Pappas Telecasting Launches Online Initiative

Pappas Telecasting Companies recently launched its new online initiative, "" at NTV (Nebraska Television), the company's ABC-affiliated television stations in the Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney, Neb. market. The Fox-affiliated stations KTVG in Grand Island and KSNB-TV in Superior, Neb., which Pappas operates, are also part of this initiative.

The Community Correspondent site allows users to determine what is news by auto-publishing content from cell phones, e-mail, and online with text, photos and video. After registering online, volunteer video journalists can use phones with video or picture capability, camcorders, digital still cameras, or PCs to write, shoot, and produce their own stories. Select content from the site will also make it into newscasts.

In addition to posting stories, registered users can comment on stories and rate them. The more comments, the higher the article will be listed on the page of Hot Topics. The best of this content will be selected to air on Pappas' local TV stations that participate in, as well as receive special attention from the NTV newsroom for potential inclusion in the NTV nightly news.

"News is uniquely defined by viewers and users," said Desiree Hill, vice president of news development at Pappas Telecasting. "When given the chance to create a grass roots news site, the community will have its own one-of-a-kind voice--and it won't necessarily be the same kind of information traditional broadcasters would choose. The NTV community of viewers has already been extremely active in sending weather pictures and sharing other kinds of information on the station Web site."

The company said in addition to the June rollout on NTV, most of Pappas' 27 stations will be launching their own versions of over the next few months.