Remixing hard news in local TV: A possible recipe for growth

Reinventing Local TV News, Research
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Hello again from Northeastern University’s Reinventing Local TV News Project. Our research is in the home stretch. We just received our data after surveying 600 viewers in six television markets across the country. The initial results are promising. They show that changing up the way local television stations tell hard news stories could increase viewership in key areas.

For those who are new to our project, here’s some background. But in a nutshell: we partnered with six TV stations and remixed their stories using tools like animation and sound effects to tell stories with more creativity and context. We then tested the original stories against our new remixed versions.

We have a wealth of data that will inform our final analysis that we will share with everyone in the new year. It’s been a busy 2018. We talked with legendary news anchors about the changing industry and a respected researcher about the risks and rewards of trying something different in local TV news.

We also gathered at Northeastern with industry insiders, students, and some of our advisory group members for a research conference and are excited to share highlights from our discussions as we tackled everything from the challenge of attracting Millennials to how stations can grow their audience.

Have ideas or want to get involved? Email Profs.: Mike Beaudet and John Wihbey


Videographer: Andy Robinson
Producer/Editor: Zach Ben-Amots

Mike Beaudet has worked in local TV news for 25 years and is an investigative reporter at WCVB in Boston. John Wihbey is currently at work on a book about media innovation for MIT Press.

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