Today's blog "ColoradoBiz Editor Thinks New Channel 4/Denver Business Journal Series Looks 'Very Familiar'" examines the suggestion that "Beating the Recession," a collaboration between Channel 4 and the DBJ, borrowed its concept from "Road to Recovery," a team effort from Channel 7 and ColoradoBiz that debuted in January. Channel 4 news director Tim Wieland denies this theory, as does DBJ editor Neil Westergaard, whose views on the need for optimistic business coverage stretch into a second blog, "Denver Business Journal Neil Westergaard on the Need for Positive Economic Stories." To add more evidence that "Beating the Recession" was created independently from "Road to Recovery," Wieland provides a fascinating internal document outlining the project and the various ways the news department aimed to integrate it among all the personnel at their disposal. Read it after the jump.
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BEATING THE RECESSION
Rarely in history have we experienced a story as ubiquitous as the current economic recession. It is one story on the minds of nearly all of our viewers, nearly all of the time.
Every station is reporting economic headlines, informing the audience, but Beating the Recession is our opportunity to connect with the audience.
It isn't news to our audience that the economic recession is hurting individuals and families in Colorado in many ways. We will not shy away from reporting the tough economic news. But as we've seen, people in Colorado are finding ways to help others and themselves. We can do a service to our viewers by telling those stories, and including those resources in our storytelling.
The tone of our stories will be positive and empowering. We want our audience to know that "we're all in this together," and that CBS4 will be an advocate for them through our Beating the Recession reports.
Here is the language we should use in each newscast during the entire launch week:
THE ECONOMY IS MAKING THINGS TOUGH...BUT WE KNOW MANY OF YOU ARE PRESSING ON AND FINDING SOLUTIONS.
SO THIS WEEK, CBS4 WILL BEGIN REPORTING ON THE RECESSION IN A NEW WAY...AND YOU'LL SEE IT IN ALL OF OUR NEWSCASTS.
WE'LL COVER THE TOUGH ECONOMIC NEWS, BUT WE'LL ALSO TELL YOU ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE FIGHTING BACK...AND BEATING THE RECESSION.
WE ALL KNOW THAT WE'RE FACING SOME TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES. BUT WE ALSO KNOW THAT COLORADO HAS SEEN TOUGH TIMES BEFORE - AND WE'LL GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER... BY FINDING SOLUTIONS, AND HELPING OTHERS. SO THIS WEEK CBS4 BEGINS REPORTING ON THE RECESSION IN A NEW WAY...AND YOU'LL SEE IT IN ALL OF OUR NEWSCASTS --- STORIES OF PEOPLE TAKING A STAND AND FINDING SOLUTIONS...PEOPLE WHO ARE BEATING THE RECESSION.
Here is the language we should use to explain the project on our web site:
Colorado has been hit hard by the economic recession. Coloradans, however, are taking a stand and finding solutions. This special section includes the stories of people who are fighting back, and "Beating the Recession." We hope their stories will spark an idea, provide some helpful advice, or simply inspire you. You'll also find resources and references, and ways to share your own stories of Beating the Recession.
Consumer: Spending, Investing, Saving, Retirement planning Family Budget: Molly Hughes - direct benefit stories for families
Money Saving Stories/Consumer Trends: Karlyn Tilley
Inexpensive Family Entertainment: Greg Moody
Scams & Ripoffs: Rick Sallinger and Brian Maass
Real Estate: Home selling, home buying, foreclosures, mortgage rates, home renovations: Andrea Lopez Jodi Brooks Alan Gionet/Good Question
Jobs: Job searching, keeping a job, career counseling, surviving a layoff, unemployment benefits: Raj Chohan Shaun Boyd Alan Gionet/Good Question
Energy: Gas prices, home heating, alternative energy development and jobs; Consumer emphasis: Paul Day
Health: Consumer Health: Kathy Walsh (getting the most from your health dollar, insurance, etc.) Recession/Medical: Dr. Dave Hnida (stress, depression, etc. Expert viewer advocate)
Politics: Emphasis on what government is doing to help viewers/consumers beat the recession: Terry Jessup
For Families: Each week a different family will get a "Money Makeover." We will select a family each week to profile (based on submissions through our web site), and then a financial planner will visit that family and offer suggestions. We have already recruited about two dozen financial planners willing to participate in this project. Jim Benemann & Karen Leigh/Vicki Hildner
For Careers: Stories of people who love their jobs; or who were laid off & decided to make a life/job change to do something they love: Tom Mustin & Brooke Wagner
Pay it Forward: Emphasis on helping families struggling during the recession: Suzanne McCarroll/Bill Masure/Libby Smith