This October 22, journalists from all over the country attended the 2018 Edward R Murrow Awards in New York City to celebrate excellence and achievement in journalism.
Many of these achievements came from the innovation that newsrooms are implementing in their storytelling; from integrating multimedia to the use of tools such as social media platforms, many journalists who attended the awards had ideas on how to stay ahead of the curve in the future of this changing industry.
Innovation and use of social media is happening in markets of all sizes. WREX, an NBC affiliate in Rockville, Illinois, won the Overall Excellence award in small market television, and are using social media to build depth into their stories.
“It’s a tool that we have to use now, and it can be such a way to expand what you’re doing on television,” said WREX News Director Josh Morgan. “You get a finite amount of seconds and minutes to do your work on the air, but social media, your website, things like that allow you to do so much more, to build depth of your stories, and that’s a lot about what we talk about, building depth in what we do.”
“I think the best thing they can do is use social media for their own coverage,” said assistant news director Audrey Moon, when talking about how news stations can innovate. “Whether that’s crowd sourcing or the technology it provides, I think that’s key to use it to innovate and tell their own stories.”
The industry is also reflecting these changes in larger markets. ABC’s Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas has seen these changes first hand over the course of his career as a journalist.
“The essence is still the same, you’ve still got to go out, report stories, find the facts, interview multiple people, and try to understand what it is you’re covering to do the news,” Thomas said. “The difference is there’s so many different places to place that information, so many different platforms to present our stories, but in essence, it’s still storytelling.”
That kind of storytelling was highlighted in this year’s winner of an Excellence in Innovation award. Idaho station KBTV won the honor for an episode of their “360: Immerse Yourself in Idaho Life,” series, in which the reporter tells the majority of the story from riding in a car alongside the subject.
Excellence in Social Media was awarded to KTUU in Anchorage, Alaska, for their interactive stories on their Facebook and YouTube pages. Using a 360 degree camera, a reporter was able to create an immersive experience for Facebook viewers to see what it’s like to ride one of North America’s last flag stop trains.
Innovation is one of the most necessary parts of a rapidly changing industry like journalism, and this year the Murrow Awards took the time to honor and celebrate those who are creating new avenues in the field. When asked what the future of the industry looks like, Pierre Thomas said it best:
“I think it’s robust, I think it’s challenging, but there will always be stories to tell, there will always be stories to follow, stories to uncover, and help the public.”