The growing importance of local content and the changing role of editors were in the focus of the presentation delivered by Vincent Duffy, news director of Michigan Radio at the workshop co-organized by the Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and the Hungarian Association of Local Radio Stations (HEROE) on 6 December 2016.
Besides being the news director of Michigan Radio since 2007, Vincent Duffy is the chair of the Radio-Television-Digital News Association (RTDNA) the largest electronic media organisation in the US. Therefore, he has exceptional expertise in the area of local radio news production. At Michigan Radio, Duffy manages twelve reporters who won national awards, for example, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Sigma Delta Chi Award.
In his presentation he emphasized that the overall mission of Michigan Radio was covering local communities and local stories. For instance, their most successful reports covered the Flint water crisis and the bankruptcy of Detroit. These stories made it to the national media, as well.
Secondly he highlighted the changing role of the editor in the ‘on-demand, digital world’. Michigan Radio’s webpage has an increasingly important role where all content of the radio is published and available in a written form, too. Nowadays editors have a more complex work to do than in the past: they have to edit stories not only for air, but also web texts, photos and captions with almost immediate deadlines and regularly monitor the social media.
The Michigan Radio considers important to tackle local issues concerning the whole territory of State Michigan, but also to regularly follow their developments. It also does investigative reporting and this work is appreciated by the audience. Donations from the community represent almost 60 percent of the radio’s budget. Vincent Duffy also mentioned that the Michigan Radio works together with other radio and television stations, and print and online publications of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative to produce stories about issues Detroit.
More photos about the event (by Eszter Kiss):