Snow, Ice, Local TV and Social Media

It may have taken a few years to get the hang of social media but local television stations now know the power of Facebook, Twitter, Skype and other interactive tools to bring its constituency to the screen.

We knew conditions would be icy this morning. For the North Carolina Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas), this has already been a dramatic winter with record-breaking snow. Watching local ABC station, WTVD Channel 11, I am once again impressed with viewers’ Facebook and Twitter reports, many with attributions by the station. Along with photos, videos and Skype coverage, local viewers are adding a “from the trenches” perspective. Viewers also watch their on-the-scene photos on-air, a la NCIS, brought up from a montage to full view by a finger-dragging anchor. Social media has its issues, but for bringing a community experience to all, it is impressive. And, local TV obviously knows the power of participatory media…and ratings.

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