KFTY lays off staff, will Rely on Viewer Submitted Content

A good friend sent me a link to a blog post called Scenes from the media revolution.

Thomas Lifson
A small terrestrial (i.e., the kind that uses normal tower-based transmission) broadcast television station, KFTY, Channel 50 in Santa Rosa, California, has fired its entire news staff and is going to rely on viewer-submitted material for news. Joe Garofoli of the San Francisco Chronicle calls it

a nationally watched experiment in local television coverage. Over the next few months, the station’s management plans to ask people in the community — its independent filmmakers, its college students and professors, its civic leaders and others — to provide programming for the station.

Will they be paid? That’s being worked out. Who will cover the harder-edged stories? Some will be culled from local newspaper and TV online sites, [station executive] Spendlove said, and “other sources” that are still being discussed.

This blog post is really about Ideas for Integrating Independent and Traditional Media.

Deep down, or not so deep, mass firings is just what media people are afraid of. I think they should be afraid. I would be.

Do big media owners really care who makes the content they resell? As long as content is cheap and they have a good profit margin who cares what it is or who makes it? sarcasm (Notice how I didn’t write cheap and quality. Do you think a barrage of coverage about Anna Nicole Smith’s death is quality coverage? I don’t.)

The big problem is traditional media workers will be pit against independent media makers. If we bloggers and vloggers get involved for pay we will be in direct competition with traditional media workers. If you thought someone off the street with less experience in your business was going to take your job how would you feel? Would you fight against change?

Bloggers and Vloggers can live in harmony with traditional corporate TV workers. But it looks like TV workers will have to become more like bloggers and vloggers, not less. Not because bloggers and vloggers are cheaper. But because we use new media tools like we breath.

Maybe TV stations should hire full time and part time bloggers and vloggers who do not have journalism degrees or broadcast experience. Put them to work beside other media workers. Create environments where they can learn from each other. Don’t force Bloggers and Vloggers to become TV workers. Some how I think Journalism Schools will have to-do the same.

The blog I quoted quotes the following SF Gate article;
Tonight at 11, news by neighbors – Santa Rosa TV station fires news staff, to ask local folks to provide programming

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