Last weekend, I had occasion to introduce a young man named Chris Sweigart to a bunch of old, grizzled TV goons. “Sweigart is a reporter and director of social media at WXIA.” The introduction was repeatedly good for a guffaw or a snort. I suspect only a handful of other news folk in America, if any, have that title.
Despite our reputation as stuck-in-the-20th-century Mainstream Media throwbacks, most TV news folk are aware that their careers will be dependent on their presence on the web, and the monetization thereof. They are still grappling with the business of how blogging, tweeting and Facebooking will fit into it.
Forward-looking readers of this blog ought to consider making regular visits to Sweigart’s blog as well. Sweigart is a new-school jack-of-all-trades. He’s a one-man-band “multimedia journalist.” As WXIA’s social media director, he is also continually updating the station’s Twitter and Facebook sites (and his own), and riding herd on WXIA’s web presence.
Days before the story aired, Wolfe promoted it on Twitter and Facebook by sending updates from the operating room where the transplant took place. On-air, Wolfe said the preview updates helped build an audience for the TV version of the story. Sweigart argues that Wolfe’s performance is evidence that a TV reporter can thrive as a one-man-band, concurrently producing timely information for the web.
I would add that Wolfe’s TV story was very well done, actually bringing a tear to the eye of an old, grizzled TV goon.
Wolfe’s story is below. You can find Chris Sweigart’s blog under “Atlanta TV blogs” on the right toolbar of this site.