For all the gloom and doom you hear about the future of the news business, new opportunities seem to pop up all the time. Take the job Holly Edgell has at WCPO, the Scripps-owned television station in Cincinnati, Ohio. She’s the “community editor” for WCPO-Digital, a new position that puts her in charge of social media strategy and hyper-local digital news. She’s also been charged with fostering the integration of web and TV content.
The station has a staff of seven “digital first” reporters covering beats like business, education, crime and courts. They’re primarily responsible for feeding stories to the web and mobile sites, but that content may also go on air. “One of my jobs has been to identify the stories that need to be on TV,” Edgell says,”supplementing what [the digital first reporters] are doing in terms of breaking news or scoops, and then deconstructing them in a way that may make sense for TV.”
Edgell has a say in who gets hired for digital journalism jobs at her station and she’s very clear about what she’s looking for.*
Edgell’s station is trying lots of new things these days. WCPO is about to become the only local TV station so far to put much of its digital content behind a pay wall. The site currently features an in-depth story on an unsolved murder, Exit 34, that’s an example of the kind of content the station will soon restrict to subscribers.
*Please excuse the audio quality; we can’t always be choosy about where we do interviews!