Updated: Social Media presence of Local Media in Spokane

These charts are up to date as of today.

Update March 2013: The new Facebook.com/SpokaneNews web site is crossing through 18,000 shortly and will surpass KREM this spring and probably surpass KHQ by the end of this year.

The previous chart had an error for the Twitter followers of two of the news organizations. Inadvertently, the # of web feeds being followed by the news organizations, rather than their number of followers, had been used in the original chart first published in March of 2012.

Some one with a local news organization identified the error and alerted us to the problem – thank you!

The numbers above refer to the “main news” page – at each organization there are typically pages run by individual departments and reporters and these are not included in the totals.

Spokane: When news breaks, not much happens

An incident occurred Saturday night that shows the impact of local news room cut backs.

The Incident

Around 9 pm on Saturday, there was a murder, followed by a suicide during the night. Police, sheriff’s deputies, State patrol, SWAT team equivalent, negotiators, K-9 teams, police reserves, an armored vehicle all arrived and the sheriff’s helicopter circled over head for hours. Nearby apartments were evacuated and streets were closed off much of the night. Dozens of officers were involved. This is a big deal in Spokane.

Local News Coverage

Let’s look at how this was covered by the news media in Spokane …

Saturday

  • 9 pm: Shooting occurs, police respond.
  • 11 pm: KXLY – zero coverage.
    11 pm: KHQ and KREM have short phone calls with their photographer on scene.
    11 pm: The Spokesman-Review tweets that a shooting occurred.
  • 12 Midnight: KHQ and KREM add six sentence stories to their web sites.
  • (Update: As added in a comment to this post, KHQ and KREM did “okay” – not great, but okay. See the comments for more information.)
Sunday

Was this an important story in Spokane? As of Monday, this was the #1 most viewed story at the local TV station web sites.

Does Spokane’s news media lack resources to cover urgent, breaking news outside of regular business hours?  Looks that way.  They may want to take an introspective look at how they could do better.

What impact will the lack of news resources have on a community in terms of losing coverage of urgent news events, local government initiatives, education, business activities, economic development, and projects pushed by local developers?

Update: One week later, here’s an example of a smaller deal that was reported and online quickly, rather than 18 hours later. Hopefully the event above led to some new ideas for covering timely news.