Online reporting and “Legacy” Newsrooms

As technology continues to enhance, the ways that reporters can present news to the public have changed immensely.

For news organizations that not only utilize one medium but two or more, the same story can be seen in various different ways and for longer periods of time.

There was a time when sports reporters would attend a sporting event, the radio would live broadcast the event and their story would appear the next day in the newspaper. Maybe the paper would get passed around for a week or so but that would be the end of the story.

Today, however, we get the story quicker and we can revisit the story and share it with others infinitely via the web. News organizations that have been successful have found ways to make their online package distinctly different from their print or broadcast versions.

Take for example PBS Frontline who covered a story on High School football in April of 2011. When you watch the video on TV, you get to hear the story and see pictures and first hand interviews. However, because of available time slots, all the content that was gathered is not able to be viewed in the broadcast.

The “legacy” news service is only provided an allotted hour or two to give the audience all the information that they need to know. With the web, PBS is able to create an online package that provides the public with additional footage and documentation that will enhance the story.

Frontlines story on High School Football was compelling enough with the video, however, the online package was able to add so many additional resources. There was a written story, a FAQ’s section, in-depth interviews with experts and interviews with other players. There was also an additional story on peewee football programs and how this culture is cultivated at even younger ages.

These sorts of innovations in technology can make getting a good story difficult. However, when reporters are able to master the technology, they then have the opportunity to be creative and give the audience new ways to experience this story that were not possible before.


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