IN FOCUS: The state of local broadcast news

In Focus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The television station that eventually became ABC4 News turned on for the first time in April of 1948. It was the first station in Utah and the only one at the time between Chicago and the west coast. Needless to say, over the past 73 years, a lot has changed. But the delivery of news was always central to our station’s mission. In this IN FOCUS discussion — we pull back the curtain and look at the impact of local broadcast news, what has changed, and where it might be going.

ABC4’s Utah Legacy Journalist, Craig Wirth joined Rosie Nguyen to discuss what the first newscasts in Salt Lake City were like, what newsgathering were like when there were three commercial networks and a public network, what he views as a critical turning point in the business of local news, how local news adapted as technology changed, what he believes is the biggest challenge for broadcast news, and his prediction for the industry’s future.

Marcie Young Cancio, associate professor of journalism at Salt Lake Community College (also founder of Amplify Utah) and Scott Pierce, television critic for the Salt Lake Tribune shared their thoughts in the second and third part of the discussion. They talked about how they view the current state of local broadcast news, how it currently ranks as a source of news, how ownership has changed in the past decade or so, how stations make money and if that model has changed in the past few years, what research says about media trustworthiness, how they’re talking to students about the change, how social media and the internet affects how news is produced, and their prediction for the future of the industry.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Wirth, Young Cancio, and Pierce, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie_Nguyen
Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.

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