I-Teams Are Back at Local TV Stations

By Kevin Eck 

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As evidenced by some of the reports we have done here on TVSpy, investigative journalism is back at local TV stations.

“In 2008 and 2009, when revenue dropped significantly, many TV stations cut back in two areas: investigative and consumer reporting,” president of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations Valari Staab told the Washington Post.

Since joining the group in 2011, Staab has added investigative units at the 11 NBC stations and 17 Telemundo stations she oversees.

The Post reports the Pew Research Fund as saying “Local TV’s steady stream of advertising and other revenue has helped maintain staffing levels for their newsrooms, which rose 1 percent in 2014″ as one reason investigative journalism has made a return.

With Facebook and other social media sites looming as the growing source of competition for millennials’ attention for anything news, local stations are motivated to stand apart from the competition.

“The only way to hold or grow an audience these days is to have exclusive content,” said Mark Horvit, executive director of IRE. “The term ‘investigative’ is a way to say, ‘We dug this up — this is ours.'”

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