The Knight Foundation’s Beyond “Live at Five”: What’s Next for Local News? summarizes research the organization commissioned from University of Mississippi journalism school Assistant Dean Debora Wenger and Professor Emeritus Bob Papper of Hofstra University’s j-school.
The study titled, Local TV News and the New Media Landscape, focuses on the competing forces currently shaping local television news. With a decline in broadcast news ratings, local news leaders are trying to engage audiences on social media and other digital platforms.
The article notes some key findings from the study co-authored by Wenger and Papper.
- While newspapers have lost employees to layoffs and industry changes, TV news employment is up.
- Television stations are primarily innovating on digital platforms rather than on the air.
- Social media engagement boosts television ratings.
- Most local television news leaders believe newscasts must fundamentally change if they expect to survive into the future and the report outlines some of those recommendations.
The Knight Foundation is also currently “supporting television news journalists and leadership by investing $2.6 million into efforts around digital transformation, diversity, audience engagement and investigative reporting.”
The Knight Foundation is a national foundation that invests in journalism, the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Its goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, believed to be essential for a healthy democracy, according to their website.