Thursday, July 14, 2011

WFAA-Days 3 and 4

Sorry I missed yesterday, but it's going so well here I hardly have time to slow down. I've talked to a lot of people the past few days and some consistent themes have emerged:

*WFAA puts a premium on original and unique stories, more than fancy toys and technology. The station doesn't even have a social media policy yet; it's trying to figure out how to implement social media without losing its emphasis on solid reporting. "Technology has to be a critical part of what we do," says Michael Valentine, Vice President of News, "but at the end of the day if we let technology drive the vision and content, then we have not done right by the viewer."

*The station is moving toward multitasking journalism, but there are still segmented roles of photographer, reporter and editor. "What makes unique reporting is giving our reporters tie and resources to find those stories," says Valentine. "If you're out shooting, writing, editing, and tweeting, you're probably not uncovering information that one one else can uncover; you're just covering what's going on."

Such philosophy is somewhat unique in a television environment ruled by multitasking reporters and expensive toys, but you can't argue with success. WFAA regularly dominates the ratings and towers over its competition in terms of Emmy, Murrow and Peabody Awards.