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No amount of planning could prepare local newsrooms for the myriad challenges of covering the coronavirus pandemic. Stations all over America have ramped up their reporting and their community service. But an ambitious project across the 60 Scripps stations in 42 markets is part of something bigger: it’s the latest and biggest incarnation of a conscious strategy designed to chart a new trajectory for local television news — a strategy that’s been nearly three years in the making.
The new project is called The Rebound. The goal is to help communities recover from the devastating impact of COVID-19 with a combination of enterprise reporting, links to vital resources, and inspiration — “stories and information that help our audiences cope and contend with the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” says Marc Sternfield, news director at Salt Lake City’s KSTU. “We want to be the source in as many ways as we can for people to learn about each other’s issues, learn about the challenges that our communities are facing collectively, and hopefully provide help and guidance for folks who are looking for it.”
Watch a Rebound report from KSTU
Scripps supplies its stations with brand identity, content, best practices and resources (such as a common graphics package), and each newsroom then adapts the project to meet unique local needs. “Each individual market has its own story with regards to coronavirus response and recovery,” says Salt Lake City’s Sternfield. “It’s important for us to make sure that we’re