Global News’ multi-market content (MMC) – the way the 11 o’clock and weekend news is produced – has won an Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Innovation.
The prestigious awards are given out by the Radio, Television and Digital News Association (RTDNA) and will be presented at a gala in New York in October.
“We are immensely proud of the MMC team at Global News on winning this esteemed award and for paving the way into the future,” Troy Reeb, Senior Vice-President, Global News, Corus Radio and Station Operations, said.
“The production model has proven to be a successful experiment – it allows for more frontline news gathering and helps sustain our business. Winning this international award stands out as a career highlight and I couldn’t be prouder of the team behind this success story.”
It’s the first year the Award for Excellence in Innovation is being given out, and honours TV or radio that has “innovated their product to enhance the quality of journalism.”
Global News’s win highlights the new methods used while centralizing the anchoring of several local late night and weekend newscasts.
Gerry Belec, one of the architects of new system, credits the collaboration of the technical and editorial teams with MMC’s success in coming up with a new concept for news television production.
Instead of hosting an 11 p.m. newscast locally, one team of anchors host one show per market (including Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Montreal) from Toronto – using local content. Other markets use local anchors as well, but draw from MMC’s packaged content.
“The concept was basically to ‘chunkify’ newscasts so that they could be used like Lego, really, and reassembled onto different shows,” Belec explained.
Doing this, Belec explained, eliminated the repetitive nature of news production – like having anchors across the country reading the same intro multiple times.
“In no way does it ever feel, I think from our perspective, that we are a centralized show,” MMC’s executive producer Alexandra Henderson said. “We are very much working on eight local shows, and we very much feel beholden to our local audience to make sure that we can give them as much of that local content and feel as we can generate.”
It also allows production to start when news breaks, instead of waiting for the TV station to start broadcasting at a specific hour. This allows for news stories to go online as soon as they’re completed.
The team produces over 300 stories for 68 newscasts per week.
The Edward R. Murrow awards are some of the most prestigious awards in the world, and embody Murrow, who was a “journalism pioneer who set the standards for the highest quality of broadcast journalism.”