Nieman Foundation at Harvard
What’s with the rise of “fact-based journalism”?
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Dec. 14, 2016, 9 a.m.

Much attention is paid to how news consumers access journalism online, but 57 percent of American adults still get news from television, according to a Pew Research Center study released earlier this year.

That study found that 54 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds prefer to access news digitally. Just 38 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds and 15 percent of people between 50 and 64 said they prefer digital news.

The audience for late-night local news broadcasts fell by 5 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to Pew’s annual State of the News Media report. (The 2016 election — remember that? — surely helped with ratings, though.)

To address the challenges facing broadcasters and to help foster new ideas in local broadcast news, the National Association of Broadcasters on Wednesday announced the formation of two “innovation challenges” that will take place over the next two years and focus on “uncovering broadcast news projects that serve the needs of local communities.”

The effort is being supported by a $200,000 grant from the Knight Foundation. (Knight also helps support Nieman Lab.)

The NAB challenges are part of the group’s PILOT program, which aims to address issues affecting the future of broadcast journalism.

The group first ran an innovation challenge this year. A project called “In Your Shoes,” which used VR to tell first-person narratives, won the $20,000 first prize.

The NAB will open the next iteration of the challenge at its annual convention in April, and it will accept entries through the summer. According to the release, here’s how the challenge will work:

Projects will be evaluated by a panel of judges from various groups, including local broadcasters, academics, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and other media-related entities. In addition, the National Association of Broadcasters will use the challenge to build a network of broadcast news innovators and will provide guidance, support and industry exposure to winners of the challenge as they build and test prototypes. The National Association of Broadcasters will announce the winners of the 2017 PILOT Innovation Challenge in the fall.

More information is available here.

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