Traditional vs. New Media: Why Both Matter

We’re in the battle of the mediums, and depending on which day you ask, determines who’s winning.

TV vs. Digital
HBO vs. Netflix
Broadcast News vs. Blogs

…and on and on.

More and more we hear why TV is a dying breed and everything we watch, will soon be online. That’s true. There will need to be an online presence for just about everything that happens on TV, or in our modern world, or…it’s like it didn’t happen. According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, about 2.6 million households are now “broadband only,” meaning they don’t subscribe to cable or pick up a broadcast signal as of December 2014.

BUT don’t send your televisions to the electronics graveyard just yet. The tube isn’t going away. It’s evolving. It’s become Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast and many more virtual ways to live stream and watch video on demand. Still, as much as TV has it’s eulogy read, people are still fighting for a space in the line up. New shows are still debuting and new experimental channels are popping up. Plus video on demand is virtually the new way to watch TV.

No doubt, the competition is ON!

HBO recently announced it’s HBO GO service to rival Netflix and Hulu. HBO GO gives their subscribers unlimited access to the channel anywhere and at anytime.

Then, there’s my personal favorite. Broadcast News and Digital Media. Your CNN’s versus The Young Turks. Traditional news outlets versus non-traditional. I do both, and I LOVE it! I’m a reporter for a traditional news station and I host my own digital show. Our second season is being distributed by Focus Broadcasting Network, a Netflix competitor. Why do I do both? Because I love telling stories in a news format and I love the access and creative freedom you have with the online platforms.

I’ve been writing and telling stories since I was six years old. There was no question whether or not I was going to be a writer. The only outlier was which medium would I use. I learned in college, it would be television. I studied journalism and chose broadcast. Print seemed to focus on more long format journalism, and I preferred the short, choppy, conversational narrative paired with interactive visuals.

When I studied journalism at Hampton University, media was on the cusp of the digital evolution. My department was introducing non-linear editing and website creation courses. My reel was on a VHS tape, but very soon after graduation, it would be out of date. Times, they were a changing, and we have to change with them or we get left behind.

In 2012, I took a job reporting for KTXS News station in Abilene, Texas. As my assignment was ending, I had an idea to create a webshow. Not a novel idea. There’s people who’ve created webshows, but not the way I planned. My show, “The Positive Controversy with Kristen Pope,” is a variety talk show. We tackle tough topics about culture and social issues. It’s edu-tainment. Much of what I learned as a reporter was my foundation for creating the show. Storytelling. On-Air Presentation. Conversational Skills. Filming and Editing.

My show takes a much different approach to traditional journalism, but the nuts and bolts of the craft are there.

I took a year off from news reporting to focus on building my show. In that year, I won my first two journalism awards. My webshow was an official selection in a film festival and we signed our first licensing deal. Truly all God’s doing!

When the opportunity presented itself to go back to the newsroom, I’ll admit, I hesitated. I was so focused on my show, living in this new medium and staying ahead of the curve. I didn’t see how the two could co-exist in my world. Then wisdom kicked in, in the form of the Holy Spirit, my husband, my mentor and prayer partners.

Traditional journalism isn’t going away. It’s just evolving. In the form of online content, with much more diverse storytellers. Broadcast news is still one of the key mediums that shapes people’s thoughts and perceptions of the world. Which is why is has to be handled with integrity.

News reporting helps keep my story telling skills fresh. It also provides an already established platform. Broadcast news provides tools that I will continue to use on my own show.

I take all of those the lessons and tools with me to the digital space and execute my vision. They help each other. Truth is, I love reporting. That’s why I do it. I love meeting people and getting to know their story and then having the privilege to tell it.

Plus I love being creative. As constricting as newsrooms can be, if you can be creative with only one minute and 15 seconds to tell a story, than you can be creative anywhere! So while I host and executive produce my show, I also report for News 12 in New York.

It’s liberating to create your own rules on the internet. To think outside the box, and to come up with your own structure. It doesn’t mean we do away with traditional media, at least not right away. It means that we tweak it for where we’re headed.

I enjoy tweaking, and staying open to both the traditional and non-traditional means of media and news delivery.

What media rules are you tweaking?



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