Reporters from around the nation gathered at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall for a dazzling night of the Edward R. Murrow awards last month.
At a time when journalism is facing a new trough of hardships, top journalists from local and national networks gathered to celebrate the impact of journalism.
Among those who attended were ABC’s David Muir and Bob Woodruff, CNN correspondent Leyla Santiago, CBS’s Michelle Miller and many more.
As the midterm elections across the U.S. near, in a climate of political discord, journalists and producers shared their views on trust in local news, and how they cultivate their reporting to encourage trust among the public.
Nextar television news director Chad McCollum said, “It’s all about connecting with the community.” He said trust depends on how much a reporter engages with the public through social media and community events.
“If people that are watching you at home feel like they know you, and they watch you on television and you are telling a story and they know you to be reputable, then it all connects,” he said.
Seventy-six percent of Americans across the political spectrum said they have “a great deal” or “fair amount” of trust for their local television news, and 73 percent said they trust their local newspapers, according to the 2018 Poynter Media Trust Survey.
Across the same demographic, 55 percent of Americans said they trust national news and 59 percent said they have confidence in national newspapers. 49 percent said they trust digital-only news outlets.
“At a time when a lot of our national media is concentrated on the coasts, you have a much better chance of interacting with a local journalist,” said WGBH Boston’s GroundTruth Project Managing Editor Rachel Rohr. “We should be putting most of our resources into local newsrooms which have been really hurt by the changing business model,” she said.
KING-5 TV Seattle reporter Alex Rozier said he has been reporting on local issues his whole career, and that takes a team of people who really care about their community and its issues.
“They [my team] are there to serve the community,” Rozier said, “I sit in morning meetings every day and listen to conversations about what matters most, what our viewers want to hear and what they need to know more about. Those are the types of conversations we are having.”