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Tegna's WTSP Tapped for Google/Poynter News Initiative

The Poynter Institute and the Google News Initiative (GNI) have teamed up on a pilot project to help a trio of newsrooms, including WTSP TV Tampa, engage younger audiences through social video storytelling.

After seeking and vetting applications for the program last fall, Tegna's CBS affiliate in Tampa was chosen for the project, as was radio station WGBH News in Boston and the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. 

The VidSpark program will be a year-long effort to create a playbook for other newsrooms to follow to produce engaging and shareable video for the digital age. 

“Ensuring younger audiences are informed and engaged on local issues is critical to both our mission to serve our entire community, and to the sustainability of local journalism,” said WTSP president and general manager, Kari Jacobs. “We are excited to partner with Poynter as we continue to develop new, creative ways to deliver our impactful news content to a broader audience across all platforms, and to share best practices with Tegna stations across the nation.” 

"Our VidSpark project with GNI can be a lab to try new story forms and help newsrooms share their journalism with those who don’t currently feel compelled by the local news scene," said Poyner president Neil Brown in a statement.  

Poynter and Google are already working on the audience side of the news consumption equation with their MediaWise literacy project, which is meant to help teenagers "sort out fact from fiction" online. 

Alisante Bean, editor and program manager of video strategy for Poynter, will lead the VidSpark program. Poynter specializes in journalism education. 

GNI partners with various organizations to promote independent journalism in the digital age through a $300 investment from the online giant. 

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.