Missouri TV Station Interviews Norwegians On Google+ For Reaction To Attacks

KOMU-TV, the Columbia, Mo., NBC affiliate, has made headlines in recent weeks for its ingenious and innovative uses of Google+. (The station also made headlines when Google shut down its brand page.)

But that hasn’t stopped Sarah Hill, an anchor/reporter at the station, from continuing to use the nascent social network to gather and spread news (check out her Google+ profile here).

After Friday’s attacks in Norway, Hill took to Google+ to find sources, posting the following message (and a few similar, subsequent ones) to her profile:

Norwegians: KOMU-TV, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, MO is doing a recorded hangout to gauge Norwegian reaction to what appears as the first act of terrorism on Norwegian soil since WWII. Norwegians: Private Message or Comment below if you’d like to share your sentiments in our recorded Hangout in about an hour.

The effort was a success. She was able to speak to seven Norwegians in a Google+ hangout, which she recorded. Excerpts were used during the station’s newscasts.

Such a feat would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. An NBC affiliate in Missouri does not have the resources of one of the major TV networks, yet was still able to do a video interview without paying a cent. No stringers in Norway were required to gather sources. The station didn’t even have to pay for satellite time.

While Skype interviews have become increasingly ubiquitous on TV — even on the networks — Google+ excels because it is an all-in-one solution. It provides for the gathering of sources, the interviewing of sources and the dissemination of the interviews once the they are completed (as Hill later posted the end result of her hangout).

Watch Sarah Hill’s Google+ hangout below: