I follow more than 500 TV stations’ Facebook pages and what I see every day are countless examples of news coverage about the coronavirus. All necessary, all important. But what I want to share are examples of the more practical posts on how to cope with the disruptions, and the measures some are taking to help each other.
When you think about the measures taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus, each and every one of them, in and of itself, would be a major news event. But add them altogether and it’s almost the stuff of science fiction.
People must stay six feet away from each other. No crowds of more than 10 people. All schools, colleges and universities closed. Businesses closed and workers are sent home. Restaurants and bars closed. Churches are closed. All sporting events are canceled.
One of the few actions that can be shared is mass media and social media. And even though many people working in local TV news are also being asked to work from home, they strive to keep us all informed about the rapidly changing developments surrounding the coronavirus and its disruptions on our daily lives.
How are TV newsrooms managing to work from home?
Here’s a great story from WKMG, Graham Media’s CBS affiliate in Orlando, Fla., that demonstrates that.
I follow more than 500 TV stations’ Facebook pages and what I see every day are countless examples of news coverage about the coronavirus and its effects on each and every market. Press conferences, official updates, Q&A’s with health professionals, and the list goes on. All necessary, all important. But what I wanted to share are examples of the more practical posts on how to cope with the disruptions, and the measures some are taking to help each other.
In Baltimore, WJZ, the CBS O&O, shared a story about a woman buying groceries for the elderly during her lunch break.
A teacher turned her front porch into a library for her students from WXMI, the Scripps Fox affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich.
A restaurant owner feeds hungry children in this story from WTVR, Scripps, CBS affiliate in Richmond, Va. I love the quote from one of the ladies interviewed here, “Kindness is just coming out of everyone.”
WLTX, Tegna’s CBS affiliate in Columbia, S.C., shared this story about a canceled choral festival. No problem, as students sang their parts in separate homes and edited them together.
Even though her school district is closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, a school bus driver drove her normal route transporting hot meals instead of students. From KTHV, Tegna’s CBS affiliate in Little Rock, Ark.
And I saved this story for last, in case you need a tissue. Every afternoon at 2, neighbors in this Baltimore community come out and sing a song. In this video, it’s the National Anthem. From WJZ, the CBS O&O there.
NOTE: I can’t think of a time when local TV news has been as important a source of information is it now during this coronavirus outbreak. While the pandemic is worldwide, the effects to limit it are coming down right in your neighborhood.
Let me know what your station is doing during this crisis in terms of news coverage, marketing and to help your advertisers. I’ll post updates as I get them.
WTTG, the Fox-owned affiliate in Fox Washington D..C, seeks a seasoned news producer. The news producer is responsible for daily production of newscast (compile and write stories, log video, wire copy) within specific time constraints to meet news deadlines. Level of performance requires a superior command of grammar and broadcast news-writing style. Must be familiar with and able to log and edit video for inclusion on scripts. Responsible for production of stories – everything from setting up the story, to interviews, to writing and editing features, and coordinating graphics. Click here for more specifics and how to apply.