News Media Coverage
The news media landscape continues to change and with those changes come new challenges and opportunities for journalists and for those seeking to tell their stories through the media.
In a recent Shoff Chat, our guests shared their perspectives on this changing landscape. Bro Krift, executive editor, and Ruby Bailey, opinion and public engagement editor, both with the Indy Star, joined us.
Some of the key takeaways included:
- There’s a yearning in local communities for more news “about us,” Krift said. People want community news. Indianapolis is a passionate city that cares deeply about its sports teams and local organizations.
- Because local media’s digital transformation has continued to evolve, it’s created a positive byproduct for readers/viewers/listeners: The media consumer has a seat at the editorial table and has input into what’s covered. As newsrooms continue to analyze and review what people are reading and responding to, it’s impacting editorial decisions. “We used to just feed everyone broccoli,” Krift joked, referring to hard news coverage. “Now we feed them much more variety.”
- Local media outlets are spending more time on “accountability” stories – looking at issues and the potential to improve people’s lives by reporting on them. The local media is also focused on the goal of elevating the conversation around particular topics. “We want to help people become more educated on a topic, not necessarily change their opinion about it,” said Bailey. When people have the full picture, they can make their own decisions, she said.
- News outlets such as IndyStar are partnering in unique ways with nonprofit organizations to help increase coverage of underrepresented groups and issues and expand their reach on topics that are important to the local community.
For other takeaways, watch the replay.
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Listen to this episode or past Shoff Chats episodes here.