Monday, March 20, 2006

Podcasting the Local News

Podcasting is a relatively new web phenomenon. For those not familiar with it, you basically record your own program -- news, commentary, music, educational, informational, it could be anything. This is usually an audio file saved as an MP3 file (like downloaded music), but more and more folks are starting to use video, too.

Anyone can download these files any time, to listen to anywhere. On their iPod, on their CD players, in their cars, on their computers. It's an easy way to make your programs available to the widest audience under the widest possible circumstances.

Of course, as with any trend, the marketers are jumping on it. And so, too, is local news. So far only WPTY/24 and WMC/5 offer them.

The WPTY podcast is actually just the audio portion of their 5PM daily news broadcast. The WMC podcast is a "5-7 minute daily newscast" per their website. It appears to be similar to the network cut-ins they do during the "Today" show.

The only Memphis blogger I'm aware of who podcasts now is Thaddeus Matthews. I've toyed with the idea, but so far see no reason for one.

Along similar lines, WREG/3, WMC/5 and WPTY/24 all offer online streaming video of selected news reports from their evening newscasts. They all require computer access, I believe; I'm not sure if any of this is cellphone accessible as of yet, although I think WREG/3 is offering something.

And poor FOX/13? Nothing. Even their own website is bare bones. What's going on over there?

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