The Next Modernization Of Digital And Live TV

Why do we inject digital references in our copy for live newscasts?

Easy answer, right?  Pump up awareness for our digital platforms. Signal that our website, apps, and social media are alive and kicking all day and night.  Some have gotten pretty good at blending in digital references without obliterating newscasts.  Some overdo it.

ALSO: Saying, “we first told you_____on our APP at 2:30 today…” has become the 2018 way of saying we were FIRST to report a story, replacing the old version of back selling to the prior TV newscasts.

That’s was we’ve done. Here’s what we need to do next:

Going forward—digital mentions will need to convince TV audiences that what they’re seeing on TV is an advancement from what they saw on our digital platforms.

Research about this is simple: As digital content improves and grows, TV newscasts have a new burden of proof. Are the newscasts really advancing stories either with new information and/or greater depth and emotion?

Digital is a double-edged sword for TV newscasts. On one hand, it spawns interest in content that drives people to TV.  On the other hand, digital content can satisfy the needs of multi-platform content consumers to a point they don’t need live broadcasts anymore. We’d like them to use all our platforms.

Going forward — TV digital mentions need to explain to viewers OVERTLY that TV news has pursued new facts, new questions, and new insights since they first read an alert, a tweet, a Facebook post.

In the same vein, our digital platforms will need their own version of ADVANCING stories beyond what TV viewers may have seen on an earlier newscast. Digital posts after morning and early evening newscasts should say things like “…what we learned since the morning news live report”—or, “what we’ve learned since we first saw the video from the fire on our news at 6 pm.”

Yes - there are news consumers who only use our digital platforms. But the numbers are small. The majority of people who participate in a TV station’s brand participate on multiple platforms. 

At least for now.

So, there is a lot of convincing to do about whether a story is really being advanced—in order to get folks to use us on as many screens as possible.