Feb. 22, 2012 at 4:48pmDo you … Need To Know?

“Need to Know” is an integrated broadcast and online current affairs project merging TV and web in an innovative approach to newsgathering and reporting.

I have not seen this show yet but when I saw it on the schedule I was really excited and can’t wait to see it on Friday night in Spokane at 7:30p.m.

I have gone to the website http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/ and checked it out. There are a plethora (love to use that word) of topics on the website including articles about the Keystone XL pipeline, top secret drones, pepper spray and the male pill.

What I really liked was that they have a “pitch” room where people can go and comment on different stories, interact with editors about your experiences, and it also gives you an email to message your stories and share your thoughts on specific topics.

It looks very innovative in how they’re approaching interacting with the public and not only ways to comment, but different ways to participate in discussions.

The description online says it breaks through the limitations of the broadcast schedule by means of the web-based production model that empowers audiences to ‘tune in’ anytime and anywhere. A cross-media initiative built around a wide community of journalists and producers, with input from an engaged audience, Need To Know covers five primary beats: the economy; the environment and energy; health; security; and culture. That pretty much covers most things except fashion but may be they cover that under culture.

Stories interviews, blogs and photo features are added and updated online, with the production teams inviting interaction and input from online readers and users who are looking for the latest information on a given subject.

Every week the online story development culminates in the weekly broadcast, curated from the week’s reporting by the various beat teams.

I’m excited because this is such a fresh way to keep people engaged online and merge what’s happening on the web with broadcast. And they way they’ve designed it to bring in so much input from readers and views is fabulous.

Join me, if you haven’t already discovered this show, on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.



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