Working for the competition : an analysis of the local news pool
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The Local News Pool or “LNP” as it’s referred to concerns competing television news stations within a single market forming a cooperative partnership in order to share content such as video and interviews. This study used depth interviews with assignment editors, producers, and photographers in Austin, Texas, Tampa, Florida, and Denver, Colorado, and incorporated a quantitative content analysis of news stories assigned to the LNP in Austin to discover how this convergence model operates, its effects on workers, and the potential for homogenization. This study discovered that by incorporating this convergence model into a newsroom and categorizing certain stories as “shared” it altered the level of importance photographers and producers placed on the story. By these journalists having prior knowledge that the competition might use or have an interest in a certain story, it altered the value placed on it to one of something “extra” or “filler” and not highly desired for the news broadcast. In addition, this study provides an updated look at the multilayer gatekeeping process by incorporating competing organizations within this decision making process. This study found gatekeepers cooperate on stories each find would produce similar content if their station were to send their own crews. The aspect of competition becomes present when gatekeepers request stories not intended for the LNP such as breaking news. The level of cooperation is often based on ratings and perception of one’s willingness to reciprocate if needed.