The future of local news

3 Nov

I am sitting in this session now:

  • From Afghanistan to Abitibi, the media “global village” is making more information available, more quickly, about more issues. But the breaking news story is local news. Earlier this year, the CRTC issued a key decision affirming the importance of local news in Quebec. Yet broadcasters, faced with competition from other local media, are taking a hard look at the business case for local news. At this session, news directors and broadcasters debate the business case for local news and discern trends for broadcast news in the future. (Presented in partnership with RTNDA Canada). 

    Mark Sutcliffe

    Moderator:
    Mark Sutcliffe
    ,
    Host,
    CFRA, CTVglobemedia Inc.

    Confirmed Panelists: Mike Bendixen, Program Director & News Director, CJAD 800 AM, Astral Media Radio; Richard Gray, Vice-President and General Manager, CHUM Ottawa / ‘A’ Ottawa, CTVglobemedia Inc.; Cal Johnstone, President, RTNDA Canada /News Director, ‘A’ London; Troy Reeb, Senior Vice-President, News & Current Affairs, Global News and CH News, Canwest; Dan Shelley, Director, Digital Media, WCBS-TV; Renato Zane, Vice-President, News, OMNI Television, Rogers Broadcasting Limited

    Here are my notes:

    CAL
    People see the news from the perspective of their own front porch
    There is a demand for local news / this perspective
    News is personally tailored to meet their needs
    Therefore the need for ‘broad’ casted news is lessened

    TROY
    It is our duty to know what is happening (NOTE: the assumption is that that is the news)

    MIKE
    People come to a community site because of on air personalities (who represent the community)

    RENATO
    New Canadians are interested in what’s happening around the world
    I wish sometimes that we didn’t have so many tools
    Wish you could throw away the newsfeeds, wires and other sources

    DAN
    Technology has proven the need for strong local news content
    It is so important that they will use new technology to find and participate in covering the story
    Broadcasters are no longer in control of the news agenda
    New technologies will never totally replace local news broadcasts because people will always choose the hi def / hi res alternative.

    RICHARD
    Local news has a bright future because the audience wants it
    But we are on the edge of the cliff in terms of viability
    The fee for carriage decision will be detrimental to the business

    TROY
    The decline in local TV may be traced back to the CRTC’s latest decision

    The future of local news Dan Shelley, Director, Digital Media, WCBS-TV The future of local news The future of local news The future of local news, Troy Reeb, Senior Vice-President, News & Current Affairs, Global News and CH News, Canwest The future of local news, Mike Bendixen, Program Director & News Director, CJAD 800 AM, Astral Media Ra

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