Post-Pandemic News: 7 Lessons We Can’t Afford to Forget

Journalists are often criticized for emphasizing bad news.

On a day when there are no commercial airliner crashes, there’s no need for a story on the fact that everyone who flew today landed safely.

I prefer to get my news from the web, so I don’t follow TV news in any form. However, I was interested in this item on how local TV news has changed due to the pandemic.

The headline could be misleading — we’re not through with the pandemic yet, and we’re not through with learning from what happens during the pandemic. So it’s a bit early to think about a “post-pandemic” society — though it’s an admirable long-term goal.

3. It Does NOT Need to Bleed, to Lead

This just in: If we focus on covering the stories and concerns that matter most to our communities, there’s no need to sensationalize. During the pandemic, local broadcasters have doubled down on the real information needs of community: from holding local officials accountable to FAQs, explainers and fact-checks; news-you-can-use like what’s open and closed; humanizing the local impacts and the local heroes; and connecting communities in need to solve local problems.

The results are stunning. Research by SmithGeiger shows media consumption is up widely during the pandemic but that local TV news is up the most. It’s both the first choice, and the most trusted choice. “Local TV news has become the most important source of information that’s personally relevant to you,” Seth Geiger told Cronkite News Lab, “and communicating that there are decisions you can make that make you and your community safer.”

Audiences have responded to stories that matter to the local community, delivered with meaning and context. Who knew? Let’s hope our editorial meetings never revert to a rote review of the day file, scanners, and “what’s trending.” Source: Post-Pandemic News: 7 Lessons We Can’t Afford to Forget