The Salt Lake City broadcaster has charged reporters with producing video in addition to its traditional radio reports.
While new media has made broadcasting an increasingly platform-agnostic business, KSL Newsradio in Salt Lake City has taken this concept to the next level by making video reports a standard part of its output.
The Bonneville International-owned outlet, which broadcasts on AM and FM radio, has accomplished this by putting video equipment in the hands of its reporters, who are charged with creating reports to be distributed via the station’s website, apps and social media pages as well as streaming platforms. And it doesn’t mean reporters are simply adding moving images to audio reporting; in fact, some of the stories have been told without a single word.
“It’s a way to super-serve our audience,” said director of audience development Sheryl Worsley.
Ingenuity has ensued. One reporter, for instance, strapped on a GoPro camera before plunging into the Provo River for a swift water training course. Although the story aired on radio, its video version lives on across YouTube and Facebook, among other platforms.
In another example, KSL sent reporters on a “listening tour” statewide, aimed at closing the gap between what listeners think they are hearing about the news and what KSL thinks it is reporting. The listening tour was accompanied by a drone, yielding what KSL calls a social media and on-air campaign that fostered engagement between the radio station and its audience.
The effort has proved KSL’s agility in the video space, which it plans to expand moving forward. Thinking beyond sound has also opened KSL up to the possibility of pushing the limits of terrestrial radio to make the medium more platform agnostic.
“We feel like we could compete with websites and television stations and anyone in the (digital news) space,” Worsely said. “Because anyone now can use a video camera.”